TRACIE HOTCHNER: WELCOMING LEVI THE PUG TO THE HALO HEALTHY WEIGHT CHALLENGE

Levi1Dr Donna and I are especially happy to welcome Levi the Pug in South Dakota to our Halo Healthy Weight Challenge, because Levi needs a corrective eye surgery to retain his sight, but for safety’s sake, his veterinarian will not perform the surgery until Levi drops some weight. Therefore being chosen as our Halo candidate and following Dr. Donna’s guidance means that Levi will not lose his sight, along with the overall health benefits of slimming down.

Dr. Donna and are I also proud to have his Mom Kimberly join us in this challenge on our show The Expert Vet because Levi and his little “brother” Ollie are both rescues who are four years old. Kimberly got Levi when he was only six months old from a girl who was about to take him to the shelter because she could not keep him at her apartment. Then she got his little sidekick Ollie only nine months ago, from a family that themselves had gotten him from a shelter after he and another dog had been abandoned in a house by their original owners.

I am always so touched by the goodness of people like Kimberly, who open their homes and hearts to dogs who have become homeless through no fault of their own. Even the people who took in Ollie were doing a good deed, although Kimberly told me, “Ollie has lots of issues because of his background, and I think the people from who we got him simply didn’t have time to deal with the issues properly. Both our boys are both very active and we have a huge yard that they love to run in. During the summer, my husband takes them on hikes with him, so they get a lot of exercise and I want to make sure we can keep it that way by getting them to slim down.”

What especially delights me is that our Veterinary Advisor on the Dog Film Festival is Dr. Amy Attas, the much loved New York City house call vet who is an ambassador for Pets in the City, and who has been re-homing and adopting pugs her entire life. Right now her kids are two darling pugs you can see right HERE, so Levi and Ollie are in good company in our world!

Hurray for pug adopters! This is also a good reminder that about one-third of all dogs in shelters are actually purebred, so if you are looking for a particular breed of dog, turn to Petfinder.com and you’ll probably be able to find the dog of your dreams at a shelter somewhere near you. (And if the shelter is one of the lucky ones, the dogs there may be eating Halo through their millions-of-meals donations through Freekibble.com).

Once a candidate is chosen to take our Halo Healthy Weight Challenge, Dr. Donna does a precise calculation of the amount of calories an overweight dog has been eating – then she re-calculates how much they will need to reduce their caloric intake in order to lose weight.

After that, the good folks at Halo will send out three months worth of their Healthy Weight kibble and Spot’s Stew in cans to Levi and he will get to work dropping those pounds! His Mama Kimberly will be keeping a journal that Dr. Donna has created for our contestants, and Levi will get a weekly weigh-in (which he is lucky he can do at home on a digital scale since the weather this year makes a weekly trip to the vet as much of a challenge as losing the weight!). Kimberly also noted that little Ollie put on weight since adjusting to his new life with her, but since he is a smaller pug than Levi (head size, paw size, bone structure) and is about 22 pounds, she worries about his weight long-term, too. It looks to me as though Ollie is going to become a Halo Weight Management food eater, too – and while his big brother trims down on the food, Ollie can keep from getting any bigger himself.

Let’s hear it for the Pugs of Custer South Dakota!

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Tracie Hotchner is the author of THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know.

She is also a renowned pet radio host and producer, having spent 7 years on the Martha Stewart Channel of Sirius/XM with CAT CHAT® and even longer with her award-winning NPR radio show DOG TALK® (and Kitties, Too!) that continues to broadcast in the Hamptons and the Berkshires. Her most recent accomplishment is the pet talk radio network she has created on the Internet called The Radio Pet Lady Network.

Posted in Dr Donna Spector, Guest Blogger, Healthy Dog Food, Natural Dog Food, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pet obesity, Talk Radio, Tracie Hotchner | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

DETROIT DOG TO BENEFIT FROM FIRST PETS FOR PATRIOTS LOVEANIMALS.ORG CAMPAIGN

CrixusPets for Patriots is a fantastic 501©(3) organization connecting at-risk shelter pets with United States military veterans. They’ve just launched their first LoveAnimals.org crowdfunding campaign. Pets for Patriots is asking for help to buy a wheelchair for a pup who was shot with a BB gun.

A six-week old puppy was found on the streets of Detroit, MI with a BB lodged near his spine. As a result of his trauma, his right hind leg was amputated and his other leg was left almost non-functional. In addition, the puppy was found to be almost blind.

However, his story improves. This little dog was honorably adopted by former U.S. Army Captain Shawn. Shawn was upset when she learned about Crixus through the news. She knew that she wanted to adopt this dog and give him a good life. While arranging the adoption through the Michigan Humane Society, Shawn learned about Pets for Patriots and how they help veterans and pets. Shawn contacted Pets for Patriots and soon was proudly bringing the puppy home and renaming him Crixus after a Gallic gladiator who fought for freedom in a slave rebellion.

Pets for Patriots wants to help Crixus have the best life possible with Shawn, so they’ve turned to LoveAnimals.org. Their campaign is raising funds to purchase an adjustable canine wheelchair for Crixus. Any additional money will defray the cost of his future medical or equipment needs.

This is Pets for Patriots’ first LoveAnimals.org campaign. People donated more than half of the project’s goal amount in the first 12 hours of the campaign. Pets for Patriots is hopeful that it will be fully funded before the campaign closes on March 7.

Halo, along with Freekibble.com, has long been a sponsor of Pets for Patriots. Beth Zimmerman, the founder and executive director of Pets for Patriots, noted “Halo has been a friend of ours since our earliest days.” Halo is also proud to be the founding sponsor of LoveAnimals.org.

We’re thrilled to see our friends at Pets for Patriots working with our friends at LoveAnimals.org to raise funds to help save animals. We think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. You can learn more about our past work with Pets for Patriots in our blog archives.

Posted in Bethany Meissner, Giving Back, pet adoption, Pet Shelters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

DOG AND DOLPHIN ARE BEST FRIENDS

dougie-lgHotel workers on Tory Island, Ireland couldn’t figure out why the resident dog, Ben, was so fascinated with the harbor.

Until one day they saw him swim out to meet a pal – a friendly bottle-nosed dolphin that frequented the waters near the hotel.

Duggie, as the dolphin was known, was a frequent visitor to the harbor. Once Ben took the plunge and began swimming alongside Duggie, the two became fast friends and attracted a lot of attention for their antics together.

According to the Dublin Independent, Ben’s owner, local hotelier, Pat Doohan, said Ben and Duggie would spend as much as three hours at a time, several times a day playing together in the water. Sometimes other local dogs would jump in to join the fun.


Click here to read the complete story
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DOG SAVES ELDERLY OWNER FROM CARBON MONOXIDE LEAK

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A recent blizzard could have turned even more dangerous for a Massachusetts woman if it hadn’t been for her golden retriever, Reilly.

According to the Patriot Ledger, Nancy Sheerin of Weymouth, Mass. was at home alone with Reilly during a snowstorm.

Sheerin, who is hard of hearing, went to bed after taking out her hearing aids.

But at 4 a.m. she awoke to the 3-year-old Reilly licking her face.


Click here to read the complete story
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TRACIE HOTCHNER: EVERYBODY WAS A WINNER AT THE OSCARS, THANKS TO HALO, PURELY FOR PETS

oscars-2015-complete-nominations-listLoved watching the Oscars this past Sunday – along with about a billion other movie fans around the world! Even though it was typically too long. One of the high tension moments at the Oscars that makes me feel uncomfortable is when the envelope is being broken open to announce the winner in a category, and a split screen shows the faces of all the nominees, especially in the moment when somebody else’s name is read aloud.

The camera stays on the expressions of those who were not The Chosen One and in an instant they go from being a possible winner to just one of the “losers.”

Except that Halo found a way to change that feeling for the nominated celebrities who didn’t win the coveted Oscar gold statuette – instead they received something priceless to make them feel on top of the world. Ellen DeGeneres’ natural pet food company, Halo, Purely for Pets, in partnership with Freekibble.com, is gifting 20 non-winning Oscar nominees a gift that gives back by donating 10,000 meals of natural pet food to the animal shelter or rescue of the celebrity’s choice.

The opportunity for the recipient to give back to shelters with Halo Spot’s Stew and their new line, Halo Vigor, is a whole lot different than the usual content of swag bag gifts, which typically focus on luxury and status. Instead, the non-winning Oscar nominees in the Best Actor/Actress, Supporting Actor/Actress and Director categories will win a 10,000-meal donation to their favorite animal shelter or rescue from Halo and Freekibble.com.

The donation each celebrity will be able to give away is worth $6,200 – but the feeling of caring for less fortunate pets is priceless, especially because so many celebrities are advocates (as Halo is) for animals in shelters waiting for good homes.

When those “losing” nominees went home late on Sunday night I’ll bet most of them were thrilled by the greeting they got from their dog or cat, running to greet them at the door as if they held an Oscar in each hand! That’s one of the profound joys of having pets for all of us – that they love and admire us no matter what victories or defeats we’ve had that day.

[P.S. I wanted to ask Halo to let their part-owner Ellen DeGeneres know what could have made the Oscar ceremony a great deal better: having her as the host!]

Tracie Hotchner is the author of THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know.

She is also a renowned pet radio host and producer, having spent 7 years on the Martha Stewart Channel of Sirius/XM with CAT CHAT® and even longer with her award-winning NPR radio show DOG TALK® (and Kitties, Too!) that continues to broadcast in the Hamptons and the Berkshires. Her most recent accomplishment is the pet talk radio network she has created on the Internet called The Radio Pet Lady Network.

Posted in Ellen DeGeneres, Giving Back, Guest Blogger, Pet Shelters, Talk Radio, Tracie Hotchner | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment