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From Jim’s Desk~~4/01/2010~~~AKC Ranks the Nation’s Most Popular Dogs

The Labrador Retriever, has again been chosen by American dog fanciers as their favorite canine companion, according to the American Kennel Club, or AKC, as it is commonly referred to. Each year, the AKC compiles registration statistics to track which dogs are best favored by dog enthusiasts, and for the 18th time in as many years the Lab has ranked at the top throughout America. However, not all American cities favor the Lab. In Miami and Detroit, the German Shepherd outranks the Labrador in popularity. Meanwhile its cousin, the Golden Retriever, held its spot at number four, as the Rottweiler fell dramatically from its number four spot 10 years ago to number 14.

The AKC also categorizes popularity by major U.S. cities. Variations in preferences are interesting to note, as some cities prefer altogether different breeds than the rest of the country. In Chicago, for example, the Vizsla is one of the top ten most popular breeds, while it ranks at 42 nationally; and in Kansas City, the Belgian Malinois ranks at an impressively popular number eight, even as it stands at number 77 nationally. If you want to see which breeds are popular in your home town, see more at the AKC website.

Without further ado, here is the AKC’s Top Ten Breeds:

1. Labrador Retriever
2. Yorkshire Terrier
3. German Shepherd
4. Golden Retriever
5. Beagle
6. Boxer
7. Dachshund
8. Bulldog
9. Poodle
10. Shih Tzu

From O’Jim’s Desk: Happy St. Patty’s Day

May your Irish eyes be shining this week-end: The following should help keep them smiling…

A man stumbles up to the only other patron in a bar and asks if he can buy him a drink.”Why, of course,” comes the reply. The first man then asks: “Where are you from?”

“I’m from Ireland,” replies the second man.

The first man responds: “You don’t say, I’m from Ireland, too! Let’s have another round to Ireland.”
“Of course,” replies the second man.

Curious, the first man then asks: “Where in Ireland are you from?”
“Dublin,” comes the reply.
“I can’t believe it,” says the first man.
“I’m from Dublin, too! Let’s have another drink to Dublin.”
“Of course,” replies the second man.

Curiosity again strikes and the first man asks:
“What school did you go to?”
“Saint Mary’s,” replies the second man.
“I graduated in ’62.”

“This is unbelievable!” the first man says.
“I went to Saint Mary’s and I graduated in ’62, too!”

About that time, in comes one of the regulars and sits down at the bar.
“What’s been going on?” he asks the bartender.

“Nothing much,” replies the bartender. “The O’Malley twins are drunk again.”

From Jim’s Desk~~2/12/2010~~Make Valentine’s Day Safe for Your Pets, Too…

With Valentine’s Day this week-end, it may be helpful to note a few precautions for all of us pet-owners to take:
**We all know that chocolate causes abnormally high heart rhythms in dogs, but not everyone is aware that baking chocolate is especially toxic. It is essential to keep all chocolates out of your pet’s reach. Yes, even that last raspberry-filled nugget from the assorted box of chocolates no one ever seems to want to eat.
**Sugar-free candies and gums often contain large amounts of xylitol, a sweetener that is toxic to pets, especially dogs. If ingested, it may cause vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, and in severe cases, liver failure.
**The aroma from your floral arrangement may be too enticing for your dog or cat, and it only takes a nibble to cause a severe reaction. Even small amounts may lead to cases of upset stomachs or vomiting, particularly if the plant or flower is toxic. Be extremely careful if your arrangement contains lilies, as these lovely flowers are fatally poisonous to cats.

[Thanks to PetMD for the reminders on how to keep the little guys safe…]

From Jim’s Desk–2/5/2010: Winter Health Tips for Our Canine Friends

We still have a good deal of winter left and we want to remind all of our loyal readers of some vital precautions to take to keep our dogs (and cats) healthy. Courtesy of our friends at PetMD, I want to stress the following:
1. Anti-Freeze Spills are Poisonous
*The worst of all the wintertime chemical spills are auto antifreeze spills, which often leak from a car’s radiator. It may taste delicious (it’s kind of sweet to the taste and smells attractive) to your cats or dogs, but it is extremely deadly — even the smallest sip can be fatal. If your pet starts acting “drunk” or begins to convulse, take him to the vet immediately. Better yet, keep all pets away from the garage and clean up any accidental spillage. You should also not let your dog wander too far during his walks. Who knows what dangers lie in your neighbors’ driveways?

2. Salty Solution
*Given the amount of salt and ice-melter we use in a normal winter season, we are accustomed to salt on the sidewalks and roads. However, the types of salt (typically calcium or sodium chloride) used to melt ice and snow and keep it from refreezing are somewhat harsh on delicate paws — not to mention they corrode concrete and damage the beautiful vegetation. Protect your pet’s paws, and keep him warm during walks, by outfitting him with booties. If that’s not possible (I know we could never get our dogs to wear boots–kid’s either, come to think of it…) be sure to at least try to wash and rinse your pets’ feet once they are back indoors. Animals licking their paws with salt or ice-melter on them could be a health hazard. Try to enjoy the rest of the winter….JimV

From Jim’s Desk–1/29/2010: PETA Wants a “Robo-GroundHog”

We have breaking news from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania [it’s taken me several minutes trying to spell that town correctly]. As reported by the SouthTown Star….
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) wants organizers of Pennsylvania’s Groundhog Day Festival to replace Punxsutawey Phil–known to many as America’s Official Groundhog-in-Charge-of Predicting-the date-for the arrival of Spring each February 2nd–with a ROBOTIC STAND-IN.
PETA said it’s unfair to keep the groundhog in captivity and subject him to the huge crowds and bright lights that accompany the tens of thousands of revelers each February in Punxsutawey, an hour’s drive northeast of Pittsburgh.
PETA is suggesting the use of an animatronic replacement.
However William Deeley, president of the Inner Circle of the Punxsutawey Groundhog Club (you think these guys really take this stuff seriously…) stated that the animal is “being treated better than the average child in Pennsylvania.”
The groundhog is kept in a climate-controlled environment and is inspected regularly by the Department of Agriculture. (There’s a patronage position if I ever heard one.)
Deeley said PETA isn’t interested in Phil from Feb. 2nd on and is just looking for publicity.
Punxsutawey Phil had no comment for this story and this reporter was referred to the groundhog’s agent for any further questions on this matter (I just made that last part up…LOL…)

From Jim’s Desk: 20 January 2010–Hero Cat Missing after Fire: Found

As Reported by the ChicagoBreaking News Center…

A cat that ran off after rousing a couple from sleep as their home burned has returned to the house and was reunited with her family this afternoon.
Baby, a 13-year-old white, brown and gray tabby, had woken Josh Ornberg as he slept next to his pregnant girlfriend on a couch in their Wonder Lake home around midnight Sunday night.
Once the couple awoke, Ornberg and his girlfriend, Letitia Kovalovsky, got out of the house safely, as did Baby, who ran out with the couple unable to catch her. Ornberg set a live trap for Baby on the front porch of the house Monday, and today, his employers, who live nearby, spotted the cat in the cage and stowed her in their car until Ornberg met up with them about 2:30 p.m., he said.
“I thought she would come back,” said Ornberg, who said he was happy when he got the call that Baby was found.

Tinley Park PAWS Animal Skate: Saturday, 1/23/10

PAWS Animal Shelter will be hosting its Skate for the Animals event from 4:30pm to 7:30 pm, Saturday– January 23, 2010 at the Tinley Park Roller Rink, 17658 Oak Park Avenue.
Admission is $6.00, but residents who donate an item on the shelter’s wish list–cat litter, dry dog food, cat food, postage stamps, white copy paper–will get in for $5. The event will also feature raffle prizes for children and a “Split-the-Pot” for adults. For information:www.pawstinleypark.org

From Jim’s Desk….12 Jan 2010… Down Economy Putting More Pets into Rescue Shelters

We’ve all seen the reports in the media about the effects the economic downturn has had on the number of abandoned and/or neglected pets locally and nationwide. The instances of pets requiring rescue are difficult to avoid…I came across at least three just today.

Personal responsibility is inherent in pet ownership; and no matter how economically difficult circumstances get, that responsibility still remains.

A survey conducted by Petfinder.com illustrates this point:
* 47 percent of shelters and rescue groups said the No. 1 economy-related reason pets are being surrendered is because of general financial difficulty.
* 18 percent said the driving factor was people having to relocate
* 16 percent said the No. 1 reason was foreclosures

Petfinder.com also uncovered in the survey that 37 percent of shelters and rescue groups have seen a decrease in pet adoptions over the past year.

I agree with Petfinder.com:
~~Please consider volunteering to temporarily foster a pet in need, donating your time or money to a local shelter or rescue group, and of course, adopting a pet in need.

Do what you can to help…it’s the very least we can do to carry out our responsibilities.

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