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April 2010

March 2010

New Stamps Encourage Adopting a Shelter Pet

Stamp On April 30, the U.S. Postal Service will issue a set of "Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet" first-class stamps. The stamps show photographs of ten shelter pets (five dogs and five cats), all of whom were homeless at one time, and all of whom have now been adopted.

Shown here is Trevor, a Labrador Retriever. Trevor and his 8-week old litter mates were found abandoned at a new home construction site. They were rescued and Trevor has been adopted. You can read the individual stories of the other nine pets here.

To celebrate the launch, Halo: Purely for Pets will donate a million meals to animal shelters around the country.

The stamps will be available in books of 20 at local post offices as of April 30, or you can pre-order stamps here.

Customized Pet Food

Redmoonpetfood How would you like to create your own unique blend of pet food for your dog? Maybe you want a certain level of protein, or a food that's free of grains and gluten. Or maybe you want special supplements that aid in digestion or help with joint health.

A new company called Red Moon allows you to customize your own dog food. You create your own mixture online and Red Moon will package it for you and ship it free. They'll also provide trial sizes.

With more dog owners interested in nutritional requirements that are unique to their individual pets, this could be an idea whose time has come. Check them out at:

How We Communicate with Our Best Friends

Smilingdog The recent "Wags Not Words" Survey, conducted by a research firm for Del Monte's Pup-Peroni brand dog snacks, reveals that the majority of American dog owners believe they can communicate with their best friends.

  • Nearly three in four (74 percent) dog owners surveyed say their dog's body language or facial expressions let them know how their pet is feeling.
  • Seven in ten dog owners (70 percent) says they have "shared a look" with their dog on at least one occasion.
  • Nearly half (49 percent) believe they know exactly what their pet is thinking.
  • More than a third (34 percent) report that they've had an entire "conversation" with their dogs without saying a word.
  • A remarkable 89 percent of survey respondents said there have been moments when their dogs tried to comfort them in times of need.
  • Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) says their dogs are more dependable than their human best friends.
  • The vast majority (89 percent) of dog owners admit that their dogs are usually more excited to greet them when they come home than their significant others (sorry, dear!).

So there you have it: Some very good reasons dogs really are our best friends!

Dogs and Car Safety

Oven_new1 Two big safety concerns related to cars always pop up as the weather gets warmer: leaving a dog in a hot car, and letting a dog ride in the open bed of a pickup truck.

Hot Cars
On warm days, the inside of a car heats up very quickly. For example, when it's 85 degrees outside, the inside temperature of a car with the windows slightly open can reach 102 degrees in 10 minutes. According to the Animal Protection Institute, a dog's normal body temperature ranges from 101 to 102.5 degrees. Dogs can withstand a body temperature of 107 to 108 degrees for only a very short period of time before suffering serious effects or even death... so don't take a risk leaving your dog in a car when temperatures are on the rise. For more information, visit .

Pickup Trucks
Dogs riding in the open beds of pickup trucks may look like they're having fun -- but they're not safe. A dog can easily be thrown from the truck bed onto the road. According to The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), there is no brand of harness known that has been proven safe to restrain a dog in the open bed of a pickup truck. Instead, says HSUS, put your dog in the cab in a travel crate or other pet carrier.

The Animal Rescue Site

Theanimalrescuesite Need a daily dose of happy rescue stories? Want to help animals in shelters? Then all you need to do is go to The Animal Rescue Site once each day. There you'll read about dogs, cats, and other animals that have been rescued, and by simply clicking on the site, you'll be helping shelter animals. The Animal Rescue Site gets sponsors to run online ads, and the more clicks on the site, the more revenue they potentially make. They give all the money from the advertisers to partners who provide food and care for rescued animals.

Sign up on the site to receive a free daily email reminder to click and you'll receive a rescue story in each email, too. Shown here is a typical story.

ReTail Scene: Spring's Here! Get a T-Shirt!

T-shirt1 We've all been anxiously awaiting Spring... and now it's here. What better way to usher in warmer weather (thank goodness!) than with your very own doggie t-shirt. Choose from t-shirts with photos of doggies in the mountains... or the Carolina Mountain Dog masthead... or the slogan, "Save a Dog's Life. OPT TO ADOPT!"

You can even get a cool t-shirt for your doggie with the OPT TO ADOPT! slogan. Check out all the cool stuff -- hats, mugs, and more -- at our store:

A portion of all sales from this store will be donated to shelters and animal welfare organizations in the Carolina mountains.Doggieshirt

CANINE CRUISIN': Fun Park for Dogs in the Upstate

Dogparksign If you live in or are traveling to the Upstate, you'll find a place near Greer where your dog can play all day. "Six Wags of Greer" is a privately-run dog park that features 3 very large fenced in play areas for small, medium, and large dogs -- complete with benches, toys, shade, and a running creek. It also includes two separate play areas for dogs that might do better playing alone, and one of those areas is outfitted with agility equipment.

You pay $5 for an "all-day pass" for your first dog, and $2 for each additional dog. It's a bargain even for a few hours of fun. The park is well-maintained and open 7 days a week from 7 AM to 8 PM. If no one's at the small shack on the property, just leave your money in the mail slot.

Chesteratsixwags Six Wags of Greer is located on Highway 14, between Landrum and Greer, about 6 miles beyond the intersection of Highway 11 and Highway 14, heading towards Greer. The park will be on your right. Visit the CANINE CRUISIN' page for more photos of the park. (If you're using a GPS, put in the address 3671 Highway 14, Greer.)

Search and Rescue Dogs

Searchandrescuedog Along with the many wonderful things we know about dogs, let's not forget the amazing canines in North and South Carolina that function as part of search and rescue teams. These highly skilled dogs are trained in search tactics and are used for tracking and trailing. Contrary to popular belief, search and rescue dogs come in all breeds and sizes.

These dogs work as part of volunteer teams supported by the North Carolina Search and Rescue Dog Association, South Carolina Search and Rescue Dog Association, and South Carolina Search Dogs, all of which are non-profit volunteer organizations. In fact, they typically respond at no charge to assist local, state and federal agencies in searching for lost or missing persons, including children, Alzheimer patients, boaters, downed aircraft, mountain hikers, or others in need. Consider supporting these organizations -- some day a search and rescue dog might help save you or someone you know!

Is a Holistic Vet Right for Your Dog? (Part 2)

Holistic In Part 1, we discussed various forms of therapy provided by holistic vets.

Part 2 is a list of holistic vets, all members of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, located in the Carolina mountains.

North Carolina
Laurel Davis, DVM
Sunvet Animal Wellness Clinic

Andrea Fochios, DVM, People and Pets Acupuncture

Erin Husted, DVM, Charlotte Street Animal Hospital

Susan Mast, DVM, Appalachian New River Veterinary Association

Ann Holshouser, DVM, Riversong Veterinary Clinic

Robert Fitch, DVM, Angela Mitchell, DVM, Bonnie Brae Veterinary Hospital
Kristine Woodaman, DVM, Integrated Veterinary Healing

Thomas Todd, Jr., DVM, Noah's Ark Companion Animal Hospital

South Carolina
Travelers Rest

Jeanne Fowler, DVM, All About Pets Vet Services

Charlie Timmerman, DVM, Aiken Veterinary Clinic
Maria Glinski, DVM, Care Center
Shelly Onderdonk, DVM

Is a Holistic Vet Right for Your Dog? (Part 1)

Acupuncture Holistic medicine has grown in popularity in recent years because it considers the whole being and often includes treatments that are generally viewed as "alternative" medicine. While holistic veterinarians can provide traditional treatments, they are also typically skilled in specialized areas such as acupuncture, behavior modification, herbal medicine, homeopathy, augmentation therapy, and chiropractic.

In Part 1 of this post, we'll briefly discuss some of these areas of holistic medicine. In Part 2, we'll provide a list of holistic vets in the Carolina mountains.

The following information is adapated from the American Holistic Veterinary Medicine Association (

Holistic medicine
Holistic veterinary medicine is interested in treating the "whole" dog -- physical, behavioral, medical history, dietary, emotional, and environmental factors. The holistic vet considers "the environment, the disease pattern, the relationship of pet with owner" and develops a treatment plan that "uses a wide range of therapies for healing the patient."
Acupuncture is "a technique for relieving pain and for improving the function of organ systems by stimulating acupuncture points on the surface of the body." Veterinary acupuncture aims to strengthen the body's immune system.
Herbal medicine
Herbal medicine uses plants and plant extracts to treat conditions and diseases. Medicines used may include Western herbs, Chinese herbs, and Ayervedic herbs from India. "Herbs have healing powers that are capable of balancing the emotional, mental and phsical dimensions of animals."
Homeopathy works on the principle of "like cures like." Homepathic remedies "contain vibrational energy essences that match the patterns present in the diseased state within the ailing patient."
Augmentation therapy
Also known as orthomolecular medicine, augmentation therapy uses supplemental minerals, vitamins, and nutrients to treat conditions and diseases.
Employed to treat "a broad spectrum of conditions in animals," veterinary chiropractic uses "hands-on specific adjustments" to alleviate problems.

Part 2 will list holistic veterinarians who are members of the AHVMA and are located in the Carolina mountains.

Spay/Neuter in the Upstate

Anxiousdog Spaying and neutering cats and dogs is proven to be the best way to reduce animal over-population, which continues to be a serious problem in the Upstate. For an excellent overview of some of the myths and realities of spay and neutering, read this document from the ASPCA.

There are a number of spay/neuter clinics in the Upstate South Carolina area. Check with your local humane society or veterinarian for the clinic nearest you. These include:

Animal Allies
Low-cost spay/neuter clinic

Greenville Humane Society
Spay/neuter clinic

ReTail Scene: Create Your Own Custom Dog ID Tag

Blamedogtag Our friends at Dog Tag Art offer hundreds of cool original designs produced on high-quality personalized dog tags. (These tags are so good they're guaranteed for life.) Now they've come up with a way for you to take your own favorite photo or any artwork and put it on your doggie's tag.

It's easy to make your own tag -- just click here or click on the Dog Tag Art button under "Good Buys" on the right. That will take you to the Dog Tag Art home page. Go to the "Create a Custom ID Tag" tab at the top of the page and follow the simple instructions for uploading and personalizing your tag.  In seconds you'll create your very own one-of-a-kind ID tag and it will be sent to you within 24 hours of your order. How cool is that!

POOCH PATHS: Lake Powhatan, Asheville, NC

Powhatan022710 021 Lake Powhatan is a small lake with a sandy beach within Bent Creek Experimental Forest. The lake is a particularly great spot for the month of March because the lake and accompanying overnight camping area is closed until April 1. That means you and your doggies have the run of the place (including the beach) since cars, campers, and swimmers aren't around. You also don't have to pay any fee, which is required after the lake opens.

The lake and the surrounding roads and trails make for a great outing. You can walk, jog, or bike ride on the paved roads (it's moderately hilly but not too bad), or you can hike on the many trails near the lake and in Bent Creek. Your dog will love splashing around on the bank or running in the sand. During the off-season, many people let their dogs run free, although when the lake is open, dogs must be leashed.

The lake is easily accessible via the entrance to Bent Creek, which is right off the Blue Ridge Parkway at the North Carolina Arboretum exit, Route 191 (Brevard Road towards Asheville). Follow the signs to Bent Creek/Lake Powhatan. Go past the Hard Times Trailhead on the left (which itself is a great spot to pick up numerous trails). The road then forks and the entrance to Lake Powhatan is on the left. You can park outside the gate to the right and walk up the hill. Follow the signs for swimming and fishing to get to the lake. Walking around the empty campground, which is largely shaded, is also a nice stroll. During the off-season, the gates are closed to vehicles but foot traffic is allowed.

Visit the POOCH PATHS page for additional information and directions from I-26.