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1. Ticks and Tick-borne Disease Ticks are more than just creepy; they can spread a number of different diseases that affect both pets and people: Lyme disease, ehrlichia, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis, tularemia, and babesia. The best way to protect your pet is with preventative treatment. Ask your veterinarian for advice and click here to learn more about ticks and the diseases they spread. – See more at:


 Several studies have revealed that within 10 minutes of gazing deeply into a dog’s eyes or petting a sweet little bundle of fur, there are neurochemical changes in the brain. “We get a burst of oxytocin, prolactin, dopamine and endorphins,” explains Rebecca, “which are all chemicals that help us feel happy and allow us to relax.” It’s actually something of a neurochemical free-for-all for both dog and human—and it makes your dog as happy as it does you. And it’s good for your health. In fact, some studies suggest that living with a dog reduces the symptoms and severity of clinical depression, while others have found that it boosts your immune system, reduces blood pressure and lowers your heart rate. The effect is so powerful that the chief cardiologist at one British hospital literally prescribes a dog for men who have just had a heart attack. And he’s found that the chances of a second heart attack in these men are cut by a whopping 400 percent. Dogs also help you maintain an active lifestyle and a healthy weight, adds Rebecca, who co-wrote the book Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound. Which is something Jody Higgs can verify. “I’m getting way more exercise than I was before I got Laurel,” says the trim Vermont woman. “I used to walk once a week, but now I walk for at least an hour every morning.” Building a Lifelong Bond For you and your dog to enjoy a life that brings each of you love, joy and a steady diet of happiness, you need to begin building a lifelong bond on the day that you bring your dog home. Here’s how to do it: Give daily belly rubs. If you have four feet and a furry undercarriage, nothing brings more pleasure than to roll over on your back and have your human gently rub your chest and belly. It’s an excellent way to start the day, and you feel nothing but love for the human who understands that important fact. Build trust. Meet your dog’s needs, says dog trainer Deb Helfrich, director of training and certification for Therapy Dogs of Vermont and founder of GoldStar Dog Training in Stowe and Fairfax. A dog that’s regularly fed, stroked, groomed, played with, and walked will learn to trust you. Learn to speak dog. Study your dog so you know how he or she shows fear, happiness, sadness, excitement, anxiety—the full range of emotions. If you’re not sure what you’re seeing, says Deb, check out and learn the signs. You can also sign up for an online course that helps you figure out appropriate responses, or you can get tips from a local trainer. Go to for a listing of trainers in your area. Learn together. Obedience training, agility training, freestyle dog dancing, therapy dog training—whatever it is that the two of you learn together will, as you steadily work together, set the foundation for a lifelong relationship. Play together. Grab an old sock for tug-of-war, bounce a tennis ball off the house, hurl a Frisbee across the yard. Help your dog explore his interests with one-on-one attention. No puppy cousins or human brothers allowed. Just the two of you doing something that makes you both feel good. Never use physical punishment. Ever. Walk. Just as that walk around the block after dinner settles you down after a hectic day and lifts your mood, it does the same for your dog, says Rebecca. Shared together every day, it sets the tone for a feel-good relationship. Work through challenges together. When Rebecca adopted Madison, an English setter rescue, the dog came with a lot of little issues, plus an inclination toward aggression. Rebecca enrolled her in 16 weeks of private obedience work, which helped the dog become obedient but didn’t affect the aggression. But Rebecca kept trying. And after working with Madison through several approaches, she eventually found a trainer who was able to reach the dog. Madison became a different dog, and she found her place in the family. And the bond she and Rebecca built as those challenges were confronted is the foundation of a solid relationship today. ELLEN MICHAUD, Editor at Large for Live Happy magazine, is an award-winning writer who lives high in the mountains of Vermont.

 Mary Marshall - Soul

Maybe Fido, and you, gained a few pounds chowing down on all the holiday goodies over the last few months.  Or maybe, you and your best friend just haven’t had the quality time together you would like lately.  Maybe you are just tired of being cooped up in the house over winter.

Instead of joining a gym and spending your hours looking at other sweaty people (yuck!), why not consider taking a unique, fun class together?  All of these canine sports are a great way for both of you to burn calories and for you to have the added bonus of quality time with your favorite pooch.

Here is a quick run-down of my top activities and what’s involved.  Do something different this spring!


Agility is a large obstacle course comprised of jumps, hoops, and various other configurations the handler (you) coaches his canine partner through; a timed event.  This is best suited for high-energy dogs.  You don’t have to join a club; there are websites devoted to showing you how to make a course in your back yard.


You don’t have to own a herd of cows to get your bowser involved.  There are clubs that procure flocks of sheep, goats, ducks and more for herding.  This is best suited for herding breeds, but I do meet an occasional mutt who hears the call of the flock.


Just like it sounds, this sport teaches your dog to use his nose to find hidden or lost objects.  This is the building block for bomb and narcotic sniffing dogs as well as search and rescue.  And, it’s not just for hounds!

Fly Ball

This is the sport for adrenaline-junkie dogs.  It is a short sprint event over a set course with a 180 degree, springboard turn at the back field before “flying” (thus, the name) home.  This is best for lightning-fast dogs that have good legs and hips; not the best choice for giant breeds.


WVM March 2014 Mary Marshall IMAGE SoulThis is a combination of agility and obedience where dogs, under the direction of their handler, will run segments of an obstacle course, interrupted by obedience drills.  This sport is good for dogs of nearly any shape, size or age, as long as they are in good health.

Search & Rescue

I recommend starting with a tracking class, to see if your Fido possesses a “natural” nose, as it is essential to a good S&R dog.  This is a vigorous sport for both dog and owner.  It is great exercise for both of you.  Because field terrain can be rough, this sport is best suited to medium and larger sizes.


You probably know what I’m talking about; you just didn’t know the correct name for it. This is protection dog training or “police dog” training.  It isn’t about making your dog a vicious killer; it is about discipline and responding to very specific commands, regardless of the situation.  Think of it as taking rough-housing to an extreme.  This is not recommended for small or medium dogs.

Field Trialing

This sport involves a dog’s natural hunting instincts.  There are various types of trials: some are for pointing targets, such as birds; others are for water retrievals.  Hunting breeds tend to be best suited for field work.


Another hunting-related sport, this is for dogs with strong chase instincts.  We tend to think of Greyhounds as race dogs, but that is because they are coursing hunters (they chase down their prey).  Races are only one type of coursing event; there are many others that the dogs find much more enjoyable.


Just like it sounds, this is a sport for dogs that love to dig.  And you thought that was a flaw?  Actually many dogs were originally bred to rout out vermin such as mice, rats, snakes and the like.  The shape of your dog’s body is a good clue to whether she was bred for earthing, as they tend to be low to the ground and long in the back (dachshunds, Jack Russells, many terriers).

 Walking /Running

Of course, if you don’t have time for a class, and you want something less structured, taking your pal out for a good, brisk walk or run is also terrific exercise for the two of you.  If your pet has a hard time keeping up, either due to size, age or health, a jogging stroller for pets is a great option for pets under 40 lbs.


Mary Marshall is an Animal Communicator and Consultant and she is the author of several books. 

Please help free us by giving us a nice home where we belong.


Charitable Organizations that Help Financially
with Veterinary Bills

This link also has many organizations, some of
which are not listed below:

Credit Care – Credit for vet bills

866-893-7864 or 800-859-9975

A credit card company for health care, including veterinary care. “Care Credit,
the leader in patient/client financing, has helped more than 3 million
patients/clients get the treatment or procedures they needed and wanted. With a
comprehensive range of plan options, for treatment or procedure fees from $1 to
over $25,000, we offer a plan and a low monthly payment to fit comfortably into
almost every budget.”

Rose’s Fund for Animals

PO Box 24

Avon by the Sea, NJ 07717


Coalition for Animals

PO Box 611

Somerville, NJ 08876


God’s Creatures Ministry

Veterinarian Charity

PO Box 322

Wayne, NJ 07474


Prince Chunk Foundation

PO Box 8044

Blackwood, NJ 08012-1522

T: +1.856.302.6373

F: +1.856.245.7840


Banfield Charitable Trust

HOPE Funds

HOPE Funds helps offset some costs to help families and the animals they love.
If you need help with a qualified veterinary expense, ask the experts at your
local Banfield Pet Hospital. Click on the link below to find a location or call

Save U.S. Pets Foundation

They are dedicated to providing financial assistance for pets to receive
lifesaving medical treatments when their human companions are unable to afford
professional care. Through a participating veterinarian, people whose
circumstances meet Save U.S. Pets Foundation criteria are eligible for a grant
that will enable their animals to receive desperately needed medical help.



315 Robbinsville-Allentown Rd. Robbinsville, NJ 08691


Onyx & Breezy Foundation

PO Box 656, Tuxedo Park, NY 10987-0656


“Medical treatment for animals where hardship is present”

Animal Emergency Care Fund

520 982-2039

“Most emergency hospitals will offer to help you apply for Care Credit. If
accepted for Care Credit. please use the Care Credit for your emergency. If you
are denied approval for Care Credit please have the emergency hospital fax the
denial letter and estimate for their emergency services to us. All we need to
qualify you is the denial.”

IMOM, Inc [may need to apply online]

PO Box 282

Cheltenham, MD 20623

Phone (866) 230-2164   Fax: 301-599-1852

Mission Statement: Helping people help pets. To better the lives of sick,
injured and abused companion animals. We are dedicated to insure that no companion
animal has to be euthanized simply because their caretaker is financially
challenged. (Note: IMOM has a special fund for diabetic cats)

United Animal Nations [may need to apply online]

PO Box 188890

Sacramento, California 95818

Telephone: (916) 429 2457 fax: (916) 429 2456

The mission of LifeLine is to help homeless or recently rescued animals
suffering from life-threatening conditions that require specific and immediate
emergency veterinary care. We strive to serve Good Samaritans and rescue groups
who take in sick or injured animals. In certain cases, LifeLine can also assist
senior citizens and low-income families pay for immediate emergency veterinary care.
Not for ongoing illness such as diabetes.

Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance Program

1641 Elizabeth Lane

Yuba City, CA  95993

Fax: 888-301-4264

 Seniors, people with disabilities, people who have lost their job,
Good Samaritans who rescue a cat or kitten – any of these folks may need
financial assistance to save a beloved companion. The Feline Veterinary
Emergency Assistance Program is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that
provides financial assistance to cat and kitten guardians who are unable to
afford veterinary services to save their companions when life-threatening
illness or injury strikes.


PO Box 244

Hinsdale, Illinois 60521

telephone: 630-986-9504 Fax: (630) 986-9141

Our efforts focus on serving the elderly, the disabled, and the working poor.


Angels 4 Animals

(916) 941-9119

Angels4Animals, a non-profit organization and a program of Inner Voice
Community Services, has a mission to serve as the guardian angel of animals
whose caregivers find themselves in difficult financial situations. At
Angels4Animals we believe that animal guardians should not have to say goodbye
to the animals that they love. Our work is accomplished in conjunction with
veterinary clinics across the country, eager to assist as many animals as
possible. Services range from financial aid to complete treatment for animals
in need.


The Pet Fund – (916) 443-6007

The Pet Fund is a registered 501(c) 3 nonprofit association that provides
financial assistance to individuals whose animals need urgent veterinary care.
Often animals are euthanized or suffer needlessly because their guardians
cannot afford expensive surgery or emergency vet visits. The purpose of the Pet
Fund is to work towards a future where decisions about companion animal medical
care need never be made on the basis of cost.

Pet Promise

Provides financial assistance to low-income individuals who can’t afford
medical care for their animals

P.O. Box 21091 • Columbus, OH 43221

Phone: 614.738.2149



Provides funds for the veterinary care and emergency treatment of injured
or sick, stray or abandoned animals

Pets Are Loving Support

“For pets of owners living with HIV/AIDS”

Shakespeare Animal Fund

“Anyone can apply for funds, but SAF offers assistance primarily to those on
fixed incomes or with annual incomes below $35,000. Exceptions are made
depending on circumstances. It is always a one-time grant”


Cats in Crisis, Inc

PO Box 354

Mountville, PA 17554

“Cats in Crisis Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to
helping individuals and humane organizations care for cats with chronic or
emergency medical conditions through financial and fundraising assistance.”


Feline Outreach

PO Box 592

West Branch, MI 48661

“Feline Outreach is a charitable organization formed to promote the routine
and medical care of companion animals, particularly cats. Among other goals,
the organization may be enable shelters and the public to adopt, keep, and/or
care for companion animals, particularly those with special needs – this
support may be financial, educational, or in other forms.

The Animal Foundation,

Brown Dog Foundation,

Good Sam Fund,


If your animal is a specific breed, you can also do an Internet search for
clubs for that particular breed. Such clubs may have a program set up to
help their breed specific animals with extreme veterinary bills.



Disease Specific/Special Needs

IMOM Diabetic Pet Fund:

Diabetic Pet Fund:

Cats in Crisis:

Kidney Disease Heart Disease Thyroid Disease

Chronic Renal Failure (CRF) – IMOM Chronic Renal Failure (CRF) Kitties Fund –

Cats in Crisis Mesa Fund – Kidney Disease:

Cats – Heart and Thyroid – Cats in Crisis Stripes Fund:

Cats – Neurological conditions and mobility impairments – Cats in Crisis Gillie

IMOM Blind Dogs Fund:

Assistance Dog Partners:

Canine Cancer Awareness,

Cody’s Club (Radiation treatments)

Orthodogs’ Silver Lining Foundation (Orthopedic Cases and Service Dogs),

The Perseus Foundation (Cancer specific),


Fire Safety Tips for PetsEach year, nearly 40,000 pets lose their lives in house fires. Furthermore, about 1,000 of these fires were started by dogs or cats. These statistics can be a bit alarming, especially if you are a pet owner. However, if you take heed of the following pet fire safety tips, you can keep your family and pets safe.

Preventing Pets from Starting Fires

  • Never Leave Open Flames Unattended If you enjoy lighting candles and placing them around your house, never leave them unattended, especially if you have pets. Pets are curious by nature and can easily tip a candle over if they choose to investigate it. If you are getting ready to leave the room or your home, always be sure to extinguish any lit candles.
  • Remove the Knobs on Your Stove The National Fire Protection Association states that stoves and hot plates are the primary causes of house fires today. Additionally, many fires caused by stoves were started by pets. This is because pets can accidentally turn your stove’s burners on should they paw at the knobs. As such, keep the knobs off of your stove until you need them.
  • Pet-Proof Your Home Just as you would child-proof your home if you had a baby or toddler, you need to pet-proof your home if you have a dog or cat. Make sure electrical cords are out of reach, cover up any loose wires, install protective grates in front of any fireplaces and use child gates to keep pets out of restricted areas.

Ensure the Safety of Your Pet

  • Pet Rescue Stickers Invest in various pet rescue stickers and place them on several windows of your home. Be sure to place at least one on a front window. These stickers will alert emergency personnel to the presence of pets in your house. Typically, rescue stickers also have spaces where you can write down the number and types of pets in your house as well.
  • Participate in Occasional Fire Drills Assign your pets to various family members and conduct occasional fire drills each month. Depending on the number of pets you have, each family member can be responsible for carrying one of them out of the house. In this way, if a fire does occur, you will all be prepared.
  • Prepare a Pet Emergency Kit Compile a pet emergency kit and keep it next to your front door or in the trunk of your car. Some items you will want to place in the kit include a list of pet-friendly accommodations, leashes, a few pet toys, your pet’s medical records, a current photo of your pet, two bowls, a bottle of water and a small bag of pet food.
  • Keep Identification on Your Pet Unfortunately, many pets are misplaced when there are fires. However, you can help relocate your pet if you make sure that it is wearing a name tag with your current phone number. Another option is to take your pet to your veterinarian and invest in a microchip.

If you are a pet owner, you will want to keep your pet safe at all times. One of the things you will need to practice is fire safety. There are many things you can do to prevent fires in your home, and the fire safety tips described above can help keep your family and pets safe from the devastation caused by fires.





Living for a Cause puts a smile on the faces of those in the greatest need.

Living for a Cause puts a smile on the faces of those in the greatest need.


Living for a Cause the non profit where what you care about we care about.

Living for a Cause the non profit where what you care about we care about.

Creating meaningful change one cause at a time. It all begins with someone caring enough.