New Contest for Writers

Invite all your friends- $50.00 cash or gift card for the winning story about your favorite holiday memory. Contest if for 200-800 words. Deadline is December 20, 2016. Submit all stories to The winning one will be posted on Facebook.


Cocker Spaniel Puppy Pictures From Our 2004 Litter:

I found my Cocker Spainiel pup, Harvey, in Amish country. Unfortunately, he was never vaccinated. I am usually careful to avoid exposing young pups to older dogs or dogs that are not well until the pup is older and vaccinated, however, it was a busy time in my life. When Harvey came to work with me at a local veterinary clinic, he became ill with parvo virus.

I first learned of the devastating disease of parvo in dogs in the early 80’s when the virus was first identified. Vaccines were quickly created and decreased the incidence of the disease as well as decreased the loss of pets.
Parvo is a virus that infects the cells in the intestinal tract of a dog. This causes severe diarrhea with blood, vomiting, and loss of appetite. The intestinal damage is devastating in itself, however, parvo is a virus that attacks and lowers the white blood cells in a dog’s body. Since white blood cells are the cells that help fight infection, dogs with parvo are at risk for serious infections- such as pneumonia or sepsis (infection in the blood). These infections are the usual reason pets infected with parvo virus are lost. Parvo virus may also attack a young pup’s heart. When this happens, there is no treatment for the injury to the heart.
Harvey became sick. I was worried. He not only had diarrhea, his pooh was pure blood. I started his therapy- IV’s and antibiotics as well as medication to stop the vomiting- which is not usually effective. Harvey battled parvo for 8 days. He had an IV in one front leg for 4 days and then the other leg for the next 4 days. He held his little leg out and let the fluids go into his body. I watched him day and night. I placed an IV pole by my bed, placed plastic on the bed to prevent soiling, and shined my flashlight at the fluid bag to make certain the IV’s dripped all night. For days, Harvey sat on the side of the bed heaving and vomiting.
He was sick so long I did not think he would survive, but after 8 days, he stopped vomiting, his stool improved, and he began eating. There were no obvious indications of damage to his intestines or heart after he recovered. He played and enjoyed a normal life. He beat the odds.
I have treated many pets for parvo virus infection. Some are happy endings like Harvey and some endings are heartbreaking for owners. I always advise owners Ito vaccinate all pups. Even with controversy over vaccines, it is the best way to prevent this major disease in dogs.
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The Most Beautiful of All

Gregory Sweeney - Cute Baby Manatee

When I first came to Florida, everything was new and exciting fabulous. After years of being here it is all still exciting and fabulous.

There are scary things like poisonous snakes- coral snakes, rattlesnakes, and others – along with alligators and bears, but there are also sweet little critters. During one visit to a local spring and walking on a boardwalk, mom and I spotted an Armadillo rooting around in the leaves. As he made his way towards us, he looked up at everyone looking down at him, seemed to wonder what we all were looking at, then nonchalantly proceeded to continue his quest to find bugs and other meal items in the ground and surrounding foliage. I thought he was darling. He was not as enamored with us and we were with him.

Turtles are another of my favorites of the day. I have watched gopher turtles come in and out of their holes as well as rescued babies off streets. I also love painted turtles sunning themselves on logs and rocks. Once I rescued an alligator snapper from the dangers of the road. He was quite quick at snapping my shoe when it was close to his mouth. I was wise enough to keep my fingers away. While kayaking in a spring run near Gainesville, I spotted a baby turtle- he was about the size of a silver dollar. Cutest little guy. I wanted a picture, so I pulled my kayak close- he darted under water because he had no idea I am the nicest person and would never dream of hurting him. He periodically surfaced to see if I was still close. When he saw me, he immediately withdrew back under the water. Even with constant assurances from me, he refused to allow me to take a photo. Sea turtles hatching and running to the ocean are also my favorites. I guess I have many favorites.

We see eagles everywhere. One day I saw one land on Daytona Beach. Others suggested I had seen an Osprey. I was certain it was an eagle. The all white head and feathers on his legs that looked like trousers and a stance that is unique to the eagle- like he means business- are all clues I had spotted an eagle. Gorgeous is a word for these creatures. One bird rescue in a town around Orlando has eagles as well. One of their eagles was found as an orphan who was 1 day old when found out of the nest. They raised him and cannot turn him safely to the wild, so they care for him. We have the wonderful opportunity to visit this beautiful guy.

Pelicans arrive each day at the ocean to fish for breakfast. They glide in the sky and over the waves. When they spot an enticing meal, they dive directly into the water. I could watch them all day. When visiting the Florida Keys, we stay at a campground that has pelicans close. They wait for us and other campers to bring our fish for cleaning in hopes for an easy meal.

But my all time favorites are the manatees. I visited Florida for years trying to get a look at one in person. Finally, I have seen them up close and personal. In fact, one morning mom and I walked over to the  spring near our home- the fountain of youth, as Ponce DeLeon described the springs in Florida. While standing on the boat dock,  a family of manatees came close- a male, female, and baby. What a unbelievable treat. Right in front of us- a reach out and touch moment. The gentle sea cows are social and beautiful. I understand it is a federal offense to touch them, but some things can be very difficult to resist. These are memories for a lifetime.

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Tammy from Miami

Another Miniature horse, don't know why but these little guys just put a smile on my face:):

Tammy’s Sable was a birthday gift. She was a Standardbred horse born for racing. I guess most would consider this an odd sort of gift, but to me, it was the best gift ever. She only cost $550.00 because she was tiny, though- not as tiny as the little one above- but tiny.  Everyone ridiculed me for wanting her. I didn’t care.

I loved her like she was a big and talented racing horse. The funny thing was, she moved like the wind and she had a heart as big as a big horse. Her small size made my partner comfortable. I was new to training harness racing horses. As a matter of fact, I really didn’t know how. One day I was at a continuing education meeting for my veterinary license. The speaker was a whale trainer from Sea World. I find most seminars boring, but I will never forget this one.

The trainer – who trained whales to jump out of the water with him standing or sitting on their noses- mentioned training racing horses and what to do while training them. I decided that if he knew how to make whales do what he made them do, I would do what he advised about training racing horses. I did and it worked. Tammy was my guinea pig- so to speak.

She raced so well other horsemen wanted to buy her from me. They would tell me how they watched her jut her head forward, flap her lower lip, and pace away. I enjoyed watching my horse, but it was pretty nice to know others did as well. She was so small our driver told us he had difficulty keeping her from sneaking under the arms of the start car before the start car passed over the start line to let all the horses go. She won at the racetrack and at county fairs. She raced for 5 years.

The announcer would make comments like, ‘Here comes little Tammy Sable with her legs just a churning,’ and ‘Watch out, there racing Shetland ponies out there tonight,’ and ‘Here comes Tammy Sable to the winner’s circle- making her driver look ten feet tall’ because he was a shorter man. I never met that announcer, but I wanted to tell him that was MY horse he was talking about that way. I know he was just having fun and so was Tammy.

One race I told her driver to not let her get locked in- she needed to be out on the outside of the pack of horses or she would be trying so hard to race she would hurt herself. No one believed me until they drove her. She won a race in Delaware, Ohio leaving the gate first and came across the finish line first- I was so excited, you would have thought we won the Little Brown Jug- the race like the Kentucky Derby for harness horses.

One particular night another horseman bragged all day his horse could not be beat that night. We were in his race.  A groom walked by me and Tammy in the race stall and I heard him loudly say, “DID YOU SEE HOW LITTLE THE FOUR HORSE IS?” We were the 4 horse. I covered Tammy’s ears and told her she was going to have to ignore all those guys and beat them all tonight just to show them all she was not just the littlest horse in the field tonight- she was the best. When she raced, she was so small we couldn’t see her behind the other horses, but when she made her way around the last turn, we saw her little nose out in front and those little legs were a churning and her lower lip was flapping and she pulled away from all the boys and all the big horses as she led the pack down the last stretch and she was first over the finish line that night. Everyone saw how little the 4 horse was that night.

She was my Tammy from Miami- this was my little pet name for her when we exercised. I think of all the fun we had and how she was just my little tiny birthday gift.

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The Day Things Went Wrong

Could be one of our little girls (1962-63) on our John Deere or Oliver tractor. Good thoughts.:

Having a thirty acre farm can be quite challenging at times. With horses, dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, and a goat, organization is a must.

One chore I actually enjoy is grass/field cutting. However, being ‘just a girl,’ tractor maintenance has never been on the list of one of my many talents. Once I neglected to put gear oil in the gear box of my brush hog mower and, needless to say, it locked up and has never mowed again. Another time, a friend came to check on me. He noticed I had not added water or antifreeze to the radiator. Very bad. I managed to add these prior to ruining the engine of my tractor.

I did, however, learn to change the oil in the tractor. Anyone who knows me knows this is quite an accomplishment. I was proud of myself for this even if no one felt compelled to reinforce my outstanding talents in tractor maintenance – I guess something everyone else took for granted.

One day, after changing the oil, I began mowing grass. All of the sudden, the tractor just stopped. I knew I had gas because I had just filled the tank. As I looked around the tractor parts, I noticed the bolt holding the oil in its compartment was gone and all the oil drained from my tractor engine. I saw oil dripping on the tractor and in a line along the grass I had just mowed. I searched the grass everywhere the tractor had just passed over and never found that bolt.

My neighbors always knew how to help me when I was in a jam. They are veteran farmers and told me to contact a tractor supply company about 20 minutes from my farm. I did, they had the bolt, and I started to the store – me and my ‘everything always goes wrong for me’ bad attitude.

While waiting for the salesman to finish with his other customers, another farmer came into the store. He struck up conversation and asked what happened. When I shared my story, he apparently picked up on my grumpy attitude. In a wonderfully casual and direct way, he said, ‘You know, anytime you do anything, something is bound to go wrong- unless you just sit at home in a chair. But even then, you could fall off the chair. ‘

Immediately I was reformed. My bad attitude melted away as I realized I was not the only one challenging events happened to and just like everyone else, I could deal with things that did not go perfectly. I could fix things and get on with my chores. I thanked him for taking time to help me see my unfortunate events a little differently. I often think of that day, especially when things don’t go as easily as I had planned, and I remember the only way nothing is going to go wrong is if I sit at home in a chair- and I laugh as I think I could even fall off the chair.

The salesman sold me the bolt, I purchased oil, arrived back home, replaced the bold, put the oil in the tractor- luckily it started – and mowed the rest of my fields. Good day after all.

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The Season for Giving Thanks

30 things to be thankful for in November:

I graduated from High School when I was 16 years old. I started teaching nursery school children during the day at my church and attending night school at the community college two streets from my home. I was a biology major. I had no actual plan, but I had a dream. I wanted to be a doctor.

My first college class was general biology. Everyone in class worked during the day like I did. They had plans too.  I was naturally shy, but because everyone seemed to understand me and my dreams, we all became friends. One man in particular and I talked about our plans. Decisions became confusing during that first year. Since I started night classes, I decided to pursue a career as an ambulance driver. I told my friend about this and how my friends and family wanted me to study nursing, but I still wanted to be a doctor. He said, “Don’t stop at being an ambulance driver, and don’t stop at being  a nurse, go all the way to being a doctor. You can do it.’ His words encouraged me for all the years I studied. I am thankful.

My family left Ohio and my Grandfather allowed me to live with him. He was patient and kind and allowed me the freedom to attend my college classes and work when I was able. He took care of me and protected me for many years. I was able to attend nursing school at a large hospital near our home. After graduating from nursing school, I began pursuing a career in veterinary medicine. It was because of his care I was able to do so.

My Grandfather was an immigrant and only had an eighth grade education, but he was the smartest man I have ever known. He supported all my educational endeavors. After attending graduation from veterinary school, he told me how proud he was of me. He told me it took a lot of courage to do what I did, but it was only possible because of him. I think it took a lot of courage for his family to come to this country and for him to roll steel every day for many years and raise a family and take care of the people he loved. I am thankful beyond any words to express how much to this man who taught me everything about courage and doing the right thing and always taking care of family.

Over the past years, my Father and Mother have helped me in many ways. They gave me a home in a foreign state, helped me find gainful employment, pay off all my bills, and have the courage to find a new life enjoying the ocean, rivers, manatees, pelicans, sea turtles, and many more things. I am truly grateful.

Friends and family always make a difference.

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His Little Teddy Bear Costume

It's official: There is nothing in the world cuter than New York City's annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade.:

Hi, I’m the dog. I am ready for the big night. You heard from Kitty last week and saw her costume. I considered going trick or treating as a ghost or a vampire or Freddie Krueger, but my owners decided I am their little teddy bear, so this is what they chose for me. What do you think? Everyone in the house thinks I am so cute and they want to kiss me over and over.

I’m going house to house with the children and will accept any and all appropriate treats for me. I am not allowed chocolate, but dog bones are very much appreciated. I would love to see how your owner dressed you this Halloween. My mom said she saw many pet owners fitting their pets with costumes at the local pet stores. One woman had an alligator costume. Wow! That dog is going to scare everyone. Others included Superman, turtles, McDonald’s food costumes and I’ll be you have thought of others.

Hope all you folks like the decorations in the neighborhood- the pumpkins, corn stalks, ghosts, lights, and some of the gruesome additions to the yard decor. Hope it’s not too cold and you get lots and lots of treats. Hope the tricks are fun. Keep us posted.

Stay safe and watch over the children. Kitty is staying home, so visit her for your treats at our house.

Share your Halloween costumes with us and your great Halloween adventures.


Cutest Halloween Costumes

Google Image Result for

Halloween is a fun time.

Hi, my name is Kitty. Halloween is almost here. I am trying on the costume my owners bought for me to wear on that special night. How do you like it? They said they mulled over dozens of choices before deciding on this adorable get up. I think it suits me just fine. The truth is deep down inside I am an angel, my family said so.

The family is ready for the spooky holiday. The decorations are all set, the candy bowls have been taken from their stored places, and they talk of all the tricks and treats they are planning to have for the young trick-or-treaters.  Me and the dog are not allowed chocolate- oh darn – but we like treats too. We try to avoid the tricks but are ready to do anything for the treats. My favorite treats are salmon or chicken flavored goodies. Dog is hoping for treats too- he likes everything, but dog bones seem appropriate for this Halloween celebration.

Dog is dressing up and going house to house with the children, but I will be sitting here waiting for everyone to come my way. Please bring treats if you are coming to our house. And don’t forget …

We would love to have you share your stories about Halloween with us- all about your pets’ favorite treats and pictures of the costumes you have for your pets.


Trick or Treat

Image result for images for halloween cats
It was Halloween. I was in a hurry trying to finish all my veterinary house calls so I could get home in time to take my step daughter for trick or treating. We had such fun finding a costume for her and getting ready to go house to house in the neighborhood. This year she would be a princess- her favorite. She and I decorated the trees in the yard with ghosts made of styrofoam  balls and ripped up sheets. Pumpkins lined the drive. Each year we had a pumpkin carving party where we would invite all the neighborhood children to come for snacks and carving pumpkins. I was always amazed how the children would bring their little tools and get to carving. It was impossible to pick just one best carving when all the children carved such beautiful and creative pumpkins.
This Halloween I was driving down a busy street in Cleveland, Ohio trying to remember directions to my next house call when I spotted a small white furry thing running in and out of the street. I pulled over, stopped my truck, and left it running in the curb lane of the street. I began chasing that small white furry object in and out of store fronts and under cars for a few blocks when I finally caught that little kitten. He was actually grey and white. No mother or owner was in sight, so I held him close to me and retrieved my truck and proceeded to complete my last house call. I told him he was going to get hit by a car running around like that and we really couldn’t have that! The little guy may not have known who I was- and was to become – but he clung to me as tightly as he could.
They were never surprised at home when I found another animal to add to our bunch. He was frightened at first, but when he warmed up – WOW- was he a handful. He ran from room to room looking for the next item of paper, cloth, toys, or anything he could play with. When I sat on the floor playing board games with my step daughter, he would run up to me, place his paws on my shoulder, and hit me over and over. Cutest thing ever. I named him Dynomite. It fit him.
When he grew, he followed me everywhere. Each day I walked the dogs on the property we lived on and he came along. He acted more like a dog than a cat. This was fine when we walked together, but when I needed to go to the barn, I could not have him follow me. I was afraid he could be injured by one of the young horses I was training. To avoid him seeing me, I would sneak out the front door and walk around the block to the barn. He did not see me.
I think of Dynomite each Halloween and how he came to be mine. It is a great time of year, but I always encourage my pet owners to protect their black cats at this time of year. Most owners already know this.
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Low Sugars and Fatty Livers

And know that tomorrow is a new day. | 33 Signs That Coffee Owns You. P.S. This is so so wrong yet so so cute!!!:

It is important that  kitties and cats eat!
I have always known the two most frequent reasons for kitten loss. The first is a kitten becoming cold – because they are too young and small to maintain their body temperature. The second is low blood sugar in a kitten. This is a concern because kittens do not have large amounts of ‘fat’ in their bodes to break down to sugar and use as an energy source. Low body temperatures and low blood sugars are a serious concern to young kittens (and puppies as well).
While working at one veterinary clinic, I noticed a small black and white kitten in one of the cages. This little guy was underweight, had a dirty little face, and a runny little nose. Every day I visited his cage several times. Each time he would get up from reclining in his litter box and come to the front of the cage to greet me. He purred and rubbed against the cage begging for attention. Apparently he did not realize how pathetic he appeared. One day I decided to take him home. I named him Mozart after my favorite composer.
There’s always a story behind every name. Not only is Mozart my favorite composer, his music has saved my dyslexic brain. I read three books – Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, Superlearning, and The Mozart Effect. Not only is Mozart music the most tuneful I have come to love, all three books confirmed that Mozart music has a profound and positive effect on the brain. It helps with dyslexia, attention deficits, creativity and many other brain functions. It has helped me tremendously. My Mozart kitty has never composed a note, he  just makes me happy being who he is.
Soon after Mozart- the kitten-  came to live with me and my gang, I came home to find him down and out. He was cold and not responding well to me. I neglected to realize my apartment was not warm enough for Mo. It was fine for me and the others pets, but since he was so young and small- underweight as well- it was too cool for him. This happens  sometimes with air conditioned homes as well. I knew I had to act quickly. I wrapped him up in a blanket – papoose style-  and grabbed a bottle of maple syrup- the only sugar substance I had in my apartment. I took him to my car because it was warm there with the sun coming through the windows. I placed small amounts of the syrup on his gums and slowly he began to respond to me. (Additional sugar sources found in our homes are honey, karo syrup, molasses, KMR-kitten milk replacer- and others). I never left him home alone again until he was old enough to eat well and had gained weight.
Mozart continued to have nasal discharge though. I treated him with antibiotics and decongestants, however, there was no positive change in the discharge. The reason for the discharge is that he was infected with the respiratory virus rhinotracheitis prior to being vaccinated. I realize there are controversies over vaccinating cats, however, vaccines have proven to help minimize any damage to the sinuses if vaccinated before a cat or kitten is exposed to the virus like Mozart. I still love him, but he will always have nasal discharge. I always encourage my cat and kitten clients to vaccinate their youngsters to avoid the life long nasal discharge.
In addition to kittens needing to eat to avoid low blood sugar, adult cats need to eat to avoid fatty livers. When cats mature, their figure usually fills out to include some extra body fat. If a cat stops eating- for any reason- the fat in their bodies begins to break down and deposits in the liver. The condition of fat in the liver- hepatic lipidosis- is a serious condition in cats. If not treated and reversed, most cats affected are lost. I always make certain owners know their cats should eat regularly and if they stop eating, they need to see their veterinarian immediately for care.
It is important that kitties and cats eat!
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