Rhode Island Looks to Ban Small Dogs from Driver’s Laps

A 2010 survey by AAA found that we dog owning drivers are a distracted bunch – and we are distracted by our dogs!

21% of respondents had driven with a dog in their lap;  7% admitted to feeding or watering their dogs while the car was in motion; 5% of those who participated said that they have played with their dog as they were driving.

Even without the ridiculously dangerous behavior, 39% said that they were distracted by their dog no matter where the dog spent the car trip.  I would believe that number is probably higher, much higher.

The legislators in Rhode Island are attempting to do something about this problem by banning small dogs from riding in the drivers’ laps.  The proposal is part of a larger, more comprehensive effort to lessen the number of distractions that drivers currently deal with.

The bill’s sponsor,  Rep. Peter G. Palumbo, proposed the law after hearing how one of his constituents had managed to avoid being in two separate accidents where the drivers were paying more attention to the small dogs sitting in their laps.

The penalties for those caught with a dog in their lap while driving are just enough to deter but not break the bank. Offenders would be fined $85 fine for first offenses, a $100 fine for second offenses and a $125 fine for subsequent offenses.

If the bill passes Rhode Island would be the first state to have an in-car law regulating where dogs can be or not be.  Several states have laws prohibiting dogs from riding the in open truck beds without restraints.  In 2008, California had a bill passed through state assembly that would have made it illegal to allow a dog to be unrestrained within a car, but it was vetoed by the Governor.  Although there is no dog-specific law, there are many states that have distracted driver laws – meaning that anything that distracts the driver is prohibited (no shaving, putting on makeup, or riding around with so many cats that the driver can’t see out the back window like one South Dakota woman – the number of cats: 15!)

Normally, I’m not a fan of new laws, but if people can’t use common sense to recognize a dangerous situation then I suppose a law (basically the governmental equivalent of a warning label) is not an altogether bad idea.  It doesn’t take a genius to see the potential hazards of what can happen to a tiny 10-pound body when an airbag is deployed.  Also, I frequently see these tiny dogs perched precariously on the driver’s open window – one good swerve and that dog is going to go flying out of the car!  For everyone’s sake, a driver’s first and only responsibility is to pay attention to the road – a phone, a dog, even a child is a potential threat when it distracts the driver.

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This month’s Rescue of the Month is Montana’s Precious Gold Golden Retriever Rescue.  A small group of volunteers that take in homeless, unwanted and abused Goldens – provide medical care, foster homes and loving forever homes.  A portion of the sales this month will go to support their much needed and appreciated work.

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Double Dutch Dog Phenom! (video)

All four in the air!

There are some amazing dog tricks that people teach their pets to do . . . and if you’ve ever taught (or attempted to teach) your dog a trick you know how hard it is! You have to take advantage of their own natural talent and then get it to evolve into something you can recreate on command.  So, with that in mind, can you imagine teaching a dog to jump rope?  Oh wait. That’s too easy. Make it double dutch – jumping two ropes that are going opposite directions.

For the record, I am not physically coordinated enough to get the ropes going in the right directions.  I am just in AWE of this . . .

This being Geronimo.  Geronimo is a cattle dog mixed with some other smart, talented breeds.  She is 2 years old and lives in Long Island, NY with her owner, Samantha Valle.   Valle is a member of the Stunt Dog team, a group of trainers and dogs that travels around the country showing off their extreme tricks.  They, the dogs, ride bikes, jump for and through objects, catch things.  In short, they perform stunts.  Really awesome stunts.

(warning: if you’re at work, you might want to turn your speakers down!)

Valle on her YouTube page says that this trick took Geronimo 5 weeks to learn from beginning to perfection.  Geronimo loves jumping, catching frisbees and agility.  This is the first time Valle had attempted teaching this trick so it was a lot of “trial and error” – she knew what she wanted Geronimo to do, but wasn’t sure how to get there.  The board keeps Geronimo focused on where she needs to be, which is essential when one considers everything that is going on at the same time. The end result is pretty spectacular!

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Now you can share the flavor of your favorite lunch with your best friend. Tigertail Foods’Flavor of the Month Grilled Cheese Just-a-Bite Biscotti is the ultimate in comfort food treats.  Order a bag today!

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Top 10 Wackiest Pet Names 2012

Hi! My name's RileyChicken! What's yours?

As a pet parent you want a name that sets your furry companion a part from the crowd.  You want a name that, when you call it at the dog park, doesn’t get the attention of four other similarly named dogs.  You want a name that is as singular and special as your pet.

However, I don’t think that was the high-minded motivation behind the names that made the Top Ten Weirdest and Wildest Pet Names.

Let’s not harshly judge these owners.  As the owner of a dog named RileyChicken, there is a huge entertainment factor in calling the vet to make an appointment – it is even better hearing the staff say his name! – or yelling his name and seeing the expressions on people’s faces.  And Chicken doesn’t care that he’s got a weird name . . . he just wants cookies.

The names that made the list were culled from Banfield Pet Hospital’s client roster.  Considering that Banfield is the largest private vet collective with 780 veterinary clinics associated with the service, there were lots of names from which to choose.

Here are the most unusual names for 2012:

  1. Fatty Mcbutterpants
  2. Sir Goose Slobberalot
  3. Beetle Juice Monster Pants
  4. Chairman Meow
  5. Honey’s Lil Midnight Moonshine
  6. Lord Godrick Von Mousenberg
  7. Emperor Chewy Teddybear
  8. Cookie Fudge Rainbow
  9. Baron Von Doodle
  10. Alyssa Butter Scooch
I think RileyChicken could be a contender for the 2013 list ;-)
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Tigertail Foods Just-a-Bite Biscotti has a cookie flavor to make any dog happy – from the yummy goodness of Peanut Butter & Banana to drool-inducing Cheese Pizza.  Check out our selection . . .  and if you can’t decide on just one flavor get a bag of the blends.  Your dog will get to try three different flavor treats in one bag.  Tigertail Foods’ treats, like all of our products, are entirely natural and made with your dog’s health in mind.  No sugar, no salt, no corn or wheat.

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Man Crashes Ferrari to Save Hedgehog

C'mon! You'd crash a car to save this little guy, too!

It’s a story that will make you smile if you’re an animal lover or cry if you’re a car enthusiast . . . if you’re both, prepare yourself for some conflicting emotions.

Joerg Daecher, 53, a German businessman, was driving home when his headlights caught the image of a hedgehog in the middle of the road.  Daecher swerved his Ferrari Testarosa, worth approximately $135,000 (USD) to avoid the little animal; however, the tires hit a patch of wet leaves and the car slid into a guardrail.

The accident broke half of the front bumper off, smashed the left headlight, ripped the sideview mirror, and left scrapes along the left side of the expensive sports car.

Police spokesman Markus Foerster was quoted as estimating the damage could run around $45,000 (USD) to repair.

Although the Ferrari suffered extensive (and expensive) damage, both Daecher and the hedgehog escaped harm.

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Once-a-Month members get their treats automatically shipped to them, and they get 5% off!  To make a good deal even better, Tigertail Foods donates another 5% to the rescue of your choice. What a sweet deal!

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The Dangers of Texting on the Move (video)

The bear prior to being tranquilized

We all know we shouldn’t text while driving, but here’s why you should text while walking . . .  you might run into a bear just like this Los Angeles man did as he was leaving his house.

Police were notified around 3 A.M. of the presence of a large black bear in a neighborhood La Crescenta  – an area of Los Angeles that backs up to foothills of the Verdugo Mountains and a large wilderness park, but also only 10 miles from downtown LA.  The bear had been in the town for three weeks scavenging through trash cans according to the Department of Fish and Game.  He is also believed to be the culprit in breaking into a garage refrigerator and snacking on some frozen meatballs.

After sunrise, the police found the bear wandering through a residential neighborhood.  Los Angeles’ KTLA news helicopter captured the scene of the oblivious texting man as he nearly bumps into the bear.  Fortunately for the mobile phone user, the bear doesn’t find the idea of chasing a running man particularly appealing.  Instead, the bear found a nice lawn to relax on until Fish and Game wardens, armed with tranquilizer guns, showed up and helped the 3 year-old, 300-pound bear take a nap.

The bear was loaded into a trailer and transported back to the Angeles National Forest to be released.  He was not harmed or injured during his trip into town.

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Did you know that Tigertail Foods carries a complete line of Emu Oil products for people as well as pets? We have body lotion, lip balm, shampoo and conditioners for you and grooming products for your pets. There’s something for everyone. Now the whole family can have soft, shiny, healthy coats!

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Dog Scouts of America Brings More Fun to Dogs and Owners

A couple of very happy campers!

As a dog owner I frequently wonder about the quality of my dog’s life.  How fulfilled is RileyChicken?  Is he bored going on the same walks? Could I be doing more make him happier?  I know I’m not the only one to really care about her dog’s emotional state just by looking at the wide range of toys and chews and various other products designed to entertain dogs.  However, is there something more? Something more beneficial to our relationship and the community at large?

Why, yes.  Yes, there is.

The Dog Scouts of America.  Modeled after other human scout groups, the DSA is organized by troops – there are 682 Dog Scouts in 38 troops across 22 states.  The motto of the DSA for the dogs is “Let us learn new things so we can become more helpful,” and ”Our dog’s lives are much shorter than ours – let’s help them enjoy their time with us as much as we can,” for the owners.  Those mottoes encapsulate what the Dog Scouts is all about – enriching our dogs lives through positive training and beneficial interaction with our communities.

Owners who have participated in structured and ongoing training can attest to how working with your dog can create a deep, significant bond – and just becoming an official Dog Scout requires passing a test that is similar, but after reading through the requirements it is harder *in my opinion* than the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test.

A lot of work went into this collection

Once you and your dog pass the test and your dog becomes an official Dog Scout, you both work toward badges that can be sewn onto your dog’s DSA red bandanna/uniform and backpack.  There are nine merit-style badges: trails, water, agility, obedience, nose work, pulling, community, other-misc. that involves activities from fitness to fundraising, and other-existing competitions that involves participating in hunt retrieving and flyball among others.

The DSA’s philosophy is one of non-discrimination again breed.  They believe that if your Chihuahua wants to and is able to lure course, so be it.  There is no reason to shy away from an activity just because your dog’s breed isn’t designed to do it.  In this regard, the DSA helps to encourage owners to try something new and offers dogs the opportunity to find a novel activity they may be great at and really enjoy.

In a larger sense, the organization’s heart is creating responsible owners that become representatives to their community and examples of how others should commit to lifelong dog ownership.  The DSA website states the sad statistic that 1 out of every 4 dog ends up in a shelter and points to behavioral issues as one of the leading causes for this staggeringly high number.  As Dog Scouts, owners and dogs train using positive reinforcement methods to create model examples of dog-human relationships.  Furthermore, the DSA awards a “Good Scout” badge to people who “help promote humane education in smaller ways, or on fewer occasions, but may actually reach larger numbers of people through TV, radio, blogs, etc.” (DSA website)

If you are goal-oriented and enjoy the idea of deepening your relationship with your dog and setting a good example in your community consider checking out the Dog Scouts of America.

photo credits Dog Scouts of America

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Tigertail Foods’ Rescue Rebate Program helps the rescue group of your choice by donating a portion of every purchase.  If you have a rescue group you want to support, contact us and let us know.

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Monday Morning Cup of Awww . . . C’mon In! The Water’s Fine!

I was sent the most bizarre and adorable photo over the weekend.  There was no context attached to it, so I’ve been trying to figure out how the photo ended up coming to happen . . .

Guinea pig swimming lessons?

A day-at-the-spa mineral bath soak for tiny pampered rodents?

Animal Olympic hopefuls in the synchronized swimming category?

Whatever it is, it sure is cute and a perfect way to start another week!

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Tigertail Foods’ Small Animal Crackers are the perfect treat for little nibblers!  If you have a hamster, guinea pig or bunny pick up a bag of Small Animal Crackers and make your furry friend’s day!

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Friday Quote – The Weekend of Hope (Einstein)

There are two big holiday observations this weekend: Easter Sunday and Passover Seder.  Regardless of your religious beliefs (or lack thereof), take a moment to consider that both of these celebrations of based on hope and redemption – two states essential to the human spirit, and we should do everything in our power to nurture and sustain them in ourselves and others.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.
~Albert Einstein

Happy Passover!  Happy Easter! However you spend this weekend, may it be peaceful and with the ones you love.

See you back here Monday!

 

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Keep your dog at maximum health and vitality by feeding Tigertail Food’s Wholistic Raw Pet Food — available in Original, Diet and Grain-Free.

 

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Sometimes Being Hard-Headed is a Good Thing

The "S" is for superhero!

In a story that could have had a horrific ending for both dog and human, bravery and a one-in-a-million fluke let owner and pup survive an attempted home invasion and attack.

Justin Becker, 32, was at home in his Staten Island apartment last Saturday when a man posing as a FedEx delivery man claiming to have a package forced his way in.  Becker fought back against the invader, who fell onto his back in the doorway half in- half out of the apartment.

Becker’s dog, Kilo, went to his owner’s defense.  “My dog stuck his head out the door, and then [the robber] shot him in the head,” Becker said.  After firing the shot, the assailant broke free and ran away.

Nicole Percoco, Becker’s girlfriend, was there and thought Kilo’s situation was hopeless.  She told Becker to just hold the dog in his arms and let him die there, but Becker was unable to accept that his dog whose willingness to sacrifice everything for him would not be repaid by attempting to do whatever he could to keep him alive.

Becker raced Kilo off to South Shore Animal Hospital in New Dorp, where the x-rays showed that the bullet penetrated the dog’s skin but not his skull.  More amazing was that there is no damage to Kilo’s skull or his brain — just a tremendous amount of swelling due to the bullet’s entry and exit through his neck.

Kilo was released after they treated the wounds, bandaged him up (complete with an “S” for being a superhero!) and sent him home with painkillers and antibiotics.  The vet, Dr. Panarello, who worked on Kilo said that he was a very sweet dog who got very lucky. “This is, like, one in a million.”

 

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Once-a-Month members get their treats automatically shipped to them, and they get 5% off!  To make a good deal even better, Tigertail Foods donates another 5% to the rescue of your choice. What a sweet deal!

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Obedience Joke

Obedience training doesn’t have to be a chore.  It should be a lot of fun for you and your dog.  RileyChicken and I had a session yesterday evening, and I think I probably had more fun than he did because it resulted in this . . .

Why did the Chicken not cross the road?

Because he was on a sit-stay!

BADUM-TSSSSH!

Thank you! Thank you!  I’ll be here all week and remember to tip your waitress . . .

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Did you know that Tigertail Foods carries a complete line of Emu Oil products for people as well as pets? We have body lotion, lip balm, shampoo and conditioners for you and grooming products for your pets. There’s something for everyone. Now the whole family can have soft, shiny, healthy coats!

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