Dog that went missing in New York found 2 years later in Florida

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A dog that went missing in New York more than two years ago turned up alive and well this week — in Florida.
According to Giuseppe DiBella, his 6-month-old toy fox terrier, Nika, vanished from the backyard of his Newburgh, New York, home in May 2012.
“It was one of the most horrible days of my life,” DiBella told New York’s CBS 2.
DiBella spent a year searching animal shelters and distributing missing-dog posters, but he eventually all but gave up hope, buying another dog to replace his beloved pooch.
Last week, he got a phone call from police in Ocala, Florida, informing him that Nika had been found on the doorstep of local home.

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“I said, ‘All right, I’m coming,'” DiBella said. “‘Where are you?’ They said, ‘We are in Marion County.’ I said, ‘Where in Marion County?’ They said, ‘In Florida.’ I said, ‘I’m in New York!’”
According to Florida animal officials, Nika was identified by her microchip at an Ocala animal shelter.
“I was feeling, like, biblical — when the son comes back to the father, you know, those kind of things,” DiBella said.
DiBella’s family friend in Florida is caring for Nika until the pair can be reunited.
It’s not clear how the 5-pound hound made it from Newburgh to Ocala, roughly 1,090 miles away. DiBella believes Nika was stolen while he was mowing his lawn.
“Nika’s story is a beautiful example of the value of microchips,” Marion County Animal Services director Deborah Horvath said in a press release. “Collars and tags can be removed or lost, but microchips provide a lifelong means of identification. Microchips help reunite countless families, whether the stray animal is one or 1,000 miles away from home. We encourage all pet owners to microchip their pets.”

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According to a 2012 study of animal shelters by the Humane Society, more than half (52 percent) of dogs with microchips were reunited with their owners, while 22 percent without microchips returned home.
By Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News

September 18, 2014 at 4:10 am Leave a comment

Cats may be better off eating wet food, vets now say

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By Patty Khuly
khulyp@bellsouth.net

Q: Years ago, I distinctly remember reading that dry food was best for cats. But now our new and very young veterinarian says that wet food is better. I know that new veterinarians are up on all the latest information, but I’m a little unsure what to think, especially since the Internet goes both ways on the subject. What’s the truth?

cats eating canned food 3

 

A: The truth is we’re not sure. Nonetheless, several recent studies seem to point in the wet-is-best direction. Though dry food might still be better for getting some of that tartar off their teeth, veterinary dentists aren’t so sanguine about this approach to getting teeth clean. Relying on crunchy food in lieu of brushing is like expecting an apple a day to keep your dentist away. Upshot: Don’t rely on kibbled food in the dental department.

Moreover, it has been clear to veterinarians for years now that cats with specific health concerns, particularly when it comes to urinary tract health, are decidedly better off eating wet foods. Though diets formulated for “urinary tract health” abound, no independent studies exist to prove that most of these foods help treat or prevent urinary tract disease.

The only solid studies we have to go on do, however, demonstrate that wet diets can help manage the symptoms related to urinary tract diseases and even obesity in cats.

On the urinary side, wet diets appear to help manage kidney disease, urinary crystal formation, bladder stones, and feline idiopathic cystitis (the inflammatory condition that causes bloody urine and frequent urination).

cats eating canned food

 

As to obesity: Several recent studies also indicate that feeding wet diets to cats (or even moistened kibble) can help cats lose weight. That’s because cats taking in water along with their solid foods are more active than straight-up kibble eaters.

Wild and feral cats get most of their moisture from the animals they hunt and kill. Consequently, cats drink very little water. And since cats originally evolved in a desert environment, this adaptation to a moist diet makes perfect sense.

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Now, why it would make them more active as a result hasn’t been puzzled out yet. In any case, I recommend you consider feeding your cats a wet diet. It may be messier but is probably worth it.

Dr. Patty Khuly has a veterinary practice at Sunset Animal Clinic in South Miami.

 

August 23, 2014 at 4:20 pm Leave a comment

LJ and the Caterpillars

LJ and I have been spending a lot of time recently talking about caterpillars. One day a couple of months ago all of a sudden caterpillars started to appear around the house. He was so excited to see these little fuzzy crawly creatures and just couldn’t get enough of them.

LJ showing Grandpa Louie his caterpillar

LJ showing Grandpa Louie his caterpillar

There's a caterpillar crawling on my arm!

There’s a caterpillar crawling on my arm!


I told LJ the story of the life of a caterpillar. First a caterpillar hatches from an egg. Then the caterpillar is VERY hungry so he eats lots of leaf salad.
Caterpillar eating leaf salad

Caterpillar eating leaf salad


Then the caterpillar’s tummy is so full he makes himself a sleeping bag and falls asleep.
A few caterpillar "sleeping bags" that we found on the deck

A few caterpillar “sleeping bags” that we found on the deck


When he wakes up after a long sleep he turns into a butterfly!
We were SO excited when a butterfly came to say hello on the screen door!

We were SO excited when a butterfly came to say hello on the screen door!


I bought LJ The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
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LJ LOVES the part about the caterpillar turning into a butterfly!

LJ LOVES the part about the caterpillar turning into a butterfly!


We made egg carton caterpillars

We made egg carton caterpillars


We ate caterpillar pancakes

We ate caterpillar pancakes


Then it was time to go to the Butterfly House at the Seattle Science Center.
What a BIG caterpillar!

What a BIG caterpillar!


SO many caterpillar "sleeping bags"!

SO many caterpillar “sleeping bags”!


LJ watching the butterflies eating

LJ watching the butterflies eating


There's more butterflies!

There’s more butterflies!


After a wonderful time at the Butterfly House we walked to the fountain to have our lunch and talk about all the wonders of caterpillars!
My sweet LJ having his lunch at the fountain at Seattle Center

My sweet LJ having his lunch at the fountain at Seattle Center

July 27, 2014 at 3:36 pm Leave a comment

Cat Found 500 Miles From Home

Ashley Moore was reunited with her cat Ava, who was found 500 miles from home

Ashley Moore was reunited with her cat Ava, who was found 500 miles from home


Ava, a 2-year-old Tiffany cat, was reunited with her owner, Ashley Moore, in Georgia Saturday. The cat disappeared from Moore’s Brookhaven, Georgia, home last month and was found in Vero Beach, Florida, four days later. The woman who found Ava wandering brought her to the Humane Society of Vero Beach & Indian River County, where the staff discovered her microchip. The phone number listed had been disconnected, but they were able to send a letter to Moore’s father saying Ava was safe and staying at the shelter. Moore thinks Ava may have hidden underneath a vehicle or in a U-Haul moving truck for the trip. When Moore’s plans to have the cat transported 500 miles back home fell through, the shelter’s director of animal care stepped in to help, driving Ava to Georgia to be reunited with her owner. “I guess Ava decided to take a vacation in Vero Beach, but I’m so happy she’s finally back with me,” Moore said.
Story courtesy of VetSTREET

July 14, 2014 at 12:56 am 1 comment

A Fun Outing With The Boy

I just spent a fun morning with my Grandson LJ. It was raining so I decided to take him to an indoor play place. I wanted to take him to a place he hadn’t been before so I chose the Happy Nest in Redmond. It’s a smaller facility but there were only a handful of kids there so it wasn’t crowded at all.
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LJ had so much fun with all the activities.

LJ's favorite thing right now is to play with the trains

LJ’s favorite thing right now is to play with the trains


LJ and a friend taking care of kitchen duties

LJ and a friend taking care of kitchen duties


Who doesn't love the ball pit?

Who doesn’t love the ball pit?


One of the fun things they do at the Happy Nest is to blow bubbles for the kids

One of the fun things they do at the Happy Nest is to blow bubbles for the kids


Having a quiet moment at the book nook

Having a quiet moment at the book nook


Just across the street we found the Flying Apron to have lunch. It has all Vegan and gluten-free dishes. They all looked wonderful. We decided on the pizza and a muffin.
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Yummy pizza at the Flying Apron Cafe

Yummy pizza at the Flying Apron Cafe


LJ was fast asleep before we even got out of town. Fun times!!!
Mission accomplished!

Mission accomplished!

May 26, 2014 at 11:03 pm Leave a comment

Vets Corner: Spring Hazards

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Spring in most veterinary hospitals is the busiest time of the year for routine care such as annual physicals, vaccines, heartworm and tick disease testing, and picking up heartworm and flea and tick preventatives. What we don’t count on is the sharp increase in emergency cases that occur from the increase in outdoor activities.

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Female dogs come into heat twice yearly and nearly all come into season in the spring. Intact male dogs can pick up the scent from miles away and will follow the scent without paying attention. This past weekend I personally saw four dogs that were hit by cars for this very reason. They either got out of their enclosures, or a family member let them out unattended. A pet being hit by a car is one of the most devastating emergencies that we see and in most cases the injuries are severe and many times fatal. The most common cause of death for cats that go outside is being hit by a car. As traumatic as the injury to the pet, it is also traumatic to the family as in most cases the loss could have been prevented. I myself lost a young dog in the street when my son’s friend forgot to close the gate so this is a subject that is near and dear to my heart in more ways than one.

Antifreeze
Another very common hazard as pets are out exploring is exposure to toxins. Antifreeze poisoning is very common this time of the year. Antifreeze, ethylene glycol, is a toxin that is often drained and left in a pan or bucket and forgotten. It has a very sweet taste so both cats and dogs will drink it readily. Only a very small amount can cause complete kidney failure within 48 hours. There is an antidote if discovered very early, but once the symptoms of kidney disease appear it is usually fatal. We take any exposure to antifreeze, no matter how small, very seriously for that reason.

cats fighting
Coyotes and other predators are becoming much more common in towns and suburban communities and if cats and little dogs are left outside unattended they are, unfortunately, considered prey. Many cats get the urge to go outside as the weather improves. They are territorial and will get into fights with other cats leading to very painful abscesses. These bites are the way viruses like feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency are spread. Both of these diseases have no cure, so the only treatment is prevention.
dog running

Exercise for our pets is very important in maintaining good health for life, but it is important to make sure that the type of exercise is safe. A good brisk walk on leash is a great way to do so, but is not possible in all areas of the country year round. Off leash dog parks can be a great way for a dog to run off leash, but it is still important to pay attention that the dogs all get along. Doggy day care businesses are becoming very popular and can be very helpful in the winter to keep the pet socialized and fit. There are great toys and activities to keep your cats active inside the house and websites exist that demonstrate how to create a cat friendly room so that going outside does not become an issue.

Have a happy and safe spring and summer!
By: Dr Landorf, Oakwood Hills Animal Hospital

May 25, 2014 at 6:00 pm Leave a comment

Lisbon, Portugal

Our next and last place to visit on our amazing trip to Portugal was Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal.  We checked into our delightful Santa Justa Hotel in the Baixa district of Lisbon.  We were greeted by a lovely tray of port and pastries.  During my time in Portugal I learned that I love port, especially Cockburns Special Reserve of which I brought a bottle home with me!

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Port and pastries awaited us at the Santa Justa Hotel

Port and pastries awaited us at the Santa Justa Hotel

Love that port!

Love that port!

We had just enough time to take a quick peek at the surrounding area where people filled the streets that were closed off from traffic and lined with cafes.  We had a nice dinner and fell into bed.

Street outside the Santa Justa Hotel

Street outside the Santa Justa Hotel

On Saturday we started exploring the city.  Lisbon sits on seven hills and there is no rhyme or reason to the streets.  They meander around buildings in no orderly fashion at all.  I think we walked over every one of the seven hills :-).  Well, at least it felt like it!

Cable car heading up a hill in Lisbon

Cable car heading up a hill in Lisbon

The Cathedral

The Cathedral

Steep, narrow road

Steep, narrow road

Buildings with terraces

Building with terraces

Cable cars are a great form of transportation on this hilly city!

Cable cars are a great form of transportation on this hilly city

Donna checking out a cable car

Crazy streets in Lisbon

Crazy streets in Lisbon

Very close to our hotel is the Praca do Comercio, or Commerce Square.  We decided to take a look around and have lunch there.

Archway into Commerce Square

Archway into Commerce Square

Commerce Square was chock-full of people enjoying the beautiful weather at the cafes and the Tagus River.  It’s square is huge and beautiful with the Statue of King Jose 1 right in the center.

Sidewalk cafes in commerce Square

Sidewalk cafe in commerce Square

Lunch at Commerce Square

Lunch at Commerce Square

Statue and arch of Commerce Square

Statue and arch of Commerce Square

People enjoying the beautiful weather on the banks of the Tagus River

People enjoying the beautiful weather on the banks of the Tagus River

White and red sangrias

White and red sangrias

On Sunday we walked to Rossio Square to catch the subway to the Museum Calouste Gulbenkian.

Fountain in Rossio Square

Fountain in Rossio Square

The museum is a collection of Calouse Gulbenkians, a rich Armenian oil tycoon who left it all to Portugal when he died in 1955.  The collection spans the period from 2700 B. C. Egypt to the early 20th century.  Works by Rembrandt, Renoir and Manet are displayed along with countless other exquisite objects.  Here are just a very few items we saw in this huge eclectic collection.

Egyptian tablet

Egyptian tablet

Terra cotta vase ca. 440 B. C.

Terra cotta vase ca. 440 B. C.

The Apocalypse ca. 1265-70

The Apocalypse ca. 1265-70

Gilded and enameled glass vase.  14th century

Gilded and enameled glass vase. 14th century

Portrait of an Old Man, by Rembrandt, 1645

Portrait of an Old Man, by Rembrandt, 1645

Velvet Chasuble, late 16th century

Velvet Chasuble, late 16th century

Gilded silver tureen and stand, 1769-70

Gilded silver tureen and stand, 1769-70

Diana, 1780

Diana, 1780

Portrait of Madame Claude Monet.  Renoir, 1874

Portrait of Madame Claude Monet. Renoir, 1874

Our last evening in Lisbon we rode the Santa Justa lift to see the sights of the city.  It connects the lower streets of the Baixa district with the higher Largo do Carmo (Carmo Square.)  The hills of Lisbon have always presented a problem for accessibility,especially in a time when people were required to move on foot or being pulled by horse.  So in 1900 construction on the lift began.  Today it’s a landmark and a definite tourist attraction of the city.

Santa Justa lift

Santa Justa lift

Terra cotta roofed buildings of Lisbon

Terra cotta roofed buildings of Lisbon

Donna with the moon rising over Lisbon

Donna with the moon rising over Lisbon

 

Rossio Square

Rossio Square

Me with the Castle of St. Jorge in the distance

Me with the Castle of St. Jorge in the distance

To finish the evening we went to the Restaurante Concha D’Ouro for dinner.  Because it was getting a little chilly, we decided to sit inside.  We sat upstairs overlooking the street below.

Every meal in Portugal starts with a couvert.  Each restaurant serves a different variety of breads, butter, cheese, olives, spreads, etc.  You pay for what you eat.

Every meal in Portugal starts with a couvert. Each restaurant serves a different variety of breads, butter, cheese, olives, spreads, etc. You pay for what you eat.

Octopus!

Donna had the Octopus!

Our last dinner in Lisbon

Our last dinner in Lisbon

The next morning we were on our way to the airport and back to the US.

What a wonderful opportunity it was to get to travel to this great country!!!

May 11, 2014 at 9:41 pm Leave a comment

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