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  • Behavior Problems? We have answers.Behavior Problems? We have answers.

    Behavior Problems? We have answers.

    Learn about behavior from our team of experts. Whether you have cats, dogs, reptiles, horses or birds, we can help you learn to live with them. Read More
  • All About HorsesAll About Horses

    All About Horses

    Learn about equine science, whether you're an aspiring rider or a long-time owner, we have the latest in products, breeds, and more. Read More
  • Traveling with PetsTraveling with Pets

    Traveling with Pets

    Be sure to check this section out before you hit the road with your pet! We've got a look at pet-friendly hotels, the guidelines of air, train, bus and auto travel, and much more. Read More
  • All About CrittersAll About Critters

    All About Critters

    Take a look at what it means to have ferrets, rabbits, mice, rats, guinea pigs, and more. Read More
  • All About ReptilesAll About Reptiles

    All About Reptiles

    A look at our cold-blooded friends and discovering how to care for these fun loving creatures! Read More
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  • The Awkward Topic of Dog Tush Wipes

    Having a dog is not always tossing Frisbees and cuddling on the couch during those cold nights. There are lots of times you have to play nursemaid, do extensive grooming and (as you know), they are forever getting into things that are unpleasant (and even more unpleasant when they come back out).

    Some dogs need some extra help staying clean, for example ill pets or senior pets often need extra help with keeping their tushies clean.

    Some dogs (like Bree) have a genetic defect known as hypoplastic vulva which is a common condition of canine conformation in which the vulva is at least partially engulfed by the skin folds that surround it. Spayed female dogs are predisposed to this condition and if you don’t keep that area clean, your dog can wind up with bacteria in that area - causing ongoing issues with yeast infections, UTIs and more.

    So, as much as this is not our favorite topic, its an important one - we’re talking about cleaning the nether regions and more importantly, the benefits of tush wipes.

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  • Handling a Dog Attack on Walk

    Years ago, I was walking my dogs, Malachi and Aquilla, down my neighborhood street when out of the blue, we were attacked by a large dog. It was a terrifying moment and one that could happen anywhere at any time. It also made me very aware of the problems with off-leash dogs and runaway dogs, and is one of many reasons why I started this website so many years ago.

    Here's what happened:

    With two large wolf hybrids at my side, there wasn’t much I feared in my early twenties. We walked down the street together, as we had done thousands of times before, when the hair on the back of my neck stood up. I suddenly felt that we were being stalked, and as I was very unaccustomed to being stalked, I really didn’t know what to do.

    My dogs felt it too and kept turning around to look behind us. The street was empty, but that nagging feeling wouldn’t go away. Finally, Aquilla turned and growled, holding her ground as she scanned the road behind us. She refused to move forward despite my plea.

    Read More
  • Dogs & Their People - A Book Review

    Dogs & Their People is a delightful book from Bark & Co that has truly captured the spirit of modern day dog ownership and the amazing bond between people and pets.

    The book is filled with inspiring community-sourced photography that are fun to view and resplendent with stories that are even more entertaining to read. Some are from celebrity dogs and others are just from people who love their pets (and frankly, we’re far more inspired by the “regular” folk who go out of their way to make sure their dogs are cared for in some truly creative ways.

    This is a coffee table book for sure - you’ll want to leave it out to inspire guests and encourage them to tell you about their dogs. It’s filled with images of dogs, fun quips that every animal lover will relate to, and plenty of humor.

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  • 4PawsTech LED Collars are Perfect for Dark Nights

    The days are getting shorter and the nights a bit longer, which makes finding our pets who need to come indoors at night a bit harder to find. Even in a yard, they can be difficult to track down if they don’t run up to you. That’s why we like the new LED collars from 4PawsTech.


    • Variety of Colors
    • LED-light is bright
    • USB Rechargeable lithium ion battery
    • 3 Modes: Fast Flash, Slow Flash, Constant On
    • Great for walking or in yard
    • MSRP $29.99

    Way too many dogs are killed by cars at night because they escape from a yard and are nearly invisible in the dark. The 4PawsTech collar ensures you can see them during the day or on the darkest night.

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  • 5 Reasons Feral Cat Day Shouldn’t Freak You Out

    There’s been a battle brewing for years against feral cats, and some of the more hateful humans are setting out to kill them all (yes, this has been proposed by some quite unscrupulous people).

    When it comes to cats, you’re going to hear everything from feral cats killing billions of birds a year (if that were true, there would be no birds - at all) to feral cats giving people rabies or even plague (also not true).

    The truth is, feral (aka community) cats are an important part of our ecosystem. They minimize rodent problems, they fill the gap that humans created after hunting other animals (like the bobcat) that they deemed a threat. A properly managed colony can stabilize the influx of stray cats into a neighborhood and help minimize problems with rodents.

    National Feral Cat Day is observed on October 16 every year and we’re proud to take part in this annual tradition.

    Read More
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Dogs that can't Swim and Some that just aren't very good at it

Summer is officially here in the desert and we have reached temperatures in excess of 100 degrees, so you know Read More

Disaster preparedness with pets

September is National Animal Preparedness Month. Some natural disasters require that you evacuate your entire family, pets included. Wildfires, floods, Read More

Keeping Aquariums Alive During Summer Blackouts

Summer is on the way, and that means possible brown outs (power shortages) and even blackouts (power outages) for most Read More

Keeping Pets Safe from Coyotes

No matter where you live, you’ve likely had to deal with wildlife. Whether its mountain lions and coyotes, or squirrels Read More

5 Questions to Ask Before Getting Chickens

There is a lot of interest in chicken keeping these days. With the cost of food skyrocketing, chickens can be Read More

TrackR Uses Crowd GPS To Locate Your Pets

It's tough finding a GPS collar or tag that is small enough for your cat or tiny dog to wear, Read More
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Elicia and Tobie, reunited after searchElicia and Tobie, reunited after searchSometimes even the strongest individual needs help. This week it was Elicia Calhoun, a top agility trainer, competitor, handler and speaker, who needed help after she and her carload of dogs were involved in a multiple rollover accident in the middle of the Arizona desert around 8:30 am on June 11, 2012. She remembers vividly each sound, sight and bump and bang of the event - from the cacophony of noise that culminated in a single yelp, to the deafening silence that followed. The car had landed upright and as she shoved the dashboard and airbag away so she could exit the car over the hood, all she could think about were her dogs and their safety. Her 13-week-old Kelpi puppy Tsunami, who had been in a crate that was secured in the front seat, 12 ½-year-old Iceman, 9-year-old Breesea (both Border Collies), 12 month old Destiny, 9 ½ year old Nika (Aussies) and 3-year-old Tobie (Breesea's daughter, a Border Collie) who had been riding loose in the back seat were thrown from the vehicle on impact and she didn’t know where they were.

Many people stopped to help her and Elicia immediately enlisted help to find her dogs. She did find three of them, BreeSea, Destiny and Iceman but three were still missing. Elicia herself was injured and when the medics and ambulance came they insisted she leave the site – she refused until one of the bystanders and a border patrol agent promised to keep looking for her dogs.

The vehicle remains in the desertThe vehicle remains in the desertA Community Unites

When word got out of the accident through a posting on Facebook, animal lovers shared the posts and reached out to agility friends in that area who hit the ground running. Several of them got together via chat or phone and one of them set up a group on Facebook so that all the information would be in once place. Word spread like wildfire and the agility community mobilized. Within hours, there were over 3,000 members of the community sharing the plea for help and soon help of all types was being offered.

Tsunami is Found

As Elicia was signing herself out of the hospital with a punctured lung (against doctors wishes) she was notified that Tsunami's body had been found. Though consumed with grief, she knew there were still two dogs missing that needed her and needed her NOW. The desert temps range from low 50's to 103 degrees and threats of dehydration, hypothermia and death by wildlife or by passing vehicles were a very real threat.

The Search Mobilizes

By day's end, the online community swelled and the members became emotionally invested in finding the two remaining dogs and committed themselves to action. Animal communicators were consulted and were in touch with the dogs. An online contribution site was created, as were lost signs and posters. Inquiries and arrangements were made for planes, billboards and even a military heat-seeking device was employed. The word spread via facebook, the dog community, television news stations, truckers, HAM and CB operators, the equine community, and to ranchers in the surrounding area. elicia-nikaelicia-nikaDuring the search, most of which was done on foot or by truck out in the desert terrain, word came that Nika’s body had been spotted in the median of the freeway. It was around 7 pm and Elicia went to her body, held her and cried. She knew that her spirit was no longer with her body and drew upon the strength inside her to move forward to find the remaining dog. It would be dark soon and Tobie needed her mommy.

As the air chilled and the sunlight faded the volunteers who had been searching late into the night finally set up camp roadside – some sleeping in their cars with their hazards on while Elicia slept outside in case Tobie came to look for her. Several volunteers could swear they heard yips of a dog in the night, but no one could tell which way they came from.

Sighting of Tobie

In the very early hours of the next day, the search began again. Sightings of Tobie near cattle renewed the frantic search. During this time, a volunteer coming from Tuscon was approaching the crash site and around 8 am on the side of the road she spotted Tobie. Elicia rushed to the location, but no Tobie. They looked again and she had changed directions and was on the opposite side of the freeway. Elicia and a volunteer pulled into median where the dog was and honked the horn the dog looked at Elicia – recognized her but went running in the opposite direction IN FRONT OF A BIG RIG!

"NOT AFTER ALL OF THIS," said the volunteer. Elicia hit the ground running. She crossed behind the big rig and got to the opposite side. Tobie knew it was her, but wasn’t cooperating at all, she was running away! Finally Elicia and a friend were able to herd the herding dog and as soon as she got Tobie safely in her arms a photo was taken. News was quickly sent, all volunteers were notified, pending actions cancelled and by now the over 6,000 members of the newly formed Facebook community rejoiced.

The Aftermath

Elicia and the volunteers took care of the medical needs of the dogs, while Elicia checked into the ER for followup. The end result? Her punctured lung was almost healed and the cuts, contusions and hematoma would heal in time. Iceman, Destiny, Breesea and Tobie have some minor injuries – some have sliced or worn pads, bruises, mobility issues and though at some point Tobie had also been hit by a car, she should be fully recovered in a few months. This accident bonded a community together. People from all over the world were involved and watching the updates from their home computers. People drove from miles to help with the search or did what they could from where ever they lived. The strength and dedication of a dog mom was tested. Her reminder to enjoy every minute you have with your dogs, you never know when it might be your last was heard loud and clear. While many find online communities a dangerous or unsafe atmosphere, in this case it was a loving, giving and sharing place and through that positive energy a miracle happened.


About Elicia Calhoun
Elicia Calhoun is a top National and International Trainer, National Champion and World Champion, Lecturer, Professional Agility Instructor, and Author. As a World Champion Team member in 2001 and Bronze Medal Team member in 2003, Elicia has represented the United States for an unprecedented five consecutive years with the same dog, Suni. She and her Aussie, Suni, MACH 5 Slydrock's Solar Power ADCH, also have the top individual Maxi dog placement at the World Championships, and are nationally recognized icons, having been featured competing at large televised events on Animal Planet (AKC and USDAA National Championship) and ESPN (Great Outdoor Games) numerous times since 1998.Learn more about Elicia Calhoun by visiting Waltzing Paws.

About the Author
Deborah Davidson Harpur considers herself a dog mom first, an agility trainer/ handler second and a writer third. She is a doggie stage mom to her own rat terriers, border collie and shepherd mix in addition to the 10 other dogs she handles for their owners. You can learn more about her on pm2dogagility.com or on her Facebook page.

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