Lots of people who surrender dogs to rescues or to new owners spend years wondering whether their former pups are happy and healthy. The former family of Shelby, a 13-year-old Shetland sheepdog need not worry: The puppy who wasn't a great match for her original family is enjoying a wonderful, long life.
Shelby was adopted at 8 weeks old by Sara Nittinger, who lives in Parkville, and Shelby hasn't quite outgrown her puppyhood despite her age.
"Shelby's favorite activity is fetch," says Nittinger. "She's dragged some hilariously huge sticks over with the intention of playing fetch." Her obsession with sticks almost got her into trouble once when an errant throw sent one into a fast-moving river. Shelby had to be rescued by her doting human. "We learned our lesson about playing in the river," says Nittinger.
Shelby loved agility training and exercise when she was younger and was a master of the teeter-totter and the tunnel. She loves scrambled eggs and enjoys them about once a week; her mom says this keeps her coat shiny and soft. And she's happy to share her mom with several other pets, including a Sheltie named Gracie and Jasmine the cat. But that's no surprise to Nittinger, who says she has enjoyed every minute of the pair's 13 years together.
"She loves everyone," she says of her beloved rescue dog. "And she's always the life of the party with her bubbly personality."
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 (Christopher T. Assaf, Baltimore Sun photo /July 21, 2014)
I learned the hard way that I should care for/brush my cat's teeth when my rescued cat needed to be sedated and have her teeth cleaned (which was very expensive) because the tartar was so bad. She is not a good patient. What should I do for her teeth and how often?
Answer: Dental disease is very common, with the majority of cats being affected by age 3. It causes significant discomfort, difficulty eating and ultimately results in the loss of teeth. Tooth brushing is considered the best method of home dental care and ideally is performed daily. Supplies to have on hand include toothpaste formulated for cats and a pet tooth brush - -these come in various designs. Remember that cats are very inquisitive creatures and enjoy exploring their environment at their own pace. The first step of acclimating your cat to tooth-brushing is getting your cat accustomed to you touching his or her face, lips, gums and teeth. Slowly begin introducing toothpaste, which comes in a variety of tempting flavors. Next, allow your cat to investigate the toothbrush with the paste applied to it. When your cat is comfortable with the supplies involved, begin by brushing along the gum line, focusing on the outer surfaces of the teeth. Keep the experience positive for your cat, and be sure to offer a reward!
As pet caregivers, we have the opportunity each day to positively affect our cats’ dental health, and the rewards are substantial in terms of your cat's overall well-being and health. There are numerous alternative methods of caring for your cat's teeth if your cat is resistant to tooth brushing. Your veterinary office can advise you on options such as diets designed to clean the teeth, oral hygiene chews, rinses or gels, and water additives. It is important that your veterinarian assesses your cat's teeth every six months to monitor for changes. Keep in mind that professional cleaning and treatment is an important and often necessary step that aids in the efforts you are making to keep your cat's smile beautiful!
This week’s expert is Katie John, veterinary technician at the Cat Hospital at Towson. Submit your questions to Sun.Unleashed@gmail.com.
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