Increasing Rabies Awareness

Very few diseases instill fear in a pet owner as quickly as rabies. As soon as I hear the word I immediately think of the movie “Old Yeller” and how much it traumatized me as a little kid. The sight of his dog frothing at the mouth and behaving in such an aggressive manner was downright scary. I couldn’t imagine my own dog behaving in that way!

Rabies, also known as encephalitis, is a viral disease that affects mammals, causing inflammation in the brain. It is spread from bites wounds other animals such as bats, skunks and raccoons. Encephalitis travels from the site of the wound, through the nervous system, and eventually to the brain where it does the most damage. Early symptoms are fever, lethargy, decreased energy and no appetite. Rabies can be treated prior to reaching the brain, but it is fatal once it has time to spread. It can take anywhere from two to six weeks for the virus to spread to the brain.

More than 55 000 people die of rabies every year, mostly in Asia and Africa; dogs are the source of the vast majority of human rabies deaths. The risk is so great that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that “unvaccinated dogs, cats, and ferrets exposed to a rabid animal should be euthanized immediately. If the owner is unwilling to have this done, the animal should be placed in strict isolation for 6 months and vaccinated 1 month before being released.” The most cost-effective strategy for preventing rabies in people is by eliminating rabies in dogs through vaccination. Luckily, instances of rabies in pets are on the decline thanks to vaccinations. In 2010, 48 states and Puerto Rico reported 6,153 cases of rabies in animals and 2 human cases to CDC; that’s down 8% from the year before. had a write up on their website about World Rabies Day. It’s a holiday to help educate pet owners on ways to prevent and eradicate rabies. Volunteers gather on this day to teach the public about what rabies is, how it can be avoided and how it can be treated. So far over the past five years, World Rabies Day has been popular as its message is spread. Unfortunately, World Rabies Day was two or so weeks ago and I missed it…bummer! Doesn’t mean that rabies awareness is any less important any other day of the year though, right?

Post-Neutering Pet Care

I’d like to remind everyone about the importance of spaying or neutering their cat or dog. Lately, I’ve been noticing an increasing number of feral cats hanging out around the neighborhood. Now I haven’t seen any dogs roaming about the message of spaying and neutering their dog is still the same – get it done! Believe it or not, your dog or cat will be better off for it.

Having your cat or dog spayed or neutered is a great idea for several reasons:

  • Your pet will live a longer, healthier life.
  • Your spayed female won’t go into heat.
  • Your neutered male will be much better behaved.
  • Spaying and neutering your pet is good for the community.
  • Spaying and neutering helps fight pet overpopulation.

Now that you’ve done the responsible thing and taken care of your pet’s reproductive ability, your responsibility to the pet doesn’t stop there. You still need to care for your post-op pet just as you would your boyfriend, husband, or wife who just had surgery.

The ASPCA recommends the following:

Monitor your pet for any signs of abnormal recovery from anesthesia and/or surgery.

DO NOT GIVE HUMAN MEDICATION TO YOUR PET.  It is dangerous and can be fatal. Your pet was given long-acting pain medication in conjunction with the spay/neuter surgery.

When it comes to food and water – “Approximately half your pet’s normal serving of food and water should be offered about two hours after returning home from surgery. If your pet is less than 16 weeks of age, feed him/her proximately half the normal amount of food and water as soon as you return home. If your puppy or kitten will not eat when he/she returns home and you can do the following without risk of being bitten or scratched, rub maple or Karo Syrup on the pet’s gums.”

Don’t forget about caring for the surgical wound – “Wounds can take several days to several weeks to fully heal, depending upon the depth of the surgery. You will need to make sure that it’s kept clean; your pet will probably prefer to perform these types of tasks by themselves with a good licking, which is frowned upon. Keep a good eye on the wound, so you’ll know immediately if it becomes infected or aggravated.” I’ve found a good E-collar does the trick.

If the surgery site is very red, has green/yellow or reddish discharge, has a bad odor, has something sticking out from it, is warm to the touch, or has bruising or a bump that seems to be growing, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Adjusting to City Life

I’m not exactly a city person; I admit it. I grew up in more of a rural area with occasional trips to suburbia if we ever felt like going shopping. That all changed when I went away to college. It wasn’t a major metropolitan area but it was a lot busier than anything I was used to experiencing. 

The one thing I missed most about moving to the city was the company of my dog. Now I know many city dwellers have dogs and their pets couldn’t be happier. I’m just worried that Conway (my dog) wouldn’t feel comfortable leaving his nice big yard for sidewalks, crosswalks and dog parks. I found this neat article* written on the subject of caring for dogs in the city. Many of the writer’s suggestions were echoed by a few of my friends. I hope you find them as helpful as I did:

Our dogs are our best friends. Just take a second and think of the emotions and experiences that you share with your best friend. You may eat, laugh, and even live with your best friend. When it comes to the decision to move to a new location, you and your human best friend can communicate and find the perfect home that suits both of you.

But when it comes to your other best friend, (your dog) you may not know how to know that a new atmosphere will be good for them.   One of the most difficult places to relocate, when you have a dog, is a big city. Bringing your dog to a new home in the city can prove for a very trying time.

Here are some types to keep your dog safe and happy in their new home.

  • Make sure that there is a dog friendly haven somewhere near by – Whether it be a small yard, or a dog friendly park, make sure before moving with your current dog, or possibly a new one, that there is some type of outside area where it can run around safely and legally.
  • Windows and doors are secure – A major city can be potentially dangerous for a dog. Between the high windows and crazy traffic, there are many dangerous hazards for an unsuspecting dog. That being said, it is really important to make sure that all of your windows and doors are secure. Also keep your dog leashed at all times when outside. You may realize those moving vehicles are dangerous but your dog may not, especially when he or she has never been exposed to the hustle and bustle of city streets.
  • Crack is Whack! - No , no, NO! As tempting as it sounds do not leave your dog in the car (EVEN IF THE WINDOWS ARE CRACKED!), it is never ok for your dog to stay in a car, not matter what time of year. Just five minutes in a hot (or cold) car can become a dangerous situation, not to mention that there are also people that can break into your car and take your dog. So just don’t do it! Either bring your dog where ever you are going or keep them home!

These tips can help you make sure that you and your dog can get used to living in a big city. Safety and happiness are two things that week always want to give to our dog. They are also two things that can be easily insured to any dog. (Even city dogs! ) Just use common sense and keep your dog one of your biggest priorities!

*Published originally on

Finding Pet Food for Dogs with Sensitive Stomachs

My dog suffers from a squeaky stomach. You know those crazy noises that come from the dog’s belly after it eats? I didn’t give it much thought at first but after a recent trip to the vet, I discovered it was my dog’s food. After some research and tests with different types of dog food, we finally found a brand that doesn’t bother her stomach.

I’m hoping this article* on finding pet food for dogs with sensitive stomachs helps:

All dog owners know how horrible it is when your beloved pooch is under the weather. It’s easy to know when they aren’t feeling well. They aren’t as playful; they don’t have that same enthusiasm for life as all dogs exemplify. Stomach related issues are often the most common dog ailment, and it’s your job to not only help relieve the symptoms but also avoid them from reoccurring.

If the stomach issue is new or an ongoing issue, you should try to find out if there is a medical condition that needs to be dealt with. A veterinarian will examine your dog for any underlying medical conditions that can be the root of your pooch’s stomach problems. After a few tests, the vet will be able to tell you if your dog’s stomach problems are due to a health problem or it in fact has a sensitive stomach. In most instances, your dog’s food is often the root of the issue.

You don’t want to see your poor puppy not feeling from well from an upset tummy so be sure he or she a healthy and well managed diet. Your dog’s food plays an important role in its overall health. It’s easy to think that all dog food is the same; it looks and smells the same for the most part which is why dog owners need to carefully check the ingredients. Some dogs’ stomachs can better handle certain ingredients than others.

If your dog has any kind of problems with food, then I’m sure you are aware know that trying to feed them something that won’t upset their digestion or affect their health can be confusing, complicated and time-consuming. Look for dog food with ingredients such as salmon, tuna, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and duck. These ingredients are easy to digest, provide essential nutrients and proteins, and most importantly, taste delicious, at least your dog thinks they do.

Dog food manufacturers also sympathetic to your dog’s problem and are making food specifically designed for dogs with food allergies and stomach problems. Some of these formulas include Purina ONE Sensitive Systems Dry Dog Food, Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Dog food, and ProPlan Sensitive Stomach Dry Dog Food. Even dogs with perfectly healthy stomachs benefit from the all natural ingredients of some of these above mentioned formulas.

Your next step involves the placement of your dog’s feeder bowl. Pet experts recommend raising your dog’s food bowl off the floor. By elevating the placement of your dog’s food, the dog doesn’t have to bend over or lower itself to eat which can cause gas problems in its stomach. Elevated feeders help ease gas pressure on the stomach and aid the digestive process.

Now that you’re found a healthy food and a suitable sized dog feeder, your last step is to slowly introduce the new food into your dog’s diet. It is recommended you mix the new food in with the old food, with less and less of the old food over time. Sudden changes in your dog’s diet can sometimes cause digestive problems. It won’t be long before you begin to notice a change in your pooch’s health and attitude.


*Published on                                                 



Through an intuitive consultation, an animal communicator will offer you information from your dog’s perspective. These insights provide a deeper understanding of your senior’s needs and can ease your job as caregiver, while giving you much-deserved peace of mind.

Professional animal communicators are available throughout the world, serving as advocates of all species of animals. Their services complement your loving care, along with the professional health care of veterinarians and other providers. With this helpful team, your dog is promised an excellent quality of life.

When you work with reputable animal communicators, the information they offer comes from the spirit of your dog. The conversation occurs through intuition, also known as telepathy. The job of the communicator is to listen from the heart and to be open to receiving information from the animal’s perspective. That information comes in the form of mental pictures, emotions, physical sensations, energy, and words (although, unlike humans, animals do not use a lot of words). Communicators take everything they sense and put it together like a puzzle to offer a voice for your dog.

You will know quickly whether or not the animal communicator is connecting with your dog. How? It’s simple: you will hear information that the communicator could not have known prior to the session.

Before you hire the services of an animal communicator, be sure you feel comfortable with the person’s background, experience, and reputation. It is important that the person has been working as a professional with clients for a period of time. You decided what length of time feels right to you. Perhaps you may want someone who has at least a year of experience, or more. Also, ask them where they have worked. It’s good to find someone that has been offered their services at public events or pet stores. This indicates they are successful with their skills if they are returning to a public venue repeatedly.

Requesting testimonials from a potential communicator can be another way to research and find the best match for you. Ask communicators if they have client references list for you to explore. Another option is to search the internet. You will find a respectable referral list at Finally, in my opinion, personal recommendations from someone you know and trust is an excellent way to find a trustworthy professional animal communicator.

I encourage you to utilize this animal communication services however it best suits you. For instance, you may find it fun to have just one session to gain an overall understanding of the many curiosities you’ve had about your dog throughout your years together. Or, you may prefer to work more regularly with a communicator in order to gain clarity on various issues that arise as your dog’s behavior shifts with age. It is also absolutely fine if you don’t believe in the concept of a person tuning in to your dog for a conversation. If it doesn’t work for you, don’t do it. Being skeptical is completely normal, especially when you try something new that you don’t understand. However, if you are curious and find yourself thinking, I will do anything for my dog, then you might want to give it a try. Terri O’Hara, Animal Communicator and contributing author of the book Your Dog’s Golden Years~

The Benefits of Adopting a Senior Dog

The need for senior dog adoption is great. What makes each of the circumstances creating this need even more saddening is the fact that, despite the wonderful attributes of older dogs and all the best efforts of most shelters, these dogs are frequently overlooked in favor of puppies and younger animals. The ageism that causes seniors to be passed over is a prejudice without merit, as oftentimes it’s the older dog that is best suited for a happy household and a lasting marriage of dog and family. Here’s why.


What You See is What You Get

There are no surprises. Their physical size is established so there are no mysteries about whether they’ll exceed the weight limit for your apartment, and by and large, their temperament and personality are also fully developed. In other words, they’ve become what and who they are going to be. 

Most Older Dogs Have Already Been Trained

An older dog has typically had some basic obedience training and is already familiar with the essential commands that will make life enjoyable for both of you (Come. Sit. Stay.). Equally important, he is more than likely also housetrained, unlike his puppy counterpart. If your household includes very young children, you will welcome the fact that you will not have to endure housetraining and potty training all at the same time.

The Older Dog is Past His Chewing Phase

To anyone who has ever had his favorite shoes, the furniture, an heirloom rug, or the baseboards of his house chewed with endless abandon, rejoice! This is typical puppy behavior but not at all what to expect from a normal, adult dog.

A Senior Dog Requires Less Exercise

Let’s face it, as we age we all slow down a bit. You can expect an older dog to be less frisky and rambunctious than his younger counterparts, and in most cases, his requirement for exercise will be far less. This attribute alone makes the older dog a great fit for many family situations and an ideal match for the aging adult as well.


For some reason, a dog creates an invitation to talk. Walking a dog is a great way to meet one’s neighbors and to build community. For some reason, the wag of a tail has done more to break down social barriers and build friendships than anything we know.

Lower blood pressure and reduced anxiety

Studies show the health benefits of having a pet. Among those benefits is a distinct lowering of blood pressure and anxiety. We’re not surprised.

Are you sold yet?


There are many animal shelters across the country but few fill the desperate need to place senior dogs. If you’re not yet ready to adopt your senior, consider becoming a foster parent, a dog walker, or providing some other service or donation that will help ease the suffering of an old dog and provide him with a shot at a new beginning and the happy ending he deserves.


Sherri Franklin and Liz Brooking, of Muttville Senior Dog Rescue and contributing authors of the book Your Dog’s Golden Years

Goffin Cockatoo Life Style

Goffin cockatoo is very lovable bird in the cockatiel species. They are funny, elegant bird and so active. Goffin cockatoo is playful and very interactive with the pet owners and get painful if they bitten. A goffin cockatoo can have a very loud sound voice. These Cockatoo birds have some drawback because it makes more sounds. Cockatoo birds also have large beaks. Choosing cockatoo as a pet bird is the right choice for the pet owners. Your cockatoo bird cages must be larger size so that can be able to stay in the cages.

Training for the cockatiel:

Cockatoo birds should need some training for your birds to talk. Proper training can make your bird to talk. Training is needed for avoiding any biting. Good training leads your pet good behavior. After getting training your goffin cockatoo mimic the sounds they hear.

Food diet:

Caring goffin Cockatoo also bit expenses and food costs can be high. Your goffin cockatoo need plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits to stay healthy Goffin Cockatoo. Healthy food leads the cockatoo very active and playful for whole day.

Chroma of Goffin cockatoo:

The color of goffin cockatoo is generally white with light pink.


Average lifespan of Goffin cockatoo is 30 to 40 years.

Good Exercise:

Goffin Cockatoo are very magnificent bird and so enthusiastic in nature. To stay active Goffin cockatoo needs variety of exercise. Owners must be leave free for minimum 3-4 hour outside the cage to play and stretch their body muscles.

The goffin cockatoo is a very popular species of cockatoo that is indigenously found in multiple areas of the globe, including parts of South East Asia, and Indonesia. This Cockatoo species has also been introduced successfully to several areas including Central and South America, in addition to other areas such as Singapore. The Goffin Cockatoo is fairly small, growing to reach a length of about a foot from head to tail. They are in fact the smallest of the white cockatoos, with males only weighing about 300 grams and females weighing about 250 grams. The Goffin Cockatoo is also known as the Tanimbar Corella, or the Goffin’s Corella. this bird can imitate human speech, although they are not particularly skilled talkers.

Goffin cockatoo is lovable and affectionate pet birds .we should spend few hours time to interact with your pet cockatoo. This cockatoo birds can speak limited time and can mimic the sounds like human and other sounds they hear.

For more information about goffin cockatoo visit our website:

Cockatiel Care and Life Style

Cockatiels are one of the most magnificent bird species in the world. Cockatiel birds can talk and whistle like the human beings. These kinds of pets are so interactive with humans. It is a wonderful pet for breeding. This pet is very active in day time and it needs 12 hours sleep at night time. Long time sleeping leads to your pet healthy. You should take care of your cockatiel healthy life. This article explains the importance of cockatiel care.

Wide cages

Cockatiel must very wide range of cages for sleep and climbing over the cages. Usually cockatiel species are so playful and needs comfortable place to live. The cages should 20 inches wide and height should be 28 inches for climbing and comfortable to stretch their wings. The cages should keep clean and each day we have to keep new food and fresh water, otherwise because of spoiled food yeast will generate and affect the cockatiel.

Exercises for cockatiel

After taking a long time sleep your pet need some mental exercises for mind relaxation and don’t keep your cockatiel in a cage itself left free from cages for two times a day.

Cockatiel Fun

Cockatiels are very interesting to play some games with in a cage itself. It’s so playful and crazy.

Survival of cockatiel

Normal life span of cockatiel is 20 to 25 years.


Regular bath to keep your cockatiel clean. If your cockatiel is not given a bath at regularly then your cockatiel skin will scratch. They will look prettier after a clean bath.

Pet food diet

Rich nutritious food such as fruits, vegetables and fresh clean water should be a healthy part of your pet’s diet. All type of seed is preferable for getting vitamins and minerals. Dried beans and meat are very helpful for getting protein.

Training courses for cockatiel

Training is essential for talking and whistles as like a human. If your cockatiel is biting, after training they won’t bite. Training will keep mental relaxation for your pet. Most of the cockatiels are making loud sounds after taking training the cockatiel won’t make big noise. Behavior of the cockatiel is changed after taking training.

For more information about cockatiel care visit our website:

Demodectic Mange: The 4 Most Important Questions You Should Ask

Demodectic mange is one of two different types of a skin problem called mange, which affects dogs around the world. The demodectic type may look like the milder version of the two, but it doesn’t mean that it can be taken lightly – if spotted in older dogs, it could mean the presence of other, more serious conditions below the surface.

This article will provide more detailed information that about mange of the demodectic variety.

What is demodectic mange, exactly?

Demodectic mange, known otherwise as follicular mange or red mange, is a medical condition that irritates the skin of a dog, causing it to become inflamed.

The main characteristics of demodectic mange include a development of scaly textures on the skin, as well as hair loss and inflamed skin. In more advanced conditions, oozing pus can also be found on the skin, which will harden and eventually produce a crusty texture. The problem areas are usually not itchy, however.

Demodectic mange typically appears in dogs that do not have a fully functioning immune system, such as puppies, dogs of old ages and dogs that have had their immune systems weakened in some form.

What causes demodectic mange?

This skin condition can usually be blamed on the presence of the demodex mite. These little bugs can’t usually be seen with the naked eye, but they strongly resemble tiny cigars with legs when viewed under the microscope.

The demodex mite can be found in virtually every dog in existence. The only reason why they have not caused a ‘mange epidemic’ yet is that these mites aren’t actually very tough; they are easily beaten by the immune systems present in the bodies they live in. As a result, demodex mites only exist in a tiny amount, and are too weak to cause any serious damage.

However, as you may have guessed, that is not true for puppies, old dogs and dogs that are ill. Their immune systems aren’t working at their usual capacity, which gives the demodex mites a foot in the door – so to speak – thereby causing all sorts of skin problems.

There are also some very rare cases where the mites have multiplied themselves to such an extent that they can overpower a dog’s defences, giving them the opportunity to increase their numbers exponentially and causing other complications as a result. In these cases, the dog’s condition is considered severe enough to warrant an emergency visit to the vet. Some dogs may even reach such an advanced stage of demodectic mange that there is no other choice but to be put down by the vet. Granted, such a scenario would be very rare indeed, but it also proves that demodectic mange is not something to be taken lightly.

How do demodex mites harm dogs?

The demodex mites make their home in the hair follicles of dogs (thus giving it the alternative name of ‘follicle mange’). The problem starts when the rapid reproduction of mites causes the follicles to be inflamed, thereby causing the hair to fall off. This is why one of the most obvious symptoms of demodectic mange is a drastic loss of fur.

However, hair loss and inflamed skin are not the only things that demodex mites can cause. If you will recall the part about rare fatal cases briefly discussed above, it shows that the mites are also capable of disrupting the immune system of the dog entirely. When that happens, the dog will be vulnerable to a host of other diseases unrelated to mange, which will complicate things a lot more.

Demodectic mange also causes your dog to become unsightly, something that will surely cause any dog owner to be distressed.

How did my dog get this, anyway? And is it contagious?

Here’s a bit of good news: Demodex mites are not contagious at all. It’s very uncommon for a dog to get it by interactions with other dogs. It’s also impossible for humans to be affected by any interaction with a dog that has demodectic mange, so don’t worry about getting any of those while treating them.

But of course, you may be wondering, ‘How do dogs get this problem, then?’

The real answer is that their own mothers were the initial source of the demodex mites, while they were still puppies.

It’s very possible that when the puppies were very young, perhaps even when they were just out of the womb, some of the mites would already have turned to them as their host of choice. The lack of a functioning immune system in the very early days of a dog’s life may well be the window of opportunity the mites needed to increase their population exponentially.

If you think about it for a while, this is actually in line with the fact that older dogs and sick dogs are prone to demodectic mange as well, because their immune systems were also malfunctioning.


Demodectic mange seems to be a rather benign problem; they don’t affect the average adult dog, they get killed by immune systems that work correctly, and they aren’t contagious at all. While it is true that they don’t cause much harm to most dogs, it still doesn’t mean that you should treat demodectic mange lightly. For one thing, a severe case of demodectic mange usually means that another health problem is threatening your dog.

Apart from that, they can also cause a lot of trouble with the fur and skin. This can mean a source of misery for you in regards to your dog’s appearance as well as health, if it somehow manages to become a major problem.

I have a miniature schnauzer and I own a website devoted to gathering information about dog skin problems. If you want to find out more about demodectic mange, just visit to learn about the skin problem, and how it can be treated.

Four intuitive pets inducted into the 2012 Purina Animal Hall of Fame

From the Sacramento Bee:

“TORONTO, May 7, 2012 /CNW/ – Fearless, devoted, and intuitive – words typically associated with heroic figures can also be used to describe the 2012 Purina Animal Hall of Fame Inductees – Nanook, Monty, Bree and Titan. Honoured this morning at PawsWay Pet Education Centre in Toronto, the permanent home of the Purina Animal Hall of Fame, these extraordinary animals have gone above and beyond to protect the lives of those around them, proving just how powerful the bond between animals and humans can be.

“Each year, we honour pet heroes and their life-saving acts. Our 2012 Inductees struck us not only by the intuitive sixth sense related to life-threatening medical conditions, but also their incredible persistence to act on that intuition,” said Mary Siemiesz, Executive Director of the Purina PetCare Legacy. “The Purina Animal Hall of Fame is at the heart of who we are as a company and we are incredibly privileged to celebrate these extraordinary heroes.”

Animals are gifted with an extraordinary sense of sight, smell, sound and touch. They also seem to have a sixth sense, or intuition, that allows them to pick up on illness and medical emergencies earlier than humans are capable of detecting. While researchers are at odds about this sixth sense, many argue that the stronger the bond between pet and owner, the more apt they are to notice changes in their smell, mannerisms and appearance. The 2012 Purina Animal Hall of Fame Inductees have shown this intuitive sense, ultimately preventing four horrible tragedies.

As one of the longest running pet recognition programs in Canada, the Purina Animal Hall of Fame has recognized the life-saving heroics of pets and service animals for more than four decades. Since its inception in 1968, 155 animals have been inducted – 128 dogs, 26 cats and one horse. Canadians across the country can visit to read past honoured stories, and learn how to nominate a heroic pet or service animal.

The 2012 honourees were carefully selected from numerous nominations based on their intelligence, loyalty and intuition. “This year’s inductees prove that big heroics can often come in the smallest packages,” said Siemiesz. “They remind us of the important roles that animals play in our lives, and how far they will go to protect the people around them.”

“I was unaware that I had severe sleep apnea, but Bree sensed something was wrong with me immediately. Without her persistence to wake me from sleep apnea episodes, especially the severe episode last September, I wouldn’t be here today,” said Michele Gilks, owner of the two-year-old Dachshund from Blissfield, New Brunswick and 2012 Inductee. “She is my personal hero, and we’re so thrilled that Bree is being recognized for her heroic efforts by the Purina Animal Hall of Fame.”

The 2012 Purina Animal Hall of Fame Inductees:

Nanook (St. Catharines, ON) Early one morning last May, at around 3 a.m., Nanook, a Siberian Husky cross began causing a commotion to wake her owner Coleen Kilby and her husband, Gord. Nanook was circling their bed, howling, licking her owners’ faces and barking loudly, which was very uncharacteristic of Nanook. When the sleeping pair woke, they couldn’t understand what was prompting Nanook’s erratic behaviour. Coleen suddenly began feeling pressure in her chest as well as a gnawing pain in her arm and realized she was having a heart attack. Her husband called the paramedics and Coleen was immediately taken to the hospital for treatment. By 11 a.m. that morning, Coleen had undergone surgery to insert three stents in her heart. If it wasn’t for Nanook’s keen intuition and persistence that night, Coleen would have had the heart attack in her sleep and would not be here today.

Monty (Camrose, AB) In the middle of the night last March, Patricia Peter’s lovable, ginger tabby cat Monty woke her up by repeatedly biting the fingers of her left hand – the only hand she uses to test her blood sugar levels to monitor her newly-diagnosed diabetes. Although this was unusual behaviour for Monty, Patricia tried to ignore it and “shoo” him away so she could go back to sleep. When he persisted, Patricia sat up to push him to the foot of the bed and suddenly felt incredibly dizzy. She got up to go to the washroom and felt weak in the legs, couldn’t focus and felt sick to her stomach. With Monty meowing and rubbing up against her leg, Patricia slowly made her way to the kitchen to check her blood sugar. As she got closer, Monty intuitively ran ahead and sat beside her diabetic testing kit. Sure enough, after testing her blood, Patricia discovered her blood sugar was down to a low of 2.7. Even after she treated the low blood sugar with sugar tablets, Monty was persistent in keeping her awake until she retested at normal sugar levels 15 minutes later. Patricia later told this story to her doctor who insisted that if Monty hadn’t woken her up and prompted her to test and treat her low blood sugar levels, she would have fallen into a diabetic coma or had a diabetic seizure. Patricia always thought Monty was a smart cat, but she now also sees him as her lifesaver, “little hero” and guardian angel.

Bree (Blissfield, NB) Last September, three days before owner Michele Gilks’ 50th birthday, Bree, her two-year-old Dachshund, tried to wake Michele up in the middle of the night by putting her snout in Michele’s mouth, licking her face and frantically digging next to her. When Michele finally awoke, she felt an overwhelming “drowning” feeling and began gasping desperately for air. Bree’s antics also woke Michele’s husband who called an ambulance at once. When the paramedics arrived, Michele was put on oxygen and rushed to the hospital due to her dangerously high blood pressure At the emergency room, Michele was diagnosed with a severe case of sleep apnea – a potentially life-threatening condition that causes a person to stop breathing during sleep. This wasn’t the first time Bree had woken Michele up from sleep in the middle of the night and now she understood why: Bree was helping Michele breathe whenever she stopped. If Bree hadn’t been watching over Michele that night, she would have died in her sleep from lack of oxygen. Today, Michele is receiving treatment for her sleep apnea and Bree no longer wakes her during the night. Michele feels like she’s been given another chance at life and she’s eternally grateful to Bree for that gift.

Service Dog of the Year: Titan (Oakville, ON) One stormy evening last October, Police Service Dog Titan and his partner Constable Tara McLorn set out during severe weather conditions to locate a despondent and desperate woman who fled into a wooded area after attempting to overdose on medication. She had taken a large dose of pain medication, called 9-1-1 and told the operator that this would be her last night alive. Although her initial call for help allowed the team to narrow her whereabouts using cell phone triangulation technology, it was Titan’s fearless dedication and intuition which led the unit to her location, ultimately saving her life. Defying hurricane-like winds, torrential rain and a race against the clock, Titan directed the team through the forest to the woman just as the drugs she had consumed were taking hold. The team remained with the woman until paramedics arrived to take her to the hospital where she was treated for hypothermia and a dangerous drug overdose. There is no doubt from his police team that Titan is a hero. At a time when every second counted, Titan helped his team defy the odds, rescue the missing woman and save her life.”