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COVER PHOTO Denise Truscello

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kendra Hartmann Kimberly Jones Mariko Lamb


Marvelous Mutt Meatballs & Purr-fect Tuna Patties

A Second Chance at Life

Two delicious recipes to treat your favorite dog or cat this holiday season.

Almost Home Animal Rescue helping hundreds of dogs and cats find forever homes.

See page 20

See page 22


Where Science Meets Hope

Candy Kalman

A local dog named Mickey benefits from the Morris Animal Foundation’s commitment and funding of research to prevent and treat canine cancer. See page 29

Tina Martinez Arden Moore Stefanie Schwartz, DVM

The South Bark Experience We’ve all had to face it. Giving a dog a bath is hard work! Columnist Mark Carlson explains how to make washing a dog fun in his regular column, The Tale Wagging the Dog. See page 25

CARTOONIST Barbara Fuscsick Puppy Paws Productions


Casey Dean (619) 573-5615 San Diego Pets Magazine is published by Dean Publishing, Inc. P.O. Box 601081, San Diego, Ca 921601081. 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 2012. All rights reserved.

/SanDiegoPets San Diego Pets Magazine P.O. BOX 601081 San Diego, Ca 92160-1081 (619) 573-5615 SANDIEGOPETSMAGAZINE.COM | DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013


y r o t S r e v Co

Holly Madison 6


From the stage to the shelter, Holly Madison shows her ‘lucky’ side with new pet products


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onsummate Las Vegas performer and reality show star Holly Madison has a lot on her plate these days. Apart from the regular mad dash that characterizes an ambitious celebrity’s lifestyle, Madison is expecting her first child — reportedly a girl — next March, for which she recently relinquished her long-running role in the Vegas burlesque show, “Peepshow,” and in September, she launched her latest project: Lucky Pet Products, a line of pet toys and apparel that combines Madison’s love of animals with her desire to do well by them. “I’m really excited about Lucky,” Madison said. “I’ve been working with a great company to manufacture the products





from all-natural materials. We’re excited to expand.” Madison’s favorite aspect of the line, however, has to do with its mission. A portion of its sales benefit the Animal Foundation of Las Vegas, touted on Lucky’s website as the country’s largest animal care and control facility, accepting more than 50,000 animals a year. “[The Animal Foundation] is great, but as we all know, it’s a never-ending thing, the work that shelters do,” she said. “I’m so excited to be a part of that.” Madison has always harbored a love for animals, and this




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isn’t the first time she’s lent her celebrity status — or her hard work — to causes centering on animal rights. From volunteering at shelters and adopting shelter animals to producing public service announcements and appearing at charity events — she even posed nude for an anti-fur campaign for PETA — Madison said “any charity work [she does] is animal work.” “I’ve always felt a special bond with animals, and I just see a need for [animal advocacy],” she said. “You see it in the shelters, you see it when you see strays on the street. The biggest thing is adoption, and not shopping at a pet store or breeder. Some people think the only dogs that are cute are the ones that are bred a certain way, but there’s a never-ending supply of these great animals in shelters.” As for Lucky Pet Products — named after, of course, the shelter animals that are “lucky enough to find homes” — the line features toys, treats, clothing, leashes, beds and more. Madison, who has two rescue ferrets (along with three rescue dogs), said the line currently offers some cat toys, but she would like to expand to cater to more small animals. The products themselves, made from natural materials and eco-tested dyes, have gone through a lengthy design process — for which Madison said she had ultimate input and control — and an even more arduous testing phase. To asses the products’ durability, the most discerning of inspectors were put in charge of quality control: the dogs from the Animal Foundation’s foster program, as well as Madison’s own pets (photos of the foster dogs playing with Lucky products are featured on the brand’s website, and Madison affixes each product with a hangtag featuring a real shelter animal). “I did all the original designs and we went through things that we liked and didn’t like,” Madison said of the creation process. “I’ve tested them all with my own animals, and it was really a fun process. I was always trying to find the best products for my pets, especially things that would occupy them and that they couldn’t tear up easily.” So what sets Lucky Pet Products apart from the myriad other pet product lines out there? “Well, they’re adorable, for one,” Madison said. “They’re aesthetically pleasing, they’re super durable and they’re things that I can and do use with my own dogs.” Besides, Madison said, it’s important to put your money where your mouth is — after all, that’s the only way to affect real change. Asked what she feels is the best way to help solve the major issues facing advocates of animal rights, she answered, “Education.” “People should set an example for their friends, and show them they can do something about these problems,” she said. At least with Lucky, consumers can do so with their purchasing power.

Holly Madison with one of her two rescued ferrets in Las Vegas.

Lucky Pet Products are currently available in limited retail outlets and on the brand’s website,




Off to Camp We Go


magine a place your dog would think is perfect. What would it be like? Would it be a big outside space with lots of grass, sun, shade, toys, things to climb on, things to climb under, water (to drink and play in) and lots of friends of both dog and human persuasion? Now imagine a place you’d think is perfect for your dog. Would it be a place that’s safe, clean and convenient with cameras to watch your pup play? Would it be cage free both for daycare and overnight visits with humans there 24/7? Humans not just for keeping the peace, but for your pup to play and sleep with and for comforting company? You’ve just imagined Camp RunA-Mutt. It’s San Diego’s #1 dog paradise and truly a unique experience for you and your furry family member. All the big bright orange locations give your dog exactly what they want…to just be a dog! While at camp, they have the freedom to play, chase, sniff, nap, splash or just cuddle with one of the staff, and, the best part is you get to spy on them with the exclusive Muttcam system from any computer or smartphone. The cage free boarding is truly unique because staff members sleep with the dogs in the same room. Your pup is never left alone or in a cage. Camp Run-A-Mutt gets it. They know your dog is a loved member of the family and that it’s hard to leave them alone when you go to work every day. That’s why Camp Run-AMutt provides everything you would if you could, like a large outside space to play with their friends, 10

Camp Run-A-Mutt's yard, lots of space and lots of things to do

activity and fun. After your long day at work, your dog has had a long day too and you’re both ready for dinner and down time. It’s the perfect solution. Camp Run-A-Mutt also knows it’s hard to leave them when you have to go out of town, that’s why Camp Run-A-Mutt’s overnight visits are always cage free. After a long day of play, your pup is brought in and given his own space for an uninterrupted dinner. Then the beds are laid out, the lights go down, the television is turned on and everyone (dogs and human) settles in for the night, just like at home. Your dog is comfortable because he’s been there all day, knows the surroundings, knows the human, knows his camp buddies, knows he’s safe and sleeps like a baby. And so can you. In 2008, the Camp Run-A-Mutt concept was developed for one dog,

Andy, an English Springer Spaniel. He loved to run, chase balls, climb, hide, and water…he absolutely LOVED water. The original Camp Run-A-Mutt in Mission Hills was built with the idea that if Andy liked it, other dogs would too. Luckily, dogs don’t know what “recession” means and they flocked to Camp Run-A-Mutt in packs. So much so, that more Camp Run-A-Mutt’s have sprung up in Point Loma, Kearny Mesa, South Bay/Los Angeles and coming soon in North County and Palm Desert.

LOCATIONS Mission Hills 3265 India St. San Diego, CA 92103 619-795-6421

Point Loma 4030 Sports Arena Blvd. San Diego, CA 92110 619-225-CAMP

Kearny Mesa 7888 Othello Ave. San Diego, CA 92111 858-565-CAMP

South Bay/LA 945 W. 190th St. Gardena, CA 90248 310-323-CAMP Always someone or somepup to play with.


For more information

Behavior Bytes

Stefanie Schwartz,

DVM, MSc, DACVB Veterinary Behavior Medicine


oes your Cockapoo go berserk when anyone comes into the house? Does your Rottweiler fling herself frothing and snarling against the window when any dog or person passes by? Does your Lab pull the leash so hard to get to that Beagle down the block that you become airborne? Why do dogs do that? This can’t be normal right? Wrong. If a wolf strayed onto another pack’s territory, they wouldn’t just invite him over for a beer. That intruder would be run out of the territory or killed with no questions asked. On the other hand, would it be normal to let any stranger just walk through your front door or into the classroom of your child’s school? Security is the result of recognition of familiars and territorial patrol for many of us earthlings. Some folks expect their dogs to behave like people. They are embarrassed 12


or think it abnormal if their Golden Retriever growls at the mail carrier. From my perspective, territorial dogs are the normal ones. Those dogs who let anyone come in or out probably lack the canine genes that control territorial defense. The dog’s ancestral wolf was born to investigate, patrol and defend the pack’s territory. That’s one of the reasons that our ancestors decided one day, on a whim, to start raising wolves. When the men were out hunting with some of the first wolf-dogs, the women could stay and gather under the watchful eye of the stay-at-home wolf-dogs. Dogs are hardwired to defend their territory (and pack); their territory is your home, your yard, your neighborhood, your car and pretty much wherever you’ve gone more than once together. The problem is there are so many more of all of us living in such close quarters. So if your dog growls and


barks at visitors and passersby, accept the fact that they’re just doing their preprogrammed job. If you don’t like it, teach them to respond some other way, like a sit/stay. Reward them for calm behavior. Avoid doing things that put them on alert, such as whispering ‘Who’s there?’ or ‘What’s that?’ Our territorial dogs want to keep us safe. However, if your dog’s behavior is getting beyond your control and has made things unpleasant, please call me. Dr. Stefanie Schwartz is a board certified veterinary behaviorist based in Southern California. She sees patients at California Veterinary Specialists in Carlsbad and at The Veterinary Neurology Center in Tustin, CA. For more information, please call (949) 3426644 or visit | DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013




STORIES he Sarbiewsky family recently came to the San Diego Humane Society to adopt three kittens for their triplets, because they wanted to have "triplet" kittens to

match their family. It just so happened that the three kittens they fell in love with were a litter of three, two boys and a girl, just like their family! They could not be happier with their new kittens Ricki, Vicki and Wiki. The Sarbiewsky family says, "The kids are absolutely loving the newest members of the family!

About the San Diego Humane Society and 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. More information can be found at:



DECEMBER 2012 GIFT GUIDE Poopy Carrier The Litter Genie

Poopy Carrier is happy to help dog owners have a more enjoyable and safer walk by having both hands free to keep a better hold on your leash/dog and contribute towards keeping our environment clean.

Litterfish a revolutionary new cat litter box that is both attractive and functional.

Created by the makers of Diaper Genie, the Litter Genie provides a convenient, effective solution for soiled cat litter. The Litter Genie can hold up to two weeks of cat waste before needing to be emptied. Finally, cat owners can empty the Litter Genie when it is convenient for them, like on garbage day! In addition to the benefit of convenience, the garbage pail design and the 5-layer disposal bag inside of the Litter Genie help to control odors like no other product on the market today.

Snoutstik™ Dog Balm New Pet Product makes it Easy to Apply Moisturizer to Dogs’ Snouts.

Butterfly Peace-Pull This toy belongs in the hands of everyone around the world because peace isn’t easy, you’ve got to work for it! And work for it you and your dog shall with this toy: a 5 inch round peace symbol and a 9 inch handle, and featuring our custom 2-Tone Reversible LUCKY leather colors and tri-color rope.

Every dog deserves something beautiful and long lasting (besides their owner), and we can’t think of anything better than our Butterfly. Our Butterfly is a symbol of our commitment to rescue animals, going into a shelter alone and unwanted, and emerging as something beautiful.

4 Square Our design team threw down the gauntlet on this one, using math, motion, and color to create a toy that will boggle your dog’s mind! Perfect for one dog, or two dogs, or three… the square root of this toy is fun!

LUCKY Pet Products by Holly Madison supports the rescue animals of the Animal Foundation in Las Vegas and promotes animal rescue across the world. LUCKY exclusively uses images of shelter animals on product hang tags and photos. A portion of proceeds go directly to the Animal Foundation of Las Vegas. | DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013


Thundershirt Thundershirt Declares, “No More Scaredy Cats!” Thundershirt, the product that has helped so many anxious dogs around the world and is recommended by thousands of vets and trainers, introduces Thundershirt for Cats. Great for vet visits, car travel, grooming, general fearfulness, litter box “problems”, separation anxiety and much more, the Thundershirt for Cats applies gentle constant pressure that calms cats whenanxious or fearful.

Constant Depler & Friends The collection offers barware, purses, business satchels, clutches, cosmetic bags, iPad sleeves, totes, wallets and more for both men and women. Some of the featured works include designs of can-can poodles mixing with great dane sheriffs in western saloons and reindeer merrily skating and sipping martinis.

Olde Armoury Leather

Corky’s Collars

Beautiful locally made custome Leather collars, harnesses, muzzles and leashes made from latigo cowhide, finished and polished by hand.

All about keeping your dog safe and comfortable, on leash or off, Corky’s Collars are made with 3M reflective material which is visible at up to 400 feet at night. With mirafab® fabric that provides a perfect fit over your dog’s existing collar... What a bright idea!

Humunga Lips™ EDITOR’S PICK!

Hide-A-Squirrel The limited edition Hide-ASquirrel comes with ten squeaky squirrels dogs retrieve from the plush tree trunk. Designed to challenge your dog and eliminate boredom. Available only in 2012 on

Humunga Lips™ is made of durable, nontoxic rubber. It's a ball on end with irresistibly cherry-scented* lips on the other (yum!). It's the sweetest new necessity for your dog this holiday season.



Cool Blue Dog Apparel An e-commerce apparel company specializing in smushed faced dogs. Cool Blue Dog Apparel was created so that hard to fit breeds such as English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs and Pugs can enjoy wearing “cool” clothes!

Cuddle’n Carry ( Unlike other pet carriers, the Cuddle`n Carry Shirt, with its cozy built-in front pouch, provides a warm, comfortable, caring mode of transportation while doubling as a comfy sweatshirt.

Kinn Kinn Introduces Stylish Solutions for Giving Pills to Pets and Making Homemade Cat and Dog Treats. Veterinarian tested and endorsed, Kinn’s line of premium pet care products takes the difficulty and danger out of giving medicine to pill-finicky pets

PetiSock - Pet Nail Grooming Aid Packaged with 3 wraps. The perfect pet nail care product. Holds hair out of the way. Gives excellent visibility to groom nails. For home use and groomers.

Bunny Gifts

AIKIOU (I.Q.) An interactive plastic feeder with separate compartments that make dogs work and think for food. By turning the wheel of the “bowl”, dogs eat slower, have fun and stay busy. It’s for dogs of all sizes & holds 3 1/2 cups of food.

All gifts shown below are available at the San Diego House Rabbit Society Bunny Supply Store, 4805 Mercury Street, Suite J, San Diego 92111. Open Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

8 gifts

Fiddlesticks Tunnel

Busy Bunny Willow Ball

Busy Bunny Willow Tunnel

Timothy Bungalow

Gives bunny a fun place to hide. $12

Gives hours of chewing fun. $7

Fun to sleep under and great for chewing! $20

The perfect hideaway! $18 | DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013


Team Phun™ San Diego based clothing and accessory company that has manufactured dog bowls from skateboards!

FURminator® for Cats Cat deShedding tools provide owners a healthy, safe grooming experience. Offers solutions for hairball prevention including deShedding tools for long and short-hair breeds.

Soggy Doggy Slopmats Polka Dog Bakery Polka Dog's holiday "Twist Me" cans will make you smile and the dogs on your holiday list drool! Flavors are Ginger Snaps and Pumpkin Pie. All treats are made by Polka Dog in Boston using locally sourced ingredients. The illustrations were created for Polka Dog by Boston artist, Joe McKendry: Sold at a number of independent pet retailers in the San Diego area.

The Slopmat is all an owner ever needs to keep Fido's food and water bowls from making a mess.

DJ Cat Scratching Pad Spend hours watching DJ Whiskers scratch it up! This is a great gift! product/dj-cat-scratching-pad ACTION DOGS

K-9 Float Coat Ruff Wear knows that dogs make any outdoor experience better - water-based adventures included! When your four-legged friend is geared up in their K-9 Float Coat, you can focus on the fun when fast-moving water or long distances from shore come into play. A canine life jacket gives dogs of all breeds and their humans confidence and peace-of-mind in and around the water.

Chaco Goes to the Dogs Chaco’s dog accessories come in nine colors and prints to match the owner’s favorite sandals, ideal for short walks or long hikes and everything in between. As an added bonus, Chaco collars and leashes are MADE IN THE USA by Chaco’s ReChaco team.

Puppy Paws Productions

Unique whimsical cards and gifts from Puppy Paws Productions that are doggone sure to bring dog-lovers a smile. PLUS! Puppy Paws Productions is a local business! 18


BOOKS WE LIKE ARDEN MOORE has authored over 20 books on cats and dogs, including The Cat Behavior Answer Book, The Dog Behavior Answer Book and Real Food for Dogs. Read more about Arden at

WHAT ABOUT ME? I’M HERE TOO! Dolly’s life was perfect in every way, but that all changed one day when a tiny striped kitten came into her life. Co-authored by Cathy Conheim and BJ Gallagher.


The hilarious journey of Simon who must find his mother's killer with the help of the most unusual, and annoying, bunch of friends ever. By KR Johnson.

An uplifting and inspirational story written by Dr. Udo Wahn and illustrated by Jennifer Belote. Cabo and Coral are two friends who share a loved passion for surfing and dogs.


THE DOG LIVED (AND SO WILL I) Teresa Rhyne vowed to get things right this time around: new boyfriend, new house even a new dog. But shortly after she adopted Seamus, a totally incorrigible beagle, vets told Teresa that he had a malignant tumor and less than a year to live. The diagnosis devastated her, but she decided to fight it, learning everything she could about treatment for Seamus. Teresa couldn't possibly have known then that she was preparing herself for life's next hurdle - a cancer diagnosis of her own.

IT’S ALL ABOUT ME-OW Do you ever wonder how cats achieve the perfect blend of catitude and cuteness; how they can be both mild and wild? Here all the tricks of their trade are revealed as an alpha cat passes his wisdom to a new generation. Written and illustrated by Hudson Talbott.

Testimonials of children, adults and seniors of how their assistance dogs have greatly improved the quality of life. By Marie-Claude Roay and Carole Villeneuve.


Chronicles the poignant and heartwarming stories of twenty-six abandoned and abused German Shepherds in search of their forever homes. By Dobie Houson.

DOG HAIR Dogs can be fashion victims just like the rest of us. Take yourself on a journey through the highs and lows of doggy hairdos, including mullets, perms, sleek bouncy locks and mohawks. Delve into the hair-raising delights of man's best friend with this in-depth look at canine coiffures from super cute to super silly, iconic hairstyles of the last century.



Arden Moore,

ACCBC, ADCBC Pet trend, behavior and safety expert


Purr-fect Tuna Patties

he holidays are fast approaching. In the midst of dealing with your holiday guests, the special meals, the decorations and the shopping, please remember to celebrate with your No. 1 fan – your pet. From the pages of my best-selling books, Happy You, I am delighted to offer these delicious recipes to treat your favorite dog or cat this holiday season.

Marvelous Mutt Meatballs

INGREDIENTS: 1 pound ground beef or sirloin 2/3 cup grated cheddar cheese 2 carrots, finely chopped 1 cup bread crumbs 6 tablespoons tomato paste (low-sodium)

INGREDIENTS: 2 eggs One 6 1/2 –ounce can of water-packed tuna, drained and flaked 1 cup bread crumbs 1 teaspoon brewer’s yeast 1 teaspoon bone meal 2 tablespoons margarine

1. In a medium-sized bowl, whip the eggs. 2. Add the tuna, bread crumbs, brewer’s yeast and bone meal. Blend with a wooden spoon until moistened.

3. In a skillet, melt the margarine over medium heat. Take small handfuls of the mixture and form 5 patties. Cook each side for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown.

4. Allow the patties to cool. Crumble one

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

into small pieces into a small plate for your cat.

2. Combine all the ingredients in a

5. Store the rest of the patties in the refrig-

medium-sized bowl.

erator in a container with a lid.

3. Scoop out by the spoonful and roll into mini-sized meatballs.

4. Place the meatballs on a cookie sheet sprayed with non-fat cooking spray.

5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. 6. Cool before serving and store the rest in the refrigerator in a container with a lid.


GET THE BOOK! Real Food for Dogs: 50 Vet-Approved Recipes for a Healthier Dog is available on


And, to prevent Yule time from turning into yowl time filled with canine calamity and feline frustration, I offer these tips:


By sticking to a daily brisk walk or run with your dog each day, you offer a healthy outlet to unleash your dog’s pent up energy and anxiety caused by holiday guests and indoor decorations. Physical exercise also helps you stave off some of the holiday stress. Use the walk to mentally map out your holiday gift list or holiday dinner game plan – or as a good excuse to escape irritating or demanding relatives who are visiting.

f ILLUMINATE SAFELY. Prevent singed

whiskers and burned paws by using flameless candles and battery-operated holiday lighting. Take a pass on liquid potpourri that can cause mouth burns.


Don’t leave glasses of wine or champagne unattended as alcohol can cause havoc on your pet’s digestion system. Also watch where you place your glass of eggnog, punch or other alcohol-laden drink. An ounce of alcohol can cause alcohol poisoning in a small breed dog.


turkey, ham, gravy, cookies and other holiday goodies can lead to gastrointestinal upsets in your dog or cat not accustomed to eating these foods. Maintain your dog or cat’s regular commercial food diet during


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the holidays. Also, alert guests to not succumb to your pet’s begging behavior by feeding him people food.


Avoid any edible ornament (especially stringed popcorn) or breakable ornaments. Your dog or cat can cut their paws by stepping on broken glass ornaments and need sutures. Skip the tinsel – even a slight movement of this shiny strand can be too irresistible to your play-minded cat. You don’t want to spend Christmas at the pet emergency hospital as veterinarians perform abdominal surgery to remove swallowed tinsel.

f STASH THE SWEETS AND BREAD DOUGH. Make sure that the kitchen is off-

limits to your dog while you make your world famous holiday cookies containing chocolate or other doggy dangerous ingredients. Keep holiday foods in storage containers out of paw’s reach.


holiday plants, especially mistletoe, holly, poinsettias and Christmas cactus on hanging ceiling hooks or other high, secure places out of paw’s reach. Ingested leaves can cause diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration.

During this holiday season, give your pet the most precious of all holiday gifts – the gift of you. Each day, calmly call your pet over and cuddle with him on the sofa for 5 or 10 minutes. Don’t say a word – just enjoy being in the moment with your fourlegged pal. You will be amazed how this daily ritual will help you and your pet survive, perhaps even thrive, this holiday season. On behalf of my Furry Fab Four of Chipper, Cleo, Murphy and Zeki, I wish all of you a grrr-eat holiday season!

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 instructor. Tune into her Oh Behave! Show on Pet Life Radio and enroll in her pet first aid classes to earn certification. For more information, please visit, www.petfirst and | DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013


Foster center gives animals a second chance at life


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espite its small size, Almost Home Animal Rescue is doing big things, helping hundreds of dogs and cats in Southern California find loving foster homes and saving them from becoming euthanized due to overcrowded shelters. The rescue organization, which first started in Los Angeles by actress Nancy Travis and oncologist Val Israel in 2010, recently expanded in San Diego with the help of volunteers Ally Edgerton and Jan O’Connor. “It’s still a small rescue, but we’ve got some really, really great people that work with us,” said O’Connor. “It’s really fun to have cats and dogs coming and going and seeing them go into good homes.” Not only does O’Connor put in her time facilitating foster care for dogs and cats in need; she also fosters dogs at her own home to supplement her permanent brood. At any given time, she can have up to six dogs in her household, each of which has been rescued from an unnecessary death. “Fostering a pet can be hard at times. It’s very hard when you have to give them up, but it’s rewarding because anyone who fosters a pet is saving a life and getting them out of the shelter,” she said. “There are just so many beautiful pets that are euthanized, and that’s just a crime.” Although the exact number of homeless animals euthanized in the U.S. is not known, the American Humane Society estimates that approximately 3.7 million homeless animals were euthanized in 2008 due to overcrowding, illness, aggressive behavior or injury. The vision of Almost Home and other rescue centers that facilitate foster care for animals is to aid in the rehabilitation of abused, abandoned or injured dogs and cats, provide them with love and care in a temporary or permanent home, and ultimately give them a chance at life. 22






Kellan with his family’s foster dog, Casey, who has been with the family for over a year. He is a very sweet and gentle terrier!

“Dogs are so willing to give love and trust people”

“We’ve had dogs that people brought to the vet and they couldn’t afford to get the vet work done, like if it has a broken leg or something, so the vet has called our rescue, and we’ve had dogs that have been rescued off the street by somebody that we know,” said O’Connor of the myriad ways animals come under the care of Almost Home.


One thing that is common with all animals in foster care is the creation of a much-needed bond through socialization and human interaction. “Normally, it takes a week for them to trust the people they are with. Sometimes they’ll bond to you right away. A lot of times, they’re coming out of bad situations, but dogs are so willing to give

love and trust people,” she said. “It’s usually pretty easy to win them over.” Dogs in foster care can stay with a family as little as a few hours or as long as a year. “Usually it will take a couple months,” said O’Connor. “It depends. Sometimes it is just a matter of finding the right home.” To ensure compatibility, Almost Home foster families are required to fill out an application and undergo an in-person home check. Compatibility is determined based on safety of the home, presence of a yard, or existence of obstacles, such as unfenced pools, balconies or large railings that may be a danger to a particular animal. “We also want to make sure that the animal is going to work out in that house because it’s so hard to get fosters,” she said. “We are very careful to make sure the dog is going to a safe, secure home.” To see a full listing of available pets in need of foster homes, visit,, or


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A NOTE FROM ALMOST HOME ANIMAL RESCUE If you would like to foster for Almost Home Animal Rescue, please go to and fill out the foster application. We will contact you upon receipt. Almost Home Animal Rescue depends on donations from individuals, as well as fundraising events to raise money to rescue animals who are in shelters and who are homeless. If you would like to help save more dogs and cats, Visit and click on “Donation”. Alternatively, you can send a paypal donation to, or you can mail a check to: c/o Valerie Israel Almost Home Animal Rescue 21157 1/2 Placeritos Blvd Santa Clarita, CA 91321 We are a 501(c3) Non-Profit rescue so your donations are tax deductible. Thank you! | DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013





New Year’s Day is just around the corner and, with it, an opportunity to reflect on our lives and decide what we want to improve upon in 2013. If you’re still trying to choose a New Year’s resolution, check out some of these real-life resolutions, inspired by family pets.


In 2011, right in the thrust of holiday madness, Shiloh, my newly rescued mutt did the worst possible thing in the entire world: She chewed one of my beloved shoes. I was so livid that I cried (yes, that really happened). Several more shoes and many articles of clothing followed the same fate before I was able to train her to leave my stuff alone. During this massacre of my wardrobe, something amazing happened: I stopped caring and chose, instead, to enjoy the nearconstant source of love and joy that is Shiloh. I made deprioritizing “things” the focus of my last year and have never felt freer.


Paul Hermann, of Oceanside, has a wife, four dogs and, what he calls an “Irish temper” that would escalate in times of great stress. His stress-induced behaviors would rub off on the fourlegged members of his household, resulting in more fights

Paul Hermann, his wife Amber, and three of the four members of their happy dog pack.






among the dogs. He resolved to make controlling his stress a priority, even switching to a more-relaxing career path. According to Dr. Patrick Melese, board-certified veterinary behaviorist and director of Veterinary Behavior Consultants, “pets are closely attuned to human behavior patterns and are well aware of when we are stressed or upset. If this stress is allowed to affect the behavior of the human toward others in the house, including pets, everyone’s stress levels could escalate, causing tension.” “I tried for years to control my stress,” said Paul, “but owning so many dogs made it absolutely necessary.”


Alissa Lopez, of San Diego, has decided to make 2013 the year she finds a way to reach her life and career goals and she has her aptly named cat, Mr. Right, to thank for the idea. “My cat has inspired me to get creative in my determination to get what I want and not stop until it happens,” said Alissa, whose cat will relentlessly try everything in the morning, from rubbing Alissa’s nose, to tapping on her toes, to get her to get out of bed and feed him.


Jeanne Chambers of Julian had five children at home, two of them toddlers, when a puppy named Copenhagen came into their lives. Thinking he would be a medium-sized dog, she was shocked as he rapidly grew into not only a very large dog, but a pit bull mix. She had heard bad things about pit bulls and was fearful. However, two years and 120 pounds later, Jeanne’s family now considers Copenhagen the best dog they’ve ever had. “He is amazing with our kids and other dogs and couldn’t be sweeter. I can’t believe we almost missed out on him because of preconceived notions,” she said, adding, “he has taught me a lot about not judging people based on appearances.”

REWARD YOURSELF: Last, but not least, every pet knows that a job well done deserves a treat. So don’t forget to train yourself to stick to your resolutions with periodic rewards.


The South Bark Experience B y







How to Make Washing a Dog Fun!

We’ve all had to face it. Giving a dog a bath is hard work! Most dogs don’t like being bathed, and they do their level best to get out of it the way we avoid root canals and income tax audits. They run like hell! Even after they’ve been cornered, caught, put in the tub and are thoroughly soaked they still put up a fight. Washing a big dog is a serious upperbody workout. But just let your attention wane for ten seconds and the soggy pooch is off and running through the house, shaking off and causing more mayhem than the animal in one of those 1950s Disney movies. But instead of laughing we wipe the soap, water and fur out of our eyes, make a grab for the dog and bring them back to finish the job. Okay, granted I’m only relating the worst case. Some dogs do like baths. I personally have never met one, but I’ve heard they’re out there. Even the ones that like it still can’t resist that instinctive need to shake off. They usually do it at the worst possible time. My big Yellow Labrador Musket always did it just after I got him mostly dried off and trying to get him out to the yard to dry in the sun. Right when we were passing the big-screen televi-

sion, that’s when the H2O flew. But, take heart; there is a way to make the task into a productive and even fun event that won’t result in higher homeowner water damage insurance premiums. South Bark Dog Wash, located at 2037 30th Street in San Diego has found the way to do it. Our readers know I usually write whimsical and humorous stories that are rarely meant to be taken too seriously. But in this case I am glad to write of a genuine San Diego treasure. Opened by Lisa Vella and Donna F. Walker in October 2000, South Bark was a mutual dream of both women who wanted to create an environment for dog and cat owners to feel comfortable while caring for their pets. Both

Lisa and Donna’s experience in business, management, animal care and health have given South Bark the elements it needed to stand out in a community of pet services in San Diego. After purchasing a 50-year old former laundry building, they completely renovated it to what it is today. The building was considered for an ‘Orchid’ Award. South Bark has taken all the elements of animal care and turned it into an efficient, enjoyable way to give your feline or canine a real bath. Grooming tools, raised tubs, quality shampoo and conditioner, towels, and powerful blow dryers. South Bark’s considerate staff help



BUSINESS LISTINGS List your Business, call (619) 573-5615 Ark Animal Hospital Small animal veterinary hospital 6171 Balboa Avenue, SD, CA 92111 Open Mon–Sat • (858) 277-3665

Behavior Buddies by Camp BowWow Dog Training, Dog Walking & Pet Sitting Bonded and Insured (619) 889-7767

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

Cheshire Cat Feline Health Center 4680 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. SD, CA 92117 Open Mon-Sat • (858) 483-1573

County of San Diego Department of Animal Services (619) 767-2675 •

Dog Beach Dog Wash Do-It-Yourself•Service•Accessories 4933 Voltaire St., San Diego, CA 92107 (619) 523-1700

EasyTurf A Field Turf Company Request a FREE DESIGN consultation 2750 La Mirada Dr, Vista, CA 92081 1-800-550-7270 Four Legged Life Pet event speaker Arden Moore Dog/cat behavior consults Host dog parties • (760) 433-3480

Home Buddies by Camp BowWow Dog Walking, Pet Sitting & Dog Training Bonded and Insured (619) 889-7767


their patrons every step of the way. When my wife and I took our two Labradors to South Bark, we entered a comfortable, tastefully decorated establishment where we found helpful staff to assist at every step. In our case, a lovely girl named Anna made sure we had everything we needed. My female Lab, Saffron was particularly happy to receive South Bark’s signature Blueberry Facial. Musket didn’t even try to run; he was enjoying it too much. Walker commented, “South Barks Blueberry Facial became so popular that we started wholesaling and retailing it. Our products create synergy between grooming and retail. We stand behind all of our products and think that they really work, capturing marketing in a whimsical way.” After the business had been open for nearly six months, the contributions and experiences Vella, Walker and their team created were of top importance. “The location and products will get the client to your business, but it is you and your team that will keep them coming back.” That is certainly true. When my wife and I said our goodbyes to Anna, we had two clean, soft, sweet-smelling and dry dogs wagging their tails in the sunshine. South Bark is more than a comfortable place to bathe your pets. Inside you will find a retail store with all the finest pet care products, including their signature Blueberry Facial, and an obedience training site. Vella and Walker have plans to evolve South Bark in the months and years to come. “We believe in being in-

Kittycare La Jolla Professional Pet Sitters Experience with Special Needs Animals Certified Pet First Aid & CPR (858) 352-6988 •

Leashes and Love Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Company Serving San Diego and surrounding areas

(619) 296-4928



novative and prefer to be in the forefront of Pet Industry needs and issues, rather than chasing them. The top crest of a wave is always more exciting,” said Walker proudly. I won’t argue with that. South Bark delivers what it promises and makes the experience of giving an animal a bath fun. We will be back for more. And I wont’ have to wring out the television set again. MARK CARLSON, 51 lives in San Diego with his wife Jane and his Guide dog Musket. 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 in through, and You can reach Mark and Musket through


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Sweet Pea, San Diego’s Oldest Ambassa-Cat B y



YES, SHE IS REAL! Sweet Pea loves to play as a stuffed animal at local events to help raise money for homeless animals. Found in San Diego on the streets at 5 months old, she was a homeless kitten herself. Some of Sweet Pea’s duties now include: Pet Therapy, Pet Education, and Public Appearances. She has been Ambassa-Cat for the Escondido Humane Society along with helping other rescues in raising funds for local homeless animals. Now at over 15-years-old, she is the oldest cat still showing in cat shows. You will be able to see her on January 26-27 at the annual Cat Fanciers “Cat Show” held at the Del Mar fairgrounds. READ MORE OF SWEET PEA’S STORY ONLINE AT WWW.SANDIEGOPETSMAGAZINE.COM

BUSINESS LISTINGS List your Business, call (619) 573-5615 Leash Your Fitness Fitness class for you and your DOG. Classes / events throughtout San Diego. 619-822-3296

Pet First Aid 4 U Dog and cat 1st aid, CPR classes Hands-on training. Earn certificate. Throughout S.D. • (760) 433-3480

Project Wildlife Wildlife rehabilitation and education 887 1/2 Sherman Street, SD, CA 92110 Wildlife Hotline 619-225-9453

Puptown Doggy Daycare 205 16th Street. San Diego, CA 92101 (619) 234-5278

SD House Rabbit Society (858) 356-4286

The Total Dog, Swim & Gym 3060 Industry St., Ste. 108 Oceanside, CA • 760-721-1DOG (1364) | DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

POWAY Animal Emergency Clinic (858) 748-7387 12775 Poway Road, Poway, CA 92064 M-F 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. Sat. Sun. 24 hrs.

SAN MARCOS Veterinary Specialty Hospital (760) 466-0600 2055 Montiel Road, Suite 104, San Marcos, CA 92069

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


Animal Shelters & Humane Societies ACCEPT STRAYS & HAVE ADOPTION BAY PARK/MISSION VALLEY County Animal Services 5480 Gaines St., CA 92110 (619) 767-2675 Hours: Tues-Sat 9:30am to 5:30pm

BONITA County Animal Services 5821 Sweetwater Road, CA 91902 (619) 767-2675 Hours: Tues-Sat 9:30am to 5:30pm

CAMP PENDLETON Camp Pendleton Animal Shelter

Rescue, Adoption and Service Organizations A Passion For Paws (Akita Rescue) (818) 925-4827 Baja Dog Rescue (619) 407-9372 Cat Adoption Service (760) 550-2287

4th St. Area 25 Bldg. 25132 CA 92054 (760) 725-8120

Chihuahua Rescue of San Diego

CARLSBAD County Animal Services

Forgotten Paws Animal Rescue

2481 Palomar Airport Road, CA 92011 619) 767-2675 Hours: Tues-Sat 9:30am to 5:30pm

CHULA VISTA City of Chula Vista Animal Shelter 130 Beyer Way, CA 91911 (619) 691-5123 Hours: Sun & Mon Closed, Tue-Fri 9:30am-5pm Sat. 9:30am-4pm

CORONADO Animal Care Facility 1395 First Street, Coronado, CA 92118 (619) 522-7371 Hours: 7 days 9am-4:30pm

German Shorthaired Pointer Rescue Greyhound Connection Independent Therapy Dogs, Inc. It’s The Pits (Specializing in the Bully Breeds) (858) 484-0985

EL CAJON City of El Cajon Animal Shelter

Last Chance at Life All Breed Animal Rescue (760) 433-3763 x224 (Schedule an appointment)

1275 N. Marshall Ave., CA 92020 (619) 441-1580 Hours: Tues-Sat 10am to 5:30pm

List Srv 4 Therapy Dog Teams

ESCONDIDO Escondido Humane Society

Open Arms Rescue (760) 470-7643

3450 E. Valley Parkway, CA 92027 (760) 888-2275 Hours: 7 days 10am to 5pm

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

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 11am-6pm Sat-Sun 11am-5pm

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

Friends of Cats 15587 Olde Highway 80, CA, 92021 (619) 561-0361 Hours: Tues-Sun 10am to 4pm

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: 11am -5pm every day except Tues. 11:30am-5pm

RANCHO SANTA FE Helen Woodward Animal Center 6461 El Apajo Road, CA 92067 (858) 756-4117 Hours: 7 days 11am to 6pm

SPRING VALLEY National Cat Protection Society 9031 Birch Street, CA 91977 (619) 469-8771 Hours: Tue.-Sat. Noon to 5pm


Second Chance Dog Rescue (619) 721-DOGS (3647) Westie Rescue of California (619) 579-6395 Wee Companions (619) 934-6007

San Diegans Beat Cancer with Mickey B y






Alice and Mike Dillon love spending time with their grandchildren and Mickey, their much-loved dog. Mickey is a Bouvier des Flandres, a large cattle-herding dog who looks like a big, huggable, black Wookie. Children love him on sight, and the feeling is mutual. “We wanted a great family dog, and in Mickey we got just that,” said Alice Dillon. “He is calm and gentle, both fun loving and fearless, smart, and absolutely devoted to his family. His sweet, affectionate nature has charmed all of us, including our eight grandchildren.” But like most dog owners, the Dillons have faced emotional times with their dogs. In May their treasured Mandy lost her two-year battle with megaesophagus. Shortly after, Mickey was diagnosed with lymphoma. During a visit to check on itchy eyes, their family veterinarian, Doug Paulson, DVM, of El Cajon Valley Veterinary Hospital, discovered a swollen lymph node that would change the Dillons’ life dramatically. Dr. Paulson recommended that they visit Dr. Brenda Phillips at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital (VSH) in Sorrento Valley. Dr. Phillips is a well-known medical oncologist who successfully orchestrated the first canine bone marrow transplant in San Diego two years ago. “It was our hope to explore all the

Meg and Mickey

possibilities to give Mickey his best shot at survival,” said Mike Dillon. “We had learned that even with chemotherapy, which most dogs tolerate well, lymphoma is fatal within six months to two years after diagnosis 85 percent of the time.” Dr. Phillips and her team spent five hours with Mickey and the Dillons during their first meeting, and before they left the Veterinary Specialty Hospital, Mickey received his first chemotherapy treatment. “Brenda and her support staff are not only tops professionally but they also are great at emotional support of the family,” said Alice. “And it’s easy to tell how much they love their patients.” With help from Dr. Phillips and her team, Mickey entered clinical and molecular remission through chemotherapy, and the Dillons decided to move forward with a bone marrow transplant—the second in San Diego history. Dr. Sheri Ross of the University of California Davis and Dr. Blaise Burke of the VSH were important members of the team. Only four facilities in the nation currently perform bone marrow transplants for dogs, and the Dillons felt lucky that one of them was so close to home. Dr. Phillips continued to go above and beyond for Mickey, almost living at the hospital with him for more than two weeks, all to make sure her patient was receiving the care he needed. Thanks to the hard work of the entire team at VSH, at eight weeks post-transplant, Mickey was “feeling great and on his way to regaining his Wookie-like coat.” The Dillons remain in close contact with Dr. Phillips and her team and look


Dr. Brenda Phillips at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital in Sorrento Valley with Mickey.

forward to joining them at the San Diego K9 Cancer Walk benefiting Morris Animal Foundation on Saturday, February 23. Mickey will lead the pack as the 2013 Bow Wow Mayor. The Dillons are happy to use Mickey’s story to help raise public awareness and support of Morris Animal Foundation and its funding of research to prevent and treat canine cancer. “We are excited to participate in the San Diego K9 Cancer Walk,” said Alice. “After all, who has benefited more from canine cancer research than our family? It will feel fantastic to pay it forward.”


Join Mickey and San Diego area dogs as they march against canine cancer. Sign up today at

A NOTE FROM THE DILLONS: “In case you’re wondering what Mickey has planned for his now rosy future, the dream is that he can become a therapy dog at Children’s Hospital. He is so good with kids, and they always want to hug him. Can you imagine him visiting the cancer wing and “sharing” his own cancer survival story? He could wear a cape that proclaims, ‘I beat cancer and SO WILL YOU!’” | DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013



December 9, 2012, 1 - 5 pm

December 21-22, 2012, 10 am - 4 pm

February 23, 2013

Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade

San Diego Holiday Pet Festival

The Morris Cancer K9 Walk

San Diego’s furriest festive parade returns to Downtown! All pet owners and their companions are invited for this jolly promenade and pet expo, which starts and ends at Gaslamp Hilton Park.

The Childrens Park (West Island Avenue and First Avenue) 50 plus Exhibitors, Live Music, Food, Deserts, Pet Runway on Friday night and more shopping on Saturday for your pets!

Walnut Grove Park. All dog lovers are invited to walk with their dogs to celebrate the life of their canine best friend or to walk in memory of dogs that have lost their battle with canine cancer. Expo area of dog related vendors and a celebration after the walk. (story pg. 29)

January 13, 2013, 7 am - 11 am

December 9, 2012, 9 am

5K9 Walk Run

Carlsbad Pups on Parade

The Petco 5k9 Walk Run presented by Purina ProPlan is the national walk/run series open to both people and pets! We’re on a mission to promote healthy, fit lifestyles across the country while raising funds for animal welfare.

Come join the fun, when Santa comes to Shops at Village Faire, in Carlsbad Village, to take photos with your pups. At12:30 pm there will be a group photo with Santa in front of the community tree. Pet Charities and pet-centric merchants will be on hand with gifts, goodies and ways to give back to the community.

December 15, 2012, 4 - 8 pm

SDHRS Holiday Party San Diego House Rabbit Society hosts their annual vegetarian potluck holiday party at their adoption center. Entry fee is $5. Children under 10 are free. Bunnies are welcome!

January 26-27, 2013

The Food & Water Bowl XXI Cat Show! Over 450 unique, beautiful and exotic cats each clawing their way to be top cat at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. There will be agility courses, education and hundreds of products and services on display. For more info and a $2 OFF coupon, please visit the San Diego Cat Fancier’s website at


February 26, 2013

World Spay Day Shinning a spotlight on spay/neuter— a proven way to save the lives of animals who might otherwise be put down in a shelter or killed on the street.

Be Your Pet’s Health Ally!

Pet First Aid/CPR classes 760-433-3480 | DECEMBER 2012/JANUARY 2013


San Diego Pets Magazine, December 2012  

Consummate Las Vegas performer and "Girls Next Door" reality star Holly Madison launches her latest project: Lucky Pet Products, a line of t...