Wednesday, December 22, 2010

For Paws Hospice Thanks to our partners PetCo and their customers, For Paws made our first delivery of pet meals to Meals on Wheels Monday for Pinellas County.

Over 100 lbs of individually packaged pet meals will go out to clients who request them and just in time for Christmas.

This is an ongoing project as part of For Paws' Community Outreach to feed hungry pets. If you would like to donate and help continue the deliveries contact For Paws @ 727.639.9285 or PetCo: call John in Palm Harbor at 727.797.7722 or Eric in Pinellas Park at 727.527.8460 and say, "I'd like to help For Paws All Pets Kitchen." Thank you

You found us!

Thanks for coming to visit us at our new home as part of The Sacramento Bee's blog and community news network, Sacramento Connect.; they'll be along in a few days with their tool bar.

In the mean time we're here setting up house keeping, blogging and feeling really quite at home, because if you haven't already looked, some of us have been here on Blogger before, in fact for quite sometime.

Anyway, this is just a friendly little note on the door to let you know you've found the new home of A Journey Not Taken Alone the west coast home of For Paws Hospice.

Thanks for stopping in, the team at FPH.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Heska Corp. awards $25,000 to Pets Forever

Charity fosters the human animal bond for vulnerable pet owners

LOVELAND, Colo., Dec. 16, 2010 -- Heska Corporation announced today that based on total votes received, the Colorado-based organization, Pets Forever, has been awarded $25,000 as the grand prize winner in the 2010 Inspiration in Action contest.

Helping low-income elderly, ill or disabled people to maintain ownership of their pets for as long as possible, Pets Forever provides direct services and pet care for owners who particularly benefit from the human/animal bond ( Heska also awarded a second place prize of $5,000 to World Vets - a non-profit that provides free veterinary aid worldwide (

"This contest recognizes the contributions of some truly inspiring professionals," said Robert Grieve, Heska's Chairman and CEO. "With nearly 11,000 votes counted, all four finalists received strong support from animal lovers across the country. We encourage the public to continue their support of veterinary professionals who dedicate their lives to promote healthy outcomes for both people and pets."

Heska plans to celebrate with this year's winner sometime in January. For more details on how to support the winning organizations, as well as the runners up, please visit

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hospice, home and a knight's story

In the seventh century Knight Crusaders established safe houses for Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land; these knights were the Order of Hospitallers and their keeps were known as Hospice

A lodging for travelers (especially one kept by a monastic order)
Alternatively, a program of medical and emotional care for the terminally ill

Hospice has held a variety of meanings to different people and cultures throughout history. By its simplest definition hospice today means an organized medical intervention on behalf of a patient nearing the end of life; but there are other meanings worth considering.
It seems clear in this century that as medical science and associated technologies evolve so to will the meaning of ‘end of life’ and therefore by simple association, the definition of hospice.
JAMA the Journal of the American Medical Association as recently as 2006 defined hospice care as, “Focused on the dying process and helping individuals who are terminally ill (and their family and friends) pass through this process more comfortably.”  (Vol. 295 No. 6, February 8, 2006)
Still hospice can and often does mean much more than that. Hospice care frequently transcends palliative care for the patient at end of life by extending the human bond to the family of the patient, friends and acquaintances and even animals may be incorporated into the care of hospice. Sometimes for months after the death of the patient, hospice professionals provide assistance for the survivors with grieving, loss of social support and a host of alternative services not traditionally associated with hospice. In this way hospice becomes part of the larger community and, like any other organization with a focused societal mission, hospice holds the potential to serve the community in a growing number of ways.
Similar organizations originally based on a narrowly defined service mission and volunteerism such as Red Cross, S.P.C.A. and M.A.D.D have found that their organizations, once activated, may, often as not, assume a variety of roles reaching well beyond their initial concept.
In March 2008 the first International Symposium on Veterinary Hospice Care was held on the campus at UC Davis; the meeting’s stated goal was to begin to, “Explore veterinary hospice care, based on human hospice models.”
As those hospice models evolve more families including pet families will find themselves considering these questions and the principles that define the whole family and ultimately, care under hospice.
Like the emerging field of Animal Law, Animal Hospice may begin to evolve in some spectacular and unexpected ways; homeless advocacy, care and shelter from domestic violence and working animal protections including retirement and minimum wage guarantees may be the sea change markers applied to the human-animal bond this century.
In 2008 American Humane announced its PAWS Program designed to encourage women's shelters to take in family pets along with the other victims of domestic abuse; PAWS stands for Pets and Women’s Shelters. Certainly that commitment should be acknowledged as care of the whole family.
While some of these prospects may seem pie in the sky, in general equal rights and treatment under law must by extension of definition apply to all creatures not just man. As our society matures and we strive to improve our environment then clearly that effort must include a recognition that there is much more to the human-animal bond; that some sense of caring for one another is not limited to one species any more than it is limited to one race or one nationality.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A season and reason for giving

As part pf For Paws twenty five days of Christmas we've started a collection of home cooked recipes for the Critters of Christmas, called, "One Dog's Kitchen".

We've asked our readers to send their best home cooked specialties; we'll publish them here so every family can bring their pet to the table this season for a special meal.

For each recipe received For Paws Hospice will deliver a meal to a hungry pet in time for the holidays. So here's your chance to share a gift that will make a difference in someone's life and spread some good cheer in the process.

To get you in the mood here's a frosty treat that is sure to warm the heart of your best friend.

Yogurt Pupsicles

From Puppy Tuff

Technically speaking dogs don’t eat dessert, they love snacks, but desserts as humans prefer them are loaded with things dogs shouldn’t or can’t have: chocolate, lots of sugar, too much dairy or in the case of a Double Chocolate Fudge Nut Sunday with whipped cream... No!

So we created this dessert (treat) that is both satisfying and just a little decadent, if you’re a dog.

You will need:

Cup cake tins with liners
Peanut butter
Vanilla yogurt


Start with 1 cup of yogurt in a bowl.  Add a tablespoon of honey, a ripe banana and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. Mash together thoroughly.

Spoon the mixture into cup cake tins then, using your fingers, insert a small ball of peanut butter into the middle of each cup as a surprise frozen center. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and place in freezer for several hours.

To serve, peel the cup liners away and hand the treat to your very patient dog.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Vote for 2010 best idea to aid animals

Vote by Dec. 15, 2010

LOVELAND, Colo., Dec. 1, 2010 -- Heska Corporation  announced today that animal lovers everywhere can support and honor veterinary medicine by voting for one of the top four ideas submitted in the 2010 Heska Corporation Inspiration In Action Contest.

Heska will award the winner $25,000 to help bring the inspired idea to life. After a careful review of over one hundred project ideas, a panel of judges from the veterinary industry narrowed the competition down to four finalists.

Robert Grieve, Heska's Chairman and CEO said, "The Inspiration In Action contest is the latest of our 'Smarter, Together' projects and demonstrates our belief that great ideas come to life when we work in partnership with our customers and colleagues - individuals who are very gifted and dedicated professionals"

The Finalists are:

Pets Forever

Pets Forever helps low-income elderly, ill or disabled Larimer County residents maintain ownership of their pets for as long as possible. Pets Forever provides direct services and resources related to pet care, supporting the population of pet owners who particularly benefit from the human/animal bond.

Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation (PARC) Project

The PARC Project rescues Panamanian amphibian species that have been identified as critically threatened with extinction from an emerging disease caused by a fungal pathogen and takes them to established captive assurance colonies. The PARC Project is a model for amphibian crisis response.

The Prevent Unwanted Pets (PUP) Project

The PUP Project will create an educational program for school-aged children to address topics such as humane treatment and a commitment to spay and neuter. Another benefit of the project is inspiring children to enter the veterinary profession as technicians, veterinarians or volunteers.

World Vets

World Vets, is a non-profit that provides free veterinary aid worldwide to animals that otherwise would never receive veterinary attention. Currently spanning 24 countries, World Vets addresses both animal and human health issues to develop sustainable veterinary aid programs. These programs improve the well-being of the animal and human populations and empowers local partners through collaboration, education and training.

Individuals may vote only once. Heska will also award $5,000 to the second place winner. For more details on the finalists and to vote, please visit,

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

American Humane honors animal assisted therapy

DENVER, Nov. 30, 2010 The American Humane Association, the nation's voice for the protection of children and animals, will honor its 200-plus animal-assisted therapy teams at a special volunteer appreciation gala in Denver this Friday, Dec. 3, 2010.

Along with their volunteer handlers, more than 60 therapy dogs, two therapy cats and one therapy guinea pig will be recognized for their work in bringing the healing power of the human-animal bond to those in need.

By bringing registered therapy animals to hospitals, child welfare facilities, homeless shelters, mental health centers, schools and many other locations, American Humane Association's animal-assisted therapy volunteers have helped to enhance the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of people.

Last year volunteer handlers and their therapy animals logged more than 30,000 hours of service, touching more than 120,000 lives at some 50 facilities.  Not only did these animal-assisted therapy teams help to soothe anxiety and promote healing, they also integrated the clinical treatment process to achieve specific goals in health care, physical therapy, counseling and education.

The Animal-Assisted Therapy Volunteer Appreciation gala takes place on Friday, Dec. 3, from 6:30-9 pm at the Westin Tabor Center, located at 1672 Lawrence Street in Denver. The volunteer recognition ceremony begins at 7:30 pm. The event will be hosted by renowned pet expert and journalist Steve Dale. The program includes American Humane Association President and Chief Executive Officer Robin R. Ganzert, Ph.D., as well as the founder of the Animal-Assisted Therapy Program, Diana McQuarrie. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Animal-Assisted Therapy Program in 2011.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Holy Molé

by Rick Hotton 

Reprinted with permission: Triple 3 Marketing

Reprinted with permission Triple 3 Marketing. LLC, 2010

To All A Good Bite

Bring your pet to the table this holiday and help feed a hungry animal.

For Paws Hospice and our friends: invite you to send us your favorite home cooked, pet food recipe.

For every recipe submitted we’ll deliver a free meal to a hungry pet during the holidays and your recipes will be published here: for pet families everywhere to ‘Bring their Pet to the Table” this holiday.

Photos are wonderful of course and we encourage you to send one or two pictures of you creation, family and pets for inclusion in the cook book. 

Click here to view the recipe book:, "One Dog's Kitchen"  *Recipes will be added as they are received. Event ends at Midnight, December 31, 2010. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

JoJo, a remarkable story of survival and service

Dog's Remarkable Story of Survival, Helping Others Earns Top Honors in Pet Rescue Contest
Pro Plan Doing More™ for Pets Contest Rewards Rescue Dog for Her Inspiring Story With a Trip to the National Dog Show Presented by Purina®

ST. LOUIS, Nov. 11, 2010 -- From roadside to bedside, a courageous dog named JoJo now uses her own journey through life to inspire humans recovering from orthopedic injuries. JoJo's remarkable tale could not have been possible without the help of a dedicated animal rescue organization. From the Heart Rescue, which saved this spirited pup, and JoJo have been named the grand-prize winners in the Pro Plan® Rally to Rescue® Doing More™ for Pets Rescue Stories Contest.  

JoJo's journey began, and nearly ended, as she lay by the side of the road in the west Texas desert. JoJo, a pit bull terrier, belongs to a sometimes feared and misunderstood breed, so the hours and cars drifted by with no help. Finally, someone stopped and took her to a shelter in rural Texas. An examination revealed a severely broken leg in need of specialized surgical repair. JoJo's journey resumed when an orthopedic vet 225 miles away in El Paso, Texas, agreed to do the surgery and From the Heart Rescue offered to step in as her rescue for foster and rehabilitative care.

The journey of JoJo continued when her foster mom, occupational therapist Ann Marie Giron, began to take JoJo to work so she could inspire humans recovering from orthopedic injuries. With a shaved hind leg, large rows of staples on her incisions and an external fixator sticking out of the top of her hip, JoJo went into service as a therapy dog to those in need.

Brandy Gardes, founder of From the Heart Rescue based in El Paso, Texas, and JoJo will be honored at the National Dog Show Presented by Purina at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pa., on Nov. 20.  As part of the grand prize, From the Heart Rescue will receive $5,000 worth of Pro Plan® brand pet food coupons for the organization.
"It took a village to mend JoJo back to health," said Gardes. "After countless hours in rehabilitation and therapy, JoJo heeled extremely well restoring her body and growing her spirit."
JoJo has since had her fixator removed and is progressing wonderfully with her own therapy. She continues to help the patients at the orthopedic hospital, demonstrating the loyalty and intelligence of her breed. But even more, JoJo enjoys offering inspiration and love to people who are in pain.

The Purina® Pro Plan®  brand launched the fourth annual Rally to Rescue® Doing More™ for Pets Rescue Stories Contest to chronicle the amazing but often untold stories of pet rescue and to increase awareness of small pet rescue organizations' tireless efforts.

From July through October, more than 44,000 votes were cast by pet lovers across the country for the story that most touched their hearts to help select the grand-prize winner.
As unique as JoJo's story is, there are countless other unbelievable tales like hers from pet rescue groups across the country.  These stories reaffirm the purpose, effort and devotion of pet rescue groups everywhere.  To read more of these incredible stories, visit or

Monday, November 8, 2010

Veterinary stem cell innovator to help animals worldwide

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 8, 2010 -- Vet-Stem, Inc. announced that a sub-license agreement with Australian Veterinary Stem Cells LTD (AVSC) has been completed which secures Vet-Stem's third affiliate to deliver its cutting-edge stem cell services to veterinarians for treating horses, dog and cats.  AVSC is now authorized by Vet-Stem to deliver these stem cell services in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. View the video:

Vet-Stem holds the exclusive worldwide rights to the University of California and University of Pittsburgh (via Artecel, Inc.) patent portfolios of over 55 issued patents covering the use of stem cells derived from fat tissue.

As the first and largest company in the world to offer fat-derived stem cell services for veterinary use, Vet-Stem has rapidly developed the market, treating over 6,500 horses and dogs.  The company has moved to solidify its global leadership role by developing licensees with strong experience in key areas of the world.  The first license was issued to the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory in Dubai with rights for 13 Middle East Countries.  The second license was issued to Chemaphor, a public company in Canada, with laboratories in Prince Edward Island, adjacent to the Atlantic Veterinary College.   This third license solidifies the distribution network by adding the Australia/New Zealand markets, with promise for opening up Asia via the Singapore connections for AVSC.

AVSC is closely affiliated with global stem cell leader, Monash University (Melborne, Australia), and the renowned laboratory of Dr. Richard Boyd.  Boyd is a global expert in adult stem cells and has been working with stem cells from fat tissue for many years.  His scientific guidance will help AVSC rapidly enter the veterinary markets in their assigned territories.

"Intellectual property rights can be confusing in a rapidly developing market with evolving technology," said Bob Harman, DVM, MPVM, CEO of Vet-Stem. "We have licensed the strongest patents in the world to protect the market that we are creating in regenerative veterinary medicine and to ensure that the value of the company is optimized.  Now with these three distribution partners, we can utilize these global patents to reach far beyond the US markets and help animals worldwide."

The company currently offers stem cell services to veterinarians for treatment of lameness in horses and for arthritis in dogs and cats.  New uses of regenerative cells are in development for diseases in dogs, cats and horses that often times have few other treatment options.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Holy Molé

For Paws is happy to welcome Holy Molé to our site as a regular feature.  The zen critter cartoon is rapidly capturing the hearts and minds of readers across America. Holy Molé is a cartoon that represents the place where higher aspirations of existence intertwine with the practicality of everyday living - and the characters are totally "cute."

So join us at For Paws Hospice every week for a new edition of Holy Molé and The Journey Not Taken Alone.

We would like to thank cartoonist and author Rick Hotton for his generous support of For Paws and all the animals who seek their own path through life's wondrous journey. "It does not matter how fast you go as long as you do not stop."

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The cutest, scariest animal on the planet

SARS, H1N1 and other pandemic diseases that jump from animals to humans are on the rise, and predicting and tracking the emergence of new diseases is crucial to saving lives; EcoHealth Alliance scientists are actively working in many countries to identify potential infectious disease threats through viral discovery

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - In a speech presented last week at the TEDMED 2010 Conference in San Diego, Calif., Peter Daszak, a leading disease ecologist and president of EcoHealth Alliance (formerly Wildlife Trust), cautioned attendees about the rise in the number and severity of animal-borne diseases that jump to humans. In fact, approximately 75 percent of emerging infectious diseases affecting humans today is of zoonotic origin (a disease that jumps from wild or domestic animals and spreads to humans).

"Around the world a rising number of diseases like SARS, monkeypox, and HIV are spread due to trade in wildlife, and these diseases have serious public health, economic, and conservation consequences," Dr. Daszak said. "Using EcoHealth Alliance's unparalleled experience in the field, the organization is working to identify, predict and mitigate disease outbreaks."

As the leading cause of human fatalities worldwide, infectious diseases lead to the deaths of 13 million people per year, and over three-quarters of emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) originate from wild or domestic animals and spread to humans. According to Daszak, biological impoverishment, habitat fragmentation, climate change, increasing toxification, and the rapid global movement of people and other living organisms have diminished ecosystem function, which results in unprecedented levels of disease. These factors pose a threat to the survival and health of all species.

"The Cutest, Scariest Animal on the Planet"

To provide a real-world living example of this very serious situation, Daszak introduced the TEDMED audience to what he calls, "The cutest, scariest animal on the planet" -- the sugar glider, which is a small gliding marsupial with huge round eyes and a long tail. "I'm most afraid of this particular little animal, because the people are going into the forests of Indonesia to catch them, bring them into captivity, and ship them around the world – straight into our homes, where we hold them, kiss them, and cuddle up to them," he said. "What easier way could there be for any one of this species' 100 new viruses to spread to humans?"

In 2009 the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) initiated a new global emerging pandemic threat program based on EcoHealth Alliance's innovative hotspots map; the five-year program, called PREDICT, brings together a coalition of organizations to research and better understand emerging diseases among high-risk wildlife and in high-risk countries. Working with the University of California at Davis, and using EcoHealth Alliance's mathematical modeling team and local networks, the organization collects and tests samples from India, China, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Thailand, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil and Colombia.  

Sunday, October 3, 2010

First Nite - man eats dog food for pet charities

Lucky Dog Cuisine founders Dr. Janice Elenbaas and her husband Jeff Ginn kick off a month long event to benefit pet charities For Paws Hospice and Canine Cancer Awareness with a dog food eat in, the Who.

The challenge - What, husband to eat dig food for one month.
Where, in famous restaurants like Hilton Heads Bistro 17 and family dining rooms everywhere.

When, October (see opening paragraph)

The goal - Why, introduce human grade dog food to America's dogs and doggy people who want to share.

Why, why not? Doesn't your dog deserve a good meal, don't you?

Join the event and send your support to Jeff along with some recipe ideas and we'll post them at For Paws Hospice. Be your best friend's best chef.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Vet-Stem CEO to present at veterinary meeting in Oct

POWAY, Calif., Oct. 1: Vet-Stem, Inc. announced that Dr. Robert Harman, DVM, MPVM, CEO of Vet-Stem, will present a talk entitled "Stem Cell Therapy: Mechanisms of Action" at the Annual Research Symposium of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) in Seattle, WA, October 21, 2010.
Dr. Harman has presented at more than 40 veterinary and human stem cell conferences since the founding of Vet-Stem in 2002.  The ACVS is the largest veterinary surgical meeting in the world, with over 7,000 attendees from around the globe.  This seminar talk will provide continuing education for veterinarians on the most current research about how stem cells work to provide healing and improvement in quality of life of animals.

As the founder and scientific director of Vet-Stem, Dr. Harman has been at the forefront of development of the practical applications of stem cells in our animal populations and has consulted with a number of human stem cell companies to share these veterinary findings for the benefit of potential therapy for people.

Vet-Stem's clinical team has rapidly developed this market, training over 4,000 veterinarians in the United States alone and providing stem cells for treatment of over 7,000 horses and dogs.  Peer-reviewed publications in the journals Veterinary Therapeutics and the American Journal of Veterinary Research have demonstrated the effectiveness of these types of treatments in horses and dogs.  In addition, Dr. Harman has co-authored two publications on how these stem cells from fat tissue can help treat multiple sclerosis and autoimmune diseases in people.

Editor's note: For Paws Hospice recently used the resources at Vet Stem to preform stem cell surgery on a patient Buddy, a GR with hip dysplasia and a ruptured knee. Buddy is recovering well - see:, "Stem cell surgery"

What's for dinner

The tables are set, the invitations sent and tonight Bistro 17, one of Hilton Head SC'c premier dining spots plays host to Lucky Dog Cuisine for the kick off of a month long gastronomic Tour de Force of doggy dining.

Co hosts Dr. Janice Elenbass and her husband Jeff Ginn, founders of Lucky Dog Cuisine, begin the month long eat-event at Bistro 17 with friends who will join in the eat with you dog bistro style event along with Jeff who will be eating their brand Lucky Dog Cuisine the entire month.

Anna, owner of Bistro 17 is generously donating all the profits from this evening's gala to animal charities. Bistro 17 is one of several restaurants in Hilton Head that offer Lucky Dog Cuisine as a regular menu item option for their human guests who want to treat their dogs to a night of dining out.

For Paws Hospice and Canine Cancer Awareness are the two organizations that Lucky Dog  Cuisine has selected as their charitable partners. Please support Lucky Dog Cuisine by asking your favorite dog friendly restaurant to try Lucky Dog, their dog diners will thank you for it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Urban coyote

Editor's note: A dear friend and co-worker, a constant friend of animals who despite her hectic work schedule devotes a considerable amount of time to a feral cat colony lost a friend and companion of thirteen years this past weekend. The cat came to her as a wild kitten and stayed even as it retained its feral ways and in my friend's words, "Lived life on her terms." But wild is a hard fate to ignore and meeting coyotes in the midst of an urban landscape my friend's friend met a wild thing's end and now her companion is left to mourn and at once wonder at a life so well lived.  

From Maine to Florida and from California to the Atlantic seaboard Americans are increasingly coming face to face with one of nature's most determined and successful predators, the coyote. Once confined to the western territories by more powerful cousins like the grey and red wolf the coyote has spread its range to farm yards and suburban back yards throughout the United States.

Often this first encounter with humans ends in misfortune for the most innocent, the family pet. Coyotes are opportunistic hunters and will prey on any food source in its range, small dogs and cats are no exception. The fact that human companion animals and small farm livestock are attractive to the coyote is in large part why farmers very early on determined that livestock needed to be confined and protected. The same holds true in towns and cities. Animal control laws require that domesticated pets be on a leash or confined under supervision to the property of their owner, not just for our protection but theirs as well. Dogs and cats allowed to roam freely will inevitably encounter other animals both domestic and wild, the result can often be tragic.

Animal control officials concede that trying to eliminate the coyote would be both expensive and ultimately futile. Left to their own devices coyotes will naturally fill the niche created when larger predators are driven out by human development.

Coyotes prey on mice, rats and other small rodents, even insects; coyotes are the ultimate carnivore and while their hunting activity may keep pest populations under control when preying on pests give way to hunting pets, public opinion changes.

Coyotes are wary of human contact and attacks on humans are very rare, unfortunately for our pets that natural wariness doesn't carry over. Alternately, uncontrolled dogs attack and kill increasing numbers of children and pets in the United State each year and still people continue to ignore existing animal control laws.


The coyote is one of the most successful land predators on Earth, behind the grey wolf. Its name comes from the Aztec word 'coyote' which means "barking dog". They have an incredible range in size and coloration. Coyotes from the north are larger (avg. 75 lb. (34 kg)) than those farther south, such as Mexico (avg. 25 lb. (11 kg)). Their color is generally a light grey with black ticking and pale under-parts. Coyotes that live in the mountains tend to be darker and desert coyotes tend to be more yellowish in color. They may have cinnamon markings on their face and sides of their body.*

Coyote's range includes Canada, the contiguous 48 States and Mexico. They are found in a wide variety of habitats, from tundra to forest to scrub land to the outskirts of cities and suburban settings. They will thrive in any area just as long as there is a prey base.

For a first hand story of coyotes in an urban garden read Fab Five by our friends at "The Tucson Gardener. "

*Coyote data: The Canine Specialist Group

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Healthy Natural Dog Food: Part 1 Humans vs. Dog

By Dr. Janice Elenbaas

I have always been interested in knowing how dogs function. Looking at how they are built and how they differ from humans helps us understand them. With this knowledge, we can also choose foods that suit their physiology to help them live long and healthy lives. For those of you that are frequent readers, you know I have a passion for healthy natural dog food. To understand the differences between humans and dogs is to understand why they need quality proteins and whole foods.??

Let’s start with the teeth and jaw. Dogs have 42 well-spaced teeth. People have 32 and our teeth are close together. The space between dogs’ teeth allows food to enter quickly. Dogs’ mouths are funnels to get food into the stomach as quickly as possible. Your dog gulping his food is his natural way of eating. He has fewer taste buds than we do, so there appears to be no need for him to savor his dinner! Our canine friends also lack the ability to grind food. Their jaws only allow up and down movement, not side to side like ours. They also do not predigest starches in the mouth like we do. We get cavities. Dogs get tarter build up, but no cavities!

It takes about 5 seconds for food to move from their mouth to the stomach. Once in the stomach, the food is stored and digestion begins. Dogs have more acid in their stomachs than people do and this allows them to break down bacteria more effectively than we can. They also have this antibacterial ability in their saliva.

The small and large intestine in the average human is approximately 36 feet long. That’s the length of a school bus! A 70 lb dog has a 6-foot long intestine therefore dogs need high quality proteins to be able to digest them quickly. People have longer digestive systems so we can handle eating raw fruits and vegetables. Give a dog a piece of whole carrot and it comes out the other end much the same way it entered!

Complex carbohydrates and vegetables should be cooked and vegetables pureed to allow predigestion. Cooking keeps the glycemic index low to help maintain even blood sugar levels. This causes less stress on the pancreas and liver and less chance of developing diabetes.
If you are like me and have your dog sleeping on the bed with you it’s not a great leap to understand that after being domesticated for thousands of years dogs, while different from humans in many ways, are similar in others. You need whole natural foods to thrive in our environment and your dog needs healthy natural dog food to do the same.

Always remember, Health comes from the inside out!?

or more information or to contact Dr. Elenbaas please visit

Dr. Elenbaas has enjoyed a long and successful career as a Chiropractor to both humans and animals. As the first woman recognized in Canada to treat animals and a founding member of the first Ontario Veterinarian Chiropractic Association Janice is passionate about animal’s health. Combining her years of nutritional study with a natural approach to health care and her lifelong love of animals Dr. Elenbass founded; a company dedicated to providing all American, all natural, "Human Grade" cooked meals for dogs.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day care can be traumatic... and that's just the parents

Occasionally hospice has a patient that needs more than just TLC, food or medicine, occasionally we have a "special needs" patient like "R" whose needs are more basic.

R - we're only using his first initial here until he's ready for adoption, R needs everything. He has to be carried everywhere, he needs to be fed six or eight times a day, R has to be cleaned up after - we'll let you fill in the blank and R needs constant attention. Yep, R is just about the most demanding patient we've ever had because R is only three months old.

R is a little chihuahua that came to hospice after his neck was broken in a household accident and the owners could no longer care for him. He came from a back yard breeder who took him from his litter too early and put him in harms way too young.

His neck is mended now and he has had his first round of shots and today R started day care.

We asked around and found an ideal day care for R, a place where he will meet other dogs his own age - in a way, his lost litter mates and a safe place to learn all those little dog social skills like, "If I chase you, you might chase me back" and, "If I bite you..."

R needs that and so much more that only his peers can teach him;it's called playing but it's really socialization so that one day when he's all grown and tipping the scales at a hefty seven pounds or so he won't be a threat to anybody else, or they to him, he'll be a normal, healthy dog.
I dropped him off this morning at Carlee's day care place after a quick trip to the pet store for his first harness a size 0000. R's first sight and sound of so many other small puppies had to be unnerving. He ran for cover and only after a bit of coaxing would he come out to meet his fate, twelve little dogs just like him but all different and suddenly it wasn't such a lonely world for a little guy with a previously broken neck and no family.

R was in school and this was the first day.

I'm writing this as I wait to pick him up after day care and I'm a nervous wreck. Did he have enough breakfast this morning, will he get along with the others or will he come home with his first black eye and a resentment that I made him face the world alone for the first time.
What if he bites somebody? What if he bites Carlee? Too many what ifs and I'm being a father. This probably is a traumatic experience for R, I know it is for me.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

M*A*S*H Unit provides pet health care/safety as event season heats up

Pet events are a great place to mix and mingle with other pet owners, find helpful information on pet care, up to date veterinary health guides, nutrition facts, see the latest pet products and just have a pleasant outing with your best friend - they can also be a hazard to your pet.

Too much heat and excitement or too many tasty treats can stress your pet particularly older animals and those that are a few pounds overweight. Animals can quickly become exhausted and suffer heat exhaustion. Sore, cramped muscles and any number of other minor or major symptoms can ruin your pet's day; not to mention the dreaded costume contest.

The  For Paws Hospice M*A*S*H Unit is our answer to the human First Aid station. Equipped with a a Cool Down station providing fresh water and shade, a first aid nurse and ambulance service the unit is prepared to treat minor injuries and respond quickly to life threatening situations.

The staff of volunteers offers demonstrations of CPR and gives advise on keeping your pet safe and comfortable during events as well as at home.

Stop by our M*A*S*H Unit the next time we're at an event near you and pick up some "cool" health and wellness information for your best friend and make it a safe day.

If you would like to have the M*A*S*H Unit at your pet event please contact For Paws Hospice at 727.639.9285
M*A*S*H Mobile Animal Shelter Hospice is a registered trademark of For Paws Hospice, Inc and H.A.L.O Animal Ambulance. Inc

Event schedule:

The For Paws Hospice M*A*S*H Unit will be in Clearwater October 16 for The Blessing of the Animals, sponsored by Clearwater Unity Church, 2465 Nursery Road, Clearwater, Fl 33764

Monday, September 20, 2010

Wife volunteers husband to eat dog food for a month to benefit non profits for pets

Press Release

9.20.2010 - Lucky Dog Cuisine has teamed with Tampa Bay Non Profit, For Paws Hospice and Canine Cancer Awareness Org. - Company President will feed husband dog food for a month and share it on Youtube.

Bluffton SC, September 17, 2010: Dr. Janice Elenbaas, the driving force behind Lucky Dog
Cuisine is at it again. Known for their high quality healthy natural “human grade” dog food Lucky Dog Cuisine is also garnering a reputation as an off the wall fundraiser for animal non profit organizations. Her dog recently wrote a book called “Educating Humans” and all of the retail profits from that go to animal charities. This time she has her husband Jeff eating nothing but Lucky Dog for the entire month of October to raise money and awareness for a couple of wonderful charities.

With one in four dogs now being diagnosed with cancer each year the time has come to get more
proactive. People just don’t realize the magnitude of the problem and the tie in with Lucky Dog’s
philosophy is a natural. In Dr. Elenbaas words, “When an Oncologist diagnoses a patient with cancer, human or dog, one of the first things they recommend is to remove all processed foods from their diet.

At Lucky Dog, we don’t’ believe in processed foods in the first place. We encourage people to get their dogs on to a “whole food” diet before the problem strikes. When we found we could help with such a great cause we had to help.”

“The For Paws Hospice connection is a little different for us,” said Lucky Dog Cuisine’s President Dr. Janice Elenbaas. “Hospice care for pets is a new concept in companion animal care. They provide guidance and support to pet families at what is probably the low point of their lives.
For Paws Hospice, helps with things that no one ever thinks about. When a homeless person dies who had a dog, what happens to the dog,” Elenbaas writes? “If it happens to be in the Tampa Bay area it probably ends up with For Paws Hospice. They have had dogs taken into homes that were in their late teens that had never been in a house before. They may be lesser known but they are a great group.”

About Canine Cancer Awareness Org                   

1. Canine Cancer Awareness raises funds that are distributed for veterinary care for dogs with
cancer whose families are financially unable to provide treatment.
2. Canine Cancer Awareness is a tax-deductible non-profit organization whose aim is to raise
awareness of the prevalence of canine cancer, its effects and the available treatment options.
3. CCA's strives to elevate the public level of awareness while working in coordination with other
programs involved with issues regarding canine cancer.
4. CCA works to establish public and private relationships for financial support of the Canine
Cancer Awareness program by the raising of funds through various outlets, including, special
events, and annual dues from Associate Membership.

About For Paws Hospice Org                                    

For Paws Hospice is a not for profit organization assisting pet owners in Tampa Bay. Like
human hospice, For Paws Hospice assists families coping with life issues; in this case for their companion animal's including shelter, nutrition, advocacy, illness and treatment, long term care and final arrangements for life closure: keeping pets and their families together.

About Lucky Dog Cuisine

Each of Lucky Dog's five recipes is specially designed as a whole meal. It is easy to use, just thaw and serve! Along with their new grass fed beef flavors, they also offer their custom ground turkey option. Calcium is provided by cheeses and yogurt, not egg shells or bone meal. A variety of vegetables are steamed in filtered water and pureed for easy digestion. The company even uses extra virgin olive oil to ensure no chemical processing. All ingredients are sourced from right here in the United States! There are absolutely no additives or preservatives, by-products or meat meals in any of the recipes. Real food with nothing artificial! These recipes are all tested by the South Carolina Dept. of Agriculture and by independent labs for quality and nutrition. “Our food is so good, you can eat it too!”

Lucky Dog Cuisine Inc. is based in Bluffton, South Carolina. Shipping can be arranged for delivery straight to the customer’s door. Visit the company website for details

For further information email the company at

Contact: Jeff Ginn
Lucky Dog Cuisine Inc.
Phone 843-227-3331   

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Poverty and the future of families

Recently released date from the 2009 census predicts the number of American families living below the poverty threshold will continue to growth in 2011.

A report released today by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities predicts thatfile:///Users/harlanweikle/Downloads/Census%27%202009%20Poverty%20and%20Health%20Insurance%20Data-5.pdf

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Veterinary prescription program

The National Association of Counties in partnership with Caremark, corporate owner of CVS Pharmacies has established a grant program to fund discounts on prescription medications to American Families who are either uninsured or under insured.

The discount card automatically earns on average a 24% discount of prescription drugs at more than sixty thousand locations across the country. including most major national pharmacy chains as well as Walmart and on line outlets.

The program is funded by voluntary contributions from the pharmaceutical manufacturers who have signed an agreement with Caremark and NACo the administrators of the program delivery. 

According to Jim Philips at the NACo office in Washington, DC the program was intended to benefit Americans who are not insured and not able to afford the rising cost of prescription medication. Philips stressed that the discount prescription program is intended to benefit the whole family including pets when a valid veterinary prescription is presented.
Prescription holders can pick up a card at most CVS stores or contact your local county administration to obtain the card. The card is free and requires no registration.County offices will also have a joint letter from the NACo and Caremark describing the program's intent including a statement regarding the veterinary prescription component. You should ask your local county office for a copy of that letter in case a retailer is unfamiliar with the  program.

The NACo Prescription Discount Card Program also provides a website where you may download and print the discount card: The program is free and there are no restrictions on the number of times it may be used or the total amount of the savings to a single person or family.

If your community is not on the list you may choose any listed city on the site and download that discount card – there are no restrictions for residency and you do not have to show identification other than a valid prescription.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Stem Cell Therapy

Dr. Kevin Conrad, DVM

Stem cells are primitive cells that are present in every tissue. These cells are trophic factories implying they are cell renewing and can develop into any type of tissue.

Embryonic Stem Cells are more complicated; they prefer to form whole bodies and not just repair tissue. They have a tendency to form teratomas i.e. growths containing hair, teeth, bone, etc. They are classically used as an allograft where stem cells from the same species are used in different individuals. Thus rejection of the foreign genotype is common.

Adult stem cells can be used as autologous grafts, meaning cells from the individual are used for itself, i.e. same species, same individual.

Stem cells provide five mechanisms of repair:

  1. Trophic differentiation to become necessary cells for repair.

  2. Reduce inflammation to the damaged tissue.

  3. Stimulate growth factors which increases blood flow, reduces scarring and blocks cell death after stimulation of resident cells.

  4. Provide a homing sense to an injured site

  5. Stimulate the immune system to improve healing.

Adipose (fat) tissue is used because:

  • It has a very high cell count

  • Is easy to access

  • Will continue to renew itself

  • May be used readily as an autolgous graft with minimal preparation

  • Low risk of rejection

  • Provides a rapid turn around, i.e. no wait time for culturing

Current and potential uses of stem cell therapy in veterinary medicine

Hip dysplasia
Knee damage from anterior cruciate ligament rupture
Other ligament or tendon damage
Post surgical failures
Hepatic disease
Renal disease
Wound healing
Inflammatory bowel syndrome
Autoimmune skin disease
Immune mediated thrombocytopenia
Cardiovascular or ischemic disease
Spinal disease

Editor’s note:

Dr. Conrad recently preformed surgical stem cell therapy on a For Paws Hospice patient named Buddy, a seventy pound, eight year old male Golden Retriever. Buddy had a torn ACL and suffered from degenerative hip disease due to and earlier accident.

The procedure consisted of four injections of stem cell material extracted from fat cells harvested from Buddy’s belly fat.

Four stem cell injections were administered to Buddy forty-eight hour hours following the cell harvest procedure in four sites: both back knees, hip and a final injection systemically.

The laboratory which extracted the stem cell medium retains several samples of Buddy’s stem cells in liquid nitrogen which remain available for followup therapy.

Buddy is now undergoing a regimen of therapy to strengthen as well as promote the healthy growth of new tissue at those injured sites. He is expected to make a full recovery and again be able to walk with his owner.

Dr. Conrad is a member of For Paws Hospice Board of Directors and a practicing veterinarian in Clearwater, FL.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile Virus on rise

Animal Health Experts Warn Horse Owners About Early Danger Signs of Widespread Mosquito-Borne Diseases

NEW YORK, Sept. 7 -- Animal health experts warn that fatal cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile are being reported in numerous states, even in areas where activity has been low for several years. This follows a rise in the early warning signs of mosquito-borne diseases that include Eastern Equine Encephalitis, West Nile and Western Equine Encephalitis. This doesn't bode well for either horses or humans.

To help prevent the spread of additional cases, Pfizer Animal Health and other health organizations are strongly encouraging horse owners and veterinarians to follow the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) guidelines for vaccinations against mosquito-borne diseases.

"If horses aren't vaccinated, this situation could become much worse," says Kevin Hankins, DVM, MBA, Equine Veterinary Services at Pfizer Animal Health.

States like Florida that monitor the development of mosquito-borne diseases through sentinel chickens are seeing an upsurge in the detection of Eastern Equine Encephalitis across the state, and in many areas that are not usually affected. This is considered to be a serious warning that unvaccinated horses from across the country are at risk for contracting Eastern Equine Encephalitis as well as other mosquito-borne illnesses, particularly West Nile and Western Equine Encephalitis.

"Historically, we've seen Eastern Equine Encephalitis restricted to the south and southeast parts of the country," says Julie Wilson, DVM Diplomate ACVIM at the University of Minnesota. "But we're now seeing many cases reported in northern regions that include Michigan, Massachusetts and up into Maine." In addition, officials at the Kentucky State Veterinarian's Office have recently confirmed the first case of West Nile virus in Kentucky in 2010 in a mare with no history of immunization against the disease. California has also reported the number of West Nile cases to have more than doubled from 2009.

The American Association of Equine Practitioners says that Eastern Equine Encephalitis, Western Equine Encephalitis and West Nile Virus are considered core vaccinations for horses, along with tetanus and rabies. Though annual vaccinations should happen in early spring, the AAEP also recommends boosters after five or six months.

Pfizer Animal Health offers a trusted line of vaccines, including WEST NILE-INNOVATOR®, to help protect against West Nile virus. In addition, the Mosquito Shot (TM) (WEST NILE-INNOVATOR® + EWT) helps protect against Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE) and West Nile Virus (WNV) in a single vaccine. All Pfizer Animal Health equine vaccines are backed by an Immunization Support Guarantee. Pfizer Animal Health will support reasonable diagnostic and treatment costs up to $5,000 if a horse properly vaccinated by a veterinarian with one of its antigens contracts the corresponding equine disease (EEE, WEE, WNV, Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis (VEE), Tetanus or Influenza).

"Given the activity we're seeing in the northern states for Eastern Equine Encephalitis and for West Nile Virus across the country," says Maureen Long, DVM PhD., Fern Audette Associate Professor in Equine Studies at the University of Florida and noted West Nile Virus researcher, "all horse owners within the United States should work with their veterinarians to make sure their vaccine strategies are appropriate."

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hospice and women's shelters, common ground

Hospice for pets and women's abuse centers may find a common ground in support of families at risk.

American Humane, ( the nation's oldest charitable organization advocating for children and animals has developed The Pets and Women’s Shelters Program (PAWS)™. We talked to Allie Phillips, director of public policy for American Humane and creator of PAWS who said the organization started PAWS because she, like many of her colleagues, frequently witnessed the pain victims go through when they are forced to stay in abusive situations because they fear for their pets’ safety.

For Paws Hospice and a coalition of local business leaders and supporters is working now to introduce the PAWS program to women's shelters in FL.

You can read more about the PAWS program at American Humane/PAWS ( The association also offers a program guide for starting the PAWS program at your local shelter.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Pet wheels - the gift of mobility

Red is a "runt" pit that was rescued from a closet, locked there by youngsters who tried to hide him from their parents, Red still can't stand being locked up. The family that rescued Red has three other dogs all rescues, all hurt in some way; but Red doesn't mind he has brothers and sisters.

Now another situation threatens to lock Red up once again, Red has a debilitating arthritis and a cracked vertebra that may condemn Red to isolation from family walks and backyard romps; Red needs a wheel cart.

Red's owners contacted For Paws Hospice looking to our Cart Share program called Bosco's wheels for help.

Bosco's Wheels is a program that donates used carts to families like Red's who care about their animals but can't afford the $300 - $500 cost of a new cart.

For Paws pays all the expenses to refurbish used carts and fit the patient as well as the cost of rehabilitation care and shipping. The cart is free to the family to use as long as it's needed and then it's returned to For Paws Hospice and made available to another needy pet.

Bosco's list has five carts, three are in use and two available, unfortunately Red needs a cart just a little smaller than the two on hand.

If you have a cart sitting idle and could donate it to Red or any of the other dogs waiting for wheels please contact us at or call 727.639.9285.

Your gift of mobility can change a life.