San Diego Pets Magazine, Sept. 2013

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Making a Splash with Team Louie


Louie is a 6-year-old English bulldog who bow-wows people coast to coast with his surfing prowess and canine magnetism. See Page 6


Four Legged Life:Keep Cool San Diego With San Diego’s late summer heat and sun-soaked September afternoons, comes a variety of risks for our beloved pets, both indoors and out. Find out what two local veterinarians suggest to keep your pets protected from the sun’s harmful rays. See Page 12

WRITERS/COLUMNISTS Chandra Moira Beal Mark Carlson Scott DiLorenzo, DVM

Saying Goodbye at Home

Kimberly Jones Arden Moore


Artist Profile Local pet-portrait artist, Kelsey Braun, doing what she loves. See Page 18

Bidding farewell to a beloved pet often means scheduling one last trip to the veterinarian, however, this is not the only option available for those facing the end of their pet’s life. See Page 22

Barbara Fuscsick Puppy Paws Productions

ADVERTISING INFORMATION Casey Dean (619) 573-5615 San Diego Pets Magazine is published by Dean Publishing, Inc. P.O. Box 601081, San Diego, Ca 92160-1081. No part of this publication may be duplicated or reprinted without express consent from the publisher. Editors reserve the right to edit all content. Submissions are welcome, and may be edited for content and clarity. Please forward all unsolicited material to the editor. Views and opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the publisher. The publisher reserves the right to approve or accept advertising orders and content. All contents are copyrighted 2013. All rights reserved.


@SanDiegoPets San Diego Pets Magazine P.O. BOX 601081 San Diego, Ca 92160-1081 (619) 573-5615 Facebook/Twitter @SanDiegoPets | | SEPTEMBER 2013 5

Photos by Dale Porter

An Inside Look at the Life of Louie Okay, so Louie lacks thumbs to type, but that hasn’t stopped him from sharing his thoughts on a blog aptly called Surf Dog Louie, King of the Waves (

“Hi, my name is Louie Armstrong Esposito and I’m a six-year-old English bulldog. My life now consists of surfing, eating vanilla yogurt, playing at the park in San Diego and annoying my toy fox terrier brother, Leo.” - Louie A sampling of some favorite Louie-isms:

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Making a Splash with Team Louie

Meet the bold and brave Bulldog who wins fans coast to coast.


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hey root for him in New Jersey. They adore him in land-locked Arizona. And, they rally around him here in San Diego. Louie is a 6-year-old English bulldog who bow-wows people coast to coast with his surfing prowess and canine magnetism. He has won surfing medals, posed in front of the famous Hollywood sign and even appeared in a surf dog video for a Super Bowl commercial contest for Doritos. It’s hard not to cheer for Team Louie, especially once you learn about his puppyhood perils and of the endless devotion displayed





by his pet parents, Richard Berland and Joanne Esposito. This couple actually sold their bar in Weehawken, New Jersey a few years ago for the sake of Louie’s health. They relocated to California, splitting their time on a boat docked in Coronado and a condo in Los Angeles. Talk about genuine puppy love. “I remember the day I double parked my car, raced into a pet store in New Jersey to get some dog food and spotted Louie as a puppy inside a very small cage,” recalls Esposito, fighting back tears. “He had sores all over his body,


smelled very badly and appeared to have trouble walking. I cried all the way home and told Richard that he had to go into that store and save that puppy.” Her husband of 30 years did so without hesitation. And even though Louie still has a medical condition that leaves him incontinent and requires the couple to do plenty of laundry to clean the blankets he sits on during trips and to feed him a special diet, you will never hear either of them complain for a single second.


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COVER STORY Photos by Dale Porter

“My best surf buddies are Dozer the bulldog and Nani the Bernese Mountain Dog. We are pawsome when we are ripping it and gripping it out there! Nani is our leader. She is totally cool, graceful and keeps it real for me and Dozer.” - Louie


“When Louie and I are in the ocean together, it feels spiritual,” declares Berland as he slips into his wetsuit at the dog beach in Coronado. “We have such a strong trust between us. If he falls off the board, he has no fear. He knows I’m there. Sometimes, when we surf in the beach at Coronado, a pair of dolphins shows up and swims right by

us. I think they want to be part of the Team Louie fan club.” At dog surf events, many people from all parts of the country come and sport those now-famous black T-shirts with the bold white letters: Team Louie. Attracting a crowd happens often for this family, especially when Louie waddles into the ocean, gets on top of the foam board and gleefully rides in wave after wave. “Richard and Joanne are the most enthusiastic and passionate surf dog own-

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ers I know,” declares Peter Noll, a San Diego architect who co-founded So Cal Surf Dogs. “They tell everyone – and I mean everyone – they meet about Louie and dog surfing!” Berland, who sells commercial real estate, proudly displays his beloved Bulldog on his business cards and professional website. Louie and Berland are in training for a couple of key dog surf events this month: the Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon to benefit the Helen Woodward Animal

“I was walking down the street on Saturday and these three beautiful girls were having breakfast and called me over. They were visiting San Diego from San Francisco and Lake Tahoe. Jaime, Jen and Katie were so nice and thought I was pretty terrific and couldn’t believe I was a surfer. It’s pretty cool being a celebrity athletic in San Diego.” - Louie Center in Del Mar on Sept. 8 and the Surf City Surf Dog event in Huntington Beach on Sept. 27-29 where Team Louie is intent on defending their large dog division title. “Team Louie last year brought their A game and joy for life,” says Lisa Scolman, co-director of the surf event in Huntington Beach. “We hope they return this year to defend their title.” Definitely, confirms Berland, adding, “We’re in training now for both events. Del Mar’s waves tend to be smaller and more steady. Huntington Beach has high waves and shore breaks that we need to contend with. No matter where

Members of the “Team Louie” squad pose at the Helen Woodward Surf Dog Surf-a-Thon in 2011. From left, local attorney Michael Kaplan, who grew up with Richard in New York, Richard Berland and Joanne Esposito holding Leo in hand, and on the right, their daughter, standup comedian, Tara Berland.

we surf, Louie loves riding the waves.” Noll, a veteran surfer who has trained scores of dogs how to surf, admires the natural athlete in Louie. “Louie is one of those surf dogs who has a low center of gravity and a stubborn disposition that he translates into riding every wave all the way back to the beach no matter what,” describes Noll. During a recent practice at the Coronado beach, Louie masterfully cruised smoothly into shore, never spilling off once. And, once he reached shore, this muscular 55-pound bulldog delighted in grabbing the towrope in his teeth

and tugging the surfboard on to the beach. And providing encouragement from the shore always is Esposito and Louie’s “older brother,” Leo, a 10-yearold mixed breed who may barely be eight pounds soaking wet. He prefers dry land over splashing in waves, but does occasionally ride in with Berland. At the end of the training practice in Coronado, Berland and Esposito give Louie bear hugs on shore. “Louie sure wasn’t born spoiled, but we do our best to spoil him now,” smiles Berland. “To us, Louie is better than winning the lottery.”

“I love blueberry jam on a toasted crust of bread or bread dipped in oil and vinegar, but if the combination isn’t just right, I will spit it out.” - Louie Facebook/Twitter @SanDiegoPets | | SEPTEMBER 2013 9

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Rabbits Spread Joy Throughout San Diego County. By CHANDRA MOIRA BEAL | SAN DIEGO PETS

“Mary” is an elderly woman who lives in a nursing home and suffers from senile dementia. She has been unresponsive to her caretakers for several weeks and spends all her time lying on her side staring at the wall. But one day, someone enters her room and Mary tries to sit up, her China face lighting up as if seeing a long lost friend. That someone is a white rabbit named China, who along with her caretaker, Blanca Unguez, visits people like Mary through the San Diego chapter of Love on a Leash. Mary enjoys China’s presence so much that, speaking her first words in weeks, she asks if China can stay in her bed for the whole night, but they have to settle on the promise of another visit. China is a Certified Therapy Rabbit, a designation that allows her to make social visits to people like Mary, and to help others achieve a particular goal, such as visiting the library to help improve children’s reading skills. Love on a Leash is part of the Foundation for Pet Provided Therapy, which began in San Diego in the 1980s. The program now has chapters in 28 states. Blanca and China’s visits include retirement and assisted living homes where they may work with patients with Alzheimer's and senile dementia. They also interact with children, teenagers, veterans, people with physical or emotional disabilities, and hospitalized patients. Blanca adopted six-year-old China, a Californian rabbit, from San Diego House Rabbit Society. China’s foster parent suggested she would be a good therapy bunny, so Blanca got in touch with the San Diego chapter of Love on a Leash. “It’s been wonderful since the get-go!” says Blanca. “Everyone has been so supportive. It’s an excellent organization, like one big family.” China first had to get her veterinarian's blessing to ensure she was fit for the work. She then went through a thorough evaluation and critique with the chapter president. China and Blanca visited lots of different facilities along with other chapter captains to see different settings and experience room to room visits versus group visits. After at least 10 of these practice visits, China was ready to begin working on her own. “She may be placed in someone’s lap or their bed,” said Blanca of a typical day. “Or if they just want to see China in her stroller they pet her there. She always cheers up people who appear lonely or sad. Many have never pet a bunny before.” Rabbits make good therapy animals because they are social beings. Some therapy pets can be too big to visit someone in a bed

or sit on a person’s lap, but a rabbit is just the right size. They tend to look cute and non-threatening to most people. “I have seen grown men melt at the sight of a bunny,” says Blanca. “Any rabbit who is friendly, confident, and outgoing would do well in this kind of work.” China also visits a public library where children take turns reading to her. “The kids just seem to relax while reading to her,” says Blanca. “They get to try out new words and meanings in a non-threatening way. They are more comfortable talking to a rabbit so they are more confident about trying new things.” Some of the children have never touched a real rabbit before, and Blanca, who also volunteers with San Diego HRS, enjoys answering questions about how rabbits live and how to take care of them. Blanca has noticed that even people who are used to the presence of therapy dogs or other animals are always delighted to see a rabbit. “When they realize China is a real live rabbit, they smile, pet, and hug her, and that is what Love on a Leash is really all about: a few moments of smiles and happiness, and educating people about the joy of rabbits.” Love on a Leash is actively seeking more rabbit volunteers for their program. To find out more about the pet therapy program, visit

10 SEPTEMBER 2013 | | Facebook/Twitter @SanDiegoPets

Photos Courtesy Alison Giese Photo Creations

Keep Cool San Diego!


Arden Moore,

ACCBC, ADCBC Pet trend, behavior and safety expert

eptember may signal the start of fall, but we often experience many sunny days during this month. We’ve moved on from the May grays and June glooms. The warmer water temperatures beckon us to the dog beaches, pet-welcoming trails and weekend outdoor events throughout our county. So, let me ask you: Does your pink-nosed dog revel in joining you on long hikes? Does your indoor cat seek out a sunny spot on a windowsill to take afternoon naps? The California sun is a reason many of us moved here or never left, but if precautions are not taken for our pets, that sunshine can cause sun-induced cancer. “Our pets are just as vulnerable to sunlight-induced skin cancers as we are,” says Laura Stokking, Ph.D., DVM, a boardcertified veterinary dermatologist at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital in San Diego. “Although hair protects many animals from solar damage, not all parts of the body are covered with sufficient hair to shield the underlying skin from damage. Even indoor-only pets are at some risk.” Her colleague, Brenda Phillips, DVM, a board-certified oncologist, agrees that far too many pet parents are unaware of the health dangers that overexposure to sun can have on our pets. “People are surprised to learn that solar-induced cancers can be caused by reflective as well as direct sun exposure,” says Dr. Phillips. “A dog standing does not have his belly pointed at the sun, but there can be reflective sunlight coming from the sandy beach or hot sidewalk striking the regions of his belly that may have little or no hair. Solar-induced cancers, such as squamous cell carcinoma, are often located on the belly, inner limps, noses, lips, eyelids and ears of pets.”


By timing your visits to local dog parks and beaches in the cooler mornings or afternoons, you make playtime a safe time!

To protect your beloved pet from developing skin cancer, these two veterinarians offer these tips:

KNOW YOUR PET FROM HEAD TO TAIL. Physically assess your pet at least once a month. Carefully comb through his coat and inspect his head and tail. Alert your veterinarian about any wounds that don’t heal, raised bumps, lumps or crusty skin lesions as well as any skin growths that have increased in size from the past month. These could be early signs of skin cancer.

REMEMBER TO PROTECT INDOOR PETS. Even if your cat never steps a paw outdoors, he still could be at risk for developing sun-induced cancer if he craves naps in sunny spots inside your home. So, consider installing window treatments that filter ultraviolet rays without restricting sunlight. Various commercial companies make glare-reducing, insulating or privacy films that can be applied on windows to offer UV-filtering protection while still maintaining a nice view. Or install solar shades or honeycomb shades for all interior east- and west-facing windows to block UV rays. Select shade materials offering protection levels of at least 90 percent. Both

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types of shades come in top-down or bottom-up options for opening and closing.



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rays in the early morning and evening hours. Limit his outdoor activity during the peak sun hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Please keep your dog at home when you want to shop at daytime farmer’s markets often staged on streets with hot asphalt and no shade for your pooch.

PROVIDE PLENTY OF H20. For indoor pets, replenish water bowls with fresh water daily and pop in a few ice cubes. For outings with your pet, always bring bottled water and a collapsible, lightweight bowl to keep them hydrated.

TURN YOUR CANINE INTO A CLOTHES HOUND. Shield your dog’s skin when you are out and about by fitting him in pet T-shirts, visors and other canine clothing that contains Sun Protection Fabric (SPF) additives that protect him from the dangerous ultraviolet rays. Select pet clothing that carries an Ultraviolet Protector Factor (UPF) rating of 30-plus or higher.

AVOID CLOSE SHAVES. Remember, your pet’s hair serves as a protective barrier from the sun, so resist the temptation to give him a buzz cut. Instead, work with your dog groomer and maintain at least a half-inch of fur on your pet’s coat during the hot months.

FINALLY, BE ON THE LOOK OUT FOR THESE SIGNS OF HEAT STROKE: rapid panting, bright red tongue and gums,

excessive salivation, weakness, dizziness, diarrhea and vomiting. Unchecked, a pet can develop seizures, cardiac arrest and death. If your dog or cat gets overheated, bring him into a cool, wellventilated space. Apply cool water on him or wrap him in a cool wet towel to lower his core body temperature and then take him to a nearby veterinary clinic for treatment. Let’s keep our cool California pets truly cool.


Founder of Four Legged and creator of National Dog Party Day, Arden Moore is an animal behavior consultant, best-selling author, professional speaker and certified pet first aid master instructor. Enroll in her pet first aid classes to earn certification. Each week, she hosts the award-winning Oh Behave Show on Pet Life Radio. To learn more, visit, www.petfirst and Facebook/Twitter @SanDiegoPets | | SEPTEMBER 2013 13


Cranial Cruciate Ligament Disease

ost of us (particularly sport enthusiasts such as myself) are familiar with cruciate ligament disease. Many of our favorite athletes have succumbed to the all too common ACL tear in sports, sidelining them for much of the season. ACL, which stands for anterior cruciate ligament, is one of four main ligaments that help to stabilize the knee. In

sports that require quick changes in direction, jumping, and impact, such as football and basketball, it becomes more apparent why this injury is so common. In veterinary medicine, cranial cruciate disease (cranial substituted for anterior due to anatomical variations) has become the most common orthopedic disease in dogs.

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Scott DiLorenzo,

DVM Associate Veterinarian at Animal Urgent Care and Specialty Group

The cranial cruciate ligament is a major stabilizing ligament of the knee that runs from the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (shin bone). This ligament acts to prevent the tibia from internally rotating and moving forward in relation to the femur. Hyperextension of the joint will cause excess pressure on the ligaments, which ultimately may result in complete or partial tears. Agility training, ball chasing, or even a playful romp at dog beach can all result in an acute CCL tear. So what about those dogs who were just out for a casual leash walk with their owners or the little Yorkie whose feet barely touch the ground? Although the exact mechanism for why this occurs has not been established, it is the contribution from a multitude of factors (conformational changes, genetics, obesity) that account for the vast majority of these cases. This is why many dogs end up rupturing the second knee later on in life. Signs associated with CCL tear can vary with the severity of the disease (partial vs. complete tears, meniscus damage, etc.). Most acute injuries result in significant lameness: the animal will likely favor the affected limb and place very minimal weight on it. While sitting, the animal may also throw the affected limb to one side. Any indication of lameness in your dog should warrant prompt evaluation by your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will likely employ several tests to help accurately diagnose a CCL tear and rule out other possible causes for his/her lameness.

Once a diagnosis is established, your veterinarian will recommend treatment options. Treatment is typically broken down into two categories: medical vs. surgical management. Conservative management usually involves a combination of pain medications/antiinflammatories, weight loss, and physical therapy. The common consensus amongst most veterinary surgeons is that medical management is rarely effective long term and most animals will require surgery at some point due to progressive arthritis in the affected knee. There are numerous surgical procedures used to treat CCL ruptures. The three most common procedures utilized today include the tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO), tibial tuberosity advancement (TTA), and the extracapsular suture stabilization. Different surgeons may recommend different surgical techniques based on training, patient size, and other factors so this should be discussed with your veterinarian on an individual basis. All three procedures have shown to have similar success rates (greater than 90 percent). Recovery from surgery usually lasts up to 12 weeks and requires a gradual increase in activity under the direction of your veterinarian. Physical therapy is now routinely offered and is an excellent modality to aid in the healing process and return these animals to normal function.



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Scott DiLorenzo, DVM is an associate veterinarian with Animal Urgent Care and Specialty group in Escondido, seen here with his dog, Winnie. He is the North County chapter representative for the San Diego Veterinary Association, as well as an advisor for Furlocity online pet accommodations. In his free time, Dr. DiLorenzo enjoys all things outdoors, including surfing, soccer, and riding motorcycles.

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I don’t just write whimsical anecdotes about my crazy Guide Dogs. Sometimes, I find a story that touches my heart. So I’m passing it on to you animal lovers.

Brownie’s Answerto aPrayer A

Photo by Ben Bush 16 SEPTEMBER 2013 | | Facebook/Twitter @SanDiegoPets

B y M A R K C A R L S O N S A N D I E G O P E T S

lan and Kate hadn’t planned on changing a dog’s life, but that’s exactly what happened. ‘In October 2009, Kate and I were headed up to the desert for our monthly dirt bike weekend,” said Alan, who is retired from the San Diego Sherriff’s Department. “Kate, her son Ben and I had our camper and the bikes hitched to my truck. But on that long grade up Cajon Pass on the way to Victorville, my truck started having some trouble and I pulled into a gas station. It was late, so the mechanic wouldn’t be able to work on it until Saturday morning.” They learned of a nearby trailer park where they could spend the night. “We set up the camper.” While there, they saw a medium-sized female dog running around and visiting all the other campers in the park. Although the dog was friendly, she would not enter anyone’s camper or tent. “She had the most beautiful expressive brown eyes,” said Kate. “We thought she belonged to the folks next door,” said Alan. “I complemented them on their nice dog, but they said she was a stray. She was almost feral, thin, but not starving.” Alan saw that their own dog, a large mixed breed named Paddington got along with the stray, and asked the trailer park manager about her. “He said her name was Brownie and she sort of belonged to everybody who came to the park. He told me about a family with a little girl who stayed there for a few days.

The girl had fallen in love with Brownie. But when they moved on, Brownie spent hours every day afterwards waiting for her little friend to come back. But she never did.” Kate’s heart melted when she heard this. “It was obvious she wanted a family so badly. The manager suggested we take Brownie with us. But since we were not going directly home after the truck had been repaired, we would stop by on the way back.” Alan, Kate and Ben drove off on Saturday and continued their vacation. But Kate’s mind was on Brownie. “All that day and Sunday I prayed Brownie would be there when we came back. I really wanted to bring this sweet dog home with us.” On Sunday afternoon, Alan pulled back into the trailer park driveway. “We got out and looked for Brownie, but she was nowhere to be seen. We asked if anyone had seen her, but no one had. My heart was sinking,” Kate said. Then, just as they had given up, Brownie came trotting around a corner and saw them. “She was very happy to see us again,” said Alan. “I scooped her up and put her in the truck. Then we drove home.” Arriving at their home in North County, they brought the excited dog into the house. “I took her into the shower and got to work,” Alan continued. “It took half a bottle of shampoo before the water started coming out clean.” Brownie had spent her life sleeping on the dirt or under trailers in the winter. But now she had her own bed in Alan and Kate’s room. “That first night she whimpered and cried. I sat down and comforted her.” She had been living off food scraps and handouts for who knew how long. She soon learned she could expect two healthy meals a day. “For the first few days, when I put the food before her, she wolfed it down like she didn’t expect to be fed again.” Their house, which had two stories, proved to have an obstacle Brownie had never encountered before. “She didn’t know how to climb stairs,” Alan laughed. “We had to teach her.” Kate fell in love with Brownie, calling her Angel and Sugar. Alan made an appointment with

THE TAIL WAGGING THE DOG their veterinarian to give their new dog a complete health exam. “On Thursday, I put her in the truck and drove to my veterinarian. All the way there, Brownie was leaning against me and trembling. She was pretty upset. I talked to her, but it was obvious she must have thought her new dream was coming to an end.” The veterinarian examined Brownie and pronounced her healthy but undernourished. “She was completely cooperative. He gave her all her shots, and chipped her. She’d already been spayed. Then I took her back out to the truck.” Brownie jumped in, and Alan drove back to the house. When he called her down from the truck, she looked around and saw where she was. “Brownie just took off, yanking the leash from my hand and ran to the front gate. She couldn’t get it open, so I did it for her. Then she ran to the front door and scratched at it until I opened it. She tore through the house, sniffing and wagging her tail like crazy.” The dog whose life once consisted of hard concrete and old food now had a


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real home and good care. Brownie had been abandoned many times, but now had a loving family. “She is just the sweetest and most loyal dog we have ever had,” Alan said with a smile. “All our three dogs are rescues, but Brownie is the one we feel the best about bringing home. When we go to bed, the first thing Brownie does is jump on the bed to make sure we’re all tucked in for the night, and then goes to her own bed. I think she still needs to know her family is still there.”

MARK CARLSON lives in San Diego with with his wife, Jane and Guide Dogs, Musket and Saffron. A docent at the San Diego Air & Space Museum and aviation historian, Mark writes for several national aviation magazines. He is a featured speaker for many local adult education programs. His first book, ‘Confessions of a Guide Dog – The Blonde Leading the Blind’ is a humorous memoir about the adventures of life with Musket. It is available online at, and Contact Mark, Musket and Saffron at

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Meet Local Artist


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Kelsey Braun

I have been painting and drawing with anything I could get my hands onto for as long as I can recall. I grew up in central Minnesota and ended up going to college there as well. I never found passion in any of the classes I took towards my degree but in the few extra art classes I took for fun, I thrived. College is long over and I found myself struggling to find a career job that I would enjoy as much as my art. After working a year in the corporate world, I found my days monotonous and unchallenging. I decided to challenge myself and jumped on the opportunity to move to Spain and teach English. It was here I marveled at the art and the beauty of their everyday surroundings. I taught art classes in a small school to children and wanted to continue to have art in my daily life when I returned to the USA.

Shortly after moving back to the United States, I chose to live in San Diego, a thriving busy, beautiful city. I found any work I could and continued to paint on my days off. I now am painting pet portraits for people who love their pets and treat them as part of their loving family. I am finding they make an amazing gift idea or for a home that has had a pet pass away. I am also donating 10 percent of the painting cost to the Helen Woodward Animal Center to give back to the community and our four-legged friends that are in need. The idea that I can do what I love for a career, provide an original custom pet painting to someone that will last forever, and that I can give back to the pets in need in our community is an amazing and humbling feeling. CONTINUED ON PAGE 20 | SEPTEMBER 2013 19


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For more information about Kelsey Braun, please visit:

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Saying Goodbye at Home


n the flip side of the joy of pet ownership is the reality that, one day, you will have to say goodbye to your furry friend. Often, bidding farewell to a beloved pet means scheduling one last trip to the veterinarian. However, this is not the only option available to those facing the end of their pet’s life. At-home euthanasia provides a viable alternative to being put down in a clinic. Dr. Elizabeth Benson, DVM, founded Paws into Grace, an at-home pet euthanasia service, after witnessing how frightened some pets were coming through clinic doors. “The benefit of an at-home euthanasia is that the pet is much more comfortable at home,” says Dr. Benson. “The transition is much smoother and more peaceful because they are not stressed by unfamiliar sounds or smells.” There are several reasons pet owners will elect at-home euthanasia, according to Dr. Benson. A larger dog may be hard to get into a veterinary clinic or moving the pet may cause pain. In the case of cats, the trip to the veterinarian is especially stressful. Dr. Benson also gets calls from people simply because it is after hours and their regular veterinary office is closed. While some pet owners may be unaware that they can have their beloved pet euthanized at home, this service has been available for many years. Over the years, Patricia Elkerton of Alpine, whose husband is a former animal health technician, has had several pets euthanized at home. “Pets do not understand that the veterinarian is helping them. I am not in favor of anything that confuses them, like a trip to the veterinary clinic, or causes them pain. It is easier on the pet to stay in their familiar

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environment with the family they love,” says Elkerton. Linda Leigh of San Diego and her husband, Zach were devastated to learn in December, 2011 that their eight-year-old Labrador mix, Porter, had late-stage bone cancer. Porter had been their first dog as a couple and he saw them through their wedding, home purchases and birth of their two children. When a family member suggested putting the dog down at home, the Leighs found the idea morbid. “The more his condition worsened, though, and we saw how much pain he was in, the more we felt we needed to honor his life by not letting him go on a table at a vet’s office,” says Leigh Linda and her husband researched at-home euthanasia providers and, when they felt the time was right, they scheduled a veterinarian to come to their home to perform the procedure.

The veterinarian they selected brought an assistant and started by giving Porter an examination. “The veterinarian reassured us that we were doing the right thing and asked if us if Porter had a favorite place,” says Leigh. “We told him about the citrus tree in the yard where he loved to lay. As luck would have it, Porter hobbled ahead of us to lie there and my husband and I were able to be there on the grass with him.”

“It was as positive an experience as it could be,” she continues. While the benefit for the pet of being put down at home is a more peaceful passing, there are also many benefits to the family saying goodbye. “The owners are also able to have a more intimate experience,” says Dr. Benson. “I have noticed that owners seem to feel more comfortable expressing grief at home.” Putting a dog to rest at home can be

significantly more expensive than an in-office procedure. Options of what to do with the remains, such as cremation, burial in a pet cemetery or home burial, can also affect price. If you are interested in learning if athome euthanasia is right for you and your pet, Dr. Benson recommends discussing this option with your regular veterinarian, who understands your pet and family and can help walk you through the decision.

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Emergency Hospitals BONITA/CHULA VISTA Pet Emergency & Specialty Center of South County (619) 591-4802 885 Canarios Court, #108, Chula Vista, CA 91910

CARLSBAD California Veterinary Specialists 7 days 24 hours (760) 431-2273 2310 Faraday Ave., Carlsbad, CA 92008,

ENCINITAS VCA North Coast Veterinary & Emergency (760) 632-1072 414 Encinitas Blvd., Encinitas, CA 92024,


Animal Shelters & Humane Societies ACCEPT STRAYS & HAVE ADOPTABLE PETS

A Passion For Paws (Akita Rescue) (818) 925-4827

BAY PARK/MISSION VALLEY County Animal Services

Baja Dog Rescue (619) 407-9372

5480 Gaines St., CA 92110 (619) 767-2675 Hours: Tues-Sat 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

The Barking Lot (619) 796-2253

BONITA County Animal Services

Cat Adoption Service (760) 550-2287

5821 Sweetwater Road, CA 91902 (619) 767-2675 Hours: Tue-Sat 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

CAMP PENDLETON Camp Pendleton Animal Shelter 4th St. Area 25 Bldg. 25132 CA 92054 (760) 725-8120

CARLSBAD County Animal Services 2481 Palomar Airport Road, CA 92011 619) 767-2675 Hours: Tue-Sat 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Animal Urgent Care of Escondido 7 Days 24 hours (760) 738-9600 2430-A S. Escondido Blvd., Escondido, CA 92025,

CHULA VISTA City of Chula Vista Animal Shelter


CORONADO Animal Care Facility

Animal ER of San Diego (858) 569-0600 5610 Kearny Mesa Road, San Diego, CA 92111 M-F 6 p.m.-8 a.m. Sat/Sun 24 hours

LA MESA Pet Emergency & Specialty Center 7 Days 24 hours (619) 462-4800 5232 Jackson Drive #105, La Mesa, CA 91942,

MISSION VALLEY VCA Emergency Animal Hospital 7 Days 24 hours (619) 299-2400 2317 Hotel Circle South, San Diego, CA 92108

MURRIETA California Veterinary Specialists 7 days 24 hours (951) 600-9803 25100 Hancock Ave. #116, Murrieta, CA 92562,

OCEANSIDE Mission Animal & Bird Hospital 7 Days 24 hours (760) 433-3763 655 Benet Rd., Oceanside, CA 92058

130 Beyer Way, CA 91911 (619) 691-5123 Hours: Sun & Mon Closed, Tue-Fri 9:30 a.m.- 5 p.m. Sat. 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Furry Foster 858-848-PETS (7387) German Shorthaired Pointer Rescue Greyhound Connection

It’s The Pits (Specializing in the Bully Breeds) (858) 484-0985

1275 N. Marshall Ave., CA 92020 (619) 441-1580 Hours: Tue-Sat 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

ESCONDIDO Escondido Humane Society 3450 E. Valley Parkway, CA 92027 (760) 888-2275 Hours: 7 days 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

OCEANSIDE San Diego Humane Society-North (For dogs) 2905 San Luis Rey Road, CA 92058 (619) 299-7012 Hours: 7 days 10 a.m.-4 p.m. San Diego Humane Society-North (For cats) 572 Airport Road, CA 92058 (619) 299-7012 Hours: 7 days 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

ACCEPT OWNER RELINQUISHED ANIMALS BAY PARK/MISSION VALLEY San Diego Humane Society-San Diego Campus 5500 Gaines Street, CA 92110 (619) 299-7012 Hours: Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat-Sun 11 a.m.-5 p.m.


Veterinary Specialty Hospital 7 Days 24 hours (858) 875-7500 10435 Sorrento Valley Road., San Diego, CA 92121

Forgotten Paws Animal Rescue

EL CAJON City of El Cajon Animal Shelter

Friends of Cats 15587 Olde Highway 80, CA, 92021 (619) 561-0361 Hours: Tue-Sun 10 a.m.-4 p.m.


Coastal German Shepherd Rescue of San Diego 858-779-9149

Independent Therapy Dogs, Inc.

Animal Emergency Clinic (858) 748-7387 12775 Poway Road, Poway, CA 92064 M-F 6 p.m.-8 a.m. Sat/Sun. 24 hours Veterinary Specialty Hospital (760) 466-0600 2055 Montiel Road, Suite 104, San Marcos, CA 92069

Chihuahua Rescue of San Diego

1395 First Street, Coronado, CA 92118 (619) 522-7371 Hours: 7 days 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.



Rescue & Adoption

Last Chance at Life All Breed Animal Rescue (760) 433-3763 x224 (Schedule an appointment) List Srv 4 Therapy Dog Teams Open Arms Rescue (Dogs under 15lbs) (760) 470-7643 Operation Greyhound (619) 588-6611 Paws of Coronado (619) 522-7371 Pit Bull Rescue of San Diego (858) 693-7331 Rescue House (760) 591-1211 San Diego House Rabbit Society (858) 356-4286 San Diego Spaniel Rescue (619) 922-0545


San Diego Turtle & Tortoise Society (619) 593-2123

Rancho Coastal Humane Society 389 Requeza Street, CA 92024 (760) 753-6413 Hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and Tue 11:30 a.m-5 p.m.

Second Chance Dog Rescue (619) 721-3647

RANCHO SANTA FE Helen Woodward Animal Center 6461 El Apajo Road, CA 92067 (858) 756-4117 Hours: 7 days 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Upward Dog Rescue (858) 345-2434


Westie Rescue of California (619) 579-6395

National Cat Protection Society 9031 Birch Street, CA 91977 (619) 469-8771 Hours: Tue-Sat noon-5 p.m.

Wee Companions (619) 934-6007

24 SEPTEMBER 2013 | | Facebook/Twitter @SanDiegoPets




A Letter from Baylee...

My name is Baylee, I’m a 17-month-old beagle girl and my parents adopted me in December 2012. Wow, has my life ever been fun since then! We live in downtown San Diego right next to Pantoja Park and every day, I get to greet and romp with some of my newest best friends. My favorite is to go to Seaport Village to sit and people watch next to the Bay. I especially like to have little kids rub my belly and ears. They all say my ears feel like velvet! Then when we’re not downtown, I get to go on dinghy rides off Shelter Island and sailing, too. Everyone says if our sails ever fail, they can use my ears instead! Anyway, I want to say a big beagle thanks—AROOOO!—to all the nice people at the San Diego Humane Society who took care of me during my stay last December and to my adoptive parents who love me as much as I love them!

About the San Diego Humane Society & SPCA The San Diego Humane Society offers San Diegans a wide range of programs and services that strengthen the human-animal bond, prevent animal cruelty/neglect, provide medical care and educate the community on the humane treatment of animals.

Love, Baylee and her proud parents

Facebook/Twitter @SanDiegoPets | | SEPTEMBER 2013 25

Sunday, September 8, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.


Surf Dog Surf-a-Thon Helen Woodward and Blue Buffalo present the much-loved 8th annual dog surfing competition and beach day. Thursday, September 12, 6-8 p.m.

Yappy Hour at Pupologie This monthly Yappy Hour on-site at Pupologie in Encinitas offers food and fun for dogs and people, plus 15 percent of toy and treat purchases will benefit Lab Rescuers. Saturday, Sept. 21, 9 a.m. - noon

California Coastal Cleanup Sponsored by the California Coastal Commission and locally by I Love A Clean San Diego and by Friends of Dog Beach. The cleanup involves more than 90 cleanup sites and 8,000 volunteers. This cleanup day now takes place in all 50 states and 150 countries around the world. Saturday, Sept. 21, 8 a.m. - noon

Bark for Life of Valley Center Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center. The American Cancer Society Bark For LifeTM is a

walk event for dogs and their owners to raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society's fight against cancer. Sunday, September 22, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Bunnyfest 2013 at Balboa Park The San Diego House Rabbit Society’s annual party held at the corner of Park Blvd and Presidents Way in Balboa Park. (See Details on Page 11) Saturday, September 28, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

The Grand Woofstock Historic Downtown Escondido rolls out the red carpet for this annual family friendly (and pets, too, of course) event.

Sunday, October 6, Starting at 11 a.m.

12th annual Bowling for the Animals Come bowling with Miss Kitty and friends at Poway Fun Bowl! Proceed to benefit Spay Neuter Action Projects. ntId=1268577 Thursday, October 24, 5 - 8 p.m.

Pupologie's annual Dia De Los Perros Costume contests, photo booth, games, and more. See their Facebook page for more info.

(See Details on Page 3)

Saturday, October 26

Mission Animal and Bird Hospital Annual Pet Fair

Sunday, October 6, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Save the Date! Details available online and in the October issue of San Diego Pets Magazine.

Del Mar Village, Taste and Art Show Look for Pet’s Alley at this annual event held in the heart of the charming village of Del Mar.

Have an event? Post it for free on or e-mail the event info to:

OUR NEW WEBSITE IS OPTIMIZED FOR MOBILE DEVICES! San Diego Pets Magazine has more events listed and highlighted online. We invite you to add your own events and share your comments on our website. 26 SEPTEMBER 2013 | | Facebook/Twitter @SanDiegoPets


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Be Your Pet’s Health Ally!

Pet First Aid/CPR classes with a real cat and dog! 760-433-3480

Facebook/Twitter @SanDiegoPets | | SEPTEMBER 2013 27

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