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Precious Pets The ultimate monthly paper for pets and their owners VOLUME 1 • ISSUE 4 • NOVEMBER 22, 2013 •

In this issue...

4 Chubby love...

Check out our fabulous Holiday Gift Guide for Pets



Judge Bram’s verdict: Animal and child abuse the very same thing


have always liked animals. Since I was a kid, I have had five budgies, numerous turtles, goldfish, exotic fish, a tarantula and two dogs. And who can forget my dwarf rabbit, Thumpy, my last pet to date, when I was in my early thirties. At age 19, I was driving on the Decarie Expressway in Montreal when I saw a terrified cat perched precariously atop the fence separating the two oncoming lanes, cars whipping by in both directions around it. I got off at the next exit, found a pay phone (this was long before cell phones made their appearance) and called the local SPCA. After explaining the predicament and asking that they send a vehicle to rescue the poor feline, the employee commented “What do you want us to do? It’s only a cat.” I was stunned and, never at a loss for words, I went home, typed a letter to the SPCA’s administrator, and mailed it, this also being years before the advent of either computers or e-mail. A few weeks later, I received a response from the SPCA telling me that this ignorant, uncaring employee had been chastised and that a warning had been placed in his human resources file. Two such complaints at the time and you were out of a job. Good, I thought: I had no problem whatsoever with this jerk standing in

the unemployment line. So, yes, I was somewhat of an animal activist back then. Starting this still-new paper, however, has made me a proactive activist. Not necessarily “PETA proactive,” but close. It is my belief that harming an animal is akin to harming a small, defenseless child and should be treated as such. That’s why I am so outraged about this dog in Ottawa beaten recently to within an inch of its life with a metal rake and other implements. The history of animal abuse in my home province of Quebec is well documented. Here, it’s bad enough that the legal system allows all manner of miscreants to leave prison with not much more than a slap on the wrist. Wife beaters and various other violent offenders, wanna indulge your twisted impulses? Do it in Quebec. I promise you’ll get off nice and easy. Fast, too. But when it comes to animal abusers, this place is nothing less than heinous in its application of animal welfare laws. So, to Ontario, I ask that you please, please do more than fine this dog beater in Ottawa if you find the bum and let him simply walk away. Make his situation a warning to others who harm animals: Throw him in jail and let the world know who he is. Why not start a registry, much like the ones they have for child abusers,

Barking Bram with Bram D. Eisenthal warning you when someone of that ilk has moved to your neighborhood? I have a bit of a fascination with serial killers throughout history, because I want to try to understand why they have committed their murderous acts. Many of them had a history of torturing or otherwise abusing small animals as children. Find me a child who has abused an animal and I can almost accurately predict that a human will be in physical danger at the hands of this individual when he or she reaches adulthood.

I say it again – It is my belief that anyone who physically abuses an animal should be punished the same way they would if they had abused a small, defenseless child. What’s the difference? If you say it’s not at all the same, then why are you reading this paper? Please pass it on to someone else. You know, sometimes I feel that organizations like PETA go too far in their angry condemnations. But the longer I publish a pet paper, I get increasingly angry myself.


514 858-7297 •

Precious Pets The ultimate monthly paper for pets and their owners

Precious Pets is a publication of Precious Pets Group Inc. Volume 1, Issue 4, November 2013. Copyright 2013. Precious Pets does not accept responsibility for errors, misprints or inaccuracies published within. The opinions and statements of our columnists are not presumed to be the opinions and statements of Precious Pets Group Inc.




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MAILING ADDRESS: .................. P.O. Box 66521, Cavendish Mall, Côte Saint-Luc, QC H4W 3J6 PUBLISHER AND EDITOR: ..................................................... BRAM D. EISENTHAL SALES MANAGER: .................................................................... TINA DI SALVIA CREATIVE DESIGN: ................................................................... MARK LEHBERG PROOF READER / EDITORIAL CONSULTANT: ........................... ELYSYA SCERBO-PASTA ONTARIO DIRECTOR & DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL MEDIA: ......................... JANET BOIANGIU


KONG is King! Pet Facts: DOG FACTS • A dog’s nose has about 4 times as many scent cells as a cat’s and 14 times more than a human’s. That’s why dogs are often used to track down illegal drugs and missing persons. They can sniff out their dinner from any room in the house! • With patience and understanding you can teach any old dog new tricks, depending on what you are trying to teach, or unteach the dog, which is usually more difficult. Dogs can learn at any age, and like humans, it’s just old habits that are hard to break! • Dogs see in color, but not the same way that we do. Veterinary ophthalmologists have found that dogs are similar to people with red/green color blindness, meaning they can see bluish and greenish shades but not reddish ones. To a dog, a bright orange ball on a grassy lawn appears as a light greenish ball in greenish grass. Go fetch! CAT FACTS • A cat will almost never meow at another cat. Cats use this sound for humans. • Cats, unlike dogs, do not learn tricks to win your approval. Cats can be taught to perform tasks such as retrieving toys and jumping through hoops - but it may take patience and perseverance… and quite a few yummy treats for your feline. • A cat uses its whiskers as feelers to determine if a space is too small to squeeze through. • A cat can be either right-pawed or left-pawed. • A cat can jump as much as 7 times its height. • Cats cannot break a sweat because they have no sweat glands. • A cat’s brain is more similar to a human’s brain than that of a dog. • A cat’s tongue is scratchy because it’s lined with papillae - tiny backwards hooks that help to hold prey in place. • A frightened cat can run at speeds of up to 31 mph, slightly faster than a human sprinter. PET FACTS • Studies have shown that people who own pets live longer, have less stress, and have fewer heart attacks. • Over 50% of all pet owners would rather be stranded on a desert island with their pet, not another person.


f your dog is anything like Artie, it’s hard to keep him or her interested in toys. I mean, really, how many times can you throw a ball? A thousand? Two thousand? ELEVENTEEN THOUSAND??? The trick is finding a toy that they can play with on their own, seeing as you might not be with your pup 24/7… and you might need your arm to do something else eventually, like write a story for a pet magazine. If you have a normal dog (Artie is not), he’s probably quite food-motivated (Artie is not), so this toy is multi-faceted. It’s a toy and it’s a food vessel. (Not for your pet’s full meal; just for the important stuff: TREATS!) The KONG Company has a range of toys, one of which is the KONG Classic. It’s also available in a smaller size for smaller dogs, a softer one for senior pooches and an extreme version for serious chewers. As I mentioned, it’s not only a toy -you can use this as a treat dispenser.

Dogged Pursuits with Dawn Mirsky The fun part is that your dog has to work (play) for the treats and figure out how to get the treat to come out of the KONG. Here are some ideas for KONG stuffing: * Your dog’s normal everyday treats * Some of your dog’s kibble And here are some FABULOUS ideas for KONG stuffing: * Plain, low-fat yogurt - Because it would get messy, you should stuff the KONG with yogurt and freeze it overnight. That’s right, fro-yo for your pup on a hot summer

day. Or any day. You can also mix up some of his kibble or regular treats into the yogurt before freezing. * Peanut butter (preferably low-fat) - This won’t get messy (since it’s not liquid like the yogurt), but you could still freeze it overnight if you want to. It won’t solidify and your pup might enjoy the coolness of it. * Cheez Whiz - Your dog may love this idea but beware: Many dogs, although they love all things cheese, are lactose intolerant.

Saying goodbye to the pet you love


he sun is rising. You’re barely awake. You hear purring or something licks your face. What a glorious and positive way to start a new day that is bringing with it love, warmth, contentment and the pure delight of your four-legged friend. We, as guardians, are blessed with the unconditional companionship given by the animals in our lives. Our days are filled with their presence and our routines are very often planned around them. We feed, nurture, play and nurse them through their brief time with us. We know exactly how to interact with them - while they are among us. We are however, at a complete loss as to how to treat them when they pass on. We honour their lives, yet we often fail to pay tribute to their deaths.

Pet Healer with Barbara Etcovitch I often question why guardians who have been so touched by the love of their pet do not continue their care through their animal’s death. Some, perhaps, cannot cope with the loss and out-of-sight becomes out-of-mind. Others do not know who to turn to, unaware of the services available through “Pet Chaplaincies.” Created to fill the void left in our lives when our furry friends pass on, Pet Chaplaincies offer ordained Ministers who conduct individualized funeral services at a cremation centre, home, or at the animal’s grave. As with funerals for humans, services are pre-planned. The funeral home or cremation centre is determined, the music and readings are selected and caskets or urns and keepsakes are chosen. Often online memorial pages are made available. For guardians who cannot cope with the loss, grief counselling is made available.

Pet Chaplaincies are an excellent way to see our pets through their transition, and the services they offer help us fulfill our last obligations to the animals that have chosen to walk bedside us in this lifetime. Barbara Etcovitch is a Classical Homeopath, Interfaith Minister, freelance writer, and lecturer. She has a BA from Sir George Williams University, a MA in Literature from the University of Ottawa, and a diploma in Classical Homeopathy from the School of Homeopathy in Devon, England. She was ordained by the All Faiths Seminary International in New York City in 2004. She offers naming and funeral services for animals, grief counseling for guardians, and includes the treatment of animals in her homeopathic practices in Quebec and Ontario. Her services are available worldwide via Skype.



Nothing Chubby about this guy other than a huge, loving personality Story and cover photo by Bram D. Eisenthal for Precious Pets


ottweilers. I don’t know about you, but the name alone is a bit frightening and I was expecting something menacing when Francois (Frank) Gauthier, pet behaviourist, renaissance man and owner of Urban Pet in West End Montreal, released Chubby from the grooming room out back. Rump moving excitedly back and forth, what bounded forth with ceaseless energy was just about the friendliest dog I had ever encountered…. Certainly a far cry from what I expected a rottweiler to be. “Are they all this friendly?” I asked the 33-year old Gauthier, a former Canadian Olympic dressage team rider who knows horses as intimately as he does dogs. ”Why was I expecting something sinister?” Gauthier informed me that inbreeding and other unprofessional tendencies created a breed once considered aggressive and hostile. “But in the 1980s, after the breed was outlawed by authorities, professional breeders stepped in and took control again. What you see before you is the breed as it is today.” Rottweilers have always been loyal companions, having been bred by the ancient Romans initially. “They were given to generals to help protect the tents of their soldiers while they slept at night,” Gauthier told me. Chubby, who is really quite sleek, powerful and very, very cute, had me smitten immediately. Had me at hello, actually. He’s just two and Gauthier has had him since he was a puppy. Chubby couldn’t be in better hands, because Gauthier, who pens the column Pet Behaviourist for us, is an expert in a pet’s moods and habits. And Chubby is somewhat of a partner in the business, we learned. “We use him to calm other dogs who are nervous or upset… Chubby is our dog psychologist. He has a way about him that puts other dogs at ease.” Just like his master. Gauthier has had “the way” since he was a small child, he told us. “When I was a child, I walked up to a skunk and mad friends, petting him and gaining his trust.” And, no, he did not get sprayed. At Urban Pet, a Montreal West-based business he took over recently, he uses the same natural charisma to attract a new group of enthusiastic clientele and their pets. Today, his young son and daughter were on hand to help him wash the dogs in the back room. And Chubby, who is actually young, quite muscular and cute (yes, I know I keep coming back to his physical endowments, but he really IS adorable) was perfectly well-behaved.


As always, I am fascinated with breeds and always want to know more. So, I consulted an indispensable old book I have, Simon & Schuster’s Guide to Dogs (1980), edited by Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler. It’s actually related to the Italian Mastiff (admittedly part of a great and historic culture, those Italians, but does Chubby like pasta?). During the Middle Ages, Simon & Schuster and Schuler tell us, the dog was bred in the German town of Rottwell, located in the Wurttemberg region. Apparently, by 1800 the dog was virtually extinct but, by the early 20th century, it was back big-time thanks to breed-

ers in the Stuttgart area. The male dog was bred to be massive and it’s certainly no slouch, weighing in at around 110 pounds. Its head is globular and wide between the ears. It’s got a “scissors bite,” which has been advantageous in training it to attack very adequately. But aside from being fiercely loyal, note that it is tranquil and obedient and I could see all these things when Chubby and Francois interacted. Had I tried to attack Francois for some reason – which would have been foolhardy of its own volition, because he is no slouch himself… the dog would likely have ripped me


to pieces. It is easy to train, however, so with gentle reinforcement, you are going to get a gentle dog instead of a vicious beast. The dog has been used historically as a watchdog, police dog and bodyguard, but is also a great companion dog and is very affectionate with children. But whatever you do, don’t ever assume a dog is vicious because of a reputation that is often falsely earned. Look up Rottweiler on Google and see what you get… probably something blood-tainted. If Chubby ever bit a soul, it certainly wasn’t me.



When it’s time for that final goodbye: Pet funeral home lends much-needed help by Bram D. Eisenthal


ne of the most poignant things one can hear is an anecdote about a woman who brings the bodies of her lifeless mice to Averil Robinson, at pet funeral home Pet Friends Inc. in Vaudreuil, off Montreal’s West Island. A Brit by birth and upbringing, Averil says her heritage has everything to do with her absolute adoration of pets of every size and breed. “The British love their pets and bestow upon them more rights than they do their humans,” she said. When Averil came to Canada, she saw a huge void to be filled by someone with such affinity to animals and in 1998 she opened a very new sort of business. “Nothing like this existed here before and people had no idea what to do once their pet passed way.” Pet Friends not only gives you options and caring when it is time for your pet to take its final journey, but provides cremation services (as well as the arrangement of burials) in order to allow you to keep your precious animal with you always. Remember that pet cemeteries are not exactly found in abundance. “I lost a pet cat in 1990 and I was saddened to realize what few services existed to help people like me,” Averil recalled. The aforementioned woman who cares for mice (there is another local woman who rescues squirrels), is the perfect example of the needs of community members. “She comes to me, her eyes filled with sadness, opens her hand and there is the lifeless body of a mouse lying there. I want to help her,” Averil said. “This woman loves her mice as much as you love your dog or cat,” she added. So Averil has invested much more than her energy and has also spent large amounts of money to give the pet community much-needed services. Take the state-of-the-art cremator: It can not only cremate any-

thing as large as a 240-lb dog, but special small pans permit the cremation of small and exotic pets, preventing the loss of any remains. Averil is a big believer in helping a pet to die in its own surroundings, so one of her services is arranging to have a veterinarian visit the family home, pre-sedate the pet and then euthanize it, in as gentle a manner as possible. “The pets go very peacefully this way and without any fear,” Averil stated. “It is also important to do this if you have other pets in the home. They know that their friend has passed away, so that they do not search for them afterwards. It is a calming process for everyone, especially the sick or aged pet.” After the procedure, which can also be done at Pet Friends if the family prefers, the entire family can congregate at the funeral home, where a comfortable family room awaits them. “People sometimes spend all day here, allowing them to grieve in their special way. Sometimes we close and entire families can stay here as long as they wish. We also have a telephone line that enables families to call anytime if they need someone to talk to. Losing a pet is very traumatic and we understand that. I sometimes receive calls in the middle of the night, from someone concerned that they did not make the right decision,” Averil revealed. “I know how guilty some people might feel afterwards. I understand.” Averil is also very fortunate to have what she considers the best staff available, all people who are caring and experienced at dealing with grief. One man is a retired police officer, another was a fire fighter and as for assistant Gail Best, Averil doesn’t have enough euphemisms to spout. “How Gail helps families cope is amazing to see…. I don’t know how she has so much compassion.” “I am here to help people cross that terrible bridge once they get to

it,” Gail told me. She has been with Averil for five years and was a Jill-ofall-trades before this, as well as an owner of two cats. “I welcome people to our centre, show them around and let them talk if they wish to. I hold their hands and, whenever I can, I use humour. There is no point making a bad situation worse by being maudlin.” Averil stressed that “Gail is the best listener, a quality that is essential in this situation. For a lot of people, this pet is their child. They have lost their child. “What can be sadder than that?” Pet Friends also features all of the accessories people may want for to memorialize their pets, from caskets, to urns (many of them truly gorgeous), picture frames and such. One of their packages includes a home visit, euthanasia, cremation, an urn and custom brass plaque, inscribed with the pet’s name and other information. The funeral home is a real eye-opener to tour, so I highly recommend a visit while your pet is active and healthy, just so you know what services are available when the time comes.

Pet Friends can be reached at: 196 Valois, Vaudreuil – Dorion, QC, J7V 1T4. Office: 514-947-0168. Cell: 514-916-1341 Website: www.



An afternoon parade


very day, in the late afternoon, when I have the time to sit on my second floor balcony, I watch the daily parade of neighbourhood dogs being led through their routine walks by their owners. What strikes me, first of all, is that owners and their pets are seldom look-alikes. Large men with small dogs on a leash are probably a bit of an anomaly, as are the two small women with really large dogs. I have never counted how many dogs appear in the afternoon parade but I am sure the total is many more than I would ever have expected. I look down and often wonder why

Spiritual Seedlings

people chose that particular dog. There is certainly a question of affinity, a primary attractiveness, which caused the woman or the man to purchase the dog or instead to go to a shelter and adopt a dog who otherwise would not have a home. My hope is that every dog is treated well. A pet often fills a void in a person’s life, notably for a widow or widower. In the words of my sister Marlene, “Luck brings joy to what otherwise would be an empty house. When I am on holidays and the dog has been in a kennel for the week, I turn the key and open the door and my first thought is that the dog isn’t

home. The next morning there is no dog beside my bed, no dog to call for breakfast, no good morning greeting… it is so strange when the dog isn’t at home. I can’t really explain how the dog and I have bonded and how I miss him when he isn’t by my side.” The life span of a dog is seven times a human year so the life cycle,

including death, can be experienced two or three times by a dog-owner. That lesson alone makes it all worthwhile to have a dog around the house. ED. NOTE: It is a lesson, Father John, that many of us could well remember when thinking of an animal’s rightful place in our lives. Thank you for the reminder.

with them. You would be surprise to see how much interactions we had with our rabbits. They come when we call their names, they stand up on their two back paws (standing pretty) to get treats, they do binkys (jump in joy in the air) and run the bunny 500 in our living room (running at high speed). They cuddle with us and they are litter trained, but they do not like to be picked up and carried in our arms and we always respected this. Instead, we sit on the floor and they come to us to be petted. Most rabbits hate to be picked up because they are prey animals and they fear not having their four paws on the ground. Even if they know us well they squirmed out of our arms when we try to pick them up. So we always respected this. We only pick them up when it is absolutely necessary (to cut their nails or for other grooming needs).

We got our first issue of your magazine at a pet food store in Beaconsfield last week. I am so happy that my husband picked it up and to have discovered it! I love reading all the articles. It is very informative even if we do not have a cat or a dog. I love the In Memory of, in Honor of and because we love our precious pets section a lot. I find it is a great idea and a nice tribute to our pets! I hope you will talk about rabbits sometimes. There is more people who are rabbits owners now but taking care of a rabbit properly could be very demanding. It is not for everyone. I think more education should be provided to people about rabbit care in general because they make great animals friends but they also require lots of care. They should not be caged all the time and their diet is a bit tricky sometimes. I wash tons of greens every week for them! They can also live quite a long

time (8-10 years sometimes!). So it is a long term commitment! If ever you need any input about a topic related to rabbits that you might want to publish for your magazine I would be delighted to provide you with some suggestions and information. In almost 9 years I learned so much about this wonderful little animal and I would be more then happy to share our knowledge! I realized there is lots of misunderstanding regarding the care a rabbit need and it would be important to share information in order for people to understand that a rabbit is not a pet to keep in a cage and that we can simply toss a few dry pellets in the cage once or twice a day...They need exercise time, they should not be caged, they need to eat veggies and hay all the time etc.. My husband and I are now also very familiar with their illnesses, diet and care. I would be more than happy to provide some information if needed in order to bring more awareness and education about how to treat them well in order to have a happy pet and human relationship based on the respect of the needs of this wonderful little animal friend! My husband and I also do volunteer work on occasion for Quebec Rabbit Rescue. They do an amazing job to help rabbits in need. There is not enough publicity about all the amazing work they do to help abandoned and neglected rabbits find their forever home. It might be a nice idea one of these days for your magazine to cover some of the events (adoption days) that the rescue is doing sometimes. I know there is a big one coming on November 17 in Laval that we will attend and one coming on Oct 12 (adoption days) in the Pointe-Claire Plaza near the Global Pet food store. In conclusion, I wish you lots of success with this magazine.and sorry for this long e-mail..I guess I get carried away when I start talking about rabbits. Kind regards, Chantal Gargano

with Father John Walsh


Thank you


just wanted to take a moment to congratulate and to thank you for publishing this amazing new pet magazine. Finally, we have a magazine dedicated to the fantastic bond between humans and our pets. Two little rabbits blessed our lives for 9 years. They are indoor rabbits and we adore them! We have an entire room just for them in the house. We lost one of our precious little rabbits a few years ago from a long illness.. she was only 3.5 years old when she passed. I still think of her every day and I miss her so very much! We have another one that is now 8.5 years old. They are our ‘’fur children’’ if I can say it that way. My husband and I don’t have children so our two precious little ‘’bunny girls’’ are the joy of our lives. It is amazing how quick the bond forms between humans and animals if only we take the time to interact




Arthritis: More common than you think (by Dr. Wybranowski, B.SC. DVM CCRT)


t is estimated that 80 percent of cats and dogs over seven years of age have osteoarthritis (OA) commonly called just arthritis. Arthritis occurs in their joints, causing pain and stiffness. In order to survive in the wild evolutionary development, nature has taught cats and dogs to hide signs of weakness, so they will only start limping once the pain is unbearable. This is the reason it is so hard to see signs of disease in our pets. To start with, nature designed joints to work very well. Everything was made to reduce friction: The ends of the bones that form a joint are covered by a shiny surface called cartilage – as in your car engine, there is a thick oily fluid to provide lubrication and all of this is surrounded by the joint capsule that holds the

liquid in place. Unfortunately, however, when a joint develops OA, the fluid becomes less slippery and the surfaces become rough. The result is increased friction causing heat, swelling, stiffness and pain. Other diseases can mimic these clinical signs, so it is essential that your veterinarian diagnose your pet with arthritis first, before treatment is started. OA is more obvious in large breed dogs, but small breed dogs and cats are afflicted with arthritis as well. Smaller animals, especially cats, have learned to conceal it much better. Signs of arthritis can show up as stiffness after rest or heavy exercise, a reluctance to go up or down stairs and sometimes a limp. Cats however may only stop jumping up to their usual spot or even stop grooming certain harder to reach places on their body, so their fur becomes dirtier and matted. Arthritis is not curable, but we can do a lot to decrease its negative effect on the quality of life of our pets. To fight OA, however, you need a multi-modal approach. It consists of: Weight control; continuing regular moderate exercise; physiotherapy; pain control and anti-arthritic medication. Pain control in the form of NSAIDS (drugs that are anti-inflammatory and alleviate pain) work great, but most important are naturally-occurring substances that do all of that, but, in addition also modify the disease process. They actually decrease arthritis over time. Many people take Glucosamine

and Chondroitn for their arthritis and some give it to their pets. It is important, though, to use a veterinary formulation that has been tested on pets, one that has had clinical trials to show it is effective. Omega 3 fatty acids also greatly reduce arthritis, but they have to be given in very large quantities to be effective. There are diets on the market like Hill’s j/d that contain large quantities of Omega 3 fatty acids and have shown in clinical trials that they work very well, even after just three weeks.

Physiotherapy or Animal Rehabilitation is a very important part of a treatment regimen for an animal suffering from OA. Specific exercises, laser therapy, underwater treadmill and magnetic therapy are just some of the few modalities we use at Animal 911 to help pets with arthritis. To see how these work you can view a video we posted on our website at: or just Google: YouTube- Meet our canine rehab patients.

Dr. Wybranowski and Willow

Hey pups and kittens, have you been naughty or nice? We’ll leave that up to Santa Paws! Don’t forget to read a copy of our First Annual Holiday Issue Coming your way, Friday, December 20, 2013 Deadine is Friday, December 13, 2013. HAPPY GIFT SHOPPING EVERYONE!



Montreal and Ottawa pet shows 2013: s e d l a n o i t Salon na et compagnons animaux

by Bram D. Eisenthal for Precious Pets Maybe you need to be an active pet owner or just the editor of a paper devoted to pets, but I have never realized how many pet shows take place both in and around our home base of Montreal and elsewhere. While we are fortunate to have roving columnist Allan Berbrier scouting out many of the local Montreal shows, sales manager Tina DiSalvia and I decided to visit some of the bigger shows in our region this past fall, taking in the Montreal Dog Show held at Place Bonaventure and the Ottawa Pet Fair hosted at Uplands Base. We had a great time, met some great people and interacted with many amazing pets.

Donna, who pens the Dash of Pepper column for us and was on the cover of our debut issue, appeared with Klaus,both representing The League of Extraordinary Greyhounds.



Showcasing what we all love best We both agreed that the Ottawa show was the more impressive and best attended of the two, probably because people were allowed to bring their pets. And they also covered all the bases, adding such features as a badly-needed, sawdust-covered dog run area. The breeders seem to prefer the Montreal show, however, and they also featured a cool carousel featuring horse-drawn carriage rides. All in all, something for everyone at both shows. Here are some photos for you all to enjoy. We are definitely going to explore our participation next year and beyond.


Pet Sho




Our first holiday gift guide by Elysya Scerbo-Pasta

(ED. NOTE: We sent our toy-testing columnist Elysya out to several shops in her West Island neighbourhood on an important assignment. Our deadline was really tight, so we thank Elysya for her rapt cooperation!) The holidays are here again and it’s time to get started on all that shopping! With so many items out there it’s hard to determine what to get for your pets. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of toys and gadgets that would make great gifts or stocking stuffers for your little friends. PITOU MINOU & COMPAGNONS - GLOBAL (in Pointe-Claire) 245-F Blvd. St. Jean, Pointe-Claire, Quebec H9R 3J1

01 – “Luvz” Dog Toy with Squeak Displayed: approx. $16 These cute Christmas-themed squeaky toys are a great holiday gifts for your dog. Made of material that isn’t difficult to chew, they are a nice way to add that special seasonal touch to any collection of toys. They come in a variety of critters, each adorned with a cute little Santa hat and themed scarf. The prices vary depending on size and critter.

terial, it has a cute, distinguishable design that is sure to enhance any line-up of stockings.

03 – Snak Shak Activity Log by “eCOTRITION” Displayed sizes: approx. $10 and $15 These little hideaways are a great treat for your small furry friend. They act as both a toy and a treat, because they are 100 percent edible. The product prides itself on its natural look and its ability to keep little critters chewing for a long while. They come in different sizes for different pets, from rats to rabbits.

04 – “Catit Design” Senses Feeding Maze approx.: $28 This is a cute gadget to keep your cat active and busy over the holidays. The idea is for them to push the food through the maze to get it to the bottom, where they can than savour it. The openings are adjustable, to provide a means of changing the level of difficulty. PITOU MINOU & COMPAGNONS - GLOBAL (Pierrefonds) 14905 Blvd Pierrefonds, Pierrefonds, QC H9H 4M5

02 – “Plush Puppies” Holiday Paw Stockings Displayed sizes: approx.. $6 and $9 Sold in more than one size, these stockings are a cute way to include your family dog or cat in the holiday celebrations. Made from a soft ma-


01 – “Old Mother Hubbard Baking Co.” Cookies approx.: $3

These mini oven-baked dog treats are a great stocking stuffer for the pooch. The brand prides itself on the natural ingredients baked right into this tasty treat that’s even packaged for the holidays. It has a nice homemade feel to it, with a taste most dogs enjoy.

02 – Parrot Pinata Two sizes in store: approx..: $12 + $16 This is a fun, all-natural toy for your bird. It’s safe for all kinds and is Earth-friendly due to its renewable and recycled materials. It comes in a couple of different sizes/types and, though it’s not winter-seasonal, it’s still a lot of fun and adds a little excitement to your bird’s home.

03 – Coco Shell Chime – ‘Nature’s Treasure’ Bird Toy by “Living World” approx.: $42 This is an all-natural bird toy that, despite its looks, can be completely shredded and provides an interesting play-thing for your pet. It encourages chewing and other activities to keep them active. It’s safe for all birds but is designed primarily for large and extra large Hookbills.

04 – “Exo Terra” Primate Skull approx..: $18 Halloween is over but that doesn’t make this item irrelevant. Though it provides some creepy atmosphere,


it’s actually a great hiding place for reptiles and amphibians. This realistic primate skull has multiple access points for the little guy to manoeuvre through. The product is ideal for desert and rainforest setups.

05 - Magnaturals Magnet Powered Terrarium from “PetTech” approx.. $30 + These hideaways are great because of the magnetized bases that keep them put. Natural looking and available in different types (such as Mojave and Earth), they are easy to install and are made of 100 percent non-toxic materials. From the same company that supplies magnetic water bowls, similar looking and easy to clean.

06 – Christmas-themed Dog Sweaters range of approx.: $15 - $40 If you get decked out in a holiday sweater then why shouldn’t your dog? These adorable sweaters practically scream holiday cheer while remaining soft and keeping your dog’s core nice and toasty. They come from various suppliers and are made in various sizes and designs.

07 – Canada Pooch Vests range of approx.: $35 - $70 For those pet owners who take their buddies out year-round, nothing says “I love you” for the holidays more succinctly than these Canada Goose-imitation dog vests. Made with a waterproof shell and adorned with fake fur, they work to keep the core of your pet toasty despite the weather. They come in black, red and a variety of sizes.

is 9.74 square feet and it’s nine inches high. Made for animals that don’t jump, it’s easily portable and can create a nice play area for you and your pet.

If you’re looking to get some wholesome treats for your pets for the holidays, this value pack is the way to go. With both canned food and treats inside, they offer yummy food in bulk that can come in handy as a low-cost holiday gift for your pet. 08 – Hear Doggy! Dog Toys approx.: $14 These toys are not only super cute and brightly coloured, but they please both the owner and the pooch. Humans can’t hear the loud noise they make when they’re squeezed, but dogs can! This gives the owner a quieter atmosphere, while still providing some exciting fun for the dog.

09 - Pawbreakers Catnip Candy for Cats approx.: $5 This catnip candy is 100% edible and has been feline-wellness approved. It’s made of natural ingredients, has no artificial color, flavours, or preservatives and is meant to last for hours. It’s a great way to treat your cat for the holidays.

10 – Oven-Baked Tradition Dog Treats Calendar approx.: $5 That’s right, it’s an advent calendar for dogs! Now your little guy can count the tasty days ‘til Christmas along with you. The treats themselves are bacon-flavoured and made in the shape of holiday icons, such as Christmas trees. These are hot sellers that tend to go very quickly, so get ‘em while you can!

anyway. Designed for birds of the parrot family, they’re small, colourful and filled with treats. You just dangle them in front of your bird friend and they should be entertained for a while. 12 – FouFouDog Collar Charms approx.: $9 This is another great way to adorn your pet for the holidays. These adorable charms are elegant and add an element of charm to any wearer. They attach easily to your dog’s collar, just like a charm on a bracelet, and can be just as easily removed when the season’s over. NATURE (Pointe-Claire) 6361 Route Transcanadien #119 Complexe Pointe-Claire, PointeClaire, QC H9R 5A5

01 – “Hydor” H2Show Bubble Kits (Volcano and Crystal) approx.: $70 - $80 These fun kits are designed as either a volcano or crystal, and come with an LED light and a Bubble Maker. Easy to install, they can be used to spice up any aquarium with their fun bubbles and lights.

02 – Simon’s Winter Pals approx.: $5 These cute little Christmas-themed toys are a great way to keep your cat entertained over the holidays. The plush toys can differ slightly in design. They are good for cats of all sizes and can be sprayed with some catnip to enhance your cat’s playtime experience. 11 – Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance Value Gift Pack for Cats and Dogs for cats: $3.99, for dogs: $5.99

*Nature Pet Store also prides itself on its ability to provide a wide variety of bird toys: At least one toy for every type of bird, ranging from around $3 to $50.

04 – “Living World” Nibblers - Carrot approx.: $4 This little flip-and-toss carrot is a nice way to keep your little pet entertained. The cornhusk toy is designed to satisfy your little critter’s chewing needs, whether rabbit, ferret, hamster or rat. The nibblers can vary in design, colour and, though they can vary in material, they are all-natural.

05 –“Living World” Critter Playtime approx.: $30 Ideal for really small pets, this easy to set-up playpen is designed for both indoor and outdoor use. Its area

06 – “Living World” Hill Side series approx.: $18 each This cute little series of hideaways are a fun way to decorate your little pet’s home. They come in four types: for water, for food, for the toilet and a general hideaway. Even if you buy only one you can add later and eventually collect them all. It’s a nice way to give your pet’s home a more countryside feel. We know from personal experience that holiday shopping can be really difficult, so we hope this gift guide provides a nice little heads up to what’s out there and gives you a bit of a boost in your shopping endeavours. Stores are bound to fill their shelves with even more items, so keep an eye out, good luck and Happy Holidays! (We’ll still see you next month, though)…. Bram adds: For those who like to shop on-line, I recently discovered two fascinating companies with many unique pet-related (and other) gifts, like amusing t-shirts, art and gadgets, that I know you will enjoy. The first one, based in Ohio, is called Signals and you can find them at and also toll-free at 1-800-669-9696. The second, Wireless, is also in Ohio and most likely an offshoot of the same company. You can find them at 1-800-669-9999 and at A third on-line option is one I have been patronizing for years, the historic Hammacher Schlemmer mail-order business. Not as many animal gifts, but some fascinating ones nonetheless. Give them a whirl on-line at their Canadian URL,, or request their amazing catalogue by calling them toll-free at 1-800-543-3366.

03 – ‘Polly Wanna Pinata Bird Toy approx.: $12 These aren’t Christmas-themed, but they’re a fun gift idea for your bird PRECIOUS PETS • VOLUME 1 • ISSUE 4 • FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2013 •


In memory of, in honour of and because we love our

Precious Pets

In memory of McGwire – Died October 10, 2013

Since I was first able to talk, I always said I wanted a dog. Finally, when I was 16 years old, I was given my first. McGwire was an Akita mix and, from the moment I saw him, I knew he was something special. It was love at first sight… He was, and still is, everything to me. McGwire wasn’t the easiest dog to handle and he seemed to trust only me. He was a vet’s nightmare and to take him to a professional grooming salon for a little pampering was completely out of the question. I therefore had to learn how to groom him on my own and, although I had taught myself the basics of grooming, I wanted to learn more. So, I enrolled in classes at a professional dog grooming school. I was also lucky to be able to take my pooch to school with me, so he could get used to becoming a “shop dog.” McGwire now had a job and I was well on my way to both building my life around my dog and doing what I love. I didn’t want to be just any dog groomer, however: I wanted to set myself apart from the rest, not only to master the standard haircuts of all breeds, but to create an “at home” environment for my clients’ pets. I wanted them to feel safe and comfortable in my grooming salon: After all, they were entrusting me with their precious little ones. I am happy to say that, 10 years later, I am continuing my dream and inspiring others to follow theirs. There is nothing more rewarding than doing what you love, especially working with animals. They have so much to teach us. To me, this is only the beginning of a lifelong journey, helping animals and their people. This journey would not have been possible without the inspiration that McGwire has given me. He truly was an amazing animal with an indomitable spirit, who also possessed tremendous strength. On March 26, 2012, McGwire was diagnosed with a very deadly form of cancer and given from a few days to two weeks to live. He defied the odds and lived until October 10, 2013, when he took his final breaths under the beautiful sun and passed away peacefully. During this time our relationship was never closer, my love for him was never stronger and although he has passed on, his Spirit will endure. -Anna Maria








514 482-0100




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Let us help you brag about your pets!

To feature your animal in Precious Pets, please e-mail a photo of the pet, along with age, breed and a sentence about why he or she is so special to you. There is no charge for this service and there is also no charge for “missing pet” notices.


Reader Liat wanted us to know about Casper, a 21 month-old Samoyed. “He is a smart, curious, fun-loving dog. He keeps us entertained at all times and is extremely affectionate,” she tells us.

For regular obits, e-mail up to 70 words and a photo if you choose. A photo and obit will cost $40, with a write-up alone costing $25. Payment can be sent by cheque mailed to the address on our masthead or via PayPal. Classified ads can be purchased for the same price as above.



NDG resident Vanessa is smitten with Lily, her 4-year old Boston Terrier. “She’s extremely lovable and full of life,” proclaims Vanessa.

Precious Pets wants to help rescued pets find a home. So agencies are asked to kindly send in a picture and brief writeup about animals they have saved from a terrible fate: Loneliness, abuse, hunger or simply human indifference. In this dog-eat-dog world, animals need homes, too. Let us help unite your rescues with some of our kind-hearted readers.


St. Leonard sisters Sabrina and Giannalisa recently adopted six-month old Shih Tzu Bonjovi (their mom Grace is a huge fan) and he’s the big man around the house, though dad Albert is a much better artist.

Send your material to our editor, Bram Eisenthal -



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Many dogs and their human guardians have been enjoying worship at Christ Church at our monthly



NEW! GIFT CARDS, $25 & $50 NOW AVAILABLE. Perfect gift for pet lovers. Coming this holiday season

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Paws&Pray services are offered in collaboration with the Companion Animal Adoption Centres of Quebec (caacQ), a non-profit umbrella organization whose members are dedicated to animal rescue & welfare.

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Pet Behaviourist with François Gauthier


ello to all my furry friend lovers! One question that I often receive from my clients is “What can I do when my dog suffers from separation anxiety?” We have all heard about “les enfants roi”? Well the same principal applies to dogs, as well . If you give your pet unhealthy attention you create an unbalance. A poor state of mind is the result and you have an unhappy dog and a vengeful one, at that. If, however, you respect who they are and work at achieving

a well balanced dog, calm and submissive, your pet will thank you for it. Here are some basic rules you should follow: 1 - Wake up when you have decided to do so, not him. Your dog should wait quietly. Set up a morning routine.

out needing your constant attention. In any case, you are leaving for work soon, so there is no point to get him/ her excited and then leave, unless you decide to go out for some exercise and play games before you leave. That would be perfect and if you go for a walk, a “pack sac” is always a good way to elevate your dogs self-esteem. If you don’t have the time to go for a walk, a treadmill is always a good compromise. 3 - Do not reward your dog’s bad behaviour, which may include bad states of mind - like anxiety, fear or aggression - Only grant your pets your attention when they are calm and submissive. If they know that you will give them attention after bad

2 - Start the day by giving your pet very little attention. They should be able to be in the same house with-

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PRECIOUS PETS • VOLUME 1 • ISSUE 4 • FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2013 • CA$119.16 CA$119.16 Expedia

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behaviour, why should they behave? 4 - BE A PACK LEADER - Your dog will always look up to his pack members for direction, but if left to their own devices, they will act like a bunch of toddlers at day care when left alone with no boundaries or limitations. Who knows what mess you could find yourself in? A well established routine and some exercise is the key for a healthy and well balanced dog. Talk to you next time! Trained pet behaviourist, father and husband Francois (Frank) Gauthier owns the Urban Pet store in Montreal West. He is also the owner of Chubby, this issue’s featured pet.

cats, birds, reptiles, etc. Many animal food and service suppliers had their wares on hand for sampling and purchase. The exhibition included a dog show and an agility competition.

Pawz Nuze

Saturday, November 9:

woofed by Allan J. Berbrier & YETI Saturday, October 26:

The Montreal SPCA held a Pit Bull Awareness Day at their location on Mountain Sights St. in Montreal.

Sunday, October 27:

The annual Pug Halloween Party was held at the Girouard Park dog run in N.D.G.

Saturday and Sunday, November 2 and 3:

The annual Salon National des Animaux de Compagnie took place at Place Bonaventure in downtown Montreal. The place was packed and the line-up for tickets was always busy. There were a vast variety of animals on display including dogs,


A raisin dog? T oday I thot I would tok to you abowt wot it meens to be a raisin dog. For some reason some folks think that we raisin dogs knead to be “rescued” due to the fakt that we raced. Well – I was a raisin dog before I became an ambassadog. Let me give you a bit of insite in the day in the life: I nebber had to be responsible for anything when I was growing up. I libbed with my Momma and then my brother and sissers til I was abowt a yeer and a haff. Then I got to move owt and get my very own apartment in the raisin kennel. The apartmint itself was a big won (althow sum fowkes will tell you that they are “cramped kwarters” withowt room to turn arownd in) KNOT TROO – I was able to stand, turn arownd and roach (lie on my bak with my feets up in the air ) joost fine! I was the master of my domain. I had a lotta servints who attended to my every knead! I had waiters to bring me my meels. I got to eats hand prepared foods inclooding kibbles, meets, froots and veggibles. (I LUV stromberries and tommytoes!). I had staff to let me owt at leest four times a day to “take care of my bizniss”. When “bizniss” was finished I had fordyfibe minnits of playtime with my frends at the kennel. (Althow I must tell yoo that most of the time we joked arownd for 5 minnits and the rest of the time we napped in the sun and sand…) Wen it came time to go raisin those of us who were chosen (we noo it onaccouta we didn’t get brekfist that day) wood be hoppin up and down with eggsitemint. We then hopped into the truk and off we went! After the race we all got a cooling down bath and a foot and mussle massage, time for a pee break and bak to the kennil for a BIG brekfist.

The 2nd Annual Rescuer of the Year Awards were handed out at the Monkland Community Centre. About 200 faithful and dedicated animal lovers attended. Many were accompanied by their four-legged companions. This event was sponsored by the Guardians Best Animal Rescue Foundation, the Montreal SPCA and 92.5 F.M. Nat Lauzon, co-founder of The Montreal Dog Blog, was the events bubbly and always-charming MC. There was a great variety of donated foods and desserts along with wine and soft drinks. Raffle tickets were sold for the benefit of winning the approximately $3,000 of donated door prizes.

cuing animals since she was a little girl.” 1st prize (all prizes were presented by Susanna Oreskovic, Director of Guardians Best) went to Nicole Joncas of Teja’s Animal Rescue. 2nd prize went to Le Refuge pour Chat de Verdun. 3rd prize went to the SPCA Monteregies’s Cindy Hache. The first-ever McGwire’s Award was presented to Ashley van Nieuwburg and Ewa of the Humane Society International (HSI) by Anna Maria Ranieri from Pampered Pets Of Westmount (ED. NOTE: See the obit on the late McGwire this issue). See you next time!

The Montreal SPCA

Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Gerdy Gouron, founder of Gerdy’s Rescues & Adoptions. This award is given in recognition of a lifetime of service to animals. “This is the first time the Montreal SPCA has ever given out such an award,” said Nicholas Gilman, executive director of the Montreal SPCA. “And it is our privilege to bestow such an honour to Gerdy, who has been res-

Oh did I also menchin the mooshies (marshmallows) we got YUM! Evenchewally all good things must come to an end and we raisin dogs have to stop raisin. I hadda stop due to a dropped mussle in my thy. Sad tho becoz I raced grade AA before that. But my trainer, Billy, didn’t want to poosh me so I retired after 45 races. My brother Logan raced 80 races and my sisser Greta ran close to TOO hunnered races!! Wot Momma? Yes I was getting to that part…… We ex-raisin dogs make fabyoolous pets! Before I go I joost want to cleer up another ginormous myth about us – We do KNOT need a lotta exercise! Yes we were racers but we were sprinters knot long distance runners. A coupla good walks per day (like any “regular” dog) is just fine! And there is a greyhound-only “fun run” schedooled every Sunday at a dog park in Verdun for those who want to run around for an hour! (and trooth be told we do knot run around for an hour – coupla sprints around the park and you’ll find me lying in the sand taking the sun J ) So ifn yoo are interested in adopting a howndie, or joost knowing more abowt us – speak to Momma – PRECIOUS PETS • VOLUME 1 • ISSUE 4 • FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2013 •


HAPPY CHANUKAH Health, Happiness and Peace

Westmount (514) 934-0586


West Island (514) 697-0035


South Shore (450) 321-0215

Precious Pets Volume 1 Issue 4  

Precious Pets Volume 1 Issue 4

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