Pet Companion Magazine, Winter 2015

Page 1


Complimentary Please Take A Copy!

Winter 2015

Feeding Tubes & Recovery A Progressive Shelter – PSAS

The Cat

Mini-Physical See OCPC page 16

Do Pets Grieve? The Dog



Events & Activities





Over 22 Years Since His Passing And He Still Holds A Place In Bud Johnson’s Heart See page 4



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Published quarterly. Fall (Sep-Nov.) Winter (Dec-Feb.) Spring (Mar.-May) Summer (June-Aug.) Publisher: Miriam Wiegel Editor: Geoff Winstead Advertising Sales: Printer: Publication Printers Corp. Distribution: Magazines are available at our advertisers’ locations or please visit our website or call the editorial office for a list of other locations where the magazine is available.

Cover Photo courtesy Bud Johnson. Photo restored by Mark Davidson Photography.

FOLLOW US ON Editorial photos © unless otherwise noted.

Desert Pet Companion (DPC) and its publisher assume no responsibility for changes, omissions or errors contained in this publication. Advertising in Desert Pet Companion does not indicate an endorsement by Desert Pet Companion or its publisher. DPC assumes no responsibility for opinions of contributors nor do the opinions expressed by contributors necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the publisher. DPC is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or photos, which must be accompanied by return postage and envelope. No part of Desert Pet Companion may be reprinted or copied without express, written permission. ©2014 Desert Pet Companion is published by Desert Pet Companion Editorial Office: 760-835-0369

Desert Pet Companion, P.O. Box 378 Palm Springs, CA 92263

For Advertising Information call: 760-835-0369


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Forever In My Heart Her name is Insight, a black German Shepherd who came into my life 22 years ago and has remained there ever since. She was elegant, loyal and super bright. On this planet, we were together only eight years, but we will always be together. Her photo is on my store card. I have owned a store on El Paseo for 25 years, and whether our 4 Desert Pet Companion

customers buy or not, they take home a card with Insight on it. People from all over the world have taken her photo with them. Every night I say a prayer for her. I have had two dogs since then, a Welsh and now a Toy Fox Terrier and I love them. But Insight is the only real love of my life and will always be in my heart. — Bud Johnson

Winter 2015

Do Pets

Grieve? By Valerie Masi Best Paw Forward


e have all heard stories of pets experiencing loss, whether it’s losing their owner or losing a fellow animal companion, and we often wonder what the pet feels during that time of loss. Perhaps you’ve seen the YouTube video of a dog lying next to its friend after it was hit by a car; or perhaps you’ve heard the story of Hachikō, who stayed at the train station for many years after the death of his master, faithfully awaiting his return. Well, I have my own story. I had three dogs: two German Shepherds and a Labrador Retriever mix. My lab was 14 years old and had dementia. Sadly, he reached a point at which he no longer recognized food, so I knew it was time to say goodbye to my friend. For our final adventure, I took him to the beach, then we drove up to the vet, and I said my final goodbye to him. A few months later, I had to say goodbye to one of my German Shepherds, because of his crippling hip dysplasia. I took him to the 6 Desert Pet Companion

beach as well, and then we headed to the vet. Shortly thereafter, I decided to go to my friend’s ranch, and I brought along my third (and now only) dog. We’d gone to my friend’s ranch often, and my dogs had always loved it there. My friends and I decided to go out to dinner, so we left the dogs in the house, where they could use the doggie door to get into the fenced yard. As we drove away, I noticed that my German Shepherd had jumped the fence and was chasing our car down the road. This behavior was very unlike her, so I knew something was wrong. As I thought about her panicked behavior, it hit me: the last two times that I took a dog away from the house, I came home, but the dog didn’t. She must have thought I was abandoning her, like the others! I believe my last surviving dog didn’t realize that the other two dogs were sick because they didn’t exhibit obvious signs of illness. I will never know exactly what she was thinking,

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of course, but from that time on, I have always had the vet come to my home. Research has shown that dogs experience several emotions—with grief being one—and I always want to minimize that grief for my dogs. Here are a few ways we can help our dogs get through the grieving process: Have your other dog(s) present when euthanizing your ill or older dog; this way they will understand that their friend is gone. If you have two or more dogs, make sure they have independent lives from one another. I see many dogs who are very codependent, and that makes grieving harder on the surviving dog. Make sure you (the human) are the pack leader and not another dog. I have seen dogs lose their pack leader,

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and they become very lost without their alpha. Take your dog out for walks and playtime with another dog friend. Try to get life back to normal as quickly as possible after the loss of one pet. After a loss, people often ask, “Should I get another companion for my surviving dog?” The best answer is that it depends on your dog. Some dogs will be happy to welcome a new friend but, just like people, others need more time. Some older dogs will prefer to be the only dog in the home, and introducing a new dog will be disruptive rather than a happy experience. If you decide you want to try to give your dog a new companion, allow him or her to be a part of the selection process. Introduce your dog to any poten-

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We provide veterinary services for every stage in your pet’s life, from her first shots to a lifetime of preventive care to keep her happy and healthy.

• Primary & Advanced Care • Preventive Care • Alternative Medicine We provide comprehensive veterinary care for your: Cats • Dogs • Pocket Pets Exotics • Rabbits • Reptiles

Pet Boarding & Grooming Available! 78-267 Highway 111, La Quinta (The Building In Front of Vons) 8 Desert Pet Companion

tial new family member before you commit to see how your current dog feels about this new friend. The dogs typically have a better chance of getting along if you choose a dog of the opposite sex. This is true even if your old pair was of the same sex. Females tend to challenge females, and males challenge males. Always introduce a potential new dog first, however, because you will always find exceptions to this rule. You also want to think about age. If your current dog is older, while it’s possible that he or she will do well with a puppy, you need to make sure a puppy will be truly welcome. Some older dogs do well with puppies—they even seem to behave like puppies again themselves when a puppy enters the home. However, many older dogs will be stressed by the exuberance of puppies and will decline more rapidly if you bring one home. The loss of a pet is difficult for pet owners, and we all dread that day. But remember, if you have more than one dog, your other dog(s) is losing someone they love, too. And so they may rely on you to be the strong one, to get life moving again as soon as possible for the dog left behind. Recognize your dog’s grief, and create a new routine for both you and your dog to bring joy back into your lives. Editor’s note: Please see OCPC page 12, The Grief Journey, an article about getting through the loss of a pet. Valerie Masi, owner of Best Paw Forward can be reached at 760-885-9450 or visit

Winter 2015

Palm Springs Animal Shelter

Leads the Way Photography courtesy Palm Springs Animal Shelter


lushie is a fearless feline who, at six weeks old, was found trapped in an air conditioning unit, her arm impossibly stuck. In an attempt to free herself, she degloved her tiny leg. Rescued by a good samaritan, she was rushed to the Palm Springs Animal Shelter. The tissue on her leg was already dying, and her ears were severely damaged by the airconditioner. Weak and dehydrated, the only way she could be kept cool and hydrated was by feeding her a mixture of water and shaved ice—thus the name Slushie. Fortunately, the shelter medical team was able to find a small, dehydrated vein to place an IV catheter and begin Slushie’s recovery, bringing her back to life. When she was well enough to handle anesthesia, her badly damaged leg was amputated, and this little fighter was soon on the mend, eating and Winter 2015

Slushie post op (above), after the stitches were removed (right).

drinking. At most public shelters, a pet in Slushie’s condition would be euthanized. However, Palm Springs

Animal Shelter thinks and operates in a different manner. In 2012, a unique partnership was formed between the City of

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Palm Springs and the when looking to add non-profit organization, a furry companion to Friends of the Palm their family. Low priced Springs Animal Shelter, adoption packages at allowing Friends to the shelter include: operate and manage the spay/neuter, microchip, shelter. This partnership vaccinations, a free has enabled the Palm vet visit, and life-time Spring Animal Shelter to adopter support. lead the way towards a Director Dr. Shayda Slushie with her new no-kill Coachella Valley. Ahkami says, “Our guardian In order to achieve community made a choice this, community partnering and to do better for the animals, and programming is crucial, providing manage our homeless pet problem low cost vaccine clinics, low and with compassion and humane no cost spay and neuter services, treatment and care. It is a never humane community cat management, ending challenge, but we are doing partnerships with local rescue groups, it with the support of our volunteers and a strong, dedicated foster and and donors, our city officials, our volunteer team. Most importantly, rescue partners and our ability to the shelter relies on people to adopt develop programs and resources

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Winter 2015

that are needed to enable humane pet guardianship.” Soon after Slushie was feeling better, she made an appearance as “Pet of the Week” at a Palm Springs City Council Meeting where she caught the eye of her new guardian. Slushie is now living the good life as the only cat in a wonderful, loving household with small dogs, and is clearly the pack leader, proving that she can do much more with three legs than most cats can do with four! In the last year, Palm Springs Animal Shelter has saved over 1700 pets that would have otherwise been at risk of death in a typical public shelter. The Palm Springs Animal Shelter is thinking differently, operating differently, and it’s working. Watch Slushie “wrestle” with her Chihuahua siblings on the shelter’s YouTube page, springsanimals and follow the Friends of the Palm Springs Animal Shelter on Facebook and Twitter for more amazing stories of recovery and second chances. Do you want to be part of the Palm Springs Animal Shelter’s lifesaving mission? Visit the shelter at 4575 East Mesquite Ave, Palm Springs, CA 92264, or visit to learn how. Winter 2015

‘Fake’ Service Dogs How they diminish the true meaning of ‘Real’ Service Dogs by Richard Waxman Founder and Executive Director of “Paws & Hearts” Animal Assisted Therapy


here is a growing problem right here in the Valley with individuals passing off their fake service dogs in public places. More and more dog owners are purchasing fake service dog vests and ID badges and passing their pups off as trained service dogs. There are so just many reasons why this is wrong. Books could be filled with examples of how this practice does not work, but for the sake of brevity, a general report on the subject will follow. First and foremost true service dogs, dogs that have been specifically trained to serve and protect its human companion have gone through rigorous training whether they are seeing eye-dogs, dogs that assist with post-traumatic stress syndrome, dogs that alert their owner of an epileptic

The US Department of Justice permits businesses to ask two questions:

1. Is this a service dog required because of disability? 2. What is it trained to do to mitigate the disability? 12 Desert Pet Companion

seizure, or alert the owner who is hard of hearing that the phone is ringing, or a pot is boiling over on the stove. With the advent of the Internet, where just about everything is available with a click and a credit card, hundreds of fake service dog sites have popped up, and some of them say such things as “…purchase your fake dog service vest here for $69.00, and take your dog anywhere you want”. It seems that more and more people think it is “cute” and acceptable to schlep their dogs with them into restaurants, grocery stores and other public settings. The thought process is, well if real service dogs are allowed in here, and those dogs’ paws are touching the ground then why can’t my darling dog? The problem with that analogy is that a true

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service dog has been trained to deal with pubic settings, where the non-trained dog is just that, a non-trained dog. Service dogs are not trained to be pushed around in a shopping cart in a grocery store, where groceries are placed. Service dogs are never-ever trained on a retractable leash. How many times have I seen people with fake service dogs on a retractable leash in a restaurant and the dog is at the very end of the leash bothering other patrons? This is just an accident in the making with that retractable leash. This practice is so diminishing to the real care that a true service dog provides. Just Google “fake therapy dog” and article after article comes up describing the problem, just like this article, but worse, by folks who have afflictions that require the assistance of a service dog, and who are made to feel uncomfortable when entering establishments because someone ahead of them tried to pass off a fake service dog who acted up, misbehaved, or worse, defecated. The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits restaurants and business owners from asking the nature of a person’s disability, and while researching this article I found out that in some cases dogs don’t even require the service vest, the handler just has to say, “This is my service dog.” While it is true you can’t ask the nature of the disability, you can certainly ask, “Where was your dog trained as a service dog?” I love the look on people’s faces when they are asked that. They stare blankly ahead knowing they’ve been busted. How embarrassing! And why would anyone put themselves in that Winter 2015

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position in the first place? Again, we’ve all witnessed a fake service dog. What a character flaw this shows in the person that would think to do this! Everyone has the cutest, most adorable dog on the face of the planet until you take it into a crowded mall or grocery store and because it is not trained, gets spooked with all the grocery carts coming towards it. Or the dog that is lying under a chair in a restaurant and its tail gets stepped on and the dog snaps. People who do this don’t realize the liability issue they are causing. A few weeks ago I witnessed a couple shopping at the Westfield Mall coming out of a store with their little poodle trotting along behind them, off leash! There are enough places to take our dogs that are acceptable. We have dog parks, stores that welcome our four-legged pals like Petsmart, Petco, and Bones-n-Scones. There are scores of restaurants with outside pet-friendly seating areas. Dogs don’t need to be sneaked into places where they aren’t welcome, or much worse, passed off as a fake service dog. It isn’t safe for the dog, and certainly not for the general public. I would end the article by asking readers to consider the following scenario: You have a special needs child that has been partnered with a specially trained service-dog. Your child spent hours of training with the dog and its trainer so that he or she could attend school with the dog and be protected. You’ve handled this perfectly from A to Z. You take

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your child and service dog for an outing and you stop for groceries, and your child and dog are behaving exemplary, when an out of control supposed service dog at the end of its retractable leash comes charging at you. How upset are you going to be when this happens? Just think about it. This is a growing problem and it is one that can be curbed quite easily. DON’T DO IT! Footnote: The day I finished the article I stopped at Von’s and lo and behold, one of our newest volunteers was coming out of the store wearing her volunteer shirt with her dog at her side, wearing its working bandanna. I was horrified and asked what this all about, and the volunteer exclaimed, “I’m advertising for you!” I explained in great detail that our therapy dogs are not service dogs and not permitted any special privileges other than for going to the facility they were assigned to. The volunteer said, “Oh, not to worry, she is a service dog,” and proceeded to pull out a fake ID badge from her purse. Needless to say, the volunteer was relieved of her volunteer duties!

Service dogs are trained with certified trainers who are professionals that have themselves been schooled in training service dogs. (Again, not dogs used for pet therapy—Animal Assisted Therapy.) Richard, “Lucky”, “Scruffy” & “Maddie” Waxman Director, Founder & Canine Ambassadors “Paws & Hearts” Animal Assisted Therapy at (760) 836-1406, Winter 2015

Local Dog Parks Please call first to confirm hours and regulations. • Cahuilla Hills Park Off-leash Area 45825 Edgehill Dr, Palm Desert, (760) 767-5341 • Cap Homme / Ralph Adams Park 72500 Thrush Road, Palm Desert (760) 776-6450 • Cathedral City Dog Park NW corner of Buddy Rogers Avenue and Date Palm Drive, on the west side of the Second Street Park • Civic Center Park NE corner of Fred Waring Dr. & San Pablo Ave., Palm Desert 760-568-9697 • Freedom Park 77-400 Country Club Drive, Palm Desert (760) 568-9697 • Fritz Burns Park Corner of Calle Sinaloa (Ave. 52) and Avenida Bermudas near the tennis courts, La Quinta • Joe Mann Dog Park 77-820 California Drive, Palm Desert (760) 776-6450 • Mulligan Dog Park 45355 Van Buren St., Indio (760) 391-4175 • Palm Springs Dog Park 3200 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way (behind City Hall), (760) 323-8117 • Pioneer Dog Park 45-130 Seeley Drive, La Quinta • University Dog Park 74802 University Park Drive, Palm Desert Not a dog park, but very dog-friendly • The Corridor 515 North Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs (behind Koffi) 760-333-6980

Desert Pet Companion 15

A Cat Owner’s Guide to Vet Care (Quiz included!) Part 2: Your Cat and Your Vet By Lillian Roberts, DVM Country Club Animal Clinic


ast issue, we talked about how, despite the fact that cats represent some 70% of house pets, they make up less than 20% of pet vet visits. We also touched on the reasons why cats should visit their vets at least once a year. This time, we’ll discuss what happens when you get to the vet’s office, some ways to help your cat to experience the visit without trauma, and what you have a right to expect from your veterinarian and their staff. Again, here are multiple choice statements or questions to guide you

Getting the cat into carrier Ideally, your cat’s vet visit begins:

a. When you first notice your cat is sick and reluctantly schedule a same-day appointment. b. Upon arrival at the clinic for his annual examination. c. When you enter the examination room. d. The moment you shove your unwilling pet into his hated carrier. 16 Desert Pet Companion

e. At home, where you condition your cat to love his carrier. Answer: E, of course! If you read the last issue, this question is a review. But it’s so important it bears repeating. Once Kitty is in the carrier with the door fastened, what’s the best way to get her to the clinic?

a. Who cares? She’s in the box, just get her to the vet! b. Place the carrier in the trunk or hatchback so you won’t have to deal with the noise or possible odors. c. Cover all but one end with a towel

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or cloth, and secure the carrier on the back seat or on a pad on the floor. d. Play the radio loud to drown out traffic noise. Answer: C. By covering the carrier, you reduce distracting peripheral movement. Making sure the carrier is cushioned to limit vibration. There should be an absorbent non-bunching cushion inside as well – you can use a fleece designed to fit, an old yoga mat cut to fit, or even a thick layer of newspaper, with or without a towel wrapped around it. If you just throw an old towel inside, it tends to bunch up. It’s a good idea to also spritz some Feliway or add a Feliway-soaked kennel pad. Check with your vet or boutique pet store for these. It’s also a good idea to play quiet, calming instrumental music rather than a talk show or loud rock & roll (for example). The idea is to avoid anything that will worsen anxiety, and encourage a soothing environment.

b. Swing the carrier on the way in the door, this distracts the cat. c. Announce your arrival loudly, to cover the sound of barking dogs. d. Face the open end toward a quiet corner of the room, and if possible set it down on a chair or other raised surface while calmly letting the receptionist know you’re here. Answer: D, and I hope no one missed this one! If there are dogs barking in the waiting room, consider phoning the receptionist from outside and asking them to either escort you to an exam room immediately, or call you back when they can. Few things upset cats more than feeling trapped while a potential predator sounds off nearby.

So now you’ve successfully gotten you and your cat to the vet. What now? You should expect your veterinarian’s office to provide:

a. Yearly shots. b. Appropriate vaccination schedules and yearly dental care. c. A basic physical exam and a variety of high end pet foods. d. Friendly staff, a coffee machine, and TV in the waiting room. e. A calm environment, separate

Once at the clinic, what happens now?

a. Your work is done, it’s up to them now! 18 Desert Pet Companion

Winter 2015

waiting area for cats, a thorough physical exam and discussion of recommendations for immunizations, diagnostic tests, diet and medication based on age, budget and lifestyle. Answer: E! These days, most vets who hope to increase their cat visits have set aside an alcove in the waiting room for their feline patients. Some have an exam room or two designated “cats-only”. (Country Club Animal Clinic has two exam rooms and a separate treatment area just for our feline patients.) There is even one veterinary practice in the desert – the Cat Clinic (and another boarding facility, the Cat Cottage) that cater only to cats.

What constitutes a thorough physical exam?

a. Asking the cat’s owner about the cat’s recent behavior, appetite, elimination habits and lifestyle. b. Body weight, temperature, and heart rate. Winter 2015

c. Body condition score, visual inspection of the mouth, eyes, ears, coat, and gait. d. Auscultation of the heart and lungs, and palpation of the skin, limbs, and abdomen. e. Blood pressure, lab tests, rectal examination, x-rays, and ultrasound. f. All of the above. Answer: F. All of the above. If you’re surprised to see answer “e” included, you’re not alone. In many cases, especially with young cats or fractious older cats, some of these tests are not practical, and generally not even attempted. But as they mature, typically around age 10, most vets (me included) recommend basic blood and urine tests. Ironically, these can be easier to obtain than blood pressure, and less objectionable to the cat than a rectal exam! Historically, cats have gotten less attention than they deserve. When I was in vet school, felines were sometimes an afterthought. But thanks to feline interest groups, research, medications specifically developed with our feline patients in mind, and an increased understanding of their particular medical needs, feline medicine is the fastest growing aspect of veterinary medicine today! In a future issue, we’ll talk about what those tests might reveal for both cats and dogs, and why they are important. Dr. Lillian Roberts, DVM, is the owner of Country Club Animal Clinic which is located at 36869 Cook Street, in Palm Desert. 760-776-7555

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A Look Inside a Mobile Grooming Service by Geoff Winstead


t seems that everything is going mobile these days. Gourmet food trucks are all the rage in large cities, mobile electronics experts come to your home to set up everything in your house to work off of one remote control, and many other types of businesses are going mobile every day.

20 Desert Pet Companion

Mobile pet grooming services have been around for awhile. Most are converted trailers or motor homes. However, the day of the modern, custom built mobile grooming van has arrived in the valley and Rosalind Ryan, or Roz to everyone who knows her, is doing the driving and the

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grooming. One would think that Ritzi 2-U by Roz would be a mobile service that is part of Ritzi Rover on El Paseo in Palm Desert, and that would be a good assumption because Roz worked there since 1997, is a Master Groomer, and is a member of NDGAA with over 35 years of experience. When she told the owner that she wanted to strike out on her own with a mobile business, he was the one who suggested the business name because of her long-time association with the business. “Michael’s such a great guy!” she says. So, when the time came to leave, instead of finding an old motor home to work out of, she went completely upscale and ordered a new customized van from Wag’n Tails in Indiana that was designed by a former groomer. The van was ready this past August and Roz flew out to Indiana get it and drive it all the way home. She has named the van Lily. I was immediately impressed by how well designed the white and yellow interior is. It has a roof-top air conditioner and a stereo playing

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soothing music. There is a grooming table that rotates, so the dog never has to be turned. To the left, in the back of the van, is a stainless steel bathing and drying station with a platform that can be raised or lowered to accommodate different sized dogs. The dryer and vacuum systems are built into the van, so all you see are the hoses. There are cupboards over the driver’s section that holds towels and other supplies, while all of the grooming equipment is neatly attached to the wall or along railed shelves. The floor has a nonskid surface and entrance and exit is a pretty easy step up or down that easily accommodated my 6’1” when standing inside (as long as you duck your head when entering or exiting…). I asked Roz why people use a mobile groomer as she was combing her Shih-Tzu, Sienna, who is the cute face on the side of the van. Her first word was “convenience!” “Most of my clients are very busy and don’t have the time to wait at a salon, so a mobile service can meet their time needs. I also get a lot of dogs who are uncomfortable or nervous in a salon,

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but are great when they can be alone one-on-one with me in the van. Other clients are elderly and no longer drive, so a mobile service is much more convenient for them. The other day, I was driving down a street to a client’s house and noticed a fellow walking his dog. The dog spots the van, stops in its tracks and starts sitting up and dancing around as I passed them. After I got to my client’s place, I had a knock on the van door from this gentleman and his dog. I opened the door and the dog jumped right in! It turns out that they are seasonal people and they use a mobile groomer with a similar van that the dog just loves when they are back in Illinois! So I immediately got a new client!” 22 Desert Pet Companion

As she was bathing and cutting a West Highland Terrier named Brody, I asked if this end of the grooming industry was growing. “Lots!” said Roz. “It is taking off like crazy! Right now, I’m probably doing half the business I did in the salon, but I’ve only been running the mobile service since August and I get more clients every week, so this is the way to go for me. I get to spend more personal time with the pets and they respond to that and the clients see that, too.” Ritzi 2-U by Roz serves Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta and neighboring communities. If you’d like more information you can contact Roz at (760) 409-9265.

Winter 2015

Local Professional Athlete Helps Neglected Animals by Susan Randazzo Desert Dunes Animal Hospital


lana Erlandson, professional golfer, attended Palm Desert High School and played on the San Diego State Women’s Golf Team. Alana is currently golfing on the Symetra Tour and working on her LPGA status. When not golfing, Alana gives back to her community as a member of the Junior League, and one of her deepest passions is to help abused and neglected animals. This devotion to the salvation of animals has led Alana to generously donate a portion

Desert Dunes Animal Hospital

Our full-service veterinary medical clinic offers the best and most innovative care available to our highlyvalued patients including: • medical, surgical, dental and wellness check-ups • boarding, grooming • special diet food All veterinary services are designed to promote excellent pet health and well being. Please take a moment to contact us today at (760) 345-8227.

42430 Washington St.

Conveniently located on Washington Street, South of Hovely. (Across from Home Goods) 24 Desert Pet Companion

of the profits from the sale of her new putting innovation, PuttSanity, to the cause. These contributions will be used to help abandoned and neglected animals in the Coachella Valley in many different ways. Discarding unwanted pets has been an ongoing problem here in the desert that has deeply touched Alana, kindling her desire help. Through her association with Desert Dunes Animal Hospital, Alana has become more aware of this growing concern. DDAH has been a sponsor of Alana’s professional golf pursuit for the past two years. During her visits to the hospital, Alana has been witness to the rehab process that goes into mending and placing these abandoned animals in new and loving homes. Since her demanding golf schedule keeps Alana traveling and away from home so much of the time, she is helping in the only way she can ... by donating time when available and raising money for the rehabilitation process. Because some animals have been abandoned for an undetermined amount of time and are often malnourished, need medical or dental treatment and many lack immunizations, there is much that goes into preparing these animals for adoption. The cost for this care is skyrocketing

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Desert Dunes Animal Hospital is located at 42430 Washington St., Bermuda Dunes, CA 92203. Visit or call (760) 345-8227 for more information.


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and every penny donated for treatment helps. Please go to the Desert Dunes Animal Hospital website at to view the video of Alana that is posted on the site. You will learn more about Alana, her endeavors to help animals and her career goals. Or, visit Alana’s website at and take the PUTTSanity challenge that Alana conceived as a way to raise money for this worthy cause that is near and dear to her heart. Alana Erlandson with Sookie

There are many pet-friendly activities happening. Please go to our Facebook page to see an expanded list. Activities and events are subject to change. Please call the event to confirm information. If we missed your pet event or activity, please let us know.

Desert Pet Companion 25

The Expectations

Game by Lori Wainio-Carman, VSPDT Dream Dogs


n our ongoing adventure of companionship with dogs, nothing trips us up quite as much as our own unrealistic expectations. When dogs don’t do as they are told, we think they are willfully disobedient, stubborn, or, worst of all, slow on the uptake. We overestimate their attention span and level of emotional control. We think they should know instinctively how to navigate big groups of dogs playing together. We expect them to quickly grasp concepts we deem important and logical for dogs, such as going to the bathroom outside (except when it’s okay not to, like at daycare). Unless 26 Desert Pet Companion

a good dog trainer sets us straight, we may even expect angelic behavior after completing a single 6-week training class. Our high and often naive expectations cause us grief and worry, so why are they so hard to shake? Blame culture, for one thing. Books and movies constantly portray dogs as highly intelligent (in a human sort of way) and capable of complex planning, as well as moral superiority to many humans in their loyalty and trustworthiness. And blame us, for another. Try as we might, we have a hard time not anthropomorphizing animals in general and dogs in

Winter 2015

NEW! Classes in ta s rting 15 at 0 2 January Paw’s d The Gran rings p S Palm location.



(760) 899-7272


particular. Often without realizing it, we judge them by our own ability to learn through observation and insight, internalize values, move mentally into the future, and think abstractly—none of which dogs can do. Two things are important here. One, that we examine our expectations

of dogs to give them a realistic chance to be successful at living with us and doing the things we ask them to do. Training based on learning theory (i.e., behaviorism) is the best tool we have to understand and change the behavior of dogs. This means we need to be willing to learn about it and develop the patience and persistence to apply it. Second, that we celebrate the wonderfulness of dogs, not as honorary humans but as they are: great learners with keen olfactory senses that are capable of discriminating fine differences in their environment, making a rich emotional life. In other words, dogs are marvelous creatures we are lucky to share our lives with. Lori Wainio-Carman, VSPDT, professional dog trainer and owner of Dream Dogs has been successfully training for over 20 years. 760-899-7272,

28 Desert Pet Companion

Winter 2015

30 Desert Pet Companion

Winter 2015

SUNDAY, MARCH 22, 2015 Ruth Hardy Park, Palm Springs Benefiting cancer research, treatment and education at City of Hope

Enter our 5K Doggie Division!

PHL-23395 SL

Start times of: Men’s 5K ¬ 7:30 a.m. Women’s 5K ¬ 8:15 a.m.

Questions? Please call (760) 779-1801 Register Online at Winter 2015

Desert Pet Companion 31


The Grand Paw

Now in Palm Springs, too!


he Grand Paw is expanding and will have two locations beginning on December 1st. The new facility will be located at 368 South Palm Canyon Drive in downtown Palm Springs, which makes it convenient for locals and tourists alike. It will be the first 100% doggie day care facility in Palm Springs, providing trained supervision 100% of the time. There will be separate small and big dog indoor play areas which are climate controlled. The Grand Paw has been voted the valley’s best pet resort, providing 12 years of experience meeting the highest industry standards. Brian Strand will be bringing his eight years of managing the original Grand Paw to

34 Desert Pet Companion

the new Palm Springs facility. If you think your dog would benefit from a social visit to day care and let you take a little time away for work or shopping, check out the new Grand Paw. To ensure the safety of pet guests, all dogs must pass a temperament test and meet required health criteria. For more information, please contact The Grand Paw at 760-327-8200 or At press time, the Grand Paw was putting the finishing touches on their Palm Springs daycare facility and photographs were not available. We’ll post photos on our website and Facebook of their new facility as soon as they are available.

Winter 2015




The Use of Feeding Tubes in Veterinary Medicine by Jessica Young, DVM, VCA Rancho Mirage Animal Hospital


hen someone mentions a feeding tube in a veterinary patient, the connotations are not always positive. Many people think of feeding tubes as “heroic measures,� assume that they are only used in terminal patients, and imagine that they are very unpleasant for all involved. Most of my clients over the years have been reluctant to consider it as an option. However, there are cases that would benefit enormously from this form of therapy. And using these tubes to provide nourishment, fluids, and medications is much easier and less stressful for the patient than being force fed or having long term hospitalization. The feeding tube makes it easier to treat the patient at home, which will reduce stress and often improve recovery. There are many diseases that can affect the appetite of the patient, and being able to provide the nutrition and fluids needed with minimal stress to 36 Desert Pet Companion

the patient is of vital importance to recovery. These conditions include kidney disease, liver disease, cancer, and many other illnesses/injuries. If a pet is not eating, this often makes it difficult to give oral medications at home, resulting in longer hospital stays so that medication can be given by injection. The feeding tube can also be used to maintain fluid intake and prevent dehydration in these patients, which also minimizes hospital stays. For all patients, anorexia and dehydration can prolong hospitalization and delay recovery. I often wonder if my clients have considered how unpleasant force feeding would be, especially for a patient that is weak or nauseous. Cats especially seem to find force feeding to be particularly unpleasant and it usually causes so much stress that it limits any positive effect. In the cases where a feeding tube has been used, my clients are often pleasantly

Winter 2015

surprised by how easy the tube is to manage at home (often easier than trying to get food and medications down the pet without it!) and they say things like “why didn’t I do this sooner?” Renal or kidney disease in cats is one of the most common chronic conditions we see. Cats often lose their appetite when struggling with kidney disease, making nutritional support and providing medications very difficult. Additionally, fluid therapy in these cases is a mainstay of therapy, because extra fluids will flush out the system, decreasing the buildup of toxins in the blood stream that is making the cat feel ill. Many clients learn how to give fluids by injection at home in these cases and with fluid therapy these patients will often feel better, eat better, and can have a good quality of life. Alternatively a feeding tube could be used to administer food, fluid, and medications in the early stages, then just medications and fluids if the patient starts eating on its own. The feeding tube basically acts as a long-standing port to aid in treatment of these cases over the long term.

Another situation we commonly encounter that would benefit from a feeding tube is the anorexic (not eating) cat, and in this case the tube is used to prevent hepatic lipidosis. The cause of the anorexia could be any illness such as renal disease discussed above or cancer, pancreatitis, intestinal disease, etc. Or sometimes a cat which is hit by a car, attacked by a dog, or has experienced a major trauma will stop eating due to stress and pain. If the patient is overweight, the body starts mobilizing fat stores as a result of not eating, and the liver becomes overwhelmed by fats and its function compromised, leading to liver failure. In these cases, if you could see a cat’s liver, you would see it is swollen and pale in color due to the large amount of fat present. The best way to prevent this from occurring is to place a feeding tube as soon as it’s recognized that the patient is at-risk. And once hepatic lipidosis has taken hold, the most important step in treatment is to place a feeding tube and provide nutritional support. If adequate nutrition isn’t provided quickly enough, hepatic is a site dedicated to providing accessible information about Feline Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a comprehensive resource for understanding all types of Chronic Kidney Disease (or CRF) and Acute Kidney Injury with an excellent glossary and many helpful tips. Feline Assisted Feeding from Yahoo is a discussion group for anyone

with a cat that needs assisted feeding, whether syringe feeding or any of the various feeding tubes. groups/Feline-Assisted-Feeding/ info contains a wealth of information concerning feeding tubes, converting cats from kibble to wet foods, and even making your own cat food.

e-tube resources for cats

Winter 2015


Desert Pet Companion 37

lipidosis will cause complete liver failure and the prognosis for recovery is poor. Luckily, feeding tubes are easy to place, maintain, and remove. One of the most commonly used types of feeding tubes is an esophagostomy tube. This technique has many advantages. The tube placement requires general anesthesia, but an experienced surgeon can place an esophagostomy feeding tube in less than 15 minutes, which minimizes any potential risks. When it’s time to remove it, the doctor simply removes the sutures holding it in place and pulls it out with the patient awake. The remaining opening in the skin will close on its own. It can be kept in place for a few days or a few months or longer. The patient can eat and drink on its own should they want to, without having to remove or adjust the tube. The tube is large enough to accommodate thick slurries of food and medications, as opposed to other smaller diameter tubes which can only accommodate a very watery, liquid diet. Also, it can be used in dogs and cats of

all ages and sizes. The concept is very simple: the tube enters the side of the neck and goes down the esophagus, ending just outside the entry to the stomach. There is a small bandage around the area where the tube exits the skin, and all this is well tolerated by most patients. While food is being given through the tube, the pet is calm, comfortable, and unaware that anything is happening. The most common problem with the tube is regurgitation of food, usually because the food or fluid is too cold or being given too rapidly. Correct these simple issues and the problem usually resolves. All in all, the tubes are simple, effective, and humane. Considering all we do for our pets these days to keep them happy and healthy, a feeding tube is a useful tool in our arsenal. We should not be afraid to use it. Jessica Young, DVM,is a veterinarian at VCA Rancho Mirage Animal Hospital located at 71-075 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage, CA. 760-346-6103. Visit www.

e-tube products from

Kollar helps hold e-tube

Luer “lock� syringes (above), Luer Slip-Tip Syringes (left) 38 Desert Pet Companion

Protector Pads helps to stabilize the tube, and are absorbant and have a thin covering that helps with reducing adherance

Winter 2015

VCA Rancho Mirage Animal Hospital offers nose-to tail care with easy and affordable monthly payments. VCA CareClub™ is the pet health care solution for pet owners (and their pets!) who want a comprehensive and affordable way to keep their pets as healthy and happy as possible.

Local Groomers, Pet Spas, Pet Sitters

Pet Sitting…

So Much More Than Providing Your Pet With Food And Water by Kathleen Huffman Fetch! Pet Care


f you are considering a pet sitter, the primary goal is to ensure you find a highly trained, reliable and well-screened animal caretaker. A great pet sitter spends quality time with your pet, ensures his safety and comfort, gives him exercise and knows how to tell if he needs veterinary attention. Your pet might be a dog, cat, fish, reptile, guinea pig, bird or a horse, so you should find a sitter who is experienced with your particular pet. Pet sitters typically offer other services, such as: Administering medications Fitness routine for dogs: daily walks, hikes or dog park Brushing Feeding and changing the pet’s litter box, cage or aquarium One on one playtime Picking up pet waste in the yard 40 Desert Pet Companion

Placing trash cans out on trash day Bringing in mail/newspapers Watering plants

Why hire a pet sitter?

A pet sitter—a professional, qualified individual paid to care for your pet—offers both you and your pet many benefits.

Your pet gets: Love, care and attention while you’re away The environment he knows best; the safety and comfort of his own home His regular diet and routine Relief from traveling to and staying in an unfamiliar place with other animals, risking airborne diseases or psychological trauma from being confined with non-stop barking around him.

Winter 2015

Your Best Friend Deserves the Best Care • Basic pet-care visits • Daily dog walks • Pets with special needs • Pet transportation to groomer or veterinarian

Why Use A Professional Pet Sitter?

Call to inquire about special vacation package pricing and discounts for long-term, pre-scheduled daily visits and dog walks.

• No Travel Trauma. • No Interruptions. • Avoid Exposure

Rely on the Licensed Professional Services of:

to Illness.

licensed, insured & bonded

(760) 899-2928

No Stress For You And Your Furry Family Members!

Furrst and Furrmost Pooch Palace & Sanctuary Where Your Dog’s Vacation Might Just Be Better Than Your Own

Professional Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Services Your pets safety and well being is our priority

Open Boarding Your boarding fees contribute to the lifetime care of 29 dogs living in our sanctuary!

• Indoor fully air conditioned and heated • Outdoor 2-acre fenced play yard with pool • All dogs carefully screened before boarding • Dogs come home happy, healthy and tired

Licensed, bonded and insured staff serving the entire Coachella Valley


Winter 2015

Reasonable Rates!


68100 Louisan Rd., Desert Hot Springs (Convenient location-only 8 minutes from the Freeway)

Desert Pet Companion 41

You get: Happier friends and neighbors, who are not burdened with caring for your pet Peace of mind, knowing that your pet is being cared for by a licensed, insured and background screened professional Someone to follow your pet’s routine No stress worrying if your pet will catch unwanted diseases Someone to care for your home by bringing in newspaper/mail, water plants, turn on/off lights or adjust blinds so potential burglars do not know you’re away.

What should I look for?

It’s important to learn all you can about a prospective pet sitter’s

qualifications and services. Before selecting a pet sitter, interview the candidates over the phone or at your home. Find out the following: Can the pet sitter provide written proof that she has commercial liability insurance (to cover accidents and negligence) and is bonded (to protect against theft by a pet sitter or her employees)? Does the pet sitter have/had his or her own pets? Can your sitter provide client referrals? Will the pet sitter record notes about your pet—such as his habits and routines, medical conditions, medications, and your veterinarian’s information? Does the sitter have reliable transportation in case of emergency?

73911 Hwy. 111, Palm Desert

Entrance off Portola in back parking lot

42 Desert Pet Companion

Winter 2015

Expert Pet Grooming Get your dog or cat looking and smelling great — pamper them with our professional grooming services! Your pet will be tenderly and professionally groomed to perfection.

VCA Rancho Mirage Animal Hospital


71-075 Highway 111 Rancho Mirage

Full Service Professional Bathing & Grooming

Dogs • Cats Rabbits • Birds All Breeds Large and Small

Pet Sitting & Late Pick-up ID Tags • Training FREE Cosultation


4771 E Palm Canyon Dr. Ste. A Palm Springs

They leave it, We retrieve it! $5.00 OFF


First Week of Service*

Lic. and Insured

Pet Waste Removal Service

We Scoop, Disinfect & Remove Your Dogs Waste Weekly

866-229-9289 *Mention this ad to get discount. Not valid with any other offers. Limit one per household. No Cash Value.

Pet Pals, Inc.

Professional, responsible petsitting for all of your pets, large and small. Bonded and insured. References readily available. I am a retired paralegal whose real passion is taking care of animals. Extensive experience in pet care. Dog Walk I provide the following: Includeding • $15.00 per petsit

• Feeding/watering and meds (including insulin) • All farm animal care, including stall clean-out Serving: Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Morongo Valley, Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree.

For a limited time, 20% off your 1st petsitting visit!

Kim’s Pet Sitting Service  

(Expires August 31, 2014)

Victoria Spencer


Winter 2015

Desert Pet Companion 43

Local Groomers, Pet Spas, Pet Sitters What will happen if the pet sitter becomes ill? Is there a backup plan? Will the pet sitter provide a written service contract spelling out services and fees? How does your pet sitter make sure that you have returned home? Don’t shop for a pet sitter on price alone. Often, the lowest-cost providers lack a business license, insurance, bonding, professional training and backup staff. If an injury occurs to your pet or the pet sitter, or if damages happen to your home while you are away, you could be left responsible for those damages if the sitter isn’t insured and bonded. The old adage remains true even for pet care: you get what


you pay for. Even if you like what you hear from the pet sitter and from her references, it’s important to have the prospective sitter come to your home and watch how she interacts with your pet—does your pet seem comfortable with the person? If the visit goes well, consider hiring the pet sitter to care for your pet during a short trip, such as a weekend excursion. That way, you can work out any concerns before leaving your beloved pet in the pet sitter’s care for longer periods and have peace of mind. Kathleen Huffman owns Fetch! Pet Care of Palm Desert. 760-600-5950 www.

Mobile Grooming


Professional Loving Dog & Cat Grooming

Serving Palm Desert, La Quinta, Indian Wells & other local cities Rosalind Ryan, Owner/operator


e-mail: 44 Desert Pet Companion

“Rick”-still loving his work after all these years Come see the Beautiful new grooming shop Call or Email for an Appointment


HOURS: Monday-Saturday: 7:30am-6pm

67-555 E. Palm Canyon Dr. (Hwy 111) Suite F110, Cathedral City, CA 92234 (Conveniently located on the Palm Springs/Cathedral City Border across from Trader Joes & Target)

Winter 2015

Winter 2015

Desert Pet Companion 45

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