Marine dog with cancer gets tear-filled hero’s farewell

By Associated Press:   July 27, 2017

Hundreds of people in Michigan came together to say a tear-filled final goodbye to a cancer-stricken dog who served three tours in Afghanistan with the U.S. Marines.

Cena the 10-year-old black lab received a hero’s farewell Wednesday before being euthanized at the USS LST 393, a museum ship in Muskegon, and carried off in a flag-draped coffin.

Cena, who was recently diagnosed with terminal bone cancer, was a bomb-sniffer for the Marines until his retirement in 2014. The celebration for Cena was organized by his owner, Lance Cpl. Jeff Young, who was paired with the dog in 2009 and 2010 while on a combat tour in Afghanistan and who adopted him in 2014. Cena then became DeYoung’s service dog to help him with his post-traumatic stress disorder.

“My whole adult life I’ve had Cena,” DeYoung said. “When I was 19 overseas learning how to be responsible, I had Cena. And now I’m 27 and I’m having to say goodbye to one of the biggest pieces of my life.”

Why Dogs Shed and What to Do About It

By CarolineGolon on May. 18, 2017

Infographics By:

As pet parents know, a home with a dog is a home full of fur. It’s on every carpet or rug, in every corner, all over your clothes and maybe even in your morning coffee. While a house full of fur is a fair exchange for the loyalty and unconditional love provided by our favorite canine companions, dog shedding can become overwhelming if left unchecked. Here’s all you need to know about shedding, how to keep that fur tamed, and how to keep your dog happy and healthy.

Why Do Dogs Shed?
Dogs shed for an important reason: to get rid of old, dead fur to make room for new growth, according to This happens year-round, but some breeds shed heavily twice a year in what’s called “blowing their coat.” This typically occurs in the spring, when many dogs shed their winter coat to make way for a lighter summer coat, and again in the fall when dogs get rid of that lighter coat in favor of warmer, denser fur. And dogs that are mostly indoor dogs tend to shed more evenly throughout the year as their coat density tends to be more uniform.

Before you blame the furry tumbleweeds in your house solely on your dog, know this: Humans shed between 50 and 100 hairs every day. And we shed hair for the same reason—to get rid of old hair and make way for the new.

Not All Breeds Shed the Same
There are some dog breeds that shed more than others. Shedding is most apparent in double-coated breeds. They have a long protective overcoat as well as an insulating undercoat.


Dr. Ruth’s Top 5 Tips for a Pet Safe 4th of July

Posts by: Dr. Ruth MacPete, DVM

Dr. Ruth MacPete has some tips to help you keep your pet safe and happy this 4th of July. Every year hundreds of pets throughout the country are lost or injured during 4th of July Celebrations. Here are a few tips you can follow to help keep them safe:

1. Food hazards on the fourth of July
The 4th of July is known for apple pie and BBQ’s, but even delicious holiday food can be hazardous for your pets. Keep your pets away from hot BBQ grills that can easily burn them, especially if they are tempted by what’s cooking on the grill. Animals should never have access to chocolate or alcohol. Bones, except for those specially treated and intended for canine consumption, should also be avoided. Poultry bones can splinter and get lodged in the gastrointestinal tract. Ham and beef bones can break teeth or cause intestinal obstructions. Though tempting, and always appealing to dogs, you should avoid giving your pet leftovers. Not only can this lead to obesity and encourage the annoying habit of begging, it can cause a pancreatitis attack. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas usually caused by fatty foods. It is a serious condition that can be fatal if untreated.

2. Keep your pets indoors for the 4th of July
Though most of us consider fireworks to be the highlight of the evening, many pets are terrified of them. The bright lights and loud noises can unnerve pets and frightened animals will often escape in order to get away. Runaway pets can become lost or get hit by a car. To keep your pets safe and stress-free during a fireworks display, be sure to keep them indoors, preferably in a secure and comfortable room. Give your pet his favorite toy or a new chew toy to keep him distracted. Turning on the TV or radio can also help drown out loud and scary noises outside.

3. Talk to your veterinarian about medications
If you have a pet that becomes very stressed or agitated by fireworks, despite your best efforts, speak with your veterinarian about medications that may help. There are a number of medications available to help decrease anxiety and relax your pet. Your veterinarian will determine which medication is appropriate. You can also try an over-the-counter product such as DAP® or Feliway® to help decrease stress in your dog or cat, respectively.

2017 Summer Reading List for Dog Lovers

Summer is here, and we’re back with our annual tradition – the DogWatch Summer Reading List for Dog Lovers! This year’s round up features sled dogs, mysterious strays, desert companions, powerful noses, and more canine-friendly topics. Pick up one of these 10 great titles, or check out our previous DogWatch Summer Reading Lists, and enjoy a relaxing summer read in your favorite spot with your favorite four-legged friend by your side! (PS – Cat Lovers, we’ve got you covered, too!)

Canine Fiction


3 Misconceptions About Dog Body Language

Dogs are masters of reading our body language, but how well can you read your dog’s cues? While observing a dog’s behavior, some signals are confusing and might not mean what we think. Have you ever heard any of the following statements about dog body language?

1. “He’s friendly because he’s wagging his tail.”

Dogs wag their tails for a number of reasons. If their body is very loose or wiggly and they’re wagging their tail sideways or in circles, that’s probably a good sign that they’re friendly. An alert, dominant or aggressive dog may still wag their tail, but generally their body and the base of their tail is stiff or tense. A lowered tail that’s wagging back and forth quickly is usually a sign of a submissive dog.

2. “When a dog raises his hair, it means he’s aggressive.”

When you see a dog’s hackles, it doesn’t always mean the dog could become aggressive. If the hair on their back is raised between the shoulders and tail, the dog could be alert, excited or fearful. When the hackles are around the shoulder and extending up the back of the neck, it’s usually related to dominance or aggression. Haley raises her hackles along her back and tail area when she’s excited about meeting or playing with a new dog. Her tail will also become bristly when she’s on alert.

3. “A yawning dog is a tired dog.”

Dogs may yawn when they’re tired but sometimes they yawn when they’re stressed or when they’re trying to calm another dog. Yawning is just one of the many calming signals used by dogs in various situations.

6 Simple Tips for Exercising Your Senior Dog

Dog Checkups & Preventive Care

Once upon a time, you probably had a puppy that was as self-motivated as any human three year old— happily running in circles for no particular reason at all. And maybe at some point, as your dog aged, you were secretly (or maybe not so secretly) happy to see a bit of a decrease in his energy level. But now he’s an older dog, and you realize that he has really slowed down. To a point, that is perfectly natural.

Just like us, as our dogs enter into their senior years, they become more sedentary. Maybe they hear less and see less and just aren’t as stimulated to get up and move anymore. And maybe you think, “Well, my dog seems perfectly happy to just lie around and sleep. Why should I force him to exercise?”

The answer, of course, is that it is good for him. Just like it is good for you. Inactivity makes dogs more prone to obesity which puts them at increased risk of other serious, medical conditions such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Heart disease

Unfortunately, your dog lives in the moment – that one where he is content to snooze in the sun. He’s not capable of seeing the bigger picture, but you are. That means it is your responsibility to get him up and moving.

I am not going to tell you what to do with your dog for exercise. I trust that you already know that dogs like to walk and to run and to play games like fetch and tug-of-war. And if you’ve known your dog since he was a puppy, you already know where his personal interests lie. Instead, I will give you tips about how to exercise your senior dog.

Top dog: St. Louis’ own dog whisperer finds balance in his pack

Jun 9, 2017

Bob Laut looks like a tough character: muscular arms, shaved head, plenty of tattoos.

Look closer. The tattoos are of dogs. And not just generic dogs. Some of them depict particular dogs, dogs he has known and loved.

Still, you might think twice before you opened your door to him. But I didn’t. The first time he came over, I wanted to weep for joy.

This was a couple of years ago when, due to a hideous miscalculation, my husband and I became the temporary home to five dogs at once: our two, my sister’s two and our daughter’s large, powerful and energetic puppy. They weren’t all supposed to be there at the same time. Whatever you are picturing, double it. Or better, quintuple it. Chaos does not begin to explain how wild life was at our house.

One afternoon in the midst of this, when I was out shopping for dog food (as usual), I spilled out my story to a total stranger. “Oh,” she said, “you need to call Bob Laut.”

It is a measure of my desperation that on the strength of this advice, from a woman whose name I did not even know, I called.

He said he could come by next week. “Next week?” I said. Laut heard something in my voice. “I’ll be there tomorrow,” he said. “How’s 10 o’clock?”

I felt better already. I felt better still when the bell rang, right on the dot. But here’s when I felt best of all:

Pet Ownership Costs Guide for 2017

Pet ownership represents a large emotional – and financial – commitment. Whether you buy from a pet store or a breeder, adopt an animal from a shelter, or take in a stray, initial costs are just the beginning of the story.
This guide examines the different costs associated with pet ownership and helps you know what to expect, how to plan for these expenses, and potential ways to reduce the financial burden of pet ownership.

Ex-husband sends former dog birthday greetings

By Fox 5    A Texas woman says the beloved dog she once shared with her ex-husband has helped bring the couple back together.

Rebecca Hernandez, 25, told FOX 5 she started dating her ex, Frankie, in 2007. They were high school sweethearts, and got married at a young age in 2012. One year later, when Rebecca says she was having “baby fever,” the couple got Apollo, a German shorthaired pointer mix, who was malnourished at the time.

Rebecca said there was never a dull moment while having Apollo and Frankie around.

“Apollo is a cheese-ball like Frankie, and I think that’s why they love each other so much.”

Two years ago, the couple decided to call it quits and separated. Frankie, who at the time worked as a U.S. Marine, stayed in California. Rebecca and Apollo headed home to Texas.

The breakup was not only tough on Rebecca and Frankie, but also on Apollo.

“He [Apollo] had to get use to not seeing him [Frankie] everyday,” Rebecca said. “Living in different places, it wasn’t easy for them to see each other.”

Stray dog takes rescuers on trek to find her puppies

A “real-life Lassie” led her rescuers on a two-mile trek to find her puppies in an abandoned barn, new video shows.

The stray dog, named Betty Boop, became a regular sight around Fowler, California, and locals suspected she was there to scavenge for her pups during the day.

Krystle Woodward, 33, of the Pinky Paws ResQ, and her husband managed to trap Betty last month, but were unaware she recently gave birth.

They successfully captured her a second time, and decided to take her to the vet, who told them the pooch was nursing.

“I cried all night thinking about those puppies out there,” Woodward wrote on a video caption on YouTube.

On April 14, Betty was trying to escape all day — and Woodward knew she needed to take action.

“We took her out and I played puppies crying on my phone,” she wrote. “She cried and started leading me two miles out into the country, [and] then as she got closer she slowed down. She took me down the vineyards to an abandoned farm house.”

As Woodward walked inside the house with Betty, she immediately heard puppies barking and whimpering.

“Oh, she told us,” Woodward sobbed on the video. “Oh my goodness!”

“She trusted me to show me where her 10 puppies were found,” she wrote in the caption. “This is truly a miracle to me.”

Six of the puppies are still in need of adoption, according to a Wednesday morning post.