Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Pet Bite Prevention Week: 5 things you need to share

Today we're talking about something extremely important that everyone should know about. And I'm asking that you share this info with everyone you know.

How many times have we all heard: "oh my dog is a good dog. I can't believe they snapped like that?"

How many times have we all said: "oh my dog is a good dog. I can't believe they snapped like that?"

Any dog can bite.

Let me repeat that.

Any dog can bite.

Any shape, any size, any breed, any age.

People think it's only certain breeds that can snap. But even beagles have sharp teeth in their mouth. Ever tried to take food away from a resource guarding beagle?

Take a look at this infographic from American Veterinary Medicine Association:

Click to enlarge.
 Now I know what you're saying -- it's all the pit bulls and the chows and such. The dogs the insurance companies freak out about.

You may even have breed specific legislation in your area that prohibits these dogs in your area.

A recent study out of Florida found that even people who should know breeds don't know them as well as they should. Especially mixed breed dogs. Check out the study here.

I have personal experience with this. Jasmine's rescuers thought she was beagle. Granted she was a puppy then but...

Jasmine as a puppy.

Does she look like a beagle?
Jasmine as an adult.
Could she have some beagle in her? Maybe. She has more terrier and some other hound, I think.

And when the media says a pit bull attacked someone, where do you think they get that from? The police, witnesses and animal shelter workers. They're the ones who say that a dog attacked. It does skew perception against pit bulls. But it starts somewhere. As Jon Stewart said, the bias of the media isn't left, it's lazy. And if the police say the dog is a pit bull, it's a pit bull.

These are the five things you need to share with your friends on Facebook, on Twitter and elsewhere.

1) 77 percent of dog bites come from a family dog or a friend's dog. Not wild packs of sharp-toothed dogs walking down the street. Source: Stop the 77.
2) Any dog can bite. In all of the sites I've been to, I've yet to find a truly comprehensive list of which breeds bite the most. AVMA does have some information, and yes bully breeds are on the list but they aren't at the time. AVMA really doesn't focus on it though. Why? Because any dog can bite.
3) Dogs can bite for any reason. From AVMA:
"Dogs bite as a reaction to something. If the dog finds itself in a stressful situation, it may bite to defend itself or its territory. 
"Dogs can bite because they are scared or have been startled. They can bite because they feel threatened. They can bite to protect something that is valuable to them, like their puppies, their food or a toy.

"Dogs might bite because they aren’t feeling well. They could be sick or sore due to injury or illness and might want to be left alone.

"Dogs also might nip and bite during play. Even though nipping during play might be fun for the dog, it can be dangerous for people. It’s a good idea to avoid wrestling or playing tug-of-war with your dog. These types of activities can make your dog overly excited, which may lead to a nip or a bite."
4) Children are the most common victims of dog bites. More than 800,000 people are bitten by dogs each year and at least half are children. We all have to do a better job of teaching children how to properly handle dogs. AVMA Source: Teaching Children How to Prevent Dog Bites. They also have a bilingual coloring book for kids!

5) Training, activity and socialization is helpful in preventing bites. A tired dog is a happy dog. Keep them busy. Try not to keep them chained up or caged, and if you do don't let children near them. Let them meet other dogs and children in controlled settings from an early age.

You can find more amazing resources on Dog Bite Prevention Week at the AVMA website and at Stop the 77.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Serta pet beds: Your dogs may not want to share REVIEW *SPONSORED*

Branded Pet Beds is a proud sponsor of Life With Beagle and Lulu's Favorite Things, our annual fundraising campaign for Harbor House of Central Florida. Although we received compensation for the post, my opinions are my own -- and so are Lulu's. 

I am lying on a dog bed.

That's because while I have this wonderful Serta Quilted Pillow Top dog bed from Branded Pet Beds, my dogs don't seem to want to share it.

In fact, they have made it clear to each other that this bed isn't big enough for both of them. Even though it is.

Branded Pet Beds sells the Serta bed line, and it's really amazing.

Branded Pet Beds was kind enough to send me the Serta Quilted Pillow Top with its cool twist memory foam (that's the blue layer on top). It's great for these Florida spring nights. When the dogs come inside they can relax comfortably because the special memory foam draws out heat.

But the best part is the be is firm yet cushy and retains its shape. My morbidly obese body laid on that bed with Lulu, and I could easily get up and the bed didn't move or sink.

The cover is so soft. It zips on and off for easy washing, but it is also good with spot cleaning. Jasmine coughed up something, and after a couple of days I decided to clean it off. Take a look below:

It cleaned up nice and easy with some pet stain remover.

Serta has a few different bed options. Their newest (and they say the best), is the Serta Sleeper Sofa dog bed. It has a built-in backrest. Now in my opinion the couch is great if you have a dog with arthritis or back problems (and beagles are prone to them).

I think the backrest adds an extra measure of comfort. We've all seen pets in pain struggling to get comfortable on regular cushy beds. This bed definitely has the firmness necessary to help a pet who wants to be comfortable but also properly supported.

And it's very popular. In fact, they couldn't give one to me at the time I got my bed because they were sold out at the time!

See, Lulu wants the whole bed, even though there's room for Jasmine.
And here's another great reason to buy a Serta bed from Branded Pet Beds. A portion of every purchase goes to Pets for Vets, a charity that matches up shelter pets with veterans and helps train them to be therapy dogs.  That's as long as you shop on the Serta website.

And if that's not enough, here's another incentive to get you to buy a bed -- a special coupon code!

Just head to Serta Pet Beds, pick the bed you want and use this coupon code (Lulu20) to get 20 percent off.

So that's 20 percent for you... and some for Pets for Vets. That's pretty awesome!

Special thanks to Serta and Branded Pet Beds. Part of the proceeds of this post goes to Harbor House of Central Florida for their Paws for Peace Kennel, a safe place for the pets for domestic abuse victims in Orlando, Florida.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

CALLING ALL BEAGLES: Lets bring Beaglefest to Florida!

60 beagles. In one park.

Courtesy: Beaglefest
Beaglefest took place in Huntington Beach Central Park in California in May. It's an amazing event and lets face it, who wouldn't want to see dozens of beagles playing together.

It's also a great way to show people how awesome beagles are.

There are Beaglefests all over the country. There was a Beaglefest in Arizona in March, and one in Virginia in April!

Well, it's time we bring Beaglefest to Florida.

I want to bring Florida beagle parents together to host a big beagle event. It should not only be a fun event, it should bring awareness of beagles that need rescue and other great beagle causes.

Plus, dozens of beagles in one place sounds like it would be so much fun!

So, if you're a beagle parent living in the Southeast and you think you could make a trip to Florida for a Beaglefest, comment below. If you'd like to help, email me at lifewithbeagle@gmail.com.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Breakfast time

We bloggers are often looking for special moments to share with our readers. But sometimes we may confound and darn right frustrate our pets. 

Take today. All I was doing was giving Lulu breakfast. But I was a little late doing it this morning, which meant Lulu was impatient. She howled at me. But rather than hurry up with the food, I grabbed my phone, hoping to recreate that moment. Here's what happened:

Note how Lulu walks in a circle. She is walking from the pantry door to her food dish and back. She is pointing to the pantry. That's where her food is.

Lulu's quite content now. But I doubt she's satiated though. She is a beagle, after all.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Hurricane survivor: Katrina the beagle's amazing journey

Katrina spends her days snoozing (more like snoring... like a sailor!) in a South Orlando house on a golf course. She gets two meals a day, treats, walks, beds and all the love she can handle. 

Katrina with Lt. Col. Mike Brasher.
At 15, she's living on what her pet parents, Lt. Col. Mike Brasher and Melanie Brasher call "borrowed beagle time."

It's a far cry from how she began her life.

Sept. 1, 2005 -- New Orleans.

Photo Courtesy U.S. Geological Survey
Parts of Interstate 10 looks like a fishing pier. While Hurricane Katrina caused damage in the crescent city, it was nothing compared to the damage caused when the levies broke.

Brasher and his rescue unit, the 301st Rescue Squadron out of Patrick Air Force Base in Florida, landed on part of I-10 near Lake Pontchartrain where dozens of people were stranded. But humans weren't the only creatures needing rescue.

"We could only carry six to sometimes 10 people, so we had to make multiple trips back," Mike recalled. "And this beagle just kept coming up to our helicopter."

Sr. Master Sgt. Pete Callina with Katrina.
Photo Courtesy Senior Airman Heather L. Kelly, Air Force

The beagle would also hang with Sr. Master Sgt. Pete Callina, who would gather the next group of survivors while the helicopter ferried people to safety. She would help herd people. 

Brasher said his unit rescued 50 to 70 people from the bridge, and when they made their last trip, they took the beagle with them. She didn't seem to belong to anyone on the road. 

They left her with one of the groups helping displaced animals, Brasher and his unit went on to rescue more people -- 184 people in 13 hours, he said. 

Meanwhile Brasher's wife, Melanie, wondered why he didn't keep her. That started the search, especially after they saw the beagle on a Fox News report. 

With the help of a webmaster for Petfinder.com, Melanie and Mike tracked the dog down to Arizona Humane Society in Phoenix. They had taken some 18 pictures of her from all angles, but the telling thing about her was a heart-shaped spot on her back. 

The beagle, by now named Katrina, wasn't in great shape. She was heartworm positive, had respiratory problems and ear infections, along with cuts and scratches. But within two months she was on a Continental flight bound for Orlando -- for free. The humane society kitted her out with a bed that she still sleeps on and toys, most of which she didn't play with. 

The Brashers knew they had the right dog, but if there was any doubt it was put to rest when Sgt. Callina and Katrina were reunited. "She jumped up on Pete, tail wagging," Mike said. "Pete cried." 

It was after the Brashers got her that Katrina's family was found. The family had evacuated and left Katrina behind (many people left pets behind). They were living in FEMA housing while their house was rebuilt. 

"We said we'll foster her until they're ready," Mike said. 

But it didn't sound that the family wanted her back. The wife was upset that the shelter had fixed Katrina. It turns out she was kept in the backyard and used for breeding. In fact, she had given birth a few weeks before Hurricane Katrina. They tried to make her a hunting dog, but she was too skittish. 

How did Katrina get on that highway? Brasher said the family lived between the lake and I-10. He believes when the flooding happened she was carried out of the yard to the overpass, and then she just climbed up. 

Brasher said he contacted the husband. 

"He asked, 'do you guys have kids? Do your kids love her?'" Mike said. "Melanie was in tears, I was bawling. I said 'we all love her.' So he said go ahead and keep her." 

"We continue to think about oh, my God, all the luck, all the return on luck to find her."  

Katrina's world is much different now. She's the 301st Rescue Squadron's unofficial mascot. She can wander Patrick Air Force Base, no questions asked. She has done appearances with kids too. 

Mike's now in the corporate world, and he says people always ask about her. A vice president of a company once found a reason to fly to Orlando just so her could meet Katrina. 

These days Katrina's not seeing and hearing as well as she used to (though her nose is just as good!). She has an enlarged heart, Cushing's disease and allergies. She takes pills in the morning and evening (using Publix rotisserie chicken). She'll still work for a snack. 

In the last few months she's become a barker, even barking for hours when they're not home. Mike travels still for work, so he isn't home all the time. 

"I lost a precious year out of her life, 2013-2014, on a military assignment," Mike said. 

"If you weren't in the military, we wouldn't have had Katrina," Melanie tells him. 

But for Melanie and Mike, Katrina is their obligation. She changed their lives. 

"I would not discount the incredible chain of events that led to her," Mike said. 


Mike helps a New Mexico animal rescue group that he says does amazing work. Animal Village in Alamogordo, New Mexico is a nine-acre no-kill facility that rescues death row cats and dogs. Its founders exhausted their savings to care for the animals.
"There are a lot of shelters between here and there, and a lot of shelters doing great work," Mike said. "But in New Mexico the quality of work they do is pretty rare." To find out more about the shelter and how to help them, head to their website.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Your dogs will beg for Rocky's Rollers by Jones: REVIEW and GIVEAWAY

Jones Natural Chews is a proud sponsor of Life With Beagle and Lulu's Favorite Things, our annual fundraising campaign for Harbor House of Central Florida. Although we received compensation for the post, my opinions are my own -- and so are Lulu's. 

This Saturday, April 25, Harbor House is hosting the Paws for Peace Walk at Blue Jacket Park in Orlando. We are raising money to help Harbor House's Paws for Peace kennel for the pets of domestic abuse survivors. You can donate here! And if you are in Orlando, please join Team Beagle and walk with us.

How much does Lulu like Rocky's Rollers?

We first heard about these new treats from Jones Natural Chews while visiting their booth at Global Pet Expo. They gave me a sample -- long lamb sausage links. I gave one each to Lulu and Jasmine that week. Lulu did something I'd never seen before -- she pulled it from Jasmine's mouth!

What are Rocky's Rollers?

Lulu barely gave me a chance to take photos, always stealing a bite!
Rocky's Rollers are long sausage links.They come in three flavors: lamb, beef and chicken. They're soft and easy to chew, and they're easy tear apart and use as training treats.

These particular rollers were lamb. And the first ingredients are lamb and lamb lung. The ingredients are all natural, made in the U.S.A. Jones Natural Chews has been in the meat business for a very, very long time. Family butchers since 1850! And they are family-run out of Rockford, IL.

So how much does Lulu love Rocky's Rollers?

Yeah. You'll need to keep them under lock and key.

Find Jones Natural Chews at a boutique/natural pet shop near you, or you can order online at Amazon.com. They have all kinds of great pet chews, from bones to lamb lungs and wind pipes to sausage chews. 

So do you want to win some for your dog? Here's your chance!

Jones is giving away a package of Rocky's Rollers. Just enter through the Rafflecopter below. MANDATORY: Sign up for Life With Beagle's monthly mailing list.

Giveaway is open to viewers in the U.S. only, sorry. Void where prohibited by law.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Tax day for you and your dog

It's April 15! Have you filed your taxes yet?

This is your friendly reminder that your pet is not tax deductible unless:
  • They're a service dog.
  • You can make money off of them (like if your dog does commercials).
I was also reminded by Tampa Bay Beagle Rescue that if you foster a pet for a 501(c)3 non-profit, you can take off those expenses too! Do you foster?
Otherwise, even though your dog or cat is your child, the government doesn't actually consider them children.