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OK Berners photo featured on walk website

posted May 22nd, 2018 by
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bernerwalkFor the past two years, Oklahoma Berners has participated in a worldwide walk for friends and companions of Bernese Mountain Dogs. This year, 21 Berners and their families participated and had their photo featured on the Bernese Friends Worldwide website.

Held on May 12 at Mitchell Park in Edmond, the group also enjoyed a picnic lunch and time to socialize.

Oklahoma Berners is a relatively new group and looking to connect with other Bernese owners. You can request to join their Facebook group at Oklahoma Berners.

-Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

 

Local groomer wins Creative Groomer of the Year

posted September 25th, 2015 by
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Lori Craig of Moore was recently named Barkleigh Honors Creative Groomer of the Year, a national title voted on by her dog grooming peers as part of Groom Expo in Hershey, Pa.

I have been nominated the last four years for it, but I won it this year, so it was really pretty amazing,” Craig said.

So what is creative grooming exactly?

As Craig explains, there is breed profile grooming, where you take a dog and you cut it to it’s breed profile. This is probably what most people know as dog grooming.

“And then there is creative grooming where you transfer the dog’s coat and fur into something completely different,” Craig said. “As a dog groomer, we get really bored. We do the same haircut day in and day out on every dog. With creative grooming, you add color, you add some hairspray and you start sculpting the hair.”

10639590_10152495270454473_413792196524344893_nA quick Google image search on my part brought up dogs with hair of every color, mohawks and fantastical shapes sculpted in to the fur of mostly standard poodles, some other dog breeds and even a few cats!

Craig’s winning designs this year were her Phantom of the Opera creation and Monarch butterflies.

“It’s amazing what you can do with fur,” Craig said.

For anyone concerned about the welfare of the animals involved, there is no need. The products and dyes used in the process are labeled for pets. Not to mention, the dogs love being transformed, says Craig.

“The dogs love the color and love the attention,” Craig said. “Dogs thrive on positive reinforcement and when people see a colored-up dog, they run and flock to them. [The dogs] absolutely love it!”

1017412_10201113386868871_72297664_nCraig says she has been doing creative grooming for about 12 years. She has been featured on TLC’s ‘Extreme Poodles’ and has traveled the world including Singapore, Scotland, Ireland and London teaching others how to turn their dogs into living artwork. She also takes her dogs on the road with her to compete across the nation.

Craig’s grooming salon Doggie Styles is located at 1261 S Eastern Ave., Moore, and she says creative grooming is gaining popularity.

“I probably do three to five creative things a day,” Craig said. “I do mohawks with color, stick on earrings, It’s just a way to make somebody’s dog stick out from the others.”

To make an appointment for your dog, call 405-790-0926 or visit www.doggiestylesok.com to view more of her incredible creations.

– Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

End-of-life care is not a topic to avoid

posted May 20th, 2015 by
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With five senior pets in my home (they are all 10 years and up!), end of life care is something that is very much front of mind. One dog has a heart tumor and has had heart surgery among a variety of other procedures. Another dog just started taking medication for arthritis. My three kitties are faring better at the moment but are the oldest animals in the house.

So, some recent articles that popped up in my Facebook feed on euthanasia for pets caught my eye. It’s a topic I really don’t want to think about, unfortunately it is one that will need to be addressed whether I stick my head in the sand or not.

I took a deep breath and clicked on the first link. “A Vet’s View of Home Euthanasia for Pets” actually provided some relief and presented an option I hadn’t considered because I hadn’t spent much time considering any options at all.

The idea of keeping my babies in the surroundings they are most comfortable and familiar surrounded by the family who loves them was comforting to me and would hopefully be a comfort to them. It would mean at a time they were most likely in pain, they would not have to take an uncomfortable car ride to a place that already causes them anxiety.

At my latest vet visit, I made sure to ask if this was a service that could be provided. I was relieved to hear that it absolutely is something that I can plan on for my babies when the time comes.

The second article that I noticed flipped the tables. A woman who died last November requested in her will that her healthy dog be put down, cremated and buried with her.

Currently, it appears that the euthanasia has been put on hold. But here was yet another topic that I had avoided instead of facing. What would happen to my animals if I died before they did?

While I would never consider having a healthy put euthanized just because I had died, what would happen to them if I didn’t make a plan? Would they potentially end up in a shelter and put down because of their old age? My love of animals came from my parents, who have a small menagerie of their own. If godparents for pets are a thing, I need to secure some.

Both articles have given me some things to think about and I definitely have some planning to do when it comes to end-of-life plans for my pets and myself. Not pleasant, but it is something that is important to prepare for.

Have you made decisions about how you will handle your pet’s last day? Or made plans for your pets in your will? Let me know in the comments below.

– Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

Mega Adoption Event this weekend

posted March 24th, 2015 by
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OKC Mega Adoption EventOKC Animal Welfare has a goal of helping at least 200 homeless pets find families this weekend at its Mega Adoption Event, said Julie Bank, superintendent of OKC Animal Welfare.

“Starting right now through September is the time of the year that gets really busy for us,” Bank said. “We get so many animals in the door and as a result we need to find adoptive families for them.”

More than 15 rescues and hundreds of animals will be featured at the Mega Adoption Event from  9 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 28 and 29. The event takes place in the Hobbies, Arts and Crafts Building at Oklahoma State Fair Park.

Bank says there are a couple of reasons for the influx of animals in the spring.

“The springtime is breeding season, so with breeding season come lots of puppies and kittens,” she said. “And unfortunately it is also travel season and with travel season we tend to see more animals somehow getting caught up in getting lost in travel plans.”

Animals will be subject to the adoption fees of their rescue group or shelter.

“Even if you are just someday looking to adopt a pet, this is a great opportunity to come down and learn about the different groups and different types of animals so when you are ready to adopt, you know where to go and you are better educated,” Bank said. “Or just come down and find a new friend if you are ready.”

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/OKCanimalwelfare or http://www.okc.gov/animalwelfare/index.html.

- Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

OU lab being investigated after report of dog electrocution

posted October 22nd, 2014 by
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As an OU alum, I am both horrified and disappointed at the news that one of its research labs is under federal investigation for a dog electrocution citation as well as other violations, according to KOCO.com.

Other violations for the University of Oklahoma lab included not providing pain relief to animals during experimentation, improper sanitation and insufficient enrichment for a psychologically disturbed monkey, according to the KOCO article.

Director of Stop Animal Exploitation Now Michael A Budkie has led the push for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate further.

Budkie provided the report describing the citations to the Associated Press. According to the AP article:

“One citation was for an improper euthanasia method for dogs. The report states that the dogs were electrocuted using a 9-volt battery applied to the heart. Anesthesia was used at the time of euthanasia. However, the same report cites the facility for not using correct surgical anesthesia. The principal investigator used injectable anesthesia, which can wear off during surgery.”

Budkie says the occurrence of these two violations means that some of the dogs may have felt the pain of electrocution.

Properly done or not, I would like to know exactly what the lab was trying to accomplish by electrocuting dogs. Unquestionably this method, which has long been considered inhumane for people, is not appropriate for man’s best friend either. So, why the need to experiment with it?

Surely the University did not need the government and subsequent reaction on social media to know that this was just not right.

- Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

Whose problem is it anyway?

posted August 27th, 2014 by
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The above meme recently popped up in my Facebook newsfeed. And while I agree with the heart of what this is getting at, I feel the way it is phrased puts all of the responsibility on shelters and none on pet owners and citizens of the community.

It is absolutely sad that perfectly good animals are put down everyday. But what would happen if Tulsa Animal Welfare and other shelters that euthanize suddenly stopped this practice?

There is only a finite amount of space at TAW. To fill it with homeless animals beyond capacity would be inhumane. There is also only a finite amount of money in our city’s budget to care for these animals. Pet food, cat litter and staff to care for them adds up quickly.

So for a shelter to cease its practice of humane euthanasia, it would have to cap the number of animals it could accept and would have to turn animals away. This is a common reality for most no-kill rescue groups. Space is limited and there are only so many willing to foster pets.

So then what would happen? Would people just stop surrendering their pets because all of the shelters are full? Maybe.

Or maybe they would dump them somewhere, turning them out on the street. Is death by starvation or being run over by a car really a better alternative to humane euthanasia?

It’s tragic that as a community, we put down so many innocent animals. It’s also tragic that as a community, we are ok with pointing fingers at the shelter.

It is time to start focusing on WHY we have such an overpopulation of pets in our area. Holding pet owners accountable for spaying and neutering their pets would be a good place to start.

- Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

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