Texas Cats & Dogs - September 2011

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September 2011

Watch out for those puppy teeth!



Pets, Peeps, & portraits for



10 22 2


6 Fun-draising

Buster’s Friends: The 3rd Annual Whine, Whiskers & Wild Things Benefit

8 Puppy 101 Watch out for those puppy teeth!

10 Till Death Do Us Part... A look at the American Pit Bull Terrier, an American Icon


12 Patio Pets

Dining with your dogs

14 Meet the Vet

Getting to Know Paula Bolivar

16 Center Stage 18 Pawz-itively Natural Natural Pest Control for Pets


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Shannan Parker Tel: 281.781.4727 info@texascatsanddogs.com

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Jeff Parker Tel: 281.781.4727


Fran Sherman 314.275.2208 fran@shermanstudios.com



20 Tugg Tales 22 Paws Memorial What to do when we must say goodbye

Peeps, and 26 Pets, Portraits for Pink

n honor of native Houstonian, Lori Brewer of Waterford Portraits.

28 Marketplace {September 2011}

Houston Dog Blog Tricia Fagan Nadine Jol-Coeur Amy Kelly Dean Miller Blake Ovard Susan Randlett D.V.M.




281.781.4727 • Houston@TexasDogsAndCats.com Next Issue: October 2011 Advertiser’s Deadline: September 15th 2011



Buster’s Friends

The 3rd Annual Whine, Whiskers & Wild Things Benefit


uster’s Friends was formed in August of 2009 by 3 women with the same goal - To help abandoned and homeless animals in the City of Houston by providing vaccinations, spay/neuter, testing and medical attention prior to getting adopted into loving forever homes. Buster’s Friends has been extremely lucky to have occupied prime retail locations, most notably Highland Village for almost 2 years. They also had a brief stay at West Ave and are now located at Uptown Park next to Potbelly Sandwiches. There have been 2 challenges Buster’s Friends has experienced. The first challenge is establishing the name of Buster’s Friends as the rescue since they were known more as “Highland Village Adoption Center.” The second challenge is making sure people can find where they have moved to continue their work saving animals. Each spot has been donated by the management companies but each has been a temporary situation until leased. If you know of any spot that might can lead to a more permanent type adoption center please contact them. Their reputation and success speaks for itself. Buster’s Friends has adopted over 2500 cats and dogs in the first 2 years of their existence. That is an unbeliev-


able number for any rescue group much less a small, unknown group who depends on private donations to support the animals in their care. Once an animal is rescued from a shelter they do not go back or face euthanasia. While foster care is preferred some dogs must be boarded if they are unable to find a foster home which is very costly to the group. This group does not shy away from some hard and expensive medical treatment such as Phoenix, a kitty that had chemical burns on about 75% of his body. Check out Louie a chi mix that had severe allergies and months of treatment before finally getting adopted. Or Moxie the newest rescue who has a VERY deep chemical burn and is in treatment. You can look at Helping Paw on their website to see some of the critical care that has been done. The 3rd Annual Whine, Whiskers & Wild Things is a benefit to help raise funds needed to continue their rescue work. The admission is

$50 which includes awesome items for auction, appetizers, cocktails, entertainment, and a raffle. Your support is greatly needed for Buster’s Friends and the animals in their care. Learn more about the event and Buster’s Friends by going on to their website www.bustersfriends.org. Or checkout the animals who are ready to find their new home OR those who are already in their forever home!


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{puppy101} BY TRICIA FAGAN

Ouch! watch out for those puppy teeth!


oung puppies have sharp teeth. Young puppies put their mouth on everything. This is a bad combination for puppy owners with skin. In fact, a puppy will often enjoy the reaction of people who have met the puppy’s sharp teeth. Often the recently bitten will cry out in pain and jump around. Wow! What fun for a puppy. Sometimes, in an effort to punish the young dog for nipping, hands reach for the puppy’s face or mouth. Hands near a puppy’s face, or even better moving hands, are terrific targets for repeating the bites. Other people, tired of being a pin cushion, will run to safety. Another win for your baby shark, who will gleefully nip the legs and feet of the retreating victim

How is one to survive this tiny terror? A few tricks can make raising the puppy bearable. To start, be a bad dog toy. Good dog toys make noise and move. Try to minimize your quick and erratic movements around the puppy. Try not to reward the puppy’s biting with your noisy, rapid reaction to his shark behavior. Second, have several longs toys available. The long toy should reach from your hand to the floor. When you walk around, tempting the puppy with your moving feet, drag the long toy. When puppy shows interest in your legs and feet, stand still and wiggle the long toy. If you have very young children, they will need your help. Your puppy runs much faster than your two year old toddler. Have the puppy on leash, so when your young human baby needs to escape, he can run away from your 8

young canine baby. The puppy is punished for nipping to hard when the fun ends, and the toy (your child) runs away. Without the leash, puppy can continue to chase, catch, and bite your child. Many puppies will grow out of mouthing everything they see. Most puppies (and their human victims!) need a little help growing out of the mouthing stage. Some never grow out of it, and if not trained properly, will continue to nip into adulthood. Sometimes puppies, like many young children, become most excited and out of control when they are tired. The world is so new and exciting, they don’t want to miss anything. Many dog trainers call this the “zoomies”. The tired puppy runs and plays hard. If you notice this behavior in your puppy, put him in his

crate. He might fall asleep. Carefully teach your puppy to keep his teeth to himself. Gather the dog, and some really yummy dog treats. I like to use chicken or turkey (boneless and skinless, of course). Chicken and turkey are low in calories and fat, and dogs really like it. Reach your hand toward your puppy. Don’t touch, not yet. If puppy bites your hand, slowly withdraw your hand. If puppy does not bite, give him a small treats, and then withdraw your hand. If puppy bit, and did not receive a treat, try again, but stop moving your hand when it is farther away from puppy. When you find a distance that will allow puppy to keep his teeth to himself, give him a treat. Repeat, repeat, repeat. After puppy has been successful, reach a fraction of an inch closer. Reward your puppy each time he is successful. Practice every


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day, until your puppy keeps his teeth away from your skin. Puppies who have the opportunity to play with other friendly puppies and dogs often learn this lesson more quickly. If you have difficulties with this lesson, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer can assist you. http://www.ccpdt. org/ Happy Training! {September 2011}

Tricia Fagan Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed DogS Gone Good www.dogSgonegood.com trainer@dogSgonegood.com (713) 557-1949



American Pit Bull Terrier, A Look at the


An American Icon



nce a symbol of our Nation, characterizing who and what we are, the American Pit Bull Terrier now struggles to survive one of the worst demonized assaults any breed has had to overcome. This breed, characterized by its strength, courage, loyalty, intelligence, determination and sense of humor, was once the poster child for our country. It represented the USA on a WWI poster depicting each of the allied forces as a stoic dog native to its country. Stubby, WWI’s most outstanding canine soldier was a Pit Bull often mentioned in official dispatches and earned the rank of sergeant. He received two medals throughout WWI, the first for warning of a gas attack and the second for detaining a German spy at Chemin des Dames until American troops arrived. History may pay homage to the pit bull, but this breed now faces discrimination and bigotry.


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Myth Busters As I began writing this piece, I concentrated on the myths surrounding this breed’s temperament. Pit Bulls have the highest number of dog bites and deaths, right? No Many circumstances can lead to a dog bite, yet specifics are rarely provided when there is an incident. When no evidence is provided, fear and stereotyping can occur. Many dog related fatality cases are falsely credited to Pit Bulls by the media. However, the media has no obligation to correct this information after the initial report. The media can be far from reliable when reporting sensationalized stories. In 2009, the American Pet Products Association reported the U.S. canine population to be 77 million, and 31 dog related fatalities in the U.S. meaning one human fatality for every 2.5 million dogs in the country. Resident dogs, not family pets, accounted for 22 out of the 31. Resident dogs are owned animals kept exclusively outside of human interaction: on a chain, in a kennel, or in an isolated portion of the home or yard. Many of these dogs are acquired for negative purposes such as guarding, intimidation, fighting, or negligent breeding. These owners rarely permit the dogs to associate with people and other animals in positive, humane ways. Resident animals cannot be expected to exhibit the same behaviors and socialization as family pets. In 8 of the 22 cases of resident dogs, the owners had permanently isolated the animals on chains. The breed is dangerous and vicious. {September 2011}

Regardless of breed, any dog can become dangerous given certain circumstances. The first and most misleading is by members of the media. Serious dog bite cases are often investigated by the media, and many taglines include terms such as “pit bull type” dog. The words themselves are used to peak viewers’ interest and raise ratings. The media can characterize these incidents with language that doesn’t accurately depict the actual breed by using Pit Bull “type” dogs or Pit Bull mix. Most of the time the assessment of the breed is WRONG and the media is not held accountable. The public has been led to believe something inaccurate and this promotes fear and If lawyers and Legislators say so, it must be true? Wrong When advocates of breed specific legislation argue the breed is by nature vicious, they like to use tail chasing logic. When asked to show proof of “viciousness” they highlight attacks. When questioned to the cause surrounding “attacks” they follow with the breed is “viscous”. The idea of dogs “turning” on someone for no reason is highly unlikely. You may not have understood the reason, but they are there. More support to contradict this breed is supposedly “vicious” is recent statistics from the American Temperament Test Society. In 2010, over 1,400 Pit Bull Terriers and Staffordshire Terriers were tested. The first had a

passing rate of 86.4% out of over 800 and the latter 84.2% out of over 600. That’s an average of 85.3%, outranking German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Dobermans and Rottweilers. Furthermore, what about the Pit Bull and Staffordshire Terriers that work as service dogs, therapy dogs, search/rescue dogs and other working tasks? Or those who achieve the Canine Good Citizen test or earn Obedience titles through the AKC and UKC? If claims of breed viciousness were true, they would not be successful in these areas. My personal dogs have earned numerous Obedience titles from the AKC and UKC. My dog Krom was the highest scoring APBT in the Nation in 2004 and 2005 in obedience. He ranked in the top 25 in the nation both years and finished with a tie for fifth place against all breeds in our national invitational in 2004. Krom was, to the best of my knowledge, the only male APBT to ever score a 199.5 out of 200 points in history. There is good and bad in everything. Eradicating and legislating against a breed or specific group of dogs does not and will not work. Each dog and owner must be tried on their own merits. There is no doubt when a powerful dog bites damage will follow. To reduce and prevent dog bites and fatalities we must EDUCATE. Any breed can become trustworthy under the right leadership, and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. 11

Patio Pets I

Is your desire to dine with your dog keeping you in these days? You’ll soon have to come up with a different excuse to keep your hermit habit. As of this month Houston’s Health Department will be reviewing the dogs-on-patios rule with a City Council subcommittee. The Health Department will then make any changes requested by City Council and the new rule can be implemented immediately. Looks like your favorite restaurant could easily have pooches on their patio just in time for fall. Of course they will still need to apply for a variance, pay a fee, and follow the rules. No matter which side of the patio you fall on, wanting or not wanting to dine with your dog, there are a few things to keep in mind. Some of these are rules; others just make for a pleasant dining experience for everyone involved:

• It’s up to the restaurant to allow dogs on their patio. Just like the smoking on patios rule, allowing dogs on their patio will ultimately be up to restaurant owners. While they have to apply for the variance and pay a fee, the power to choose is in their hands. • Find the place that suits your needs. If you can’t imagine dining without your four legged friend you’ll soon have options to make that happen! Not too keen on the idea of eating in front of your pooch’s pleading eyes? No problem. There will still be plenty of 12

places that aren’t open to the canine patron. It’s all about choice. And the choice to dine or not dine will still be yours. • Know your pet’s limits! Not every dog is meant to dine on a public patio. Make sure your pet wants to be there. The last thing you want to do is make them feel like they are stuck in a perpetual “time-out”. • Clean up! If your pet makes a mess be sure you pick up after them. This doesn’t apply to just the bathroom variety either! It could be as simple as mopping up

their spilled water bowl. Restaurant owners and staff are taking a chance on Houston pets; let’s show them how much we appreciate it! Regardless of where you fall on the great debate, the best part about this is it is still your choice. You choose whether you want to dine al fresco with pet in tow, or keep it humans only. Wherever you and your pooch go, just remember to be mindful of posted rules, respectful of your environment, and have a little fun.


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281.781.4727 •sales@TexasCatsAndDogs.com


Getting to Know Paula Bolivar RVT (Registered Veterinary Technician)


ehind every great hospital and every great doctor stand GREAT technicians that help them every step of the way. Technicians, which are the equivalent to human nurses, are a vital part of every veterinary team, and Kingsland Blvd Animal Clinic has some amazing technicians!

As Kingsland’s head technician, Paula Bolivar has been a veterinary technician since 1981, when she realized that animals were her passion. She has worked everywhere from small veterinary clinics to MD Anderson. Along the way, she was even privileged to work for a company called Intermedics, which was a facility that specialized in pacemakers and implantable defibrillators. Paula is now

happy to call Kingsland Blvd Animal Clinic her home, and she is focusing on leading her technician team to be the best it can be! Paula was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and she moved to the United States in 1977. She realized that she was never happier than when she was helping an animal, so she attended the Bel-Rea Animal Institute in Colorado, where she received her Registered

Veterinary Technician license. She has been happily residing in Texas for many years, and she is proud to call Sugar Land her home. As far as Paula’s family goes, she is one lucky lady. She has been married to her husband, Cesar Sr., for 25 years, and Paula says “Cesar is my rock. He is the person I can always go to for support. He is a very good daddy, and, if I may say so myself, a


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WONDERFUL husband.” She also has three gorgeous children, Cesar Jr (22 years old), Ligia (21 years old), and A.J. (18 years old). All three children are in college at the current time, majoring in (in listed order above) Aviation management, Biology to be an animal rescuer, and math/physics with a teaching degree. Along with her two-legged children, Paula also has an array of four-legged children as well, all of them rescued from somewhere! Paula has 5 dogs: Timon (16 year old Terrier Mix), Venous (8 year old Bull Mastiff mix), Journey (3 year old Lab mix), Clapton ( Journey’s brother), and Killer (1 year old Terrier mix). Paula

also has a number of cats, as well as foster animals most of the time. She has her hands full with her family, but she wouldn’t have it any other way! When Paula has a free moment or two, she has some wonderful hobbies, BUT her favorite thing in the world is to come home and sit in her favorite recliner with the TV remote in her hand. When she gets more active, she loves to do home remodeling, walking with her dogs, gardening (mostly flowers), traveling, and hanging out at the beach. What Paula is known for most at Kingsland is her fostering of orphan kittensshe ALWAYS has some sweet little baby kitten or puppy in

her care, bottle feeding and being “Mama Bear.” As one of her favorite memories from one of her clinics, Paula said “we had a very sick kitty that needed 24 hour care, and I spent the night with her lying on my chest and me caring for her. She went on to have a long recovery, but SHE MADE IT. That is what this field is all about for me.” As for her time at Kingsland, Paula says “I love the pace of this clinic and the way the animals are cared for. My greatest love is nursing animals back to health, and I am able to do this because I work at the ICU technician at Kingsland.”

Winner National 2011 “People’s Choice” Veterinary Hospital 2011 Hospital Design Competition 2203 Thompson Road Richmond, TX 77469 www.roserichvet.com clinic@roserichvet.com


Luxury Boarding Suites with 24-Hour Internet Video Access

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

C. N. McDonald, DVM Julie A. Duty, DVM

Aaron Rainer, DVM Stephanie Ginestra, DVM

{centerstage {center {centerstage}

Krom Krom is a 13 year old American Pit Bull. Shuffled around, won in a poker game and left at a groomer he has finally found his FURever home with Dean Miller!


{pawz-itivelynatural} BY NADINE JOLI-COEUR

Natural Pest Control for Pets


ouston is known for heat, but for our pets, it is also known for pesky, tiny bugs such as flea, mosquitos and ticks. Not only do these pests make it frustrating for pet owners who try to control them, but they also cause our pets a great deal of suffering.

Taking Charge

To truly keep your dog or cat safe from fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and other annoying bugs, a repellent is only one part of the equation. There are several other things that you can do to have a successful pest control program. • Diet and supplements • Regular grooming • Environment (in & out)

Feed your pet a nutritious Natural diet.

Diet is the foundation of health. Nothing you give your dog or cat can do as much good for their health, immunity and resistance to parasites, such as fleas, as a proper diet. Fleas, Mosquitos and ticks are drawn to the weakest hosts they can find. Feeding a high quality pet food not only improves their health but strengthens their immune system. I am not saying a healthy dog will never get fleas but it is almost certain that an unhealthy pet will suffer from fleas/ticks/


mosquitos. Proper diet is top priority to a healthy immune system. In addition, every pet benefits from adding essential fatty acids (salmon oil / omega 3/6) and probiotics. Essential Fatty Acids will help build the immune system and boost the health of the skin and coat. Probiotics not only foster a healthy immune system, but it also allows your pet to get the most nutrition out of their food. Other supplements that tend to make your pet less appealing to bugs are supplements such as garlic & brewer’s yeast. Garlic and B vitamins tend to make the animal less tasty to fleas, so many guardians supplement with garlic & brewer’s yeast (a good source of vitamin B1), during flea season to help their companions ward off attacks. Keep in mind that some animals are allergic to brewer’s yeast, so watch closely the first week or so to make sure the itching doesn’t get worse.

Keep your Pet well groomed. Baths /

Grooming and brushing

Three key tools to your battle against pests are 1) a Natural non-toxic pet shampoo, 2) a Flea comb and 3) a good brush and comb. Bathing your pet with a natural, non-toxic pet shampoo will not only help keep pests away,


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the trip through the hose. And finally, keep your pet’s bedding as clean as possible. Outdoor — Since tick, flea and mosquito infestations start outdoors, take the time to inspect the area around your house and take action where you can. For example, ticks and fleas thrive in long grass, undergrowth and stagnant water. Keep your grass cut and limit the places around your home where pests can hide and breed.

the problem) will help you remove any unwanted pests on their fur. Plus, it makes their coat look fantastic and makes them feel better (who wants to live with knots and bugs). If you have a cat and they like baths go for it. Otherwise, you can try to brush them. Despite what many people believe, lots of cats love to be gently brushed or combed.


but it will also allow you to check your pet from head to tail for these pests. If your pet is prone to fleas/ticks, you may want to look at a Tea tree, lavender or all Natural Flea and tick shampoo such as Natural Chemistry. Regular brushing or combing (with a flea comb if fleas are {September 2011}

Indoor— There are many ways pests get into your home and you may not even know it. It is important to keep your house clean. Pests fly in, crawl in or ride in on pets and people. Keeping your floors, drapes and furniture clean and vacuumed will help prevent fleas and ticks from anchoring themselves in cracks and crevices. Change out your vacuum bag frequently as pests can survive

Remember to use these suggestions as part of an overall program to control pests that invade your pet’s environment. There’s no foolproof way to insure your dog or cat is never bothered by another pest, but with these precautions in place, the problem – if you have one -will be minimized. Another weapon in your fight against pests is food grade Diatomaceous earth. It is sometimes called fossil shell powder, it kills by puncturing the insect’s exoskeleton and absorbing the moisture in their bodies. It causes the bugs to dehydrate and die. It is important to use food grade diatomaceious earth as it is safe for pets. It can be used several ways in your fight against pests; on their coat (use a comb to brush in), on your yard, in bedding / carpets and in small doses on their food. With these easy steps you have will have a natural plan to take the bite out of pests this summer. 19

{tuggtales} BY BLAKE OVARD 20


art of living with a dog who also happens to be a super hero is that you get to sometimes go to fun places, visit interesting locations, see cool sights and meet a lot of people — all kinds of people..

Tugg was invited to attend the Reliant Park World Series of Dog Shows at Reliant Center in July. We knew it was a big show, as the website stated an average attendance of 40,000 people was to be expected. We also knew this was one of the few venues where conformation, agility, rally, obedience, flyball, freestyle and disc dog all take place under one roof, so we were all excited — especially Tugg. While I was packing the trailer, Tugg was right beside me to make sure I packed all of the “necessary” things for the trip. Not things like, dog crate, dog food, clothes, booth setup and the like, but things like toys, treats and his super hero cape — like I would even think of leaving home without one of his capes. I would load a box, filled with Tugg items, like his wrist-

bands, hand fans, or T-shirts. He would go behind me, pull out the box I had placed, and put some toys in place of the box. After the third incident of dog toys taking the place of our luggage, I turned and caught him pulling the bag out with the handle in his teeth. The four-and-ahalf-hour trip seemed almost twice as long, with Tugg sticking his head between the driver’s and passenger seat about every 10 minutes and wanting to know status updates on everything for the condition of the “cargo” in the trailer to when the next potty stop area would be just over the horizon. Sometimes there isn’t much difference between super hero dogs and younger children when it comes to road trips. They both are easily excitable and both think the destination is the most important


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part of the trip. Sometimes, like in this case, they are right. In Tugg’s defense, he did offer to fly ahead of us and tell everyone at the show that we were on our way. He even tried to get us to let him fly ahead by doing several hucklebutts in the backseat, and all of the rest of the interior of the vehicle, at what seemed to be very inopportune times — like when I was passing the highway patrol car going “barely over” the speed limit, or when the two big semi trucks were passing on either side of us. Everything seemed to settle at the show. Tugg somehow knew the 40,000 or so people had come to see him — maybe because they probably did — and he did his best to be hero-like. He also seemed to make it around to all of the events and take in a little freestyle, flyball, agility and disc dog. We thought he had seen just about everything at the show, so when Tugg announced on Sunday that he was going to take a little break and walk around, we didn’t think he would be gone long. Ten minutes went by, then 15, then 20. It was time to go looking for the wayward super dog. Rounding the corner a couple of rows {September 2011}

away from us, I noticed a group of people had gathered and there was an opening in the middle of the group. I could see Chilly, the shepherd mascot from the Houston Aeros, a minor league hockey team, was doing something. As I got closer I found out why Tugg was late. Tugg was down in a play bow, holding a hockey stick. Chilly was across from him holding a stick as well. Tugg was telling Chilly all about transition control and outlet passing. Chilly and the crowd were nodding in approval. And, I never knew that Tugg had even seen a hockey game other than Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals.

Blake Ovard is an awardwinning writer, author, artist, photojournalist and dog trainer. When he’s not busy with those things, he is also an animal control officer for the city of Fort Worth.



have met many people since starting the Houston Dog Blog and worked with amazing animal advocates throughout Houston and the nation. One thing that truly unites us is our love of them. We cherish them from the time they enter our lives. We spoil them rotten and dote on them like children. So what do we do when we must say goodbye? It is one of the hardest and most emotional experiences we face. Remembering my experience when I lost my fave feline Marley makes me sick still. I have been fortunate enough to meet an amazing woman who is doing it different and leading the way in setting new and higher standards of care for Houston area pet lovers . . . Cay from Paws Memorial Service. We are talking about our beloved friends and this is our last responsibility to them. My personal recommendation is, when you want the BEST, ask for Paws Memorial Service. --Ryan Rice



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Memorial Houston Dog Blog: How did you get into this type of business? Cay Dalrymple: I got into the pet care industry back in 1997 with my husband when we built a boarding kennel and training facility. Only months after opening, he passed away suddenly from a brain tumor. It was my life experiences during the next 10 years while continuing to operate the kennel, including the loss of my own cherished pets, that led me into what I do now. The loss of a pet can be every bit as devastating as the loss of a family member. I have a huge personal understanding and empathy for what people go through and I saw a need for a different kind of pet aftercare center. HDB: So what did you do different in opening Paws Memorial? Paws Memorial is an open door Center where pet parents and their beloved family member are treated with the upmost in dignity, respect and compassion. Emotional support is paramount. If that means a hug, a quiet room to spend time with their final {September 2011}

good-bye, we provide that for them. HDB: Let’s go over your services. What do you offer? We are an immediate service provider, available to support one pet and one pet family at a time through their journey. We make calls in a nice vehicle with lined baskets or carriers in which to lay their pet, and meet pet owners at our Center, their home or vet clinic at the time of euthanasia or unexpected death. HDB: Your place is beautiful. How did you decide on the design of your facility? Everything here represents my desire to help owners in providing a safe and supportive place where they are comfortable about leaving their beloved pet. The memorial garden, our reception area and urn gallery, and especially the private viewing room have been comforting to so many. HDB: How do families arrange for that? All they have to do is call or tell their veterinarian they wish to have their pet taken care of by Paws Memorial.

Families can preplan with us to meet them at their vet’s office or they can call us when the loss occurs. We do everything within our power to respond immediately. HDB: I have seen the return packages you give people and they are really special. I so wanted to give back something they can hold onto and cherish forever, along with their memories. For every pet we are so privileged to take care of, we do ink pawprints, fur clippings and, when possible, noseprints. Those are not things you can do later. We have a wide range of additional memorial items, and are continually expanding and adding new things. HDB: What else can you tell me about your services? We specialize in truly private pet cremations, where only one pet is placed in the crematory at a time. It is so important to me that people have no doubt in their mind that the angel ashes they leave with are their pet. Our goal is to focus on quality and personal support, certainly not anything resembling disposal. 23

HDB: Focusing on quality is a good thing for sure. I would not feel any satisfaction or sense of serving pet families if I just drove around picking up bags of animals for cremation or disposal like garbage. It is so rewarding to me to actually make a difference in people’s lives and help how they are able to journey on without their best friend by their side. HDB: Is it hard to be in this kind of business and deal with sadness day after day? We do give a little piece of our hearts to everyone we help, but we get it back tenfold. I have never had a job where I feel as satisfied at the end of the day as I do when helping people through the loss and ultimately the celebration of the life they had together with their pet. HDB: Since opening, how has your business developed? My passion for what I do has become even stronger. It wasn’t until I opened that I fully discovered how much more involved in industry standards and regs I would become. Because I did not ask specific questions and follow through, I discovered that “Tyler” my best friend and partner for over 10 years, ended up in a landfill back in 1997. I have my departed husband’s best friend and working partner “Willie”, a 40 pound border collie whom I loved dearly in an urn with enough ashes to have been a 75+ pound dog. 24


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HDB: That really happens? How can that be? I think you have to look at several things to answer that question. Historically, over 35 years ago, what was to become the pet cremation industry began as a means of mass disposal wholesaled through the veterinary community. A back door operation that had little to do with dignity and respect, or cremation. It has been disappointing to me to discover how deeply rooted some of that remains today. HDB: Why do you think that is? Pet owners are not asking questions, and the pet cremation is entirely unregulated, with loosely defined terms and definitions. HDB: But I thought there were permits you had to have? In order to operate a pet crematory in Texas, an operator only needs an air permit from the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality. The TCEQ’s sole function in regard to this permit is to ensure compliance regarding emissions. Nothing more, nothing less. In other words, whether a facility advertises individual cremation and actually conducts multiple pet body cremation, indiscriminately dividing the ashes to owners afterwards, is not something anyone controls. HDB: No way. That is not really done is it? In discussing the industry with a veterinarian not long ago, he commented to me that I was not telling him {September 2011}

anything new; he could send a Chihuahua and get back enough ashes for a Great Dane and vice versa. My response was and is that times have changed; pets are our family. Something needs to be done.

owners. We are working hard to show veterinarians the “value” of what we do. We are not just another crematory -- we provide a higher level alternative for those of us who love our pets like family.

HDB: So, how are you handling that? Each day we continue to provide the very best in care to pets and their owners, with the highest of standards and emotional support. All of our services are completely and accurately defined, and we invite owners to be a part of the process whenever they desire or are in doubt. Additionally, I have become actively involved as a founding member in an association called the Pet Loss Professionals Alliance. The PLPA is a group of people working to create industry standards, promote best practices and principles. We just came out late last year with our standards and definitions for cremation terms.

HDB: Do crematories make special deals with veterinarians to get referrals? Like in any business, people go where they get the best deal for them. I have found this industry to be no different. After opening and being more fully educated, I made the decision not to negotiate in that arena. I support the veterinary community 150% by providing a best-in-class service to their customers. If a veterinarian refers

HDB: What kind of terms are you talking about? Defining the use of “private” and “individual” cremation to be only one pet at a time in the crematory. That is what a normal person would interpret those to mean, right? But that is not how it has been in this industry. The way terms are used is very confusing, convoluted and misleading in my opinion. HDB: So, do veterinarians refer your services? What we do here has been overwhelmingly appreciated and supported by the pet

Paws Memorial, you can be certain it is based solely on quality of service and care. As a pet lover, to me that is the best deal. HDB: What do you recommend for people looking for the right aftercare provider? Be very careful. Only you have loved your pet the way you did. I encourage people to educate themselves, ask a lot of questions, talk to and go tour whenever possible each and every provider you are considering. Do not take anything for granted. HDB: Thank you Cay, for going the distance and doing what you do. Thank you Ryan. It is more than just a business to me. It is my heart and soul.

Doggie Daycare, Boarding, Grooming and Obedience Training 6434 Washington Avenue Houston, TX 77007 713-868-7555 deogi@deogidogspa.com

Pets, Peeps and Portraits for

pink U

rban Tails will be converted into a portrait studio and gallery on Sunday, September 18, 2011, at 1618 Webster Street for a Pets, Peeps and Portraits for Pink in honor of native Houstonian, Lori Brewer of Waterford Portraits. Brewer, who passed from breast cancer on July 4, positively impacted animal non-profit organizations with her gift of capturing the love and light of people and pets.

Now, four profes sional photographers will hold a tribute and photography fundraiser for Brewer’s favorite charities. Jack Opatrany, Sonya Sellers, Melissa Hammonds, and Kim Hartz who all specialize in family and pet photography, like Brewer did, are offering private mini sessions for $50. The professional photographers will offer indoor studio settings and outdoor studio settings designed by Buchanan’s Native Plants. Each photographer has a different setting/sitting style which is explained on www.portraits4pink.org. The proceeds will benefit Brewer’s preferred non-profits-- the Breast Cancer Research organiza26

of spirit, and delicious sense tions, Homeless & Orphaned of humor enriched everyone Pets Endeavor (H.O.P.E.), who encountered her. “She Homeless Pet Placement was always in a good mood League (H.P.P.L.), Lucky and always left you smiling Dog Rescue, Pup Squad, with her kindness.” Lisa Cari Lone Star Shih Tzu & Lhasa of Adopt A Pet Houston Apso Rescue, Pet Patrol and recalls of her. Corridor Rescue. Adopt A Pet Houston Her spirit courageously assists nonprofit dog rescue battled breast cancer more organizations with adoptions, than 10 years ago, and her fundraiser events, communilife serves as an inspiration to cations, and training semimany. Brewer spent years as nars by experts to promote an established hair stylist and responsible pet ownership, pet makeup artist, later changhealth, dog training, behavior ing careers to professional photography after being diag- modification, and pet laws. nosed and treated for breast Cari came across Brewer’s cancer. Brewer’s life always work at some the rescue reflected beauty and elegance groups’ annual fundraisers. in every way. Travel was one Brewer was very generous of her passions, as well as with the groups and donated enjoying the arts and animals. many gift certificates to be PHOTO BY CUSTOMMINDS.COM Brewer’s giving heart, warmth auctioned off to raise funds


d gs cats Texas


for medical treatments of homeless animals in need. Her photographic style was simple elegance and made every client and pet feel special. “She made my mixed breeds look like show dogs and she was so patient with them to be sure


to capture them at their prettiest while making them feel at ease. She had a great eye for composition.” Cari says about her first photoshoot with Brewer. She was so impressed with Brewer’s work, she highly recommended her to anyone needing a professional photographer. Brewer even shot a portrait for the cover of a {September 2011}

national luxury travel magazine in 2010. Brewer’s clients will also bring and showcase their favorite portraits by Brewer over the many years that she photographed their pets. The event will also offer prize

overs by professional stylists from Craft Salon. Delectable treats such as pink lemonade and pink sweets from Food Network’s Top Chef ’s: Just Desserts Rebecca Masson of Fluff Bake Bar. Appointments are from


drawings for both pet lovers and families. Jewelry such as photo frame charms and photo lockets can be ordered with private portrait session along with portrait packages, art, and other merchandise. Activities will include bra pong, pony tail donations for natural wigs for women undergoing chemotherapy, and make-


1:00 PM to 7:00 PM and attendees can book an appointment by calling (713) 291-4439 or emailing Lisa@ portraits4pink.org. For more information regarding adoption, volunteering, or becoming a business sponsor for this event, please send inquiries to: Lisa@adoptapethouston. org. 27


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