UK Soldier & Loyal Dog Make Final Journey

Lance Cpl. Liam Tasker and his bomb-sniffing dog Theo were repatriated yesterday in a ceremony in the UK yesterday.  The procession passed military personnel & their dogs and also civilians & their dogs lining the road as the hearse passed by. Liam was killed in a firefight and his dog,Theo, died hours later from seizures.

Theo had set a record in Afghanistan by finding 14 hidden bombs & weapons caches.  According to Liam’s uncle, Liam was concerned about being separated from Theo when his tour was over, but his family is at least comforted that now they won’t be parted.

Dog Trainer Preforms CPR On Dog

I’m really disturbed by this story and not for the reason you might think.  Tiffany Kauth and her dog, Sugar, were taking a dog training class when Sugar stopped breathing.  Trainer Ron Pace had someone start filming what happened so they could show a vet and when it became clear Sugar was in danger, Pace began pressing on Sugar’s chest to try to revive him.  Pace is being hailed a hero by just about everyone.

What bothers me is wondering what was happening before Sugar collapsed.  I became concerned when I realize Sugar is wearing a choke chain, and when I paused the video to make sure, it was clear the choke chain was also way too small for Sugar.  I’ve seen first hand and read about enough abuses of  “leash and collar” training, that I know those abuses can can choke a dog until it loses consciousness or dies.  Obviously, I wasn’t there when Sugar stopped breathing, so I don’t know what was happening before the video starts, but I sure would like to know.

Training Tip: Preparing Your Dog for Veterinary Visits

Great, great advice on how to help your dog have a better visit to your vet!   Alena Van Arendonk from Canines In Action in Indianapolis has an excellent post on what you can do to make visits to the vet less frightening for your dog.(thanks Margaret!) I really like her description of being a training opportunist—taking advantage of a situation to teach your dog.  Teaching your dog to get on and off something will make it so much easier to get them on a scale or a low exam table.  Can you imagine what it’s like for vet techs to wrestle 50+ lbs. dogs onto the scale all day long?  Teach your dog to do it herself and your vet tech will love you—so will your dog!

Some of Alena’s suggestions include training while you’re waiting for the vet and training before you ever get there.  The idea of short visits to the vet’s office when you don’t have an appointment is also great.  You can just go into the lobby, get your dog to sit, lie down, etc. and give treats.  If the scale is accessible, work on on & off.  It’ll help for your dog to have more positive associations with the vet.

Saffron became terrified of the scale at our vet’s office.  The furnace turned on while she was on it and air suddenly blew out of the vent right into her face.  That was enough to scare her so badly that it was almost impossible to get her on the scale ever again.  So, I started randomly visiting our vet and if they weren’t too busy, Saffron & I would work on her fear of the scale.  It took a while, but she got over it and now when we get to the vet, she walks right over to the scale and plunks her butt down.  Help your dog cope better with a trip to the vet and do some training ahead of time!

Pet Project News!

Hi guys!  I wanted to let you know about some exciting goings-on here at Pet Project.


My first podcast debuts this month on iTunes.  I’ll post a link to let you know where to go and how to subscribe.  My friend & producer, Steve Ewing, had the idea and has been encouraging & educating me about audio recording.  I can actually listen to myself now without hiding my face, though we decided Steve has to do the intros because I feel like I’m pretending to be a radio dj when I do them—cue overly-enthusiastic announcer voice.

The first podcasts give you a chance to get to know me some.  You may have noticed it took me forever to get something posted “About” me on the blog.  It’s hard to sum yourself up in a few words.  I’ll be talking about my life with pets in the first podcasts—that was easy to talk about!  In the future, I’ll be interviewing people and talking about news, tips, and issues.  Exciting!  I never thought I’d be doing any of this.


Pet Project is getting a logo.  I’m pretty excited about this, because it will give the site a visual identity and now when people ask me if I have a business card, I can say, “Why yes I do!”  And if I make any more Top 10 lists, they can use my logo.  When I made the Top 10 DIY Sites list for Discovery’s Planet Green site, I didn’t even spot it because I didn’t have a logo for them to use.


The site is getting a redesign.  It will look a bit different—different colors & a different banner—and it’ll be much easier to find archived posts.  Yea!  I want you to be able to access the archive easily and it’s gotten too big to do that the way it is now.


And I’m finally getting around to the giveaways!  No really!  That fall down a flight of stairs in December really put a hitch in my plans.  Keep your eyes out for information on how to enter.  There are actually a few giveaways, so I can say a big “Thank you!” for your support.  Y’all rock!