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March 2012

February 2012

Real Star of "The Artist" - Uggie!

Uggie-335mk020712If you watched the Academy Awards ceremony last Sunday, you may have seen a little dog on stage when "The Artist" won Best Picture. It was that dog, Uggie, whom to many was the real star of the movie. (If you haven't yet seen "The Artist," it's worth watching the movie just for Uggie's scenes!)

According to Uggie's trainer/owner, Omar Von Muller, Uggie was a cast-off who became the member of a lot of casts. “A friend of mine called and said there was a family that had a Jack Russell who was really hyper, and they were going to get rid of him,” Von Muller told Vetstreet. “So I took him home and started training him. He was pretty much set to be a star.” Uggie is now a veteran of movies. In addition to his role in "The Artist," the dog has been in "Water for Elephants" and "The Italian Job."

Uggie received the first ever "Golden Collar Award," the doggie version of an Oscar, for his role in "The Artist," but the ten-year old Jack Russell Terrier will be retiring from acting. Uggie has a neurological problem that causes him to shake. Von Muller says doctors indicate he is not in any discomfort, he just isn't well-suited to continuing an acting career.

Photo credit: Joel Ryan, AP

Paws On A Mission-Info. Session, Asheville, March 4

PawsonaMissionPaws On A Mission is a pet therapy program with nearly 100 volunteers and 80 therapy dogs who donate services to fifteen agencies in Buncombe and McDowell Counties, as well as Mission Hospital programs. Volunteers provide over 1,700 regularly scheduled visits per year to brighten the lives of patients, nursing home residents, students, and others. The program is a wonderful experience for both humans and dogs alike.

On Sunday, March 4 from 4:00 to 5:30 PM, Paws On A Mission will hold a volunteer information session about the program in the Community Education Room at the Asheville Humane Society Adoption Center, 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville (off Brevard and Pond Roads, behind Harmony Volkswagen/Audi and near the Farmers Market).

The information session will cover how to become a registered Pet Therapy Team. Attendees will learn about the attributes of a great team, general requirements and steps for registration with Delta Society of Therapy Dogs, Inc., and the process for becoming a Mission Hospital Volunteer to visit with your dog in healthcare, education and residential settings through Paws On A Mission.

Reserve your spot today (humans only please) by contacting Jade Frank, Pet Therapy Coordinator, via email: If you have questions, feel free to contact Jade via email or phone: (828) 213-0131.

The next session is scheduled for Monday, May 14 from 6 to 7:30 PM at the same location.

Dine to be Kind-Asheville, Feb. 28

DinetobekindOn Tuesday, February 28, dozens of Asheville area restaurants will be contributing a portion of their day’s proceeds to benefit Animal Compassion Network’s long-running low-income spay/neuter program and its other lifesaving programs.

ACN’s 9th Annual Dine to Be Kind will take place on National Spay Day as part of a national campaign to promote the lifesaving benefits of spay and neuter programs for dogs and cats. ACN’s spay/neuter program — known as the Betty Fund — was established in 2000 in honor of a two-year-old stray Golden Retriever mix named Betty, who gave birth to 18 puppies in just one year. Betty was rescued, spayed, and put into rehabilitation. Betty and all of her puppies were eventually adopted into loving homes. ACN started the Betty Fund in order to prevent more cases like Betty’s. The Betty Fund pays all or most of the entire cost of the spay/neuter surgery for pets belonging to families in need. Since the program began ACN has ACN has assisted in the spaying or neutering of more than 10,000 Western North Carolina cats and dogs.

Treat yourself to a meal at one of the many participating restaurants and support spay/neuter programs at the same time. Visit for a list of restaurants and further details.

$10 for $20 Worth of Goods at Patton Avenue Pet Company

Pattonavepet-front (2)One of our advertisers, Patton Avenue Pet Company, is currently making a great offer through Pay $10 and you'll get $20 worth of merchandise at this hip, new independently -owned pet store with its very own fenced-in dog park out back!

Patton Avenue Pet Company is located at 1388 Patton Avenue in Asheville.

Check out the deal here:  But hurry, it is only good until Saturday, February 25 at 12:00 AM.

Free "Stop the Barking" Session-Asheville, Feb. 25

ScreenHunter_03 Jan. 13 16.13Pet Behavior Aid will hold a free session to help dog owners deal with barking. If you tried everything you know to do do to stop your dog from barking so much, then this session is for you. Learn the different types of barks, what they mean, and creative ways to stop the barking.

The session will be held on Saturday, February 25 from 11 AM to 12 PM at Patton Avenue Pet Company, 1388 Patton Avenue (near Haywood Road), Asheville.

For more information, visit or call (828) 707-0644. This session is sponsored by Pet Behavior Aid, an organization dedicated to to increasing the retention of companion animals in their homes in Western North Carolina.

Low-Cost Shot Clinic-Asheville, Weaverville, Feb. 25

SyringeNeed to get your dog vaccinated? Come to the low-cost shot clinic on Saturday, February 25 at two locations in Buncombe County:

Asheville: Tractor Supply, Old Brevard Road, from 9 AM to 12 PM
Weaverville: Tractor Supply, Monticello Road, from 1 PM to 3 PM

1 and 3-year rabies shots are just $10. DHLPP combo is $15 and Bordetella is $15.

For more information call (828) 553-5792. Services provided by James Boatwright, DVM.

Greenville Dog Show-Feb. 17-19

ScreenHunter_02 Jan. 16 13.55The Greenville Kennel Club of Greenville, SC hosts the Greenville Dog Show on February 17-19 at the TD Convention Center (formerly The Carolina First Center), One Exposition Avenue in Greenville. There is no admission and it makes a great family outing. Only dogs entered in the event are permitted on the show grounds.

There will be 3 obedience trials and 3 rally trials. Friday, February 17 features the Hendersonville Kennel Club, Saturday, February 18 features the Greenville Kennel Club, and Sunday, February 19 features the Spartanburg Kennel Club. At the same location will be the following Specialties: Bulldog Club of Greenville on Thursday evening, February 16; English Cocker Spaniel Club of America on Sunday, February 19, Newfoundland Club of America on Saturday, February 18, and Shetland Sheepdog Club of Spartanburg on Sunday, February 19.

Visitors to the Greenville Dog Show and potential dog owners have the opportunity to interact with breeders and owners to gather information before purchasing a pet. There are vendors featuring many dog and pet-related items, such as food, toys, books and magazines. Concessions are also available. For more information, visit .

"Dog Show" at Blue Spiral 1 Gallery, Asheville

ScreenHunter_01 Feb. 06 20.14A most unusual exhibit is being held at one of Asheville's finest art galleries, Blue Spiral 1, located at 38 Biltmore Avenue. Called "Dog Show," the exhibit features paintings, prints, fiber and whimsical objects in glass, metal, clay and mixed media, all of which celebrate dogs.

Fifteen artists were invited to create playful works and the results are striking, to say the least. Blue Spiral 1 is open Monday through Saturday, 10 AM - 6 PM and Noon to 5 PM Sunday. The exhibit runs through February 25. For additional information and to see samples of the work, visit the gallery's website: .

Shown: Puppies by Melanie Eberhardt, Gouache on paper

How to Snow Shoe with Your Dog

By Sarah Ritchie for Exceptional Canine

Dogs in snowSnowshoeing with your dog is a unique and fun way to get out and enjoy the snowy winter months. And it’s not just for the big breeds. My Chihuahua, which hates rain, will eagerly leap out of the car when we arrive at the mountain for some snowshoeing action. It’s a great workout for yourself and your dog. However, there are some things both you and your dog will need to make it a safe and comfortable adventure.

What You Will Need

  • Warm layers you can peel off if you start to sweat
  • Waste bags
  • Snacks
  • A cell phone, in case of emergencies
  • A map of the area, if available

What Your Dog Will Need

  • Water and a travel dish
  • Treats
  • A jacket (for smaller dogs)
  • Shoes (not all dogs need these; they can cause smaller breeds to slip)
  • A backpack (it’ll add to your dog’s workout, and it provides a handy place to store treats and bags)
  • A small waterproof mat to sit on during a break

Take Precautions and Be Flexible
In addition to bringing all the right equipment, you’ll want to research the area in which you’ll be snowshoeing. Know the route in advance and plan for a trip that can be shortened if need be. Snowshoeing is a rigorous sport, so make sure you and your dog do not hike out too far without the energy to return back. Even if you are familiar with the area, if this is your dog’s first time snowshoeing, you’ll want to limit your actual time out in the woods until you know how your dog responds to the new environment. Check in advance to ensure that dogs are permitted in the area where you are going to snowshoe.

Other Factors to Consider
Snow might clump in your dog’s paws and cause discomfort. Stop regularly to see if this is happening and to clean your dog’s paws. Also:

  • Keep your dog on-leash: Snow may mask scents, causing your dog to become disoriented
  • Be on the lookout for animal tracks and any other wildlife activity
  • Stay on well-marked trails
  • Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return

Being well-prepared will make this a more enjoyable new experience for both you and your dog.


Exceptional Canine expert Sarah Ritchie is an avid outdoor enthusiast who enjoys writing about her many West Coast adventures with her two spirited mixed-breed rescue dogs, Tiggy and Holly. Her website is

Free Help for Fearful Dogs-Asheville, Feb. 11

Be Brave

Pet Behavior Aid will hold a free information session for owners of fearful dogs on Saturday, February 11, from 10 to 11:30 AM.

Topics include how to help your dog gain confidence, learning how to understand signs of anxiety and when to step in, how to prevent fear from becoming aggression, and fundamental techniques to help your "wallflower" blossom. The session will be held at the Asheville Humane Society Adoption and Education Center, 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville. Humans only, please.

For more information, visit or call (828) 707-0644. This session is sponsored by Pet Behavior Aid, an organization dedicated to to increasing the retention of companion animals in their homes in Western North Carolina.

Photo credit: Image: Stuart Miles /

"My Furry Valentine" - Adoptions Just $14!-Asheville, Feb. 10-11

Freddie with heartYour "furry Valentine" could end up being the love of your life! On Friday and Saturday, February 10 and 11, that furry Valentine will be waiting for you at the Asheville Humane Society Adoption Center, 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville. Hours will be from 12 to 6 PM both days.

Stop by and see all the adorable adult dogs and cats (6 months and older) available for just $14 each in honor of Valentine's Day. You'll also get to taste a free scrumptious sample of cakeballs, Asheville's newest gourmet dessert craze, courtesy of Biltmore Cakeball Bakery (located at the Biltmore Square Mall). And you can buy a Valentine's gift box of cakeballs at a special price while you're there.Cakeballs

Don't miss out on the love! Come to the Adoption Center Feb. 10 and 11. It's located at the intersection of Brevard Road and Pond Road, near the Farmers Market. To see all the animals available for adoption, visit

Live in 28806? Get Your Dog Fixed Free!

ScreenHunter_04 Jan. 16 14.42Spay/neuter is the only real way to "fix" the pet overpopulation problem in the Carolina mountains and nationwide. Luckily, our area is home to Humane Alliance, a spay/neuter clinic that is also the nation's leading trainer in high volume, high quality, low cost spay/neuter procedures.

Now through a grant from PetSmart Charities, Asheville residents who live in the zip code area 28806 are entitled to get their dogs fixed for free. That's right it will cost you nothing, nada, zero! In Asheville, the law is that dogs and cats must be spayed or neutered by the time they are six months old. The procedure is safe on animals as young as eight weeks old.

To take advantage of this free program, call Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, (828) 505-3440 and ask about "Operation Fix-A-Dog," or email: .

Dog Stars in Super Bowl VW Ad

The upcoming Super Bowl on Sunday will be a showcase not just for football, but for new ads. Traditionally, advertisers pull out all the stops since they can reach over 100 million viewers at one sitting (at an average cost of about $3.5 million for 30 seconds of air time.)

A number of advertisers have already released their ads. We have it on good authority that animals will be very popular this year, and this pre-released ad about a dog who wants to get in shape from Volkswagen will surely be one of the best -- even though this version has a somewhat strange "Star Wars" ending to it.



February is Spay-Neuter Awareness Month

ScreenHunter_01 Jan. 23 16.50February is Spay-Neuter Awareness Month, culminating in "World Spay Day," which occurs on February 28, 2012. World Spay Day is presented by The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International

World Spay Day is truly a global effort: Hundreds of animal welfare organizations, veterinary clinics and hospitals, schools, businesses, and individuals in the United States and around the world organize World Spay Day events to educate people in their communities about the life-saving importance of spay/neuter,  to provide spay/neuter services at special prices for particular populations, and to raise critical spay/neuter funds.

World Spay Day helps many people and animals worldwide: Thousands of individuals attend World Spay Day events and enter their pets’ photos in the World Spay Day Pet Photo Contest.

Pet Photo Contest

The World Spay Day Pet Photo Contest is an online photo contest designed to give people an opportunity to show off their pets and win prizes, to raise awareness of the importance of spay/neuter, and to raise critical funding for spay/neuter services and promotion. It runs during Spay/Neuter Awareness Month, from Feb. 1 – 29, 2012. It's easy and fun!

  • Enter your pet's photo. It's free!
  • Choose a pre-qualified organization to benefit from the votes your pet's photo receives. Each vote for your pet's photo is just a $1 donation, and all funds raised go to support spay/neuter to help save pets' lives.
  • Vote for your pet!
  • Ask everyone you know to vote for your pet's photo.

You can win prizes for getting the highest number of votes and for having the best photo! For more information about the contest, visit: