A Leash Above

Exceptional pet care under your "woof"...


Maddie’s Best Christmas

My sweet Maddie, rest in peace, finally mastered a grand feat. After many Christmases, we taught her to find her present. On this particular Christmas, I got four identical boxes. In all of them, I put a t-shirt with my husband’s scent on it. In one of them, was a vacuum-sealed package of tennis balls for her. I wrapped them in identical paper. It took her a few directions to snap to it. My husband was using aluminum foil in the kitchen and the sound of it threw off her concentration (so you hear my yelling to my husband in the kitchen). Not only does she find the right box, but she unwraps it, gets her nose into the box to get her present out, and then takes it to her lair (the chair). Enjoy!!!

November is Senior Pet Adoption Month

I know it is the end of the month already, but you don’t need to just adopt a senior dog in November. Senior dogs need good homes all year round.

This is Buddy, our senior dog, who has already passed on. He came to us very overweight. During his intake with a local golden retriever rescue group, he was called Jo Jo, but his foster mother thought the name Buddy suited him more. We decided to keep it.



My husband’s heart had been broken into pieces when our dog of 10 years, Sam, died. It took him about 18 months before he felt he was ready to risk the heartache again. It was very difficult for me because I telecommuted for my employer and I always had a dog with me. To me, my house was empty without a dog to love.

Buddy was a very calm dog. He didn’t ask for much. I think he may have been partially deaf.



One day Buddy did an amazing thing. We were sitting in our living room. My son was sitting on our very high bed in our bedroom watching something on our TV in there. Buddy came out of the bedroom and just sat, staring at us. This was very, very odd behavior. We asked him what was wrong, but he stood steadfast and determined. Unsure what the issue was, we got up and as we did, he got up and walked into the bedroom. Upon entering the bedroom, we saw that our son was having a full-blown seizure on the bed. One of us praised Buddy immediately while the other prepared the rectal Valium medication my son required to stop it.


Afterwards we had all these thoughts that if we hadn’t known he was having a seizure, he might have fallen off the bed and hurt himself, or worse–died from head trauma.

Buddy came to us heartworm-positive (but treated). I do not know if it contributed to his increased risk of congestive heart failure, but he developed this. When his heart could not pump anymore, he passed from us.
We only had him for a few short years, but they were wonderful years and we do not regret it. We hope that he felt the same about us. Not knowing his history or what his previous life might have been like, we know we gave him a loving home that was full of fun and wonderful things.

I hope this story inspires you to consider adopting a senior pet.


Dogs Prefer Men Over Women

This was an article that I got from Dr. Becker: “Results of a study on human-canine interactions suggest that dogs approach men more often than women.” (This from Relational factors affecting dog social attraction to human partners, Wedl, M et al, Interaction Studies, 2010):


To read more on this article so I don’t violate her intellectual property, please click here to go to the article.

A Box of Corgi Puppies

Your dose of adorable for today!

Warning About Trifexis

If you have a dog on Trifexis, you need to listen to this report.


(Per the report):


Grieving animal lovers across the country are coming forward blaming a popular pet drug for killing their dogs. Channel 2 Action News has uncovered several cases in Metro Atlanta.

“It’s like a piece of your heart is being torn out,” said dog owner Beth Timms from Gainesville.

Her dog, Gizmo, died after taking Trifexis. The once-a-month pill made by Elanco is a combination pill for heartworm, parasites and flea prevention. Elanco is the animal health division of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly.

Gizmo was a healthy 12-year-old mixed-breed. Shortly after taking Trifexis for the first time, she suffered lethargy, vertigo, seizures and a 106-degree temperature.

“We had to let her go. We had to have her put to sleep,” Timms said. “I killed my dog.”

Timms emailed consumer investigator Jim Strickland after finding a Facebook page titled “Trifexis Kills Dogs.”

Owners from all over the country have posted on the page, blaming the drug for their dogs’ deaths.

The Facebook page led Strickland to a home in Sandy Springs, where a dog bowl still sits empty in the corner. The dog who once used it was a puppy named Bishop.

“He died. For no reason, no warning,” said Bishop’s owner Jenny Schmitt.

Bishop was a 16-week-old Vizsla, which is a Hungarian hunting dog. He was one of seven in a litter born in June from an American Kennel Club Grand Champion.

Three of Bishop’s litter mates are thriving in Florida. A fourth is a healthy puppy living Buckhead. None of them has ever had Trifexis.

Bishop and the other two litter mates, named Tucker and Jade, each received their one and only dose of Trifexis in September. Bishop and Jade died within three weeks. Tucker died in six days. Veterinarians ruled they all died of heart inflammation.

“I think Eli Lillly and Elanco need to ask the broader question, ‘Does this drug even need to be on the market?'” Schmitt said.

Elanco is headquartered outside of Indianapolis. Strickland went there to speak with one of Elanco’s top veterinarians. Dr. Stephen Connell insisted Trfiexis is safe. He said he gives it to his own dogs.

Connell said Elanco has dispensed 50 million doses since Trifexis hit the market less than three years ago.

“We don’t like the fact that it has killed any dogs. But with any pharmaceutical product, we understand that the very rare sensitivities, allergic events — those types of things are going to happen,” Connell said.

Elanco’s spokesman later said Connell didn’t mean to say the company doesn’t like that Trifexis killed any dogs, but rather the company doesn’t like hearing reports of any deaths.

Strickland got the numbers on reports about Trifexis made to the Food and Drug Administration. The latest figures are as of April 2013.

Pet owners have filed 2200 reports of the drug causing their dogs to vomit. There are 600 cases of lethargy, and 31 reports of dog deaths. That’s about one per month since the drug hit the market.

The warning on the Trifexis box states mild side effects. Connell admitted to Strickland that the company has gotten reports of dogs suffering seizures, but Elanco has found no link to any dog deaths.

A University of Georgia Veterinary School pathology report on Bishop’s death stated a bacterial infection likely caused the dog’s heart failure. It ruled his symptoms were not typical of drug toxicity.

Trifexis contains two drugs, spinosad and milbemycin.

“The spinosad is from the United States. The milbemycin is sourced from China” said Connell.

He added their Chinese supplier has had multiple inspections and is a non-issue.

He also addressed the deaths of the puppies.

“It is our opinion that there are other factors involved in this case,” Connel said.

Bishop’s owner doesn’t believe that.

“The three puppies that all died within the same week, all had Trifexis, all around the same time,” Schmitt said. “It’s a heck of a coincidence.”
( Ingredient’s From CHINA )


A Tale of Two Dogs

(I invited my clients and friends to share their stories of how they met their pets. Here is one such story).

There once was a dog named Angel. She was a beautiful, head strong, diva, alpha bitch Siberian Husky who had to have everything her way. When my husband and I rescued her, she’d been in 6 homes before her first birthday; obviously the name Angel was some sort of joke. We brought her home, introduced her to our beloved St. Bernard, Cody and they lived peacefully (well as long as Cody did what she wanted it was peaceful) until Cody passed at the age of 13 ½. Angel was lonely. On most days, I took her to work, but on the days she stayed home, she was not a happy girl. My husband and I started a search to find her another dog to boss around. We traveled from shelters to rescue groups all over the county but none of the dogs pleased Angel.


I mentioned to a close friend that we were having no luck finding Angel a new dog to be her playmate and do her bidding and my friend said she knew of a rescue group way out in the back country of San Diego and gave me a number to call. Pam, the owner of Backcountry Rescue, told me she had the perfect dog. A submissive male shepherd mix named Tai who got along with everyone. We agreed to meet at Starbucks the next day and introduce Angel to Tai and hoped it would all work out.


The next morning, Angel and I found Pam who had brought not one dog, but two. Tai the shepherd was there along with a rather large, absolutely crazy, hyperactive lab mix named Dice. I knew right away that the lab mix was nothing but trouble and had no intention of taking him home. Angel, however, had other ideas. She was ok with Tai, but she was in love with Dice. Oh boy I thought, “this is one not so good idea.” As we drank our coffee and talked about the dogs, Angel and Dice played and played while Tai lay quietly by our sides drifting off into sleep as he listened to our conversation.

When it came time to leave, I told Pam I’d take the Shepherd. We agreed that we should take them to our house and see how Angel and Tai got along on her turf. Unfortunately, the crazy lab had to come along. At home, things went well with Tai, but Angel would not stop playing doggie games with Dice. They chased each other, play boxed, and my beautiful girl was never happier. Long story short, we diced to take Tai and Dice and Pam was one happy dog rescuer; and a pretty smart one at that!

The day after they came to live with us, my husband asked me if I liked the name Dice. I admitted I wasn’t crazy about it. He asked if he could rename him and we did. Dice became Quinn in honor of Brady Quinn, the quarterback for Notre Dame, and my hubby’s alma mater. Quinn still has a serious case of the crazy’s and I can’t find his off switch and Tai is still calm, serene and loving.


So that’s the tale of two dogs, well actually three, because without Angel, there’d be no Quinn and Tai. Angel died in 2010 before her 8th birthday. I miss her every day.

Credit Card Processing Fee Not Legal in Texas

You may have heard about a settlement last summer with retailers and credit card companies that would allow a business to charge you a credit card processing fee. At the end of January, that became law. Of course, many businesses will continue to believe it is just the part of doing business and you might not have the cost passed on to you (in the states where it is legal to assess the fee).

While this may be valid in many states, TEXAS is NOT one of them. In fact, the other states are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York and Oklahoma have some sort of law either limiting or restricting these fees. Recently I have been told that some pet sitting businesses in Texas, including some in The Woodlands, are charging you not only a fee, but sometimes even more than the 4% maximum of the transaction (if you happened to live in a state that allowed it, which again Texas does NOT).

In the state of Texas, the only entity that can charge you a credit card processing fee is the government (for example, for property taxes or other fees). It is not just for businesses located in Texas. No business, including those in other states, can charge a resident of the state of Texas a credit card processing fee. Retailers in the United States cannot assess these credit card processing fees to buyers in other countries either.

We promise to stay on top of laws that might affect businesses and our customers. We value and appreciate you.

To read more about this, visit Visa’s web site at: http://usa.visa.com/personal/using_visa/checkout_fees/index.html

To read more about this from the State of Texas Office of the Attorney General, please visit their site at:

If you are a resident of Texas and have been charged a credit card processing fee, please use this link to register a complaint. https://www.oag.state.tx.us/consumer/complain.shtml

Cleaning Your Pet’s Teeth

February is National Pet Dental Health Month. People shy away from doing this with their pets, but it is just as important as brushing your teeth with the same risks to their health as it is to yours. Here is a great instructional video on how to go about doing this. It’s never too late to start.

Why You Should Scoop The Poop

In changing over the “going-green” consciousness, the top reason I am finding people do not scoop their yard of dog poop is to let the sun break it down naturally. Actually it is quite the opposite. Ecofriendly dog owners should be picking it up.

The poop contains viruses, bacteria, and other microbes. They will end up in your/our water supply. A heavy rainstorm and water-outlet run-off will end up in the water table. Any water that flows into a sewer goes into a body of water without being treated. Imagine a deer coming up to drink from the stream where your dogs’ waste now resides. Kids might also play in these bodies of water and they are notorious for not being germ conscious. They think, “its water, therefore it is clean.”

Putting it in the garbage is also not an eco-friendly idea as it will wind up in a landfill somewhere. You could use biodegradable bags that are compost friendly. You can always just come home and put the poop in your toilet. Your poop is good enough to be there, so why not your dogs? It then can be treated in the same fashion as human waste.

The Environmental Protection Agency has classified pet waste as a dangerous pollutant, a classification made over 20 years ago. The CDC confirmed that dog poop can spread parasites. Even if the poop is picked up, eggs linger for years. So your dog, your dogs’ toys, your kid, and even you could come into contact with it and risk getting a parasitic infection.

People think dog poop is a great fertilizer. It’s actually toxic to your lawn (just look at the grass and the discolorations), having a high amount of nitrogen. It also likes to form cooperative relationships with other harmful bacteria like E. coli.

If the health side of the equation doesn’t move you, there are communities taking this a step further by imposing a ticket to anyone who lets their dog poop without picking it up. Fees vary per community, but upwards of $1000 can be common.

It might surprise you that in Texas, a state that is heavily Republican and Republicans scream over governmental interference in private lives, an apartment complex in Plano, Texas is keeping track of the dog poop DNA to match it up with your canine. It is not the first community to do it. Some places in New Hampshire and Florida have been doing it for a few years now. The apartment complex in Plano gave residents a time period where they needed to come in and have their dogs swabbed and DNA registered (for free). If your dog has pooped and the DNA matches, you can be fined $250.

We are part of a global community and even though you believe that what you do in your yard should be your business, when it comes to water it is a shared resource. What affects one affects all.