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d gs cats Texas


August 2011


Plan Ahead for Hurricane Season!


Taking Control OF FLEAS




6 Houston Cat Club

12 Meet the Vet

8 Puppy 101

14 Pawz-itively Natural

59th Annual Charity Cat Show

Get Your Doggy Moving with Agiity!

10 Nice Meeting You... Tips on how to introduce a new cat to your existing cat


Trouble with Tucker: Taking Control—”Flea Control”

Cat’s Nutrition

16 Center Stage 18 Tugg Tales


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Shannan Parker Tel: 281.781.4727

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Jeff Parker Tel: 281.781.4727


Fran Sherman 314.275.2208

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Tiffany Robinson Jeff Parker Tricia Fagan Nadine Jol-Coeur Dougie Deogi Blake Ovard


Dougie weighs in on hurricane season

by the 24 Spotted Pupperazzi

28 Marketplace {August2011}

Sonya Sellers


Me and 20 Adopt My PETite Portraits!

22 Dougie Deoigi




281.781.4727 • Next Issue: September 2011 Advertiser’s Deadline: August 15th 2011


HoustonCatClub 59th Annual Charity Cat Show


he Houston Cat Club is a nonprofit all volunteer organization that supports the Houston SPCA, Citizens for Animal Protection, The Houston Humane Society and the Homeless Pet Placement League. Animal shelters from Harris, Fort Bend and Galveston counties receive free space at the show to bring their beautiful cats and kittens for adoption. The Houston Cat Club has been able to donate over $875,000.00 from proceeds of the 58 previous shows. Donations come from visitors’ admission fees. The show is sponsored by Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists and Royal Canin. 6


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SHOW LOCATION: George R. Brown Convention Center - Hall A 1001 Avenida de las Americas - Houston, Texas SHOW DATE AND HOURS: Saturday, August 27, 2011 10am to 5pm Sunday, August 28, 2011 9am to 4pm ADMISSION: Adults $9.00 Seniors 65 & older and children under 12 - $4.00 Children 4 & under - free As many as 400 local and out of state pedigreed cats, kittens and household pets will compete for awards in 8 judging rings. Long hairs, short hairs and no hair cat will participate. The public will be able to see different breeds such as Maine Coons, Persians, Tonkinese, Russian Blues, Norwegian Forest, Ab-

yssinians, Burmese, Birmans, Ragdolls, Siamese, Turkish Angoras, British Shorthairs, Chartreaux, Japanese Bobtails, Ocicats just to name a few of the breeds. Walker, the Cat Idol, will be at the show. Come hug this gorgeous Maine Coon cat voted the American Cat Idol at Madison Square Gardens. The Ask the Vet table will be manned by two well known local veterinarians, each afternoon and will answer your feline questions. The Feline Agility Contest is an enjoyable and must see event, where cats and their owners run the obstacle course. The Meow Mall with 50+ vendors will offer a variety of items including toys, treats,


gifts, accessories, jewelry, cat furniture, clothing and more. The Children’s Area entertain youngsters with coloring books and a cat drawing contest, as well as showing children how to take care of their pets and educates them about all the different breeds. Dr. John August, Professor at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine will be at the TAMU booth with his students to answer questions. For additional information please go to

{puppy101} BY LIZ NEUMAN

Get your doggy moving with

Agility! T

his isn’t your grandmother’s stuffy uppity dog show and you don’t need a fancy French poodle to spend your weekends playing and competing with man’s best friend. Meet Jeff Ngo and Max, a 3-year old mixed breed from Houston, Texas, who is tearing up the agility rings and proving that rescue and mixed breed dogs can compete with everyone!



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Dog agility is a fast-growing, fast-paced athletic dog sport that is fun for both the dog and person. Dogs get to run, jump, climb, and weave over, under, and through an exciting combination of obstacles that changes each time. The dog and handler must communicate and compete as a team to beat the clock and perform flawlessly in an effort to win qualifying scores for placements, titles, and national rankings. Max was only a couple of days away from finding himself in the local animal shelter when Jeff answered a free-to-good-home advertisement on an online message board. He was a small, freckled border collie and black Labrador retriever mix and he caught Jeff ’s eye from the beginning. Right away, Jeff began teaching Max the basic manners that every puppy learns – sit, lie down, stay, and shake, in addition to learning to accompany his new dad to work daily, where he was a perfect ambassador for rescue dogs and mixed breeds at a busy vet clinic. It wasn’t long before Jeff started looking for something else for him and Max to do together and to keep Max busy and learning. Agility appealed to them right away, and they began taking classes. A little over a year later, they entered {August2011}

their first trial and enjoyed every minute and had some great successes. They are both completely hooked now, and spend every available weekend traveling and playing together. Agility trials are held every weekend, all over the country. Every major agility organization now allows mixed breeds to compete and rescue dogs are always welcome, also. While there are certainly more popular breeds – usually those who have been bred for generations to be good at other fast and agile jobs, like herding or hunting – every dog that wants a fun activity and loves to play with their owner can enjoy agility. Plus, there is a level of involvement for everyone, from simply enjoying a weekly agility class with friends to traveling the world competing at the most prestigious events. For Max and Jeff, the future promises lots of time spent with each other, enjoying the relationship they have built with each other and the camaraderie of competing with friends who enjoy their dogs and the sport as much as they do. Their immediate goals are to finish championships in both of their favorite agility organizations and continue to show the community what great agility dogs rescue dogs and mixed breeds can be!

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Nice Meeting You...


Tips on how to introduce a new cat to your existing cat



ats are very territorial, so if you are thinking of introducing a new feline into your household, there are a few easy steps to follow to ease the way with your current cat. First and foremost, remember to take things slowly and work at your own (or rather your cat’s) pace. Slow introductions help prevent fearful and aggressive problems from developing.

• Confinement

Get them used to each other’s scents first: Confine the new cat to one mediumsized room with litter box, food, water, and bed. Feed your resident pets and the newcomer on each side of the door to this room. This will help them to associate something enjoyable (eating!) with each other’s smells. Don’t put the food so close to the door the animals are too upset to eat. Over the next few days, gradually move the dishes closer to the dividing door until your pets eat calmly while standing directly on either side.

• Blankets/ Special toys

Swap the sleeping blankets, beds, and toys used by the cats so they have a chance to become accustomed to the other’s scent. You can even rub a towel on one animal and put it underneath the food dish of the other. If there are more than two animals in the house, be sure to do the same for each animal.

•Try it out

Use a doorstop to prop open the dividing door just enough to allow the animals to see each other. If there is any aggressive behavior,

separate them and start the introduction process again utilizing more gradual steps. With any new animal, time is the key to success. Remember to take things slow, let your pets set the pace, and relax! If you’re nervous so are they. And don’t be afraid to reward good behavior with a few yummy treats!


d gs cats Texas

Taking Control—“Flea Control”



Trouble With Tucker


MOM: “Tucker, what are you doing in the pool?” TUCKER: “I’m taking control of the situation.”

spending all day scratching and chewing. I’m go to kill the little suckers by drowning.”

MOM: “What situation?” TUCKER: “I’m controlling the flea situation. I’m sick and tired of these pesky, little insects crawling over my body and biting my skin. I’m

MOM: “Tucker, drowning the fleas is a good, natural way to get rid of the fleas. However, when you leave the water the fleas living in the grass will just jump right back on

you. Your method of control requires that you live in the pool twenty-four hours a day and all season long. That’s just not realistic or practical. How about we look at some other ways that are both more efficient and effective.” TUCKER: “I’m all for trying something different so


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I have more time to play with my toys and my buddies.”


Fleas are not only a nuisance but also are the source of some serious medical problems both to the dog and owner. The bite causes discomfort and severe skin irritation. The pests crawling and biting above the skin cause restlessness, scratching and chewing. The result is selfinflicted trauma evidenced by hair loss, inflammation and sores around the base of the tail, thigh and back area. In addition, if the dog suffers from an allergy to exposure of flea saliva, then the skin lesions can involve the entire body. This condition, known as flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), is the most common skin condition. Fleas are blood-sucking parasites that can cause anemia, a dangerous problem in young animals. Fleas transmit the canine tapeworm. A flea control program begins with understanding the life cycle of the flea. Fleas have four main stages in their life cycle: egg, larva, pupa and adult. The total cycle can be as short as two weeks or as long as two years. The adult flea, well known for its jumping abilities, prefers to reside on the animal where it feeds off the dog’s blood. But the flea control program must be effective for the egg, larva and pupa stage of the flea. Before purchasing expensive control products a number of factors should be taken into account. These include the age and health, type and number of pets in the household. Environmental factors such as temperature {August2011}

and humidity, floor coverings, bedding and exposure to outdoors need also to be taken into consideration. Flea products for pet use come in a variety of delivery forms from oral tablets, topical sprays, concentrated liquids, powders, shampoos and dips. When making a purchase consult a veterinarian to help make the appropriate selections. Most products are great, but they can be dangerous if used in the wrong situation. Every situation is unique and requires a thorough understanding of the products. After all, we want to kill fleas not harm our beloved pets. A decision must be made whether to give or use any chemical or synthetic product on the animal. Some people prefer not to use any chemicals that might have potential risk on their pet or in the environment. In these cases there are home remedies and natural flea control methods that can be found on the Internet. It’s important to remember that fleas are not only an annoyance but also a serious health threat. Therefore, it’s advisable to evaluate between the low risk for adverse side effects and the high risk of disease from the flea-

bite. Professional advice and the use of well known, name brand products will greatly reduce the potential for toxicities. Remember; always adhere to the instructions on the label. If the package has age or species requirements, then use only as directed. Some of the newer products target the adult flea or the larval stage of the flea. Many of these also control heartworms, ear mites, intestinal parasites and mange mites. So, in addition to killing fleas these help eliminate many other dangerous external and internal parasites. Most of these drugs can be purchased from a veterinarian - a great source of information for each pet. MOM: “Tucker, you can spend day and night in the pool to beat the summer heat but there’s a much better way to beat the fleas. Drowning the little suckers is a natural, very short term of method. However, I can give you one safe, effective chewable tablet monthly that kills the adult fleas and prevents heartworms and intestinal parasites. So have fun cause Mom’s got the situation covered.”


{pawz-itivelynatural} BY NADINE JOLI-COEUR

Cat’s Nutrition H

ow many cats’ illnesses can be attributed to their diet. Most people may not even notice that their feline is unhealthy until it is too late. It is much more difficult to notice the signs of issues in felines, many which could possibly have been addressed by simply changing their diet. What you feed your cat(s) can very possibly help them avoid or minimize the severity of serious, painful, and costly illnesses Diseases ‘brew’ long before being noticed; that is why the statement “but my cat is healthy/fine on their food” is often believed to be true until it is too late..

KEY building blocks needed for a Cat

• What a cat eats is very important • Cats inherently have a low thirst drive. • Prevention is the best policy don’t wait until you see major warning signs as it may be too late.

What you feed is important

A cat’s nutritional needs have not changed, but the pet food industry has. As the pet food industry has grown, so has the use of ingredients that may not be needed or healthy for your cat.

Cats Need AnimalBased Protein

Cats need meat to be healthy. Cats are obligate carnivores. Humans and dogs can get some of what their basic nutrition requires from plant protein, cats cannot do this. Taurine is one of the most important amino acids that is present in meat but is missing from plants. A deficiency in Taurine might cause blindness and heart problems in cats. Cost is the primary reason that pet food companies use so much plant based proteins (grains).



It can be very confusing when you read a label. Looking at the list of ingredients also does not tell you how much or the quality of each ingredient is in the food. The top 5 ingredients can often make up 90% of what is in the diet. You want to look for a muscle meat such as “chicken” turkey” as the first ingredient, not “chicken by-products” or “chicken by-product meal,” or “chicken broth” or “liver”. By-products can include feet, intestines, feathers, egg shells, etc. and can be less nutritious than meat. It is safe to assume that there are different grades of protein and if your food is inexpensive, it does not contain high quality ingredients. However, just because a food is expensive does not mean that the ingredients are high quality. It is important to do your research (on the internet, your local independent pet stores, ask friends...). The % nutrient values on the bag are also misleading. You cannot compare protein percentages (%) from a dry bag of food versus a canned food. This is not an apples to apples comparison. Canned food contains moisture so if you were to remove the moisture it would be equivalent or possibly higher than your pet’s food since many canned foods do not contain a lot of grains.

CARBOHYDRATES - why they are bad for cats

Obligate carnivores are designed to eat meat – not grains - and they need to consume water with their food. You would never see a wild cat chasing down a grain stock or eating from the vegetable garden. I tried once to give my cat some cooked broccoli and he looked at me and I could see him saying, “really, you expect me to eat that, did you forget I am a cat?”. In the wild, your cat would be eating a high protein, high-moisture content, meat-based diet, with a moderate level of fats and a very small amount of carbohydrates. It is not surprising that we have an epidemic of overweight cats with medical issues . A cat’s lack of a salivary enzyme called amylase is dangerous because it is needed to be able to process carbohydrates. The inclusion of carbohydrates is primarily due to costs, they are cheaper ingredients than meat.

BEWARE of these ingredients

Some pet food companies continue to use preservatives such as BHA, BHT and ethoxyquin in many of their products. Those preservatives are no longer used in human products as there have been


d gs cats Texas

concerns of being linked to health issues. Many pet companies no longer use them. Most pet food companies that focus on high quality ingredients utilize natural preservatives. Other things to avoid are food dye. Food dyes are used to make the food more appealing to their human companions and are not healthy for their pets. In addition, beware of some fat sources, what your pet food is sprayed with after it is cooked, glutens and sugars. You have to wonder/question how healthy it is if they have to add all these processed items to make the food more palatable to your cat.


Water is extremely important to overall health. Cats have a very low thirst and in the wild, typically get most of their moisture from what they eat. Since many cats eat a dry diet, it is not surprising that there are a large number of cats that suffer from serious medical conditions. A cat’s lack of a strong thirst drive can lead to chronic dehydration. Adding canned food or feeding a diet of canned or raw helps them get more of the much needed moisture. Cats also do not like to drink from still water because in the wild this would possibly mean that it was stagnant. Consider adding a fountain; the flowing water typically encourages cats to drink more water.


Always consult first with your vet before changing your cat’s diet but here are some common cat health issues that can possibly be helped by a diet change. Prevention is key. Diabetes: Diabetes is a very serious, and difficult to manage, disease that is not uncommon in cats. Many diabetic cats may reduce significantly the need for insulin by a dietary change. You should move to a less processed (more natural) diet that is low in {August2011}

carbohydrates and high in moisture. Kidney Disease (CKD - formerly called “CRF”): Chronic kidney disease is probably the leading cause of death in cats. What is concerning is that chronic dehydration may play a big role. If your cat is primarily on a dry diet, the chances of being dehydrated is much higher and can increase their risk of CKD. Is it important to increase moisture, which can be achieved by moving to a canned or raw diet, and also to use high quality food. It makes sense that the kidney does not have to work as hard to process human grade USDA chicken versus a low quality protein or by-product. Cystitis (bladder inflammation), Bladder/Kidney Stones/Crystals, Urethral Blockage: People who feed dry food to their cats often say, “but my cat drinks a lot of water”. It is likely that your cat only consumes 1/2 the amount of water compared to a cat that only eats. Another contributing factor to these conditions can be stress. The urinary tract needs water flowing through it to be healthy, think of it constantly flushing out impurities in the body. To treat the issue, vets will often prescribe antibiotics which can address the symptoms associated with the problem, but the negative consequence may be that antibiotics can wreak havoc on the cat’s body and can also promote bacterial resistance to the antibiotics. The water content of the diet is easy to control – feed canned food with added water. The stress issue is another issue that is often hard to detect. Any sudden changes in diet can stress your cat. You should look to do it slowly. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): IBD can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and/or constipation in the cat.

Sometimes it can manifest itself with a sudden weight loss as the only sign. Feeding a high quality, easy to digest, moisture rich diet is important. You can also look to add some unsweetened canned pumpkin to their diet. Since cats can be very finicky in diet, make sure to add just a small dab and mix with their food and slowly increase it over time. Obesity: Obesity is an extremely common and very serious health problem in cats. For instance, overweight cats are more likely to develop diabetes than cats that are not overweight. A cat is designed to thrive on a high protein, moderate fat diet with little to no carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are typically stored as fat. Have you ever noticed that many cats (and a lot of dogs) do not lose weight on a low fat diet. Low fat diets are loaded with carbohydrates. Lower calories may result in some weight loss but typically it is offset by your pet’s metabolism’s tendency to store the fat. A low fat diet can also lead to them being hungry all the time. The reason for this is that their bodies do not get sufficient protein, so pet owners will over feed, thus defeating the purpose of the low fat diet. Feline Asthma/Allergic Airway Disease: Many cats have had their respiratory symptoms (coughing/difficulty breathing) reduced significantly once they were placed on a grainfree canned food diet, or a meatbased home-prepared diet. We are not sure why, however, moving to a less processed, more natural diet does make good sense for many reasons.

SOURCE: Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition, Lisa A. Pierson, DVM, Caring for Cats: Food and Nutrition - Wet vs. Dry Food,



Harold B

uster’s Friends, Inc is a non-profit 501c3 organization dedicated to helping homeless and abandoned animals in the City of Houston. They provide medical care in the form of vaccinations, testing, spay/neuter services to all of their animals prior to adopting them into loving forever homes.

And they have moved! Located at their new location in Uptown Park next to the Potbelly Sandwich Shop. Open every weekend from 10-6 on Saturday and 11-4 on Sunday, Buster’s Friends has a pet for you to love and bring into your family. Wondering what they have? You can still go online at to view all of their current pets available for adoption. Check out HoustonDogBlog to keep up to date on all the events and happenings going on with Buster;s Friends in the area.


{tuggtales} BY BLAKE OVARD 18


ndependence Day for a super hero is a lot like Independence Day for everyone else, except that when you’re a super hero dog you sometimes get invited to hang out at some really cool places. Such was the case for Tugg on July 4th.

Sometime around the end of May, Tugg came into the studio and told me that I needed to go read his e-mail to make sure it said what he thought it did. I started reading and as I got further into the e-mail my head started nodding “yes” more and more. I looked down into Tugg’s little bull terrier eyes and said, “I guess I know where you’re going to be at the beginning of July.” He nodded his head in agreement and smiled. The e-mail had come from none other than the Dallas Cowboys, and they were inviting Tugg to be a guest of honor and spend the day at their July 4th Rally Days Independence Day Celebration. Also on the bill were former Cowboys players, the world famous Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, special activities for the whole family, Super Bowl trophies, tours of much touted stadium itself and some live broadcasts form local radio and T.V. stations. Fireworks would be seen later outside of the Rangers Ballpark just a few blocks away, since they had a night game scheduled. When we arrived at the stadium that day, thousands of people were lined up waiting to get in, and we went to the

designated gate for guests, former athletes and cheerleaders. The security guard at the door was a pleasant fellow, but he was sure we had the wrong location — after all, dogs don’t get to go to Cowboys Stadium. He checked his list, saw the name, and said he would have to radio someone higher up. Thirty

seconds later, our hostess for the day arrived and escorted us through the visiting teams locker room and down to the field. Folks were already coming in and getting in line to


d gs cats Texas

have their photos taken, or meet some former greats, as we came out of the tunnel. One or two heads turned as Tugg made his way across the field — in his specially made Cowboys jersey, he’s number 7 by the way — but once he made it to midfield, it was like the flood gates opened. Tugg asked for his sunglasses, so we put them on him. He struck a pose with dozens and dozens of fans as flash bulbs lit up the stadium like a rock concert. A while later, when we made it to Tugg’s designated

area, he said, “Isn’t this just one of the coolest ways to spend the 4th?” And, it soon got even better. The cheerleaders who were there wanted to have their photo taken with Tugg. Tugg went on stage and tried to give away $5,000,000 to one lucky contestant, but she was only able to win $5,000, and he helped Super Pages with their Meet a Hero program. I’m guessing the cheerleaders might have been one of Tugg’s favorite activities for the day, because while every-

one was on stage, the Cowboys mascot, Rowdy, tried to get a little too friendly with the pom-pon shakers — at least that’s how Tugg took it. He stood in front of the cheerleaders, gave one short bark, and stared at Rowdy until the mascot got the hint. As his job was done, and he had “saved” the ladies on stage, Tugg did what any good super hero would do — he plopped down, rolled over on his side and told me to wake him up when he was needed again. Tugg is a bull terrier puppy who was staked down beside a busy highway and left for dead, and is now a super hero. Blake Ovard is a writer, author, artist, photographer and animal control officer — when he’s not too busy with those other things. You can see Tugg’s story in the February issue of Texas Dogs & Cats or you can visit his facebook page at .

Winner National 2011 “People’s Choice” Veterinary Hospital 2011 Hospital Design Competition 2203 Thompson Road Richmond, TX 77469


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Caring for our community’s pets for 45 years. Sharon Moore, DVM Tucker Robinson, DVM

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Adopt Me and My PETite Portraits!


ouston artist April Murphy is excited to announce her new “Me and My PETite� Adoption program that ties her art to rescue efforts. What are PETites? They are colorful (and affordable!) customized color sketches that are roughly 5 x 5 and come in a 8 x 10 white mat ready for framing. You can read more about them and see 100s of examples on her website www. or aemgallery on Facebook (where she posts a new one every day).

How Rescue Groups Benefit...

Every week, April spotlights a rescue group and donates a commissioned PETite of a fur-baby of their choosing. She posts the PETite plus adoption info with the rescue group contacts on her AEM Gallery facebook page as well as on her website. When they are adopted, both the pet and the PETite have a new home.



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Are you a rescue group or do you volunteer for one? Contact April ( with your rescue name, website, facebook page and primary e-mail contact, and she will add you to her “Me and My PETite� calendar!


Dougie Deogi

Rescue Reporter O

k, listen up peeps. IT IS HURRICANE season in Houston. You know what that means right? Lots of big, dangerous, blow-your-house-over wind! And rain. And no power. Remember IKE? Are you ready?



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So, we all know the normal drill during hurricane season, right? Batteries, bottled water, plywood, ha! Yep, you board up the house and hasta la vista! Right? Well, what do you do with your pets? Are you gonna leave your dog and cat behind? Are you gonna stay with them? Are you gonna board them? Or are you all going together. Let’s chat a few minutes about getting ready. You should at LEAST have a PLAN! Ok, so lets say you are going to take the pups with. You better have their shots up to date!! What happens if you have to go to a shelter? The shelter can’t take in dogs with no record of immunizations. That wouldn’t be healthy. So get a copy of your shot records RIGHT NOW and put it in your Hurricane Emergency Kit. Maybe some of you just think you’ll leave your dog in boarding in Houston while you escape to a no-hurricane zone. Well, you had better check out the boarding place before you go. What is their plan? Are they going to stay and care for the dogs if the Hurricane hits Houston? Or are they going to get out of town too? How will they work without electricity? We had no power for 17 days when Ike hit. Is the boarding facility in a flood plain? How will they get their boarders out if it floods? These are just a few questions you need to ask. Don’t just assume they


have thought it all out! Ok, lets say you decided to leave them behind. They should be ok, right? They are, after all, animals. Animals lived in the wild alone for just a few years before we came along. So they should be fine, right? Good grief! What do you mean, they will be fine? Folks, FOLKS! If they will be ok staying behind in your house, SO WILL YOU!! If they will be FINE when a tree knocks the roof off your house, so will you!! If they will be fine when a 10 foot wave crashes into your home, SO WILL YOU!! So either hang with

them at the house or EVERYONE needs to get out. Ok, now, I gotta go get my backpack locked and loaded. I ain’t staying behind if a hurricane hits! Dougie Deogi, Rescue Reporter, over and out!

Dougie Deogi is the official spokes dog for Lone Star Shih Tzu & Lhasa Apso Rescue. He often has interesting things to say on his own facebook page, accordingtodougie. The rescue can be followed at LSSTLAR.

Doggie Daycare, Boarding, Grooming and Obedience Training 6434 Washington Avenue Houston, TX 77007 713-868-7555

{spotted by the pupperazzi}



urr-tastic or flea infested! The Pupperazzi is on the scene and has your tail covered!





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{spotted by the pupperazzi}







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