Monday, April 2, 2012

Thank You

To everyone who not only helped find Indiana, our Fuzzybutt number Four, but subsequently helped find homes for so many other fuzzybutts in need.  We accomplished a lot on this blog but I have to focus now on the mission now.

I'll be phasing this blog out over the coming weeks. Thank you for your contributions, passion, and commitment to animal welfare.  Keep the faith & puppy up!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Adopting Sonic

Don't miss the Raising Indiana interview with P.E.T.S. LLC owner, Kyle Peterson, at

P.E.T.S. LLC was an important aspect of Sonic finding his way to his forever family with Emily. Thanks Kyle & P.E.T.S. LLC!


Emily Booth

For the past
two years all I have heard about from my fiancé is how the first thing that we
were going to do as a couple once we had our own home was to adopt a dog. We have both always had a pet in our homes
growing up and really wanted our very own. Before we even signed the papers on our first home we were searching
petfinder and other similar sites for our perfect dog. After researching endless options – anyone
who knows me will tell you that I over-research everything – we decided we
really wanted to rescue a dog. We had
already decided that a young, untrained puppy was not something we would have
the time for at the time and decided to start searching for a year or two old dog
that needed rescuing. I can’t even begin
to count the number of rescues I contacted in Connecticut alone. We saw so many dogs online that they were
honestly all starting to blend together. Initially we had decided that we would only adopt a dog that was located
in CT as we felt strongly about ensuring that we had a connection with the dog
we chose… I knew I would feel terrible if we had a dog transported here and it
simply wasn’t a good match. Then Jim saw
Sonic online. Something about his
picture jumped out at us, and for the first time we actually got excited about
a specific dog. I saw a friend that
evening and couldn’t stop talking about this goofy looking dog that we found
online. I contacted the rescue that
sponsored the listing and was eventually led to speak with the foster family…inTennessee. I was hesitant but something told me I had to
find out more about this awesome looking dog. I spoke with Sheila (Sonic’s foster) extensively and the more she
described Sonic the more I knew this was the dog for us. I could tell that Sheila truly loved Sonic
because of the passion she had when telling me all about him. I felt confident that she was being honest
with me about not only Sonic’s high points but also kept me informed on the
areas he still needed training on. I
told her about our lifestyle and what we were looking for and in the end we
both decided that Sonic belonged with my family. So in the end, despite the fact that we went
into the process not looking to transport a dog from out of state, that is what
we ended up doing. We now have the most
amazing dog that we could have ever asked for. Sonic is happy, energetic, lovable, and is loving experiencing his new
environment. We are so thrilled that we
made the decision to rescue a dog. We
ended up working with rescue organizations, a foster family, and a transport
service that really cares about making sure that dogs receive the family that
is the perfect match for them. Transporting Sonic was extremely easy and
relatively stress free for all involved. Being able to view the transport service online eased any of our
concerns. When Sonic arrived in Connecticut I could tell
that although he was a bit anxious, he was healthy and well cared for. I still remember hearing his adorable howl
when they opened the transport door! The
transport team ensured that each dog was united with their forever family and
any questions were immediately answered. When we begin looking for a second dog for our family I will absolutely
be looking out of state for our next amazing rescue dog!

Emily Booth
is Sonic’s loving forever mom and makes her home with her fiancé in Connecticut.

As Sonic’s
foster mom I cannot thank Emily and her fiancé enough for opening their life
and home to a dog from another state, especially the South. When rescuers, fosters, potential adopters
and reliable transport services work together thousands of otherwise unwanted
animals gain a new chance at love and life!

A huge thank
you goes out to Kyle & Pam Peterson from P.E.T.S. LLC for saving over
34,000 animals since 2004, and helping to connect Sonic with his forever

For more
information visit

Monday, January 23, 2012

Upcoming Raising Indiana Guests

Raising Indiana airs every Thursday at 8pm EST on!

So who’s going to be Indy’s guest in 2012?

January 26th--Part 3 of our fantastic interview with Patricia McConnell, PhD
Dr. McConnell is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB), highly-sought after dog trainer, speaker and the author of much-acclaimed books including The Other End of the Leash.

February 2nd--Ian Dunbar, PhD
Dr. Dunbar is a veterinarian, animal behaviorist and dog trainer.  Dr. Dunbar is the author of numerous books and DVD series including AFTER You Get Your Puppy.  In 1982, Dr. Dunbar designed and taught the world’s first off-lead puppy socialization & training class.  We’re speaking to Dr. Dunbar as SIRIUS Puppy Training celebrates its 30th birthday!

February 9th--Kyle Peterson with P.E.T.S. LLC Transport
 Kyle and Pam Peterson’s animal transport company has saved the lives of 34,326 pets since their
 beginning in 2003!  We chat with the star of Animal Planet’s Last Chance Highway about animal 
 rescue, long-haul drives and his love of puppies.

We have a cool blog addition to this podcast that follows the life on a rescued dog in Tennessee, Sonic, through his foster home (with me and my family), his journey with P.E.T.S. LLC to Connecticut and his life with his new forever family!

Valentine’s Day Special—February 16th--Sheryl Matthys of
Should we set Luke up with an online dating profile?  Our Valentine’s Day Special Podcast is all about
the love and connection pet owners share.  Sheryl Matthys is the founder of leashes and lovers online match-making service and author of the book by the same name.  You don’t want to miss this Raising Indiana podcast!

February 23rd--Jackie Obando, DVM
Dr. Obando was born in Brazil where she studied veterinary medicine, afterward traveling to Europe to further study homeopathy.  We chat with Dr. Obando about homeopathic therapies and raw food

March 1st--Jill Gainer with Nature’s Variety
Nature’s Variety is a natural pet food company passionate about providing proper, holistic nutrition
for our pets.  Our conversation with Ms. Gainer continues a theme on Raising Indiana to provide
accurate information about the importance of what our pets eat.  If your dog has allergy be sure to tune in!

March 8th--Cathy Ball, VMD, MS with CEVA Animal Health
How do I prevent fleas and ticks is a common question we hear at Raising Indiana.  Dr. Ball
discusses how the CEVA Animal Health line of products including Vectra for Dogs and
Vectra3D can help prevent fleas and ticks.  Hudson tested and approved!

March 15th--Linda Westin from Friends of Cookeville Putnam County Animals
President of the FOCPCA, Mrs. Westin, has exciting news about the first-of-its-kind P.E.T. Care
Campus being designed and built in Cookeville, Tennessee from funds raised by this non-profit
organization.  Shelter Directors, Humane Society Directors and animal welfare caregivers
should not miss this podcast!

March 22nd--Dr. Jean Dodds of Hemopet
Dr. Dodds founded Hemopet, a non-profit animal blood bank & greyhound rescue/
adoption program, in 1986.  She is a highly-respected authority of endocrine disorders
in dogs, titer testing and vaccinations.  We’ll be speaking with Dr. Dodds regarding the later topic—
vaccinations of our pets.  Dr. Dodds will return to Raising Indiana later in the year to discuss her
other various expertises.

We had an overwhelming response of audience questions for Dr. Dodds.  We’ll be presenting an accompanying blog for this podcast.  Dr. Dodds was kind enough to answer all of our questions there.

**We want to disclaim that Raising Indiana is not against vaccinating our companion animals.  For the safety of our pet population it is important that the majority of the herd population be vaccinated against common diseases.  Please discuss all vaccine options with your veterinainian.

March 29th--Lisa Spector
Luke is in his element with Lisa Spector from Through a Dog’s Ear.  Did you know Luke used to sing opera to his first dog, Malcolm?  Well, we can’t wait to discuss the applied theories of calming your pet in various situations with classical music!

April 5th--Robert Mueller, co-founder of BARF World
We so enjoyed our first podcast with Mr. Mueller that we jumped at the chance to have him back to
discuss disease and diet with Luke.  Catch up with the first interview here:

This has been a popular topic with many audience questions that Mr. Mueller will answer in an accompanying blog post.

April 12t-- Nick Dodman, BVMS from Tufts’ Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Dodman will be joining us and Indy to discuss his books The Well-Adjusted Dog and Puppy’s
First Steps.  Dr. Dodman is one of the world’s most celebrated veterinary behaviorists and prolific
authors.  He also has a book about dogs behaving badly—watch out Indy!            

April 19th-- Susan Lauten, PhD
We are so excited for Dr. Lauten’s Raising Indiana podcast on nutrition!  As our pets grow and
mature one of the most defining aspects on their health is nutrition.  Dr. Lauten began Pet Nutrition Consulting in 2001, and she works daily with veterinary specialists, pet owners and veterinarians to provide the appropriate nutritional recommendations.

April 26th--Dog Scouts of America
Dog Scouts of America was founded in 1995 as a non-profit dedicated to enriching the lives of
pet owners and their dogs.  This is going to be fun!  DSA has so many fun programs and events—
they love learning new things & so does Indy!

May 3rd-- Kat Martin
Kat Martin from Nashville’s Dogs and Kat has been voted Nashville’s Best Dog Trainer 4 years in a row! Not to mention that she runs the very fabulous See Spot Eat boutique and treat shop.  We’ll chat with Kat about puppy socialization and training.

Indy, Luke and myself have many more exciting guests coming up on future Raising Indiana podcasts. 

Don’t forget we’ve had amazing experts on for previous podcasts such as Dr. Temple Grandin, Dr. Stanley Coren and Dr. Sharon Startup, to name a few.  You can listen to all the past podcasts at

Raising Indiana airs every Thursday at 8pm EST on!

Here’s to Raising Indiana and all of our pets to be the best they can be!
Raising Indiana Producer, Sheila Rinks

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Who Needs Words?

Who Needs Words? Crows? You? Wild Gorillas? Alison

A wonderful piece
by Bill Blakemore and ABC News. Thanks to Jan Casey for sharing. Read the
entire article at the link below.

"But various
mammals, including not only dolphins and whales but African wild dogs and
Norwegian rats, many species of bird, and even spiders and insects are now
being discovered by scientists around the world to have complex vocalizations
and other sound-wave communication systems so complex that old notions that
human language is somehow fundamentally unique are being thrown in doubt.

It’s also opening
up a broad new field in which scientists are exploring that ancient question:
whether and how the mental experience of animals is different from ours:

Are animals’
thought-processes, self-reflections, feelings for others, sense of enjoyment,
and even possible moral systems and consciousness itself (whatever that is)
different only by degree and complexity from ours, or is there a more
fundamental divide?

These expanding
scientific studies can also be great fun. Animals tickle our fancy in many
ways, and often fascinate us.

Most recently, the
fact that countless millions of humans around the world click on thousands of
videos of animal behavior found on the World Wide Web is itself evidence of
some form of intense communication in them — often without “words” or any other
sounds from the animals."

by Bill Blakemore

Courtesy of ABC News and Bill Blakemore

Friday, January 20, 2012

Novartis Suspends Production of Some Medications

Novartis Suspends Production of Interceptor, Sentinel,
Program, Clomicalm and Deramaxx

January 18, 2012

Please discuss all
medication options and changes with your pet’s doctor—even natural supplements,
over-the-counter meds and store bought flea and tick treatments. And don't miss our upcoming Raising Indiana conversation with Cathy Ball with Vectra3D regarding medications and flea/tick treatments.

Over the past month
Novartis closed an important manufacturing plant in Lincoln, Nebraska
in response to consumer complaints it has received regarding a number of its
leading human consumer medications. The FDA issued a highly critical report of
that plant (see here) after an
inspection in June of last year. On January 8th, Novartis announced in a press release
that it was voluntarily recalling a number of its leading human products
produced at the plant including Excedrin, NoDoz, Bufferin and Gas-X while it
strengthens quality standards. On January 5th, Novartis sent a letter to
veterinarians informing them that it was suspending production and shipments of
the following Novartis Animal Health (NAH) brands including Interceptor Flavor
Tabs, Sentinel Flavor Tabs, Clomicalm, Program Tablets and Suspension, and
Milbemite. The letter also noted that production of Deramaxx which was just
recently moved to the Lincoln
plant will also be affected although the company will continue to ship that
product from existing inventory.

The production
suspension is leaving pet owners looking for these products subject to the
inventory on hand with their local veterinarian and with discount suppliers
such as As those supplies are exhausted, veterinarians will be
obligated to prescribe competing substitutes such as Heartgard,
Trifexis, Advantage Multi, and Rimadyl.
After learning about the situation, some consumers are asking for alternatives
even when stocks are on hand. Novartis has not given an indication of when
production might resume however they have stated that the recent actions were
coordinated with the involvement of health authorities. With the FDA’s
involvement, there is the possibility that the closure could be lengthy if it
reaches the level of problems recently experienced at facilities owned by
Johnson & Johnson, Genzyme, and Hospira.

Courtesy of

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Motion Sickness

                                                Bailey enjoying a fall car ride

We had just turned into our subdivision--the finish line of
a successful car ride and visit to Dr. B in sight. I looked at him in the
rearview mirror. He looked back with that familiar expression. 
We weren’t going to make it…

Motion sickness is more commonly seen in puppies than adult
dogs primarily because the ear structures used for balance are not fully
matured yet. There are many adult dogs that
still experience motion sickness long after the ear structures develop

My Bailey is one of those dogs.

Whether puppy or adult there are a few things you can do to
make travel easier and more fun for you and your pooch.

First schedule an appointment with your pet’s veterinarian
for a physical and to discuss the issue.

Granted getting to those
first few appointments may be a little stressful so consider
crating your dog or placing several old towels or blankets down
to make clean up easy. It’s also often helpful if the pet faces
forward during travel to eliminate sickness.
A secure doggie seat belt will help with proper placement. 
If Sadie is riding in the front passenger seat please be aware that
passenger airbags can pose a danger to pets. And remember, your dog is not nauseous on
purpose (would you be?) so never punish or ridicule a pet with motion
sickness. A simple “That’s okay, we’ll
clean it up when we get home.” or “Does your tummy feel better now?” in a
soothing voice may make you & the dog feel a little better.

Teach Sadie that car rides are a wonderful experience. With the car parked
and engine off, lead Sadie close to it and offer a yummy treat.
Now open the car door and offer the yummy treat. Working slowly
over several days or weeks (at your dog’s comfort level) place Sadie in
the car or have her jump into the seat as yummy treats rain down. 
When your pooch learns that the car is a fun place, start the engine. 
You’ll slowly add backing down the driveway and touring your
neighborhood before venturing out for longer trips. Move at a pace
comfortable for Sadie and her tummy. If she does suffer nausea don’t
become frustrated, simply go back one step and
work forward from there.

Once your dog has the hang of things you may want to phase out
the yummy treats since an empty tummy is best for travel.

If it’s safe, crack or open the car windows slightly when
traveling. This will help equalize air pressure in the vehicle and allow
fresh air to circulate. Keeping the car cool will help, too.

Bailey and I once traveled two hours in 15 degree weather with
three windows open (we repeated the 2 hour trip the next day with 4 inches
of snow on the ground). Yes, all heat vents were pointed in my
direction and on full blast! Keeping fresh air moving is key to keeping
Bailey’s tummy happy—my toes can thaw out later.

Ginger has a calming effect on tummies, so you might try
offering one or two gingersnap cookies 15 minutes before your next car trip.

Try changing vehicles. Maybe your pooch has grown to associate
mom’s SUV with motion sickness but dad’s sedan makes a car trip
easier on her tummy.

I have a friend whose dog must ride in the family truck, on the
middle of the backseat, facing forward.

Making your destination a fun one will help build a positive
reinforcer that car travel equals fun trips to the dog park,
hiking and pet store for browsing for a new toy.

If you have more than one dog, try putting both dogs in the
car together. Some pooches feel more
secure if their playmate is with them on car trips.

If these suggestions do not relieve the problem then you may
want to discuss the option of medication with your vet. 
Never give Sadie any medication, even over-the-counter,
without first discussing it with your vet.
Anti-nausea drugs, antihistamines and phenothiazine all work to calm
nervous tummies and riders. But as with
any medication therapy, it should be an owner’s last option for treatment.

Bailey is in the small percentage of pooches for which the above classical
conditioning and natural remedies have not been effective. He
does require medication for even the shortest trips.

A little patience, practice, planning (car trips are not
spontaneous for Bailey) and a positive attitude can help both
pooch and owner overcome motion sickness.

***We should note that some dogs may have a learned fear of
travel. They may foul a vehicle through
no fault of their own but because of a previous traumatic experience. 
Maybe they were dumped onto a roadside from a
car? As with motion sickness, the animal
should never be punished for this behavior.
Please speak with your vet about this behavior, seek help from a
certified animal behaviorist and ask your local positive reinforcement trainer
for tips on classical conditioning.

Photo courtesy of Amy Callahan Photography

Sheila Rinks is the editor of Finding Fuzzybutt Four, producer of the Raising Indiana podcast and shares her home with her husband, 4 Great Pyrenees and 2 very well-fed kitties.

Raising Indiana

Hey Puppers! Don't forget that Indy has his own website now--  My how they grow up fast!
And tonight we have Part 2 of our interview with Dr. Patricia McConnell of Dr. McConnell is THE source of positive information for training and animal behavior.
You can find all of our previous podcasts at
If you haven't heard Raising Indiana yet... what are you waiting for?