Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Largest Cat Rescue in the World

"I'm not crazy," says the woman behind the house with almost 800 cats. "what I do is crazy." Basically rescuing cats full time, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Check the national Geographic Channel for local listings before you write her off as the crazy cat lady. Maybe she's just saving us from ourselves. After all, someone had to abandon all those cats for her to stay in business.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Lenny Races on Sunday!

Our boy, Lentenor, Barbaro's brother, is entered to run at Philly Park tomorrow, Sunday, July 31 in the 8th race, an Allowance Race. See entries below:

Parx Racing - July 31, 2011

Race 8 - 3:22 PM Second Half Daily Double Exacta / Trifecta


Purse $47,000. (plus Up To 40% Pabf) For Three Year Olds And Upward Which Have Never Won A Race Other Than Maiden, Claiming, Starter Or Pennsylvania-Bred Or Which Have Never Won Two Races. Three Year Olds, 115 Lbs.; Older, 122 Lbs. Non-winners Of A Race At One Mile Or Over Since June 30, 2011 Allowed 3 Lbs. Such a race since May 31 Allowed 5 Lbs. (Claiming races not considered in allowances). One Mile And Seventy Yards. (Turf)

1 Elidefeatspeyton (FL) 3/G L K L Pellot 1037 R J Lima
2 Tropic Sea (KY) 3/G LF Pennington 110 W J Entenmann
3 Jambonied (PA) 4/G LK Carmouche 122 J C Guerrero
4 Halton Gully (KY) 4/G L I J Rosendo 117 J C Servis
5 Green Bluff (FL) 4/G L K Frey 1125 P Farro
6 Eze Does It (FL) 4/G L K Frey 1125 R Preciado
7 Lentenor (KY) 4/C L K Carmouche 117 L Delacour
8 Fourleaf Street (NJ) 4/G L E M Rivera 1125 J M Rodriguez
9 Favorite Hour (KY) 3/G L S Elliott 110 M J Trombetta
10 Brasilier (KY) 4/G L A S Arroyo 117 J S Pregman, Jr.
11 Clare Castle (PA) 4/G L V H Molina 119 F A Meares
12 Etarag (FL) 4/G L E Rivera 119 G D Sandoval

Owners: 1 - Rolando J. Lima; 2 - Estate of William Entenmann; 3 - Marshall K. Gramm; 4 - Melnyk Racing Stables, Inc.; 5 - Alma and Roy H. Lomas; 6 - Silver Trail Stables; 7 - Lael Stable; 8 - John M. Rodriguez; 9 - Harry C. and Tom.O. Meyerhoff LLC; 10 - John S. Pregman, Jr.; 11 - Longford Racing; 12 - Gaston D. Sandoval

Breeders: 1 - Joel M. Carino & Vinery Stud LLC; 2 - Timber Bay Farm; 3 - Brushwood Stable; 4 - Eugene Melnyk; 5 - Mr. & Mrs. Samuel H. Rogers, Jr.; 6 - Brylynn Farm, Inc.; 7 - Mr. & Mrs. M. Roy Jackson; 8 - A. J. Hawthorne; 9 - Machmer Hall; 10 - John Pregman Jr.; 11 - Elizabeth Barr; 12 - Matthews Stable, Inc.

A full race and a big field. This is Lentenor's first start for his new trainer so it will be very interesting to see if his racing strategy changes any. Let's hope for a nice day (not too hot), a good trip and some good racing luck. I'd say he was due.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Haskell Draws a Field of Eight

The Haskell, scheduled for Sunday at Monmouth Park, has drawn a field of eight, with many of the top three year olds in contention. Shackleford, winner of the Preakness by a half length over Animal Kingdom, is the early favorite for the Grade I race with a purse of $1 million.

Also in contention will be Ruler on Ice (winner of the Belmont) and Pants on Fire (winner of the Louisiana Derby) and the Bob Baffert trained Coil, who is shipping in from California. Also in the mix is Astrology, who finished third in the Preakness.

Of the starters, Shackelford is the only horse to have participated in the entire Triple Crown series and still be running. "He's had a grueling year--the fountain of Youth, Florida Derby, all three Triple Crowns, and he's still holding his weight and still looks great," Shack's trainer Dale Romans told Bloodhorse. "We gave him a two-week breather after the Belmont. . . and he seemed to appreciate it. His last two works were spectacular."

That is some workhorse. It will be interesting to see if they continue to race him regardless of the outcome of this race through the summer season. ABC television will carry the race live so check your local listings.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Demise of Borders Feels Like Opportunity to Me

Technically this is not animal related but it does pertain to my other life as a writer, and lately, a writer of books. With the demise of Borders now official, my neighborhood is going to have one bookstore--and one that is not exactly in my neighborhood. Which feels to me like an opportunity, but I digress.

For a few years, it seemed as if we were drowning in bookstores. There was even an article in one of the magazines I used to work for about Barnes & Noble and Borders competing within a few blocks of each other. Borders seemed as ubiquitous as Starbucks--and these are still proliferating on every corner. There were no independent bookstores to speak of (except an excellent children's one which remains staunchly in business) but there was no need for one. Books were everywhere.

Now they are not. At least not in person. They still populate the pages of newspapers and magazines and online but in person, forget about it. Which makes me sad and absolutely convinced that someone should jump in and restart an independent bookstore, with a salon and book readings and discussion groups and poetry slams. You get the idea.

Maybe it is an opportunity for libraries but there is nothing like browsing in a bookstore on a rainy afternoon for inspiration and comfort. Still nothing like doing research on what's already out there by browsing through the actual book, not a clipping form Publisher's Weekly. And still nothing like sampling before buying and not electronically.

So, maybe I am dreaming but I think the time may be ripe for the little guy to reclaim previous territory. Any takers? I've got a great location in mind.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My How You've Grown!

For all those who doubt that time flies, this German shepherd grows up before our eyes in 40 seconds!


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wild Weather Strikes Again

This is the time of year when wild weather can blow in and out in a hurry. Apparently that was the situation on Sunday evening July 24, when lightning struck a broodmare barn at Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky.

There were no fatalities--horses or humans--although the barn was destroyed. Three Chimneys president Case Clay praised two farm employees who went into the burning building to rescue two broodmares.

"Thank you to Jennifer de Laittre and Billy Kutchman for their life-risking, heroic effort in saving the two mares in the Spinster Barn and to several other grooms who rounded up the horses in a nearby pasture to keep them out of harm's way," he told Bloodhorse. "We were so lucky no lives were lost, horse or human. I can't stop thinking about Billy and Jennifer. They are heroes in my book."

One mare was taken to a veterinary clinic just for precaution and was reported to be doing well the following morning. Wonder if a lightning rod was on the roof of that barn?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Comparative Oncology Shows Promise in Treating Lymphoma

Exciting news from the University of Pennsylvania vet school about a new drug that has proved promising in the treatment of a type of lymphoma.

Dogs with lymphoma usually respond well to chemotherapy but frequently relapse within a year. This new drug was injected directly into a lymph node of dogs with a specific type of lymphoma that had relapsed. One week after a single dose of this peptide was injected, the lymph node that received the treatment was much smaller than the other cancerous ones that did not.

According to head researcher, Dr. Nicola Mason, "This suggests that the peptide either acts alone or synergistically with the chemotherapy drugs to kill the tumor cells.

Mason and her colleagues are now examining whether this treatment can be as effective when introduced intravenously rather than injected directly into the cancerous lymph node.

This research is a cutting edge example of comparative oncology, the "bench to bedside" approach being promoted by the NIH among others. The new drug has shown to have minimal side effects in dogs and a larger trial in animals with similar results cold pave the way to clinical trials in humans.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Horse Showers in Sprinkler!

Too funny! Wish Sam would learn this trick. Instead he just chases the spray coming out of the hose when I water the plants!

Forecast is for cooler temps come Monday.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saratoga Opens!

It must be summer (check your thermometer--ours here is hovering around 100 degrees!) because the Saratoga Racing meet opened yesterday!

I will be heading up to the Spa on the 7th of August for a few days but until then will have to be content with lots of things to look forward to, including the return of Uncle Mo to the track (see his breeze video above which confirms that all is well with this three year old) and the probable debut of Barbaro's youngest brother, Margano who has already been schooled once in the gate at the track.

As always, Saratoga is a great place to be in August and hopefully it will be cooler then!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Hot! Hot! Hot!

We're having a heat wave here on the East coast and in response both Woodbine and Colonial Downs canceled their racing programs yesterday and Monmouth has rescheduled its program today for July 25.

You know it is hot when the temperature in Toronto (that's Canada) headed toward 100 degrees yesterday afternoon. "In the best interest of the horses and after having discussed it with the BPBA and the veterinarians, it's the right decision to cancel Thursday's thoroughbred card," said Steve Koch, Woodbine Entertainment Group vice president of thoroughbred racing.

Colonial Downs had been set for a 5:00 p.m. post on Thursday but extreme heat and humidity shut the facility down. The next day of racing at the Virginia track is July 23.

At Monmouth, where I can assure you it is very hot and humid since it is in my neck of the woods, racing will move from Friday to Monday, a normally dark day.

"Our main concern is for the safety of our horses and jockeys," said Monmouth VP and GM, Robert Kulina. "With temperatures expected to reach 100 degrees combined with high humidity, we had no choice but to reschedule the program to Monday."

Bravo to all these horsemen for putting the horses first.

Stay cool wherever you are.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dog Mountain in Danger of Being Foreclosed

I have written before about the sad end of artist Stephen Huneck and his magical home on Dog Mountain, including the Dog Chapel he built on the grounds of his property in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Well according to his widow, Gwen, who is running the place, the family owes $50,000 in back property taxes to their town and is is danger of losing their home.

She has paid $20,00 but still owes about $35,000 (interest is added to the debt) and is currently selling limited editions of her late husband's work to help settle the debt.
If you feel so inclined, these are whimsical, charming and collectible works of art that will make you smile and may help her hold onto her magical property.

For more details, visit her website

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Announcing New Sister Blog

Seems like the time of year when everyone packs up for a road trip or two so I urge you to take a little trip over to my NEW sister blog, The Culinary Canine, to keep up with all things related to the book and its impending launch.

Posts are not every day--more like every other--and are pretty much dog and food related.

Journey on over and stay a while! And let me know if you like what you see!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Opening Day at Del Mar

If you plan to be at Del Mar Race Track Opening Day on July 20, you will be able to catch a glimpse of some of Madeleine Pickens' rescued Mustangs who will be paraded around the track around the time of the third race.

More than 55,000 people attend these festivities each year so if you are there be sure to show your support for this wonderful endeavor.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Going to Saratoga for the Travers on August 27th? Well, you might get the opportunity to see Uncle Mo return to the track in the 7 furlong King's Bishop on the same race card! Uncle Mo was set to return to trainer Todd Pletcher's barn at Saratoga on July 11th with an eye on the Kings Bishop.

According to Pletcher, Uncle Mo has been galloping at WinStar and looks and feels great. "We've seen a steady stream of videos of him, so it's not like we hadn't known what he's looking like or doing," Pletcher told Bloodhorse. "He has a bright, glossy coat, something we hadn't been able to achieve before. He's put on weight and his blood work is normal. Those were the things that were frustrating us this spring."

With Animal Kingdom on the mend from surgery, the three year old division is, as always, in flux and if Uncle Mo finishes the year strong, he certainly could be a contender without having raced in the Triple Crown series.

Let's hope his recovery continues on the up and up!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Escape Artist

Look what happens when they think we are not looking!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Animal Kingdom's Surgery a Success

Animal Kingdom has had successful surgery in the very skilled hands of Dr. Dean Richardson at Penn's New Bolton Center. On June 30, Richardson inserted two screws to compress the Kentucky Derby's hairline fracture.

"The leg would have healed on its own, but by using screws we will have a more reliable, consistent time schedule for healing and have given the horse his best chance to minimize any arthritis that might occur in the leg had we just let nature do its job," Richardson said.

The more aggressive approach will hopefully allow the champion to return to training in ninety days. At the moment he is recuperating at Fair Hill Training Center and will being walking on it this week. After two weeks, he should progress to walking on an underwater treadmill.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Typewriter Art

When you mention typewriter to the current generation they look at you sideways. They do not know about the return carriage or the difficulty of erasing errors, especially on carbon paper. There is no doubt that computers are so much more efficient and easier to use, especially for creating documents.

But artist Keira Rathbone has found a most clever use for old typewriters. She makes art out of them. Serious art.

Take a peek and be amazed.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

NTRA Launches After Care Website

In the ongoing effort to safely retire thoroughbreds from the racetrack, the NTRA's Safety and Integrity Alliance unveiled a new web site last week dedicated to aftercare for retired thoroughbreds.

The web site contains listings of organizations that re-home thoroughbreds and also contains links for these organizations to funding sources and best care practices. There is also a video library of after-care organizations funded by the Alliance.

The site is a work in progress and after-care organizations are invited to sign up to be listed. It is part of the ongoing effort by the NTRA to save thoroughbreds from ending up in the hands of those who may sell them for slaughter.

The site can be found here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Roll in the Grass for Former Carriage Horse

The late Elizabeth Lawrence, one of the leading academics in the field of human-animal interaction, was a fierce opponent of New York City carriage horses. She would have been pleased by a recent story in the New York Times about the case of Billy, a former carriage horse, who will live out his days at Equine Advocates, a sanctuary for retired horses and mules. But she would not have been pleased that it took the efforts of an animal welfare group to get him there.

The story begins with Billy, a bay gelding getting on in years who worked for West Side Livery for six or seven years. About two months ago, his owners sent him to live at an Amish farm to comply with a new law that requires carriage horses to get five weeks a year rest. While he was resting, the owners bought a new horse who ended up doing a better job than Billy.

So they sold Billy to the Amish farmer who subsequently bought him to the infamous New Holland auction. Billy was saved from a horrific fate (likely transport to Canada or Mexico for slaughter) by the animal welfare group The Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages who raised $650 to buy him back and an additional $900 to transport him to Equine Advocates sanctuary.

Billy has since had veterinary and dental care and has taken a liking to his new home by immediately rolling in the grass.

Lucky for Billy and shame on those owners who "rested" their horse in the care of Amish. Who monitored that rest? Chances are Billy never got that mandatory 5 weeks off until he hit that grass. A lucky and commendable save.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Vick Dogs and Nike

A wonderful piece about the Vick dogs and what has become of many of them. I know it is a bit long but worth watching especially in light of the discussion buzzing about the internet on whether or not Vick should have been resigned with Nike as an endorser.

Many are swearing off Nike products because of this. I must confess I would feel better about it if I knew that a percentage of the money he earned was going to support dog shelters like Best Friends where some of his dogs still live.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Semper Fido

A new program that places unwanted dogs with injured military vets is a win-win situation for all involved. More proof that dogs heal all sorts of wounds with their unconditional love.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Dog Runs Half Marathon

There was a surprise entry in the University of Maryland's half marathon last week: a golden retriever/poodle mix named Dozer who escaped from his invisible fence and decided to join the race!

After he returned home, dog-tired, his owners heard about a running dog, recognized their pooch and reported his exploits to the race organizers. Dozer received a medal for finishing and is now raising money on his own web page to support cancer research.

Nice finish.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Movie, Buck

There is new movie out, a documentary about Buck Brannaman, the original horse whisperer, that sounds wonderful. Buck, which was included in the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and nominated for best documentary, opens in select theaters on June 17 and then gradually across the country.

It is the work of filmmaker Cindy Meehl, and follows Brannaman for nine months as he travels from ranch to ranch to train horses. Many times, he admits, he is "helping horses with people problems" rather than the other way around.

The Chronicle of The Horse has a great review so keep your eyes open in case it turns up in your neck of the woods. And then let us all know if it is as good as it sounds!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Lost Penguin

Ironically there is a colony of penguins near Dunedin on the South Island in New Zealand that I have actually visited, but this guy belongs to ones that live in Antarctica. I just want to put him on a plane and ship him home!!! If only it was that easy!

Update on the penguin. AFter surgery to remove gallons of sand from his belly (which he apparently mistook for snow) the penguin was shipped back to Antarctica. No word how he got there but that he was returned to his country of origin!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Amos, Are you Watching?

Too funny. This tiny chihuahua named Nancy runs rings around these sheep even though they could put her our of commission with one misstep. Note how she even tries to herd the Australian shepherd!

Amos, are you watching?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Unsung Hero Alex Brown

Alex Brown has earned an impressive honor as one of the the members of the inaugural class of unsung heroes in the racing industry, recognized by The Thoroughbred Times. And who better than to nominate him than Gretchen Jackson, who also wrote a short piece describing why she did.

Jackson details the beginnings of Brown's website, as a vehicle not only for trainer Tim Woolley, but also for updates on Barbaro long before his accident. She admits that even the Jacksons would check in to see what their colt was doing!

After the accident, of course, Brown's website became Barbaro central for the hundreds of fans who logged in to see his daily updates. Through the site, Brown educated his vast following on equine health and welfare. In fact, after Barbaro was euthanized Brown became a voice for retired thoroughbreds, helping to raise over $1 million to rescue 3,400 horses from horrific and untimely ends.

"Alex has been behind all this," writes Jackson. "Barbaro was not only the subject, but was and is the driving force. Is is amazing what this grass-roots group has done under Alex's leadership. It is also profound to know someone who isn't just talking it, but actually makes changes happen."

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Barking Cat

Caught in the act! This cat starts out barking and ends up meowing when he realizes he is being filmed!! Talk about getting the dog in trouble......

Monday, July 4, 2011


This article is by Patty Khuly, VMD, who wrote int Intro for The Culinary Canine and was originally published on PetMD. Too good not to share!

This time of the year -- the summertime -- sends shivers down canine spines. Not only do they have to suffer the wrath of Thor in the form of lightning bolts and booming thunder, they also have to endure the sometimes juvenile, dubiously patriotic displays of fireworks put on haphazardly by friends and neighbors.

Now, I’m not dissing the Fourth of July or calling anyone names, but bottle rockets in the street are just not fun for me, personally. Not when my pets stare at me in anguish over overblown sounds that justifiably alarm them.

Community displays are another matter, I’ll allow. But what if you live near them? What’s a sound-phobic’s owner to do?

Rest assured...there are some possibilities. Here’s the list I offer my own clients:

Consider taking a night trip in the car to a remote getaway. I live near the Everglades and, except for the mosquitoes this time of year, it’s a gorgeous place to watch the stars. (And much more patriotic, I think, than all the booms, cracks and whistles.)
Board your pets for the night in an out-of-the-way facility. Sure, it’s not ideal … but it helps.

OK, so what if neither of these options work … especially considering the wicked neighborhood children who consider the 4th of July a week-long extravaganza of noise, fire and lights?

Sound-proof and white-noise your house starting well in advance of the festivities. TVs, radios, heavy curtains, closed windows and lots of AC (if you can afford it) work wonders. Hanging out in the most cozy, shut-in room can handle the problem, too.
Follow some of my tips for thunderstorm phobia. You can find them here. (These include information on sedatives.)
Though I don’t like to sedate, I find that some pets really do require it. Without sedation, some pets can seriously hurt themselves or others. They don’t deserve to suffer.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Happy fourth! Hope yours is a beach day.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Bionic Dog Gets 4 Prosthetic Paws

An amazing story. This pup had severe frostbite on all four paws and was struggling to walk. Then he had them replaced with prosthetic ones. As you can see, he's back on his feet--all four of them.

We once had a dog who had frostbite on the pads of his feet (a result of one of his "outward bound" adventures in a blizzard) and it was no fun. He hated the snow and cold weather made him tiptoe. Clearly not as bad a case as this one, but frozen tooties in dogs can hamper their mobility forever.

Of course, better not to get it in the first place, but isn't it amazing how far veterinary medicine has come?

Friday, July 1, 2011

We Brake for Turtles

Direct from ABC News the conversations between pilots of jetliners at JFK in New York City as turtles crossed the runway to lay their eggs on the beach on the other side. No turtles were injured in this migration and about 100 were removed and relocated.

How good to know that jetliners brake for turtles.