Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I don't like my dog's Frito feet! But it's not a problem

I finally did what everyone has been telling me to do: I smelled Lulu's feet.

And there's a faint whiff of corn chip.

Yes -- my dog has Frito Feet.

I hate Fritos. I think it has something to do with childhood. I don't like the smell or the taste of corn chips (I don't like Bugles either).


"Frito Feet" seems to be the technical term, by the way. Lots of dog people I met have talked about it. And they LOVE it!

What causes Frito Feet? It's kind of a fungus that lives on dogs and cats. But when you have a dog that's been walking on their feet (and in the Florida summer, sweating between the pads, because that's where dogs sweat), sometimes the smell is a little strong there.

Is Frito Feet a problem? Not really, unless the smell is overpowering and a bit gross. That could mean there's a bigger problem.

How do you deal with it? Well, you see that fur between the pads? Try to keep that trim. That will keep the smell from getting worse. Also, regularly clean your dog and keep the pads dry.

I don't like the smell -- but I guess I can live with Frito Feet.

Do you LOVE your dog's Frito Feet? Comment below, and Happy National Corn Chip Day!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Beagles need foster parents: Why you should foster a dog

Every once in a while, I get an email from someone who needs help. For one reason or another, they can't keep their beagle. They need a new home for him or her.

They're never easy emails to take, for all the depressing reasons, but also for one more: the beagle rescues in our area barely have any room to take in more.

Foster parents are essential to rescues. They save lives.

Courtesy Tampa Bay Beagle Rescue
We talked to Nate, who coordinates foster parents for Tampa Bay Beagle Rescue. He says the need for fosters is really serious.

"The number of dogs we can take in and make available for adoption is limited by the number of foster spots we have available," Nate said.

"In other words, we are forced to turn down potential intake because we do not have foster space available."

Tampa Bay Beagle Rescue is a 501(c)3 pet rescue that takes in beagles and beagle mixes, not just in the Tampa area, but all over Florida. They are the primary beagle rescue for Central Florida. The majority of dogs they take come from kill shelters. That means they need people to work with them all over the state. There are maybe three other beagle rescues throughout the state.

Why don't more people foster pets?
  1. Worries about time
  2. Worries about space
  3. Worries about children/other pets
  4. Worries about cost
  5. Worries they will not be able to let the pet go.
Snoopy is a senior beagle girl looking for a home through Tampa Bay Beagle Rescue.
Nate said that last one is the biggest fear he hears from prospective foster parents.

"The first one (to say goodbye to) is often the worst one," Nate said. "If you go into fostering with a temporary mindset, it makes it SO much easier to see them adopted. Think of it like dog sitting for someone you haven't met yet.

"I can fully appreciate the importance companion animals play in our lives," Nate added. "However the need is very substantial.  I ask people to consider if doing nothing is really easier than a small amount of emotional turmoil."

So why should you foster?
  1. You are saving two lives: The pet in the shelter, and the pet who will take that space. The fewer pets in the shelters, the slimmer the chance they will be put to sleep.
  2. The pet gets to be in an environment where they can feel safe. Shelters are stressful places -- cold floors, loud noises, confined spaces. Pets are already very unhappy. And unhappy looking pet is less likely to be adopted.
  3. You can help smooth out a pet's rougher edges, which will also make them more adoptable.
  4. Want a dog but not sure you or your family are ready? Fostering gives you a way to sort of "test drive" different breeds, teach your children how to live with the pet, and see if you can handle caring for a four-legged friend. 
Chance is a beagle girl with Tampa Bay Beagle Rescue looking for a home.

How do you become a foster? Well, the first step is to find a rescue or shelter you want to work with. You can work with a breed-specific rescue, or find a rescue that takes in all kinds of dogs.

"The application process is similar to the review we go through for someone looking to adopt," Nate said of Tampa Bay Beagle Rescue. "We do a  phone screen and consult with the landlord, if applicable.  We do a vet check if there are existing animals in the home, and we ask for two references."

Think your home isn't right to bring in a foster pet? Let the rescue be the judge of that. I told Nate that I live in a one-bedroom apartment with a dog and a cat, and I was surprised by the answer.

"Absolutely," he said. "We do our best to meet these types of constraints. We would try to give you a dog we know at least a little bit about so we can try to give you a dog that is less vocal, ok with cats, and not in need of as much outside exercise."

Noah is a happy beagle boy looking for a home.
"The most important criteria in a prospective foster is a passion for animals and a desire to help," Nate said. "It is extremely helpful if they are willing and able to attend events regularly.

And how long will you have a foster pet? That all depends on the dog.

"There is no set recipe for how long it will take but the average for us is about two months," Nate said. 

However, if you don't want to do that, you could be a temporary foster -- a volunteer who helps out on weekends or during the holidays or times when volunteers are on vacation.

So -- think you want to help?

Here's what Nate says you need to do:
  1. Fill out an application.
  2. Go through the approval process.
  3. Make sure you explain to the rescue exactly what you are able to do up front. This way they can match you with the best pet possible. 
  4. Be prepared to pay for food and pet supplies. All of this is tax deductible though. The rescue will pay for all medical care.
Not wanting to work with beagles? There are rescues for every type of dog out there. My suggestion? Head to sites like Adoptapet.com or Petfinder and see what rescues are in your area. Also, consider going to your local shelter to ask about their foster program if they have one.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Lumps and bumps on your dog: Is a needle biopsy worth it?

If you remember, last week I talked about a bump appearing on Lulu's ear, and the vet wanted to remove it.

The lump last week when I first saw it.
At the advice of... well most people, we got a second opinion.

Hey, Mom, why am I in another big white room?

We took Lulu to Trinity Pet Hospital. The vet there sees my parents' dogs.

He asked me if the lump grew. I said no, but it has gotten darker.

Here is what he told me:
  • He thinks it's most likely benign. Possibly a lipoma of some kind. (What's a lipoma? Here's what PetMD said.)
  • He said a needle biopsy (fine needle aspirate) would likely be inconclusive and wasn't worth doing. He said most of the time there is not enough material there for the pathologist to get a good idea what it is. The needle biopsy works better with humans.
  • If it starts to grow, it has to come off.
Does this put my mind at ease? Not really.  The answer is still inconclusive. It's still wait and see. And what if I wait too long? What if it's not benign? What if it's cancer?

I think it's interesting that the vet said fine needle biopsy would be inconclusive. People seemed to think that step should have been taken, but the vet said it wasn't worth spending the money.

So Lulu and I left the vet's office and took a trip down to Dunedin.

Sometimes the best way to clear the head is a car ride with the window down.
Dunedin, Florida, by the way, is very pet friendly. It's in Pinellas County near the Gulf of Mexico. The downtown area has a lot of restaurants with pet-friendly patios, and many of the shops will let pets in.

We had lunch at the Broadway Deli and Cafe. They made Lulu scrambled eggs and bacon, and she got to sniff some doggies.

Then we visited Happy Tails Dog Park in Dunedin, where Lulu made some friends.

That's Scooby, a six-month-old Rhodesian Ridgeback. Already bigger than Lulu!
So now the wait begins. Hopefully it doesn't grow. I looked at it today. It looks different, but I don't think it grew.

Here's what it looks like today.
Have you ever had a bump on your pet? How did it turn out?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Caturday: Frolicat Bolt is red dot fun, plus giveaway

Before I begin, Servant asks that I say she is sorry for not announcing the winners of the Diabetes month giveaway sooner.

The winner of the PetSafe Drinkwell Fountain is... Garth Riley! Yaaay a dog...
The winner of the Petco giftcard is... Lauren Eggers!

Now... I get to give away a product. Servant is giving me more responsibility here on this blog. Won't be long before it's Life With Calico!

Or... maybe not.

As some of you know, Servant is trying to get me to lose weight. She's worried I might be... obtuse? So she got me this:

It's called the Frolicat Bolt. It's from PetSafe, and I am giving one away!

Servant got the Bolt from PetSafe after her trip to the PetSafe facility in October.

What is a Frolicat Bolt? It controls the red dot. It's designed to be turned on and left alone, while I get to catch that dot. The dot moves on its own, in all directions.

The bottom button turns the red dot on and off. There's also another function that makes the dot not move on its own. It also shuts off on its own after 15 minutes.

The top button is so that you can control where the dot moves.

Servant likes to hold the Frolicat in place, because we don't have a large space to let it go, and she wants to make sure I am catching it.


The dot is quite slippery.

Even the beast likes it.


The beast tries to eat it. Stupid beast. You don't EAT the red dot.

 The Frolicat Bolt requires four AA batteries to run.

You can get it on Amazon.com right now:


Or you can win one! I will give one Bolt away. Just fill out the Rafflecopter. You get extra entries for following us on Facebook and Twitter, so be sure you do that!

MANDATORY -- tell me whether it's for a dog or a cat. It can be for either.

DISCLAIMER: I did not receive payment for this post, but I did receive the Frolicat for free.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Kickstarter pet product campaigns to watch in 2014

In a couple months we'll get to see lots of new products at the Global Pet Expo in Orlando. These products were created by some of the biggest companies in the business, and are expected to help make your pets' lives better.

But if you head to Kickstarter.com right now, you can be part of that process.

Thousands of projects go to Kickstarter to get funding. People can donate to help bring these ideas to life. But the funding phase only lasts a short time.

So here are 5 Kickstarter projects to check out in 2014. Some are on their way toward the next phase, but some could use your help right now.

WAG N GO DOG TRAVEL KIT

This one is a special one for me. Trina Cooper and her beagle Maggie have a blog called Wag the Dog UK. They are world travelers. So they have a good idea of what an efficient, portable travel kit for dogs should look like, called the Wag N Go Dog Travel Kit.

The handy bag holds two containers for food and treats, plus a collapsible water bowl, plus a place to hold a blanket for your pet.

Trina and Maggie need 7000 pounds, and they have 22 days left in the Kickstarter. If you pledge, you have the chance to get a kit for yourself. All the details are on their Kickstarter page.

FOOBLER

You may have puzzle balls for your dogs. But can you control yours from your phone?

Foobler is a timed release puzzle ball that you can control from mobile device. You put small treats in one of the six compartments, and you set the time release. A bell tells the dog when it's on.

This project is funded, but there's still time to pledge money and get in on the ground floor.

And here's some of my favorite funded projects to watch for in 2014.

MARVELOUS PET HEROES


Aren't they cute?!??!

Marvelous Pet Heroes are a series of parody comic covers based off Marvel Comics' favorite comics.

The comics covers were designed by a group of artists with a group called PugFrog Productions. These are in production now.

PETCUBE

Communicating with your pet from far away is all the rage, and we can expect to see more in 2014. Petcube is one such project, and it's pretty cool.

Petcube has a camera that allows you to see what your pet is doing while you're away. But you can also talk to your pet and even play laser games with them (so it's great for dogs and cats!). And it can all be done with your smartphone. The Petcube team is hoping to have the product out in May.

TRAX MINI GPS TRACKER

We've seen all sorts of tracking devices come down the pipe. This one really intrigues me though because it's small -- streamlined. And it's not just for pets.

Trax is designed to clip onto cloth or a collar. It has a strong GPS signal, so you can use it to track a lost child, or a lost pet. Or perhaps a family member who has a tendency to wander due to age or disability?

The signal can then be tracked with a smartphone. The company that developed Trax hopes to be in production soon, and will ship internationally.

Kickstarter has new projects that need funding all the time, so be sure to check their website periodically.



Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The bump on my beagle: Histiocytoma, mast cell tumors, fear and loathing

It's a good thing beagles have such soft, touchable ears. This is what I found Sunday.


It's dark red, smooth and round. It's on the edge of her ear.

I took Lulu to the vet Monday, and the vet said she was extremely healthy. But this bump could be malignant, and it needs to be removed.

The estimate: $636, unless I don't get the blood panel and Xrays right away. Includes the surgery and the biopsy.

She told me to look up mast cell tumors -- worst case scenario. (I will not be doing that! I know enough to know I'm scared).

I was numb -- in shock and sticker shock.

I took Lulu to Petco, and bought her treats and some cans of wet food. It was the only thing I could think of.

Then I came home and finished off a bottle of this:

Lulu snuggled with me while I looked up dog health insurance and talked to my friends online.

Then I took a drive and thought and thought.

Malignant. Mast cell tumor. The worst case scenario scares the crap out of me. Lulu's young, there's a chance even if it is malignant, she will not have a huge cancer issue.

Then came other questions: is it really a dangerous one? MUST there be a biopsy? What about histiocytoma? Here's what PetMD said:
  • Small, firm, dome or button-shaped masses on the skin surface
  • Rare autoimmune blistering (dermoepithelial) masses, which may be ulcerated
  • Fast growing, nonpainful, usually solitary
  • Common sites are the head, ear edges, and limbs
  • Occasionally multiple skin nodules or plaques
They're benign. And sometimes they go away.

Do I get a second opinion? Do I take a chance that this will go away? What if I'm wrong?

Lulu, by the way, is completely normal. She stole treats, chased her tail, chased the cats and demanded my attention.







Mom, what is the big deal?
UPDATE: I've made an appt. to get a second opinion. I made it with Mom's vet for her dogs. The appt. is next week.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Pet Blogger Challenge 2014 -- How can I be better blogger for you?

Today is the Pet Blogger Challenge!

Every year Amy from Go Pet Friendly hosts this challenge. It's a great way to take stock of the previous year and prepare for the new one. I did the challenge last year. 

Please read through my answers and at the end, tell me how I'm doing. Do you enjoy my blog? How can I make it better for you?


1. How long have you been blogging? Please tell us why you started blogging, and, for anyone stopping by for the first time, give us a quick description of what your blog is about.

I started blogging in March 2012 to try out blogging and see if I could keep up with it. I'm still here, almost two years in! Now it's evolved a lot more, and become a bigger part of my life, bigger than I ever expected it to be.

2. Name one thing about your blog, or one blogging goal that you accomplished during 2013, that made you most proud.

I guess the thing I'm most proud about is I'm starting to be recognized for what I do. I haven't won any awards yet, but it's nice to have more people think that my work has some value, to be told that my tips are helpful and my writing is good. Especially good to know that people in Florida know my work. It's cool to meet me at events and they say "yes, I follow you!"

I met Beags and his mom Andrea an event earlier this year. She had read my blog before we met.
 3. When you look at the post you wrote for last year’s Pet Blogger Challenge, or just think back over the past year, what about blogging has changed the most for you?

I think it's the time I've put into it. I've definitely put more time into my blog, my brand, and what I'm trying to do.  My blog has expanded into a lot of areas, particularly with reviews and bigger stories.

4. What lessons have you learned this year – from other blogs, or through your own experience – that could help us all with our own sites?

A lot of what I've been learning has less to do with the blog itself and more to do with building relationships, especially with companies. I don't know that there's anything I could teach any other bloggers. Just that it's important to go out and meet people. Build relationships. You never know where it will lead.

If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one challenge you’re having with your blog, what would it be?

As always, I am constantly looking for constructive criticism on how I can make it better. I've done great things, but I feel like I am hitting a plateau in terms of where my blog is at, especially with my page views and moving further into monetization. Maybe a redesign, maybe I need to change something, I don't know.

Lulu and I went to Global Pet Expo. We'll be back this year.
5. What have you found to be the best ways to bring more traffic to your blog, other than by writing great content?

I am a believer in Triberr. I think it's done some great things in terms of helping me bring more traffic to the blog. Giveaways have also been really helpful, and I've had more. My third biggest thing, I've found, is to focus on beagles. The beagle stories are doing the best in terms of traffic. People seem to share them the most.

6. How much time do you spend publicizing your blog, and do you think you should spend more or less in the coming year?

I don't really keep count. I try to post several times a day though. I think I need to work on posting smart, not more. I haven't quite figured out how to do that though.

7. How do you gauge whether or not what you’re writing is appealing to your audience?

Engagement, either on Facebook and Twitter or on the blog itself. In some cases though, the message trumps the appeal. I could fill my blog with pictures of beagle puppies and have thousands of followers. My goal is to help people. And I'm hoping that what I do over the long term is exactly that. Maybe somewhere down the line what I say will help someone. It's all about the SEO.

Lulu as Snoopy last Halloween.
8. When you’re visiting other blogs, what inspires you to comment on a post rather than just reading and moving on?

I have to feel like I have something to contribute. I never like to post "oh, cute picture," or something really useless. If I can't contribute something useful, I'll try to share it instead. 

9. Do you do product reviews and/or giveaways? If so, what do you find works best, and what doesn’t work at all?

I think it depends entirely on the product. One thing I do need to get better at is writing more effective headlines while keeping in SEO and all the proper terminology. I think that hurt me on a few giveaways.

10. When writer’s block strikes and you’re feeling dog-tired, how do you recharge?

I go to work, LOL! I walk away. I go back to the basics, which is spending more time with Lulu. It helps.

11. Have you ever taken a break from your blog? How did that go?

I take short breaks. I took one over Christmas because I was so burned out. It was nice to be away and just talk to people instead of just promote my blog.

12. What goals do you have for your blog in 2014?

Just keep plugging away! Continue to grow this project, continue to help people have a better relationship with their pet. 

Me and my pals from #PetChat at Barkworld!
Now, it's your turn! Please, feel free to tell me what I'm doing wrong, what I'm doing right, and what I can do better. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Beagle of the Week: Beags the beagle needs your help

This week on Beagle of the Week we're featuring a special beagle.

Beags belongs to Andrea, one of my followers from the Orlando area. He hasn't had a tough life, but he hasn't had the love he needed until Andrea got him.

But Beags needs help. Andrea has set up a Give Forward account to help her pay for Beags medical bills. He needs to go to teeth and gum specialist.

Here's what Andrea said about his situation:
"I have put a lot of my own money into his care, I have taken him to two vets and and am on my way to his third. He has had nine teeth pulled (and exposed roots) and needs long-term dental care that I am having a hard time paying for. I am a college student and while I do work.. it is sporadic and I can barely cover my own bills right now.
I honestly would love the help to get him to a specialist and maybe cover his long-term care for a few months."
I don't normally do these appeals for help, but this is a special case.

Read what Andrea has to say about Beags:

1) Where did you get Beags? 
I got Beags from a family member that could not care for him properly. He had terrible teeth, weighed 49 lbs (is currently at 32, he’s a big beagle).  The lady I got him from has had him since he was a puppy; he was passed around to people in the household, he never really belonged to anyone. My beagle/basset passed away September of 2013 and I went and picked up this mess of a beagle the next day… I knew he needed the love and attention and he has just bloomed since then. He’s happy and healthy now.
2) When did you get Beags? 
September 5th, 2013. September 5th is officially his birthday. 
 
3) What's his favorite food? 
EVERYTHING.
4) What's his favorite toy? 
Soft toys that squeak, which he can practice chewing (bad teeth=yea..) Anything he can eat, stuff that has something he can eat in it.. and loves balls.
5) Do they have any special skills (therapy dog, service dog, blog star, a lab beagle, a search dog, an agility star, show dog star, etc.)? 
He can look depressed or horribly bored, no matter what he's doing. That’s a skill, right?
6) What's the best thing about owning a beagle? 
They are the most affectionate, loyal dogs, I don’t ever think I will ever be without a beagle or basset or hound mix.

7 ) What's the worst part of owning a beagle?   
The worst part, my god he is an escape artist.. he’s going to be neutered soon so maybe that’ll help. And that ever lovely stubborn streak he seems to have. I swear he plays dumb quite well.

Please share this story with everyone you know. Please help Andrea so that Beags can have a good rest of his life. Please check out her Give Forward.com page.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Lulu, egg nog and the trouble with the Internet

Let me start out by saying I've never claimed to be an expert on dogs.

Although I have learned a lot in the nearly two years since I started this blog, there is still a lot I need to do. And, sometimes, I make dumb mistakes.

Here's an example.



I was drinking a glass of egg nog last week and Lulu tried to drink from the glass. Now, I know you're thinking a beagle will do anything for food, right?

But Lulu has never tried to drink from my glass before. EVER. So I looked up egg nog and dogs really quick online. The only bad thing I could find had to do with alcohol. I don't put alcohol in egg nog, so it had to be ok for Lulu, right?

Right?


Well Lulu liked it. A lot. And since I had to finish the quart in a couple days, it was nice to have someone to share it with.






It all led to a bunch of jokes on Facebook of my dog having an egg nog addiction, and how she might like it more than peanut butter, stuff like that.

And then she peed in my bed.

She has NEVER peed in my bed before. I came home from work and there it was.

And the next day she peed on the carpet in an odd spot.

So my friends raised the spectre of egg nog-induced bladder infection.

Did I get my dog sick? I checked the Internet again. There's a fear of salmonella?! Really?!

I don't think Lulu has salmonella poisoning or a bladder infection. Actually, I'm not even sure she got sick from the egg nog. Something else happened that may be a correlation -- I had to work this weekend.

Nothing else seems to be bothering her. And it was only those two times over the weekend.

I will get her to the vet and we'll figure it all out.

The moral of this post is not that you shouldn't feed your dog egg nog though.

The moral of this story is don't believe everything you read (or don't read) online. Just because you don't see it doesn't mean it's ok. Always err on the side of caution.

From now on, this will be the only egg nog Lulu gets.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

5 ways to give your dog a New Year makeover

Happy Near Year!

If you're like me, you probably haven't set any special goals or resolutions for the new year.

However, now is the perfect time to look at how you can make your pet's life better.

Here are five things to consider when it comes to your pet:


1) Should you make food adjustments? 
How's your dog's coat? Is it shiny? Is it soft if it should be soft? Are their eyes bright? How's their teeth? How's their poop? Fairly firm and not too squishy?

Good food can make a big difference in your dog's outward appearance. Aside from the obvious health concerns, even if you think your pet's food is good, could it be better? Are they getting everything they need?

Starting the new year off with new food (or adjustments as necessary) gives you a good starting point to measure progress.
The gray collar is Lulu's Seresto.
2) How is that flea preventative working for you?
Lulu started wearing a Seresto collar about six months ago. I started noticing a couple of fleas the other day while giving her a belly rub. That's means it's time to change out the collar. But do I want to stick with Seresto?

Time to assess that flea treatment. Did it really work well? Was it worth the money you paid? Is there something better out there?

Lulu loves to sit in the grass, especially after a walk.

3) Does your dog get enough exercise?
This question actually has little to do with overall health, though obviously that's important. I'm actually concerned more about behavioral issues. Does your dog chew, or make a mess, or get rowdy? They may not get enough exercise during the day. It's tough, because we are all busy, but a tired dog is a happy dog, and a better-behaved dog.

So how much exercise should your dog get? Depends on the dog.

According to my trainer, a calm, reasonable fit, 2 to 3-year-old dog should be walked 30 minutes twice a day. But the more active and energetic the dog, the longer the walks should be.

I found a cheat sheet at, of all places, dummies.com (they make those "insert here" for dummies books).

This is basic, but it gives you a general idea of what you should do according to activity level and breed. Check it out here.

Lulu checks out art with another dog at the Doggie Art Festival.
  4) Do you spend enough time with your pet?

This quote from John Grogan, the writer of "Marley and Me" springs to mind:
"Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day."
If you and your dog are all you've got, your dog often finds him or herself tending the home fires while you're bringing home the bacon (and you probably don't even GIVE your dog any bacon, you greedy bastard). And we all want to have social lives outside of work, believe me.

What I've done is found ways to get Lulu out of the house and combine that with social activities. Meeting neighbors at dog parks, or going to local doggy festivals. My friends also like Lulu, so sometimes they'll be nice and go to lunch or breakfast with Lulu and me.

You only get to have your dog for a short time. Make it count. Do you spend enough time with your dog?

5) Are there any little things you can do?
Is their bed a little threadbare? Are their toys the worse for wear? Is their microchip info up-to-date? Look at the stuff your pet uses and see what needs replacing. Don't have money to replace things right now? Check out HomeGoods if you have one near you, or pet store clearance aisles (especially right now), or animal shelter thrift stores. This month is inventory month, so you might see some great things on close-out.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013: The year in beagles

From beagles on the run, to beagles rescued, to beagles who left a legacy, our favorite doggy breed was busy in 2013.

So lets take a look back at the year in beagles.


Beagles started the year on a low note -- everyone's favorite hound fell to number four on the 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds List put out by AKC every year (The beagle was number three the year before). The list is based on the number of dogs in a breed that are registered with the AKC each year. The golden retriever, German Sheperd and labrador retriever took the top three spots. 




We did several stories about the worldwide effort to free the beagles used for testing by pharmaceutical giant Astra Zeneca. The company was closing a facility in Sweden and moving the beagles to England. 

Despite months of conversation with the company, however, activists could not convince Astra Zeneca that these beagles could find new lives as ordinary dogs. 

But the effort continues, including a bill in England to force companies to retire lab pets so they find new homes.



Sixty-six beagles got new homes in 2013 thanks to the efforts of the Beagle Freedom Project. The group expanded its operations to 23 states, and also saved mixed breed dogs, rabbits, cats, pigs and 10 ponies in the United Kingdom.

The rescues happened in Colorado, Minnesota and most notably Washington DC, which we wrote about. I also interviewed Shannon Keith, the founder of the Beagle Freedom Project, in a two-part interview.

The charity is now trying to build a Rescue and Outreach Center to help with temporary care, and they are getting into the lobbying business. They have bills in Minnesota and California to try and get those states to let more lab beagles get homes -- instead of the alternative.

Want to donate? Head to the BFP website.


In March, beaglekind lost a champion in Seamus the Famous. Seamus was the star of the book "The Dog Lived (And So Will I)," by Teresa Rhyne, who rescued Seamus from animal control in California. Not long after, doctors discovered Seamus had a tumor, and less than a year to live. Seamus not only fought his battle with cancer, but also aided his mom in her own battle with the disease. But Seamus' cancer returned, and his family helped him go peacefully.

Courtesy of Teresa Rhyne website.
Rhyne has since adopted two more beagles -- Daphne (another shelter dog) and Percival (formerly Comet, a Beagle Freedom Project alum). She's working on a new book too -- The Dogs Were Rescued (And So Was I). While you can find updates on Daphne and Percival on Facebook, Rhyne's website still bears the mark of that first, spunky beagle who touched her heart.


A beagle had emergency responders repelling off a cliff in New York in July.

Photo courtesy of WWLP.
WWLP reports Apollo the beagle managed to get caught part way up on a big embankment at Fulmer Creek in German Flatts, NY.

Rescues had to repel about 250 feet down to get Apollo off the cliff and to safety. As you can tell, Apollo was pretty exhausted, and his owner was relieved.


How many of us have heard the story of Daniel, the beagle that survived a gas chamber at an animal control facility in Alabama in 2011? Daniel is got a new family and is fighting to end gas chambers as an inhumane form of euthanasia. 
From Daniel the Beagle Dwyer's Facebook page.
Well in December Daniel announced on his Facebook page that he would get to ride in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena! Daniel rode New Year's Day on the Lucy Pet Foundation float. The Lucy Pet Foundation works to provide mobile spaying and neutering and adoption clinics all across the country.

Pretty proud moment for beagles!

Hoping for a big year for beagles in 2014. What was your favorite moment?