If Bam Bam looks familiar to you, it may be for good reason: He's a two-time winner (one first place, one second) of the Baltimore Humane Society's Best Dancer contest, held every year at DogFest. But if you think that's his only talent, you have another think coming.
"His personality is incredible," says owner Eileen Gretes. "He's so sweet and laid back." He's lucky to be here: Gretes and her husband, William, adopted Bam Bam from Petfinder. He'd landed in a high-kill Pennsylvania shelter at just 1 year old. Gretes says shelter employees found him outside their door in a crate, fur matted and full of fleas, with a note saying that his owners couldn't care for him anymore. The little Shih Tzu went to live at the Gretes' Fallston home, settling in immediately with their other two rescue dogs, another Shih Tzu named Mr. Mitt and a Labrador retriever named Haley.
"He's in my lap the minute I sit down," says Gretes. "If he can't jump directly in my lap and other people are on the sofa, he will jump on the opposite side of the sofa, jump onto the back of the sofa, walk across the back, and then jump into my lap."
Now 7 years old, he loves to dance and shower affection on his owners, and is very laid back. "He has a natural tendency to walk on his two back legs," says Gretes. She taught him to dance by waving treats over his head while he stood, and he eventually started moving to the music. He is, she says, "a dance expert."
To have your pet -- including hamsters, snakes, horses, guinea pigs and the like -- considered for Collared, email information to email@example.com.
--Kim Fernandez, for The Baltimore Sun (Steve Ruark, For The Baltimore Sun /August 17, 2014)
What can I do to prevent my dog from getting carsick? She is fine for a short trip, but after 20 minutes, she gets sick.
Motion sickness is one of the undertreated problems that we see in pets. This can make a road trip a nightmare for the pets and their companions. Before trying to fix the problem, it is important to figure out what's making them to throw up in the car. Two main reasons for this are fear of the car ride and true motion sickness. The first is especially common in younger pets or newly adopted pets that have not had a lot experience in cars.
Try to get the pet used to car rides in an incremental fashion. The first few days, put her in the car for a short while without doing anything else. Once she is comfortable with this step, start the car but stay parked (with the door open for ventilation). Next time, start the car and move it a little; then the next, drive her a few blocks and come back home, again increasing the distance at a slow pace. Reward her after each step when she is calm and relaxed. At any point, if you notice her getting anxious or carsick, go back to the previous step. It could take several days until she is relaxed enough to ride without any issues.
You can also help ease the sickness by not feeding her anything at least a couple of hours before the trip; not letting her run or jump while in the car; and letting in some fresh air. Some pets will need help from medications. Your veterinarian can discuss these options and the common side effects. Alternative choices like acupuncture and ginger have some limited success, but may be helpful when the side effects from the medications are intolerable.
This week's expert is Dr. Padma Yadlapalli, Freetown Animal Hospital in Columbia. To submit a question for a local animal expert, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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