San Diego Pets Magazine, December 2013

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The ability to form powerful connections with one another is not unique to humans...

The animals around us have proven time and time again that their capacity, even need, for relationship can be every bit as strong as ours.

After arriving to the San Diego Humane Society, it did not take long for Melody and Long Legs to become best of friends. The staff at the San Diego Humane Society even notated: “Long Legs and Melody do very well together in their kennel… They lay intertwined on their bed and if you take Melody out and leave Long Legs in the kennel, he begins to whine.” It was clear that these two had a very special connection. So it was somewhat bittersweet when Long Legs was adopted by a family in February of 2012, and forced to leave his dear friend behind. A couple of months after that, Melody was also adopted by a wonderful family of her own, and it seemed clear that theirs was a friendship destined to be fleeting. Then, about a year after adopting Melody (renamed Zoe), her family started visiting the San Diego Humane Society again, this time looking for a friend for her. But after meeting several dogs, they just hadn’t been able to find the right fit. Meanwhile, it was with heavy hearts that the family who had adopted Long Legs (renamed Marley) also returned, but for a very different reason. They had fallen under hard times and were forced to move, ultimately finding themselves in an apartment that did not

allow pit bulls. After unsuccessfully seeking out foster options, they finally had to make the difficult decision to bring Marley back to us. Knowing the bond that these two dogs shared, the staff at the San Diego Humane Society knew just what to do. They contacted Zoe’s family, who were still looking for a new friend for Zoe, and told them about Marley and the doggies’ connection over a year prior while in our care. They arrived to adopt Marley within the hour! It’s now been a couple of weeks since the old friends were reunited they couldn’t be happier, according to their family. These two special doggies ultimately get to share far more than friendship. They get to share a loving family and home, as well.




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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.


COVER IMAGE Jason and Julia Schafer SchaferPhotography


WRITERS/COLUMNISTS Kathy Boehme, DVM Mark Carlson Heidi Jeter Arden Moore Sindi Somers John Van Zante

CARTOONIST 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.


Dogs on Deployment One military family’s experience lead them to create a nationwide service for deployed troops that facilitates boarding their pets while their away. Page 10 You can help. Read about where to donate used or new items to help the pets of local homless people. Page 9


Farewell to San Diego’s Cat House Columnist Arden Moore bids bye to friends Bob Walker and Frances Mooney, who put San Diego on the map for their outrageously cat-friendly home. Their quest for cat-enrichment now continues in Page 14 Virgina.

Dear Santa: A Dog’s Wish List Two adorable animals at the Rancho Coastal Humane Society are looking for Page 21 their forever homes.

@SanDiegoPets San Diego Pets Magazine P.O. BOX 601081 San Diego, Ca 92160-1081 (619) 573-5615

Columnist Mark Carlson discloses the wishful picks of puppy presents from his guide dogs, Musket and Saffron, in a letter Musket "penned" for Santa Page 18 Claus.


The Value of a Good Home

HEY, STUFF TO DO! Keep up on San Diego’s many pet-friendly events and be sure to go online too, where it is free to add your own events anytime. Page 22

If you’re thinking of getting a pet this holiday season, take a moment to read these tips and thoughts from John Van Zante, Public Relations Director for Rancho Page 20 Coastal Humane Society in Encinitas. | DECEMBER 2013 5

Photo by Caroline Fenton Photography

Jagger and Kristi Tune In and Work Their Magic for Pets and People in Need


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t’s 7:15 a.m. on a Monday inside the small but cozy Magic 92.5 radio studio near Sorrento Valley. Popular married morning show hosts Jagger and Kristi quickly pop off their headphones during a commercial break and head to the corner of the studio occupied by Hansen, a young greyand-white American Pit Bull terrier mix, up for adoption from the San Diego Humane Society. Jagger zooms in the handheld video recorder as Kristi interacts with Hansen, today’s chosen shelter pet for the couple’s long-running Jagger and Kristi’s Kritter Corner series. 6 DECEMBER 2013 |





“I would like you to meet Hansen,” begins Kristi as she doles out treats to the playful pup. “The thing about Hansen is he is deaf. He can’t hear, but he takes hand commands. Sit, sit. Good boy! You can teach him a lot of thing by hand commands and vibrations. Find out more about how you can bring Hansen home on our website at” Finding a shelter dog or cat a welcoming home is just one of the many ways Jagger and Kristi work their special brand of magic to better the lives of people and pets in San Diego County. Yes, you can catch their back-


and-forth banter weekday mornings from 5 to 9 a.m. as arguably America’s most successful married radio show hosts. You may find yourself gasping when they catch a guy cheating his gal during an on-air “War of the Roses” segment. But then your emotions shift 180 degrees when the chosen person for their “Bucket List” feature is a little girl named Marisa who has Down’s syndrome. On her bucket list: meeting Justin Bieber. Jagger and Kristi work their magic to do more than send Marisa to Bieber’s concert in San Diego. They score her backstage VIP tickets so she



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–Trivia Time – with

Jaggerand Kristi

Think you know San Diego’s beloved radio duo? You may be surprised to learn the following: Don’t let their California sun-soaked looks fool you. Both are Midwesterners. Kristi hails from Milwaukee and Jagger from St. Louis. Giddy up and vroom, vroom. Both enjoy trotting on trails on their horses, Teddi and Vegas as well as zipping around the Southern California coast aboard their Harleys. Hanging 20 with Bodie. Del Mar is Jagger’s favorite dog beach to catch the waves with Bodie, an active member of the So Cal Surf Dogs. She is not into heavy metal. Kristi is an accomplished metal smith who enjoys making customized jewelry and taking jewelry design classes. Exchanged “I do’s” at sea. They got married on the Hornblower yacht in the San Diego harbor on Sept. 20, 1997. First name, last name. Jagger’s first name is Mark, but he prefers answering to simply, Jagger. Deja vu. Jagger and Kristi appeared on the April 2006 cover of San Diego Pets Magazine which was the last issue created by the original publisher of this title. can meet Bieber. They post the photograph of her getting a kiss on the cheek from Bieber on their Facebook page. And, they share Bieber’s special tweet he posted the day after the concert: “One of the best parts of the job. Nice meeting you Marisa. Stay strong for me!” As you can see, Jagger and Kristi are all about making things happen for shelter animals, hospitalized children, the hungry homeless and others in need. Year-round, they raise money, awareness and hope at various fundraisers and charity events.

Photo by Dale Porter,

And when they sign off at 9 a.m. on this Monday morning, they head to an office inside the building to continue being interviewed by San Diego Pets Magazine. Their entourage consists of Bodie, their surfing, always-upbeat Australian Shepherd rescue, and Sammy Golesh, their creative, getthings-done producer. At home catching naps are their adopted cats, Kacy Blue and Sam Snoodle plus a stable-full of horses answering to the names


Troll-haired Sammy Golesh, witch-hatted Kristi and pirate-booted Jagger pose with winners of the pet-costume contest at Trick or Treat on Magic Street. The poplular event was held at the Otay Ranch Town Center on Halloween night. San Diego Pets Magazine Publisher Casey Dean served as a guest judge for this contest. See more photo on our facebook page,


Teddi, Lacy, Vegas and Frosty.

Jagger and Kristi field the questions like Hall-of-Fame shortstops:


Radio show celebrities are often recognized more by their voice than their faces. But you two are out and about everywhere. How do you handle the fame?

A. A.

Kristi: “Seriously, it’s just radio. (Laughing) I don’t go to the grocery store without mascara on.” Jagger:“Heck, people come up to say hi to me even when I’m wearing a ball cap and a dirty t-shirt.”

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Q. A. A. Q. A. A.

What’s something you enjoy doing to relax? Kristi: “I love making turkey tacos and taking a trail ride on my horse.” Jagger: “Surfing with Bodie and riding my Harley Davidson.”

What’s the secret to being married for 16 years and co-hosting morning radio shows in San Diego for 11 years? Kristi: “We share a love of animals. Neither of us holds grudges and we don’t question how or why it works.” Jagger: “We really have fun together – it’s as simple as that.”

As they talk, Bodie playfully nibbles on the seam on Jagger’s blue jeans.

Brodcasting pet adoptions on the their morning radio show, Jagger and Kristi (seen here with pet expert Arden Moore) has helped countless animals like Hansen, a young greyand-white American Pit Bull terrier mix, find a forever home. Vist, for more info on J&K’s Kritters.

When they look at him, they unleash matching smiles. Although they have paired up shelter animals with people each week for years, it was a while before they magically found their dream dog. They adopted Bodie from an Aussie rescue group in San Diego a few years ago and now proudly proclaim Bodie the Boss Man (his full name) as Magic 925’s Ambassador for Pets. After the interview, it is obvious that this airways couple is hip and cool. But night owls? Well, not so much. “Because we get up at 3 a.m. to get to the radio station, we’re usually in bed by 8 p.m.,” discloses Jagger. “So, when we go out for dinner, we’re definitely part of the early bird special crowd.”



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Learn How You Can Help Keep Woofy Warm This Winter

For Kelly Tomke and her small charity, “Keep Woofy Warm” it’s ‘all about the dog.‘ Kelly accepts donations for the homeless with pets at her pet grooming salon in San Diego’s East Village. Keep Woofy Warm is designed to try to gather used or unused dog sweaters, coats and rain-gear for pets who are living on the street. Tomke also accepts any dog-related items such as food, treats, collars, harnesses and leashes for the cause. “Many people think to donate food for pets of the homeless, but they forget that these animals get cold and wet throughout the winter months.” Tomke says, “I know that I had unused dog sweaters going to no use and I figured other pet owners did as well, so in 2009 I began collecting.” Tomke is hoping that San Diegans will help her to keep the pets on the street warm and healthy again this year. If you’d like to donate to “Keep Woofy Warm,” please contact Kelly Tomke at the Salty Dawg Pet Grooming Salon & Boutique by calling or texting her at (619) 237-0557. Tomke hopes that individuals, on their own, might contact their neighborhood pet supply store or grooming salon and have them set up a donation bin for this great cause.

Tech Pet Care: Pawsitively Prefurred by Pets and Vets

San Diegans now have a new choice in home pet care. Tech Pet Care was conceptualized by Jan Gorham, a local Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) with over 30 years experience. Jan has long realized that there was little, if any opportunity for animal owners in San Diego to find comprehensive in-home care for their pets provided by trained and knowledgeable animal health care professionals. Most home pet care companies are staffed by individuals who have had little or no formal education or training in animal health care. Conversely, veterinary technicians take a 2 year college program (similar to an associate degree in nursing) and then must pass a rigorous State Board examination to become registered. They also must complete regular continuing education to maintain their state licensure.

Tech Pet Care is definitely a step above traditional home pet care. When your animal is in Jan’s care, you can rest secure knowing that your pet will receive loving attention from a licensed professional. Jan will provide the utmost in individualized care to meet your pet’s specific needs, for today and the future. Whether your companion has specific medical needs or you would just prefer the higher level of care that a knowledgeable animal health care professional can provide. Tech Pet Care is now here for you and your treasured family member. Our pets deserve the best! For more information or questions, please call us at: 619-807-5376 or visit our website at: Jan Gorham 619-807-5376

Be Your Pet’s Health Ally!

Pet First Aid/CPR classes with a real cat and dog! 760-433-3480 | DECEMBER 2013 9

Giving Peace of Mind To Those Who Keep the Peace

Dogs on Deployment


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hen a member of the U.S. Armed Forces is ordered to go on foreign deployment or duty to another state, a myriad of details and responsibilities have to be dealt with. Forwarding address, turning off the phone, putting all the furniture in storage, and so on. But many of our active-duty military men and women are pet owners. What to do about Fido or Sheba while you’re halfway around the world defending your country? Or if you’re sent to a training billet in another state and there’s no way to take your loving dog? This is exactly the situation encountered by 1st Lt. Alisa Johnson,

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USMC and her husband, Lt. Shawn Johnson, USN. In 2011, Shawn was ordered to deploy with his MH-60 squadron while Alisa attended The Basic School at Quantico,


Virginia. “We had an Australian Shepherd named JD,” Alisa said. “We looked for a place to board him and that was going to cost about $1,000 a month.” The young San Diego couple was in a quandary but then they had a stroke of luck when a distant relative of Shawn’s in Virginia offered to take care of JD while Alisa was in nearby Quantico. “This was perfect,” she said. “I could visit JD every week; they had a nice place with plenty of room for him. On the way to Virginia, we were thinking that other military families with pets might not be so lucky. Maybe they didn’t have friends or family that could take their pet, or could not afford a $1,000 a month to board a dog.” And there were planted the seeds of Dogs on Deployment. Although the couple live in Santee, the 501 (c) 3 organization is totally web-based. “I taught myself HTML and set up a simple website in the beginning. Since then, we've invested in professionally built site. We have five wonderful local, full-time volunteers and more than 7,000 registered boarders across the country. Someone who is going to be sent away on duty can register online and they will gain access to our network to connect with a suitable boarder in their area.” Over the last two and a half years DoD has successfully arranged for the care and boarding of more than 350 animals. “We’ve not only had dogs, but cats, birds, rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs and snakes,” Alisa said with a smile. But DoD goes beyond the call of duty, so to speak. “We have fundraising events. This money goes to pay for emergency veterinary care or a month’s boarding if no suitable boarder can be found right away. DoD can pay for spaying and neutering to qualifying military families. We’ve extended our network to include veterans and helped

find foster homes for the pets of homeless vets and veterans who are in the hospital. For instance, we helped a vet who was in the hospital being treated for PTSD by finding a local family who took care of his Chihuahua. They visited him regularly so he could see his dog.” DoD also helps vets employed by the Federal Government who are going overseas. “It’s developed into a robust system to help active-duty and veterans who need help with their pets. It’s been very successful and rewarding. “We feel good about the community spirit when people come forward to help our veterans and active-duty military personnel.” Dogs on Deployment has had some wonderful experiences, and one returning vet was reunited with her dog on the ‘Queen Latifah’ show. “You can see the reunion through our website,” said Alisa. Anyone separated from their favorite pet will appreciate the comfort DoD boarders provide with daily care and love for their pets. But some boarders go beyond that and set up a Facebook account for the pet and post daily pictures and updates so the owner can keep in touch. “You can’t Skype with a dog, but I suppose somebody will try it,” she laughed. What DoD provides has almost never been done before, and certainly not with such growing success. “Shawn and I are a military family and we love our pets. We want to provide peace of mind to other military families when they go far away to defend our country.” This is one of the best things anyone can do for our service men and women.” Alisa and Shawn Johnson and their dedicated volunteers have put together a truly wonderful organization and service. It is now possible for someone faced with a year of overseas service to know that their pet will be taken care of. For someone who has to face danger while defending America’s security, it’s more than helpful. It’s priceless.



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You can help our service men, women and veterans by contacting Dogs on Deployment on their website at:

Support Your Troops by Boarding Their Pets | DECEMBER 2013 11


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Linda Clavette Quigley


nspired by real animals in photos emailed to her, Linda Clavette Quigley produces custom made acrylic paintings. Her style is realistic and detailed. In Lewiston, Maine, at the age of 10, Linda received her first commission for a painting from her grandmother. It was an image of a baby bird resting in the hand of God. This early inspiration from her grandmother eventually led to the creation of Linda’s Pet Portraits in 1991. Linda has lived most of her life in New England. She recently moved to the dog-welcoming State of California with her husband, two dogs and a cat. Linda earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and a certificate in Studio Art. Linda has exhibited her art in Maine, New Hampshire and Southern California and painted several murals New Hampshire and Maine. Linda represents Linda’s Pet Portraits at several dog festivals, markets and benefits in Maine and Southern California. Linda exhibited a varied collection of

nature inspired pieces at Sally and Henry’s Dog House Bar and Grill in San Diego, California. Her work is also displayed at VCA El Rancho Animal Hospital in Temecula and Camp Run a Mutt in Kearny Mesa. In addition to pets, Linda paints wild animals and a variety of nature inspired art, including Hawaiian-inspired paintings on aluminum canvas. Contact Linda at and visit her beautiful website, as well as on Fine Arts of America, Facebook and Twitter.

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Farewell to San Diegos’ Cat House

Arden Moore,

ACCBC, ADCBC Pet trend, behavior and safety expert


an Diego is home to many amazing pets and their people. But one famous cat-championing duo has recently departed our county to embark on a new mission: unleashing creative ways to make life better for indoor cats on the East Coast. Since 1986, a modest 1,500-squarefoot beach home overlooking San Diego’s Mission Bay earned world acclaim as “the most wildly cat-centric abode imaginable.” Bob Walker and his wife, Frances Mooney – whom I regard as the modern-day Frank Lloyd Wrights of feline interior design – used their creative talents to convert their home into a feline fantasyland. And once a year, they conducted room-byroom tours with proceeds benefitting worthy non-profit cat charities. The first time I stepped into the entryway of this famous Cats’ House, I immediately wished I was a cat. I marveled at the seven-foot-high catwalks, cascading cat staircases, and floor-toceiling sisal-wrapped wooden supports for anytime clawing. In place of beige carpets and white walls were jazzy bright reds, blues, yellows wonderfully mixed and matched on the walls, floors, and ceilings. There was more than 140 feet of elevated catwalks weaving in and out of various rooms. I spotted holes in walls craved in various geometric shapes that were just big 14 DECEMBER 2013 |

Bob Walker and his wife, Frances Mooney, have made kitty carpentry an international decor trend! After seeing what they accomplished in their famous San Diego Cats' House, we look forward to seeing what they create in their new home in Virigina. Garner feline home decor ideas by visiting

enough for a cat to stroll through. Whimsy – not practicality — was the motif. Their entire interior accommodated oodles of cat amenities, all well documented and photographed in many of their popular books, including The

Cats’ House, Cats Are Purr-fect, Crazy Cats, and Cats Into Everything (all published by Andrews McNeel). After living most of their adult lives in San Diego, they made the bold decision earlier this year to sell their home, temporarily share a 30-foot RV with



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their eight cats plus Sadie the Chihuahua before relocating to a home in Virginia. Sadly, the famous Cats’ House has been sold and the new owners have opted to replace the catty décor for a more conventional look. But fortunately, the concept of fashionable-yet-functional feline furnishings has now become a hot designing trend for those lucky enough to share their homes with indoor cats. Making your home a bit more cozy and intriguing to your cat is a smart decision. After all, bored cats can quickly turn into destructive cats, shredding your sofa, boycotting the litter box and pestering you in the middle of the night to play. Keep your furry roommate contented and you are apt to experience less behavior problems. There are many new cat design sites available that offer furniture (with hidden litter boxes inside), decorative cat shelves and ramps, catios (enclosed pa-

SEE CATS’ HOUSE Page 16 | DECEMBER 2013 15


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San Diego Pets Magazine Columnist Arden Moore (center) enjoyed one last tour of the Cats' House with Bob Walker and his wife, Frances Mooney before they moved East.


tios for felines), cat trees (with multiple perches and hidey holes to enable felines to safely survey their surroundings from up high) and even cat trapezes (sturdy cotton fabrics created by Cat Style Expert Kate Benjamin) that come with hammocks and sisal ropes to test your cat’s gymnastic skills and offer them offthe-floor napping spots. Check out,, and But if you are handy with a hammer, you can craft some DIY projects sure to make your cat purr. Just combine many lowcost items – paint, brackets, nails, wooden planks – with one priceless ingredient: an active imagination. For inspiration, I encourage you to visit the many ideas featured on The Cats’ House website ( I miss Bob and Frances, but applaud them for their desire to create a larger “Cats’ House” in Virginia and to continue their quest to help people discover how to treat their indoor cats to enriching environments. And thanks to them, you can make your home look catty in an eye-catching, welcoming way. 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,, and 16 DECEMBER 2013 |



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Can Behavior Problems Be Treated With An Integrative Approach? D ue to the complex combination of factors that go into the development and escalation of behavioral issues, these problems often have a reputation of being very difficult to treat. In many dogs, genetics play a huge role in behavior. We know that predilections for certain diseases can be determined by breed and behavior disorders are no exception. Environment plays a huge role as well. For example, some breeds were bred for hard work and are perfectly behaved under circumstances where they are utilizing those skills. Put those same animals in a house or yard where they are not supposed to bark and are walked once or twice a day and you’ll likely have pets who seem unruly and poorly behaved. This is not the fault of the dog or the owner—it is just a combination of contributing factors. Early fearful experiences can affect a pet’s ability to acclimate to certain situations or people. Some rescued pets have been sensitized to fear in situations that we can’t possibly know. In some instances, however, we do know a pet’s history and cannot imagine why their behavior is turning in new directions. Chinese medicine does not differentiate the brain from the body. Psychological issues are simply an expression of imbalance that involves the pet as a whole. Behavior is simply treated as a symptom and provides one more clue in discerning a pattern of disease.

red hot allergic dogs; instead, they are milder cases of itching and allergy. The ear tips and paws may feel cool to the touch. The pet may also experience poor hair growth and dry eyes. We can also see heightened mental activity such as frequent dreaming, noise sensitivity and anxiety. As the deficiency progresses, timidity can become fear aggression and anxiety can become destructive. Treating pets with liver blood deficiency involves a multi-factorial approach that includes working with an experienced trainer on behavior modification, dietary changes, herbal supplements and plenty of exercise. The goal of treatment is to reverse the root of the problem (the blood deficiency) through diet and herbs. However, we still need to deal with the learned patterns of behavior by building confidence and teaching appropriate responses. This requires lots of time, effort and patience, but is so rewarding when you see a pet become more comfortable in his or her life. Some severe cases may require a veterinarian who specializes in behavior issues and anti-anxiety medication for at least a period of time. As long as the genetics are not the primary reason for the behavior, most dogs can eventually come off medication and herbs if the appropriate training is done concurrently, the right type and frequency of exercise is feasible and the right diet for that particular pet is fed.

Like all diseases treated from an integrative approach, we are looking for overall changes in the body, not just the behavior. We look at the tongue and pulse, of course, but also hair coat quality, sleeping preferences and noise sensitivity, to name a few. Diet can also play a role for certain breeds. One of the most common causes of anxiety and fear is called liver blood deficiency. It is most common in Dobermans, Rottweilers, Pomeranians, greyhounds and Yorkies, but any breed can be affected. The pet’s blood work is usually normal, but we may see lowgrade liver enzyme elevation and anemia. Blood circulation is often impaired, so the hair coat may have dry scale, mild itching and predisposition to staph infections. These are not the

Dr. Kathy Boehme is a practicing veterinarian and partner at The Drake Center for Veterinary Care in Encinitas. She received her doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) degree from the University of Florida in 1989 and has recently completed her certification training in Traditional Chinese Veterinary Herbology. Dr. Boehme believes in a holistic approach to health and has a special interest in Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM), herbology and food therapy. The Drake Center, an AAHA-accredited small animal hospital committed to providing the highest standards of care in anesthesia, dentistry, pain management, patient care, surgery and emergency care, has been named Best Veterinary Clinic in San Diego by Ranch & Coast Magazine the last four years in a row. | DECEMBER 2013 17

Dear Santa Claus…


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very year about this time, the holiday season begins with three major events: The stores play the same repetitive holiday music, the Dickens-themed commercials begin to dominate Prime Time, and the catalogs arrive in the mail by the truckload. The holiday seasons tend to either bring out either the Whos of Whoville or the Grinch in all of us. To be perfectly honest, I lean towards the Grinch, especially after hearing ‘Blue Christmas’ or ‘Feliz Navidad’ for the 541st time. My wife, Jane must have gotten herself onto some “Yes, please send me every catalog for silly and useless junk list.” And topping that list are pet-themed catalogs. OMG! This is the greatest country in the world and I’m proud to be an American. But how can the same nation that put man on the Moon have sunk so far? Sure, free enterprise demands constant innovation, but this is ridiculous! Below is a letter Musket and Saffron asked me to mail to Santa.

‘Dear Santa Claus: Saffron and I have been good dogs this year and I wanted to tell you what we want in our stockings. I’m a retired Guide Dog, so I’ve worked all my life. Now I want to relax. Saffron is working and she needs some stress relief. First of all, can I have a bone-shaped doggy pool with a striped awning and treat tray? I’d also like a matching set of T-shirts for my daddy and me, and a self-dispensing treat bowl.

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Saffron found a matched set of travel luggage with built-in bowls, food bin and toy rack. While we’re at it, how about a ball cap that reads ‘Got Treats?’ Saffron needs a set of personalized tennis balls for just $21.95. A Dog’s Daily Planner would be a big help.

Every page reads ‘8:00 -Wake up. 8:05 Eat. 8:10 – Beg to go out. 8:12 – Change your mind. 8:13 – Beg to go out again… Can you bring her a set of silk Lassie Lives! pajamas? In your honor, she wants a red sequined Santa Claus dog hoodie, for $13.57. How about a fire-hydrant-shaped toy bin? Or a personalized pooper scooper? My neighbor has his own doggy hammock for the back yard. I’d really like one of those. And she needs a pair of bone-shaped sunglasses and we both want a vibrating belly rub glove for Daddy to wear. Saffron can’t live without a cut-crystal food and water bowl set that retails for $625 or a red-velvet gold-tasseled


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doggy bed with her name embroidered on it. In fact, she really wants a ball that Daddy can record things into. He can get it to say ‘Here I am, come and get me!’ when he throws it. How can any dog exist without an autographed photo of Cesar Milan? Or a CD player for my bed? I can activate it by lying down and it will play the soothing sound of a female dog’s heartbeat. Just the thing for helping me to sleep off the stresses of the day. Also Santa, we both want a heated mat that we can walk on when we have to go and pee on a cold night. And a food bin that speaks out loud, ‘Come and get it!’ when it’s opened would be a big help. After all, I don’t always know when it’s time to eat. I want a front door mat that reads ‘A Dog and His Servants Live Here,’ as well as a doorbell ringer that barks so I don’t have to strain my voice. Can you possibly deny me these few tiny things? While we’re at it, I can’t go wrong by asking for some liver, chicken and beef-flavored cheese pizza rolls made in Tuscany for $65 a dozen? Or a big jar of doggy breath mints? She really needs a cordovan leather collar with an animated LED that flashes her name in six different fonts. I mean, who can live without it? I know a dog who has her own phone so that she can press her paw on it and it will call her daddy so he can let her out. It only costs $318. A bargain. Well, that’s all we can think of for now, Santa, but it’s only early December, so we have lots of time to shoot you an e-mail or text message with more stuff. We’ll be in touch. Yours Truly, Musket and Saffron’

P.T. Barnum said “There’s a sucker born every minute.” No kidding.

I found every one of these things for sale. The people who dream up these crazy products long ago figured out most dog owners can’t or won’t deny their favorite pooch anything that will make them happy. But if you succumb to the urge and buy the products listed above, don’t be surprised when Rover ignores the Sleepy Dog CD player or the hammock, and has more fun running around the house playing with the wrapping paper! Season’s Greetings from Mark, Jane, Musket and Saffron. 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 | DECEMBER 2013 19

The Value of a Good Home

“I could never do what you do. I would want to take them all home.” B y


Anybody who has ever worked or volunteered at an animal shelter or pet rescue group wishes they had a dollar donated to their organization for every time they’ve heard this. The fact is that, no matter how nice you are or how much you love animals, we won’t let you take them all home. That wouldn’t be good for you. Equally important, it wouldn’t be good for the animals. We really do want all of them to go to their new homes. The sooner, the better. After all, if we’re not sending them to their new homes with their new families, then all we are is a bunch of hoarders. We’re not hoarders, but we do go by several names. Shelters. Rescues. Humane Societies. Animal Services. Adoption Centers. (By the way….we don’t like being called “the pound.” That sounds like a dark, dirty, sad, smelly place. We don’t do that anymore.) No matter what you call us, we’re all in the business of “Humanity.” We work to treat every animal who comes through our doors as if it was our own. We make the decisions that are in their best interests. Then we try to match the needs of the pets with the desires of the families. If we can do that, they’ll all go home and live happily ever after.

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This ad on Craigslist a couple years ago has left us wondering, “What is the value of a good home?” I'm trying to re-home a miniature Schnauzer puppy. He's 11 months old. I'm moving and can't take him along. I can send you photos, but I lost his vaccination records. I'm asking $50 to assure that he goes to a good home.

That’s all it takes? Fifty bucks buys a good home? We understand what the owner was trying to do. But the $50 had a lot more to do with soothing his conscience than it did with finding a good home for his pooch. December is a great time to talk about this since more families will get new pets now than during any other time of year. It’s also the season when the puppy mills, backyard breeders, and pet stores do tons of business. They’ve been gearing up for it. Popping


out as many puppies as possible then shipping them throughout the country. If you’re thinking about getting a pet, ask yourself which is more beneficial to you. Are you looking for a good match between you and your pet? Or are you okay adding to the profits for the puppy mills? If you're thinking about getting a pet this holiday season, we hope you’ll start with a visit to a Shelter, a Rescue, a Humane Society, Animal Services, or an Adoption Center. If you’re not sure where to begin, you can go online and see photos, descriptions, and even videos of pets that are available for adoption. Then come see us, send us an e-mail, or give us a call. Ask lots of questions. After all, you’re making a lifetime decision. Remember…the only dumb questions are those you don’t ask. If you don't see "your" new pet, ask us to help you find another animal shelter or rescue group. We’re more than happy to do that. What is the value of a good home? While we can't put a dollar value on a home filled with the unconditional love of a pet, we can tell you that a good home is worth a lifetime.

A lifelong animal lover, John Van Zante serves as Public Relations Director for Rancho Coastal Humane Society in Encinitas, CA. John is a runner and cyclist. He is also an instructor in the Digital Broadcast Arts program at Palomar College in San Marcos, CA. For information about RCHS, visit



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Adopting an Animal Friend is a Personal Thing

Rancho Coastal Humane Society 389 Requeza Street in Encinitas. Kennel hours are 11 to 5, Wed-Mon. Call 760-753-6413 or log on to

Electra Electra is a one-year-old, 43-pound spayed female Labrador Retriever/Border Collie mix. She has the intelligence and enthusiasm that you expect from an adolescent Border Collie or Lab. Electra needs an active family that will continue her training and channel her energy in the right direction. Electra was transferred to your Rancho Coastal Humane Society from another shelter through the RCHS Friends of County Animal Shelters program. Her adoption fee of $145 includes medical and behavior evaluations, spay, up to date vaccinations, and microchip identification.

Kylo Kylo is a 7 1/2-year-old, 12-pound spayed female, shorthaired white-andbrown tabby. She was surrendered to your Rancho Coastal Humane Society with her sister, Katie. Their owner had more animals than she could care for. Katie has been adopted.








imilar to making room for a new significant other, adopting an animal companion , is an exciting decision that can include lifestyle adjustments. When choosing a pet, there are a number of things to consider including, personal preferences. This is why giving an animal as a gift is not recommended. If you are drawn to doing this, you can offer to help pay the adoption fee for someone or accompany the other person , providing support. You can also give a gift certificate to a pet store to purchase supplies when the time comes. In general, it is beneficial for the person taking home the animal to be involved with the choosing and adoption process. It helps them to take responsibility for their choice and the attached long term commitment. When I adopted my dog, Rock, I evaluated my current living situation, schedule, budget and spent time getting in touch with my overall feelings about it all. It had to be my decision, as it was going to change my life.

Here are some suggestions to help with the process: • Consider your current lifestyle, personal goals, budget and work schedule. • Take into account other people and animals that will be affected by your decision. • Reflect on future aspirations, including plans to move, have a baby, go back to school, increase your work hours or travel the world.

Kylo was adopted then returned when her new owner discovered that they’re allergic to cat fur.

• Understand that you, and not just your animal friend, will need to make adjustments.

Other than her purr, you don’t hear a peep out of her. Kylo’s gentle, laid back, and gets along great with other cats.

• Let go of expectations, as much as possible. Just as no person is exactly alike, neither is every animal, even within the same breed. Behaviors can also change.

Her adoption fee of $100 includes medical and behavior evaluations, spay, up to date vaccinations, and microchip identification.


Rock and Sindi.

Photo by Alex Roberts

• Be open minded and in the present moment. This will help you to consider new possibilities, as you look for your animal friend. • Don’t expect everything to be perfect; immediately or in the future. Like any relationship, working things out can take time. It can also be fun!

Trying to decide whether or not to adopt an animal friend? Confused about what type of pet is compatible with you? Concerned about how this change will affect your current pets? Sindi can help! In addition to animal communication, energy healing and reading, she can also help with education, training and transitioning an animal into your home. Call Sindi at 619-797-0705 or email Visit her online at or | DECEMBER 2013 21

Sunday, December 8, Starting at 3 p.m.


Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade San Diego’s furriest festive parade returns to Downtown as the Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade takes over the streets of the Gaslamp Quarter. All pet owners and their furry, feathered and scaled companions are invited to don their favorite costumes and put their best paw, wing and fin forward for this jolly promenade and pet expo, which starts and ends at Gaslamp Hilton Park, adjacent to the Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter (401 K Street, San Diego, CA 92101) at Fourth Avenue and K Street. December 14 and 15, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.

4th Annual Christmas Festival and Pet Costume Runway Join Christ Cornerstone Church (30th Street and B Street) for the return of San Diego’s Christmas Fest with Pastor Sims. The Pet Runway returns in gusto with costumes garb and fancy. Thursday, December 19, 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Furry Foster Howliday Party and Pet Toy Drive Join Furry Fosters at the Wine Pub (this venue is 21+ only) for the 2nd Annual

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Howliday Party at the Wine Pub, to celebrate our fosters, volunteers and rescue partners! Enjoy delicious cheese and a glass of wine while contributing to Furry Fosters. 20% of your check will go towards finding foster homes for homeless pets. Bring a new unused toy to donate to local rescues and get 5 FREE RAFFLE TICKETS! Saturday, December 21

Doggie Meditation Relax and learn to meditate with your dog! Two sessions to choose from (limit, 12 dogs each). From 10-11 a.m. and again from 12 -1 p.m. Pre-registration is required. $10 per person. One dog per person, multiple people can attend with one dog. Presented by professional Animal Communicator, Sindi Somers. January 25 and 26, 2014

CAT FANCIERS "SAN DIEGO FOOD AND WATER BOWL” Come see up to 450 cats and 41 breeds. Agility contests all weekend. Meow Mall, great shopping! Held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall. At noon each day,

there will be a Stuffed Animal Contest for children under 12. Pet education all weekend with Joan Miller, CFA Judge. Saturday, February 22

K9 Cancer Walk Benefiting Morris Animal Foundation 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. We will have an expo area of dog related vendors and a celebration after the walk. Sign up today and help create a healthier tomorrow for dogs everywhere!

Go Online! San Diego Pets Magazine OUR NEW WEBSITE IS OPTIMIZED FOR MOBILE DEVICES! San Diego Pets Magazine has so much more online! Check out our events page for a more in-depth list. Plus! We invite you to add your own events to the community calendar for free.

BUSINESS LISTINGS List your Business, call (619) 573-5615 Behavior Buddies by Camp BowWow Dog Training, Dog Walking & Pet Sitting Bonded and Insured (619) 889-7767

Custom Braiding Custom made dog collars and leads. Made Local. (760) 726-3042

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

Four Legged Life Pet event speaker Arden Moore Dog/cat behavior consults Host dog parties • (760) 433-3480

New Treatments Are Nothing to Sneeze At Cold and flu season is upon us. While we humans can get our flu vaccines to prevent illness, pets aren’t always so lucky. B y H E I D I J E T E R | M O R R I S A N I M A L F O U N D AT I O N

Cats in shelters often suffer from upper respiratory tract disease (URTD), which can be similar to a common cold in humans. Whereas humans usually bounce back from their cold-like illnesses in a few days, URTD is a leading cause of euthanasia of cats in shelters because the illness is expensive to treat and spreads easily. Feline herpesvirus 1(FHV-1) and feline calicivirus (FCV) are two of the most common causes of URTD. Current vaccines lessen the severity of illness when cats are exposed to these viruses, but they don’t prevent the disease. Because of this, exposed cats are infected for life and are susceptible to disease flare-ups. Dr. Michael Lappin and his research team at Colorado State University recently evaluated two new treatment strategies for URTD, human interferon alpha and intranasal FHV-1/FCV vaccine therapy. In this Morris Animal Foundation–funded study, shelter cats suspected to have long-term, viral URTD that had failed to respond to conventional therapies were given one of the test treatments. The results were impressive. Both treatments were well tolerated and the majority of the cats got better. Of the 26 cats who entered and completed the study, 25 had a significant improvement in clinical signs either during initial treatment or shortly after crossover to the other treatment. Information from this study has provided veterinarians with better treatment options for viral URTD and has improved the health and lives of shelter cats. Good work like this is definitely nothing to sneeze at.

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

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

Leash Your Fitness Fitness class for you and your DOG. Classes / events throughtout San Diego. 619-822-3296

Linda Michaels, MA Victoria Stilwell-licensed Private/Customized Force-free Dog Training La Jolla to Carlsbad (858) 259-9663

Project Wildlife Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education 887 1/2 Sherman Street, SD, CA 92110 Wildlife Information Line 619-225-9453

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

Safe Dog I.D. Collar Was developed because strangulation accidents kill or injure countless dogs every year. Veterinarian approved. (760) 471-7036 | DECEMBER 2013 23

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