Secrets of Long Lived Dogs/ Pets and Owners Memory/ Animal Charities Report Results

Intro: The World’s Oldest Dogs

Terriers can live a long time

Guinness World records thought they had found the world’s oldest dog when they discovered a chihuahua named TobyKeith living in Florida with his owner, Gisela Shore. The little dog was 21 years and 66 days old.

Gisela was thrilled to have her dog named the oldest dog in the world. She adopted him in 2001 when he was just a tiny puppy. He lives with Gisela and a seven -year old American bulldog, a three -year old Chinese Crested, and a 32 -year old parrot.

Chihuahuas normally live between 12 and 18 years, so TobyKeith had lived longer than his normal life span. Even though he has a heart condition, it doesn’t seem to affect his daily life. He wakes up at 6:30 every morning to go on his daily walk with Gisela.

Gisela was asked what factors she thought were reasons for TobyKeith’s long life. She said that regular exercise, a diet of vegetables, chicken and rice, good genetics, and most of all, a loving and caring home.

But wait a minute–What about Pebbles? Bobby and Julie Gregory contacted Guinness about their fox terrier, Pebbles, after reading about the 21+year old chihuahua, named TobyKeith.

It seems that Pebbles was born the 28th of March 2000. That makes the fox terrier, Pebbles, older, and therefore the real oldest dog in the world. Bobbie and Julie Gregory attribute Pebbles long life to the happy and positive environment they provide, and proper healthcare and good food, and treating her like family.

Pebbles enjoys basking in the sun and playing under a palm tree in the Gregory’s South Carolina garden, taking walks with Bobby and waking up in the afternoon after staying up all night.


Usually the smaller breeds live longer than the larger breeds so, if you want a pet that lives a long time, you might consider a little pooch.

Just to clarify the whole dog age thing, these are the facts: Tobykeith, a chihuahua, is 21 years old; Pebbles, a fox terrier, is 22 years old. Happy Birthday, guys, and many more!


Pets and Memory

Researchers are looking into the possibility that older adults who own pets may be protected against cognitive decline. According to a preliminary study, older adults who own a cat or dog for five years or longer show slower cognitive decline.

A spokesperson from the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor reports that prior studies have suggested that the human-animal bond may have health benefits like lower blood pressure and stress.

The study looked at cognitive data from 1,369 older adults, average age 65, with normal cognitive skills. A total of 53% owned pets, 32% were long-term pet owners–those who owned pets for more than 5 years. Of study participants, 88% were white, 7% were black, 2% were Hispanic, and 3% were of another ethnicity.

Researchers also used data from a large study of Medicare beneficiaries. Over 6 years, cognitive scores decreased at a slower rate in pet owners. The difference was strongest among long-term pet owners. On average, a cognitive composite score was higher for 6 year pet owners compared to non-pet owners.

Man with dog

This study is still in preliminary stages but if owning a pet can increase physical activity, it can also appear to benefit cognitive health.

Animal Charities Funds Report Good Results


A few months ago I wrote about the best animal charities that you might receive requests for donations to help animals. One of the problems is that the donor doesn’t always get a report back telling him what progress the charity is making.

I have been doing some searching and have found good news to report.

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is hands on organization. They have their headquarters and adoption center in Utah; their motto is Save Them All– and they are dedicated to stop the killing of cats and dogs in shelters all over the country. Their goal is that every shelter will be euthanasia free by 2025. When Best Friends first started in 1984, around 17 million pets were killed every year. This year the number is well under one million.

PETA-people for the ethical treatment of animals- has been working with universities and labs around the globe to stop experimentation on animals and use non-animal training methods. In June of this year, PETA announced a victory for animals in Pakistan.

“Live testing” on animals in veterinary hospitals and colleges and in individual industrial complexes is banned in Islamabad, Capital Territory and surrounding areas. PETA works with Vet schools and biomedical research firms in countries around the world by helping them get simulators and other non-animal training methods to replace animals in laboratories.

There was an announcement on Television last night(7-23) that PETA with the help of White Coat Waste Project had succeeded in closing several breeding places for the raising of Beagle pups for experimentation by the NIH(National Institutes of Health)–with hopes of stopping more breeding places in the near future. The rescued pups will be transferred to the Humane Societies for adoption.

Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue sanctuary rescues donkeys that have been seriously abused and starved. The sick animals are brought back to PVDR for rehabilitation and possible adoption.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund-through legal action, successfully stopped the State University of N.Y. College of Optometry from doing research and experimentation on kittens. They have several legal actions in courts. It takes forever to bring these to a court date.

Front Range Equine Rescue has been fighting Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for 25 years to stop the yearly roundup of wild horses. In ten western states federally protected wild horses still roam free, but the BLM still insists that there are too many horses for the amount of land available.

In the early 1900s close to 2 million wild horses lived in freedom in our western states. By the 1950s wild horse numbers were down to 25,000.

This year, BLM plans to remove 19,000 horses from taxpayer funded and legally protected public lands. Soon there will be no wild horse herds left in the wild. As it is now, at least 70% of herds are below genetic viability due to roundup policies.

This is a case of the BLM asking for appropriations and Congress granting the funds without questioning the need.


I was a little too busy the last month or two and didn’t get back. Hope to be back to business now. I’m always pleased to hear from my readers. Please send any comments, any subjects you are interested in, any problems you have with your pet.

Barbara Nelson

Keep your pet safe during the Holidays

Deck the halls with boughs of holly, Fa la la la,la la la la

‘Tis the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la,la la la la.”


It’s the first of December and everybody is thinking about the Holidays: What to buy for Dad, mom, big brother, Aunt Jean, etc. Who will we invite to our Christmas Eve party, What will Continue reading “Keep your pet safe during the Holidays”

Why do people abandon Pets?


One big reason there are hundreds of thousands of cats and dogs wandering the streets, vacant lots, rural areas, highways, etc., are the many owners who don’t properly care for their animals, or who think that their pets know how to take care of themselves.

Stray behind a wood fence

Family members grumble about how much time the cat or dog takes up during the day. The kid wanted a pet and now won’t take care of it. They are tired of putting up with the problem.

Female cats and dogs keep having litters and no one needs all these useless animals in the world. Puppies and kitties should know not to eat things that will poison them. No one has the money to waste on Vets. They want too much money for what they do.

The dog barks and digs holes in the back yard. The cat digs in the flower beds, and pees on a pile of newspapers in the back hall.

The boy wanted a pet, so he got a dog for his birthday. He promised he’d take care of him. Well, that lasted about a week. Can’t get the kid to feed the dog, take him for a walk, clean up the poop in the back yard. He was told that the dog would have to go if he didn’t take care of him.

In reality, a lot of people don’t realize the amount of time and money that goes into properly caring for an animal. They don’t know that a well cared for pet can be with the family for at least 10 or more years.

Parents must teach a child how to care for a pet. Children should not be expected to take full responsibility for a live creature.

Eventually, the subject of what to do with the cat or dog, comes to the surface. In conversation, the reference changes. A pet is a beloved creature who is part of the family, well-cared for, even spoiled. The “animal”, or “it”, is a problem or a nuisance.

The family seeks a way to rid themselves of an unwanted pet.

What Happens to Abandoned Animals?

Millions of dogs find themselves dumped on the streets each year. Literally thrown from a moving car or truck. If they are lucky, they aren’t hit by a passing car. Countless others are driven out into the country and left to live or die.

Female dogs, ready to have a litter, are left in a garbage dump. Sometimes, just the puppies are dumped. Many of these animals die a lonely, long, agonizing death. Some are rescued and taken to overcrowded shelters.

A lot of dog owners do not spay or neuter their pets. However, dumping female dogs will not slow down the large number of unwanted litters each year. Even abandoned animals will reproduce at least once a year.

It’s instinct. It’s nature’s way of replacing dogs that died. Dogs operate on instinct. They do not have a human’s ability to reason.

Nothing good happens to an abandoned animal. Abandoning an animal, a family pet, is about the same as killing it. They cannot find their way home or hunt adequately to feed themselves.

unwanted dog sleeps on street

They end up as street animals–with people and kids throwing things at them and yelling at them– or in a shelter along with too many other unfortunate creatures.

And that is just in the U.S. In many countries, abandoned dogs die in the cruelest ways–Electrocution, gassed, incineration, or poisoned. Any way to get rid of them.

Cats fare little better. They end up in garbage areas, abandoned buildings, overgrown areas, anywhere they can hide. Newborn kittens are very fragile. If they are left unattended for very long, they will die.

Mother cats are desperate to hide their newborn and are most protective. Even if an attempt is made to rescue them, the mother cat is a fierce opponent.

Why are Animals Abandoned?

There is no real honest reason to ever abandon a pet. Cats, dogs and even horses that have been dependent upon their owners for food, water, shelter, healthcare and affection should never be left without any way of survival.

Nevertheless, there are a number of situations when humans feel that they have no choice but to get rid of the four legged family members.

1.Illness: Some animals have, or develop, serious health issues and need special care. Some owners cannot handle the extra expense and do not have the time to care for them.

2.Behavior: Some animals exhibit destructive behavior, and owners are unable to curb that behavior.

3.Money: A pet is expensive to keep. There are Vet bills and the continuing cost of food and other incidentals.

4.Moving: The family is relocating and do not want the added problems of moving with the pet.

5.Age: Older dogs are more likely to be abandoned.

6.Boredom: Children often consider a pet a toy. When the child gets bored, the parents may consider abandoning the pet.

7.Illness or death of owner: The family doesn’t know what to do with the pet. They have many things to attend to with the loss of a loved one, and they just decide to abandon it.

8.New baby in the family: When the baby comes–the pet has to go.

9.Vacation time: Instead of finding a place or person to leave the pet for a week or two- they simply abandon it.

10.Unwanted litters: Owners don’t spay their female pets and when the litters come, they abandon both mother and babies.

11.No longer profitable: People who breed, race or fight animals, discard the older animals when they are no longer worth feeding and caring for.

Things to consider before adopting a Pet

A pet is a serious responsibility. It’s not a decision to take lightly. A pet depends upon its owner for love, shelter, food and health care. Pets give their owners unconditional love. They do not deserve to be abandoned for any reason.

There are a number of questions that people should consider before adopting a pet.

1st–take plenty of time to think about it.

2nd- Ask yourself why do you want a pet?

3rd-Have you consulted your spouse or significant other?

4th-Do you have the finances to care for a pet?

5th-Are you willing to find a Veterinarian for your pet’s health needs?

Animals need periodic checkups just like people do.

6th-Are you willing to take your pet to training classes-especially if you ‘re looking to adopt a dog or a horse.

7th-Do you accept the fact that your cat, dog, horse, need adequate shelter?

8th- Are you willing to commit to the years your pet may live?

A cat can live up to 20 years. A dog will live up to 16 years, depending upon the breed and size. A horse can live 25 years depending upon breed and level of care.

9th-If you find that it is absolutely impossible to keep your pet, because of finances, or illness or a move across country, are you willing to do everything possible to find your pet a new home, or at least leave it with the Humane Society, or a local reputable shelter?

What if the pet owner can no longer keep the pet?

Remember, a pet is a family member. Pet owners have an obligation to a living being. It is not a houseplant. Throwing it in the garbage is not an option.

First, check with family members and friends. One of them may be willing to take the animal and care for it.

Next, check with shelters that work especially with cats or dogs to place them in new homes. If there are local bulletin boards or weekly flyers, place notices on them or in them.

Check with local Vets. Most of them will put up a notice, or may actually know of someone who is looking for a cat or a dog. Some vets will take your pet and care for it themselves or until they can find a home for it. Check with the local Humane Society or Rescue Shelters. They try to find new homes for pets.

For those who live in rural areas, it may be harder to find helpful resources, but check with hardware stores, farm supply stores and Veterinarians for assistance.

Put a notice in the local newspaper(s) and on local radio stations.


To some people, all of this may seem like a lot of fuss over a cat or a dog. However, most people love their pets and believe that they deserve the best care. Animals perform a service to people. And they do it for a pat on the head, a good meal and a nice place to sleep.

Some dogs are taught to be service dogs and perform a valuable service to blind and handicapped folks. People who suffer from depression and other psychological distress rely upon their pets to give them a reason to live from day to day.

Dogs are trained to perform missions in war. They work with police and fire fighters to save people’s lives. Dogs and cats are wonderful visitors in hospitals and nursing homes. They bring much happiness to the sick and confined.

There is never a valid reason to abandon a pet to danger, fear, hunger, and a slow, painful death. People may tell themselves that someone will find them and take care of them, they’ll be all right. It very seldom works out that way.

Barbara Nelson-I did a computer search in my area and found several Rescue groups. Try a search in your area to find local animal rescue groups. All of them can use volunteers and donations.

Comments are always welcome-Tell me what you liked or didn’t like. I’ll answer.

My thanks to: ANIMALS:–A blog on  tips, care & everything related to the world of animals.


Pros and Cons of adopting a Pet


Most all of us, at one time or another, have enjoyed the ownership of a pet. We may have grown up in a household where pets were just a regular part of everyday living.

The family had a big dog, because dad liked big dogs. Big dogs scared away trespassers and kept things safe. Sometimes, when we were little, a big dog scared us, and we couldn’t play with him because he might hurt us. Continue reading “Pros and Cons of adopting a Pet”

How to train dogs and cats to get along

How many families own both a cat and a dog?

Americans appear to be pet loving creatures. According to a recent Harris Poll, 62% of households own at least one pet. Of those households, 69% owned a dog and 51 % owned a cat. Yahoo reported that generally 2 out of 5 households owned both a cat and a dog. Continue reading “How to train dogs and cats to get along”

Dog and Cat Years Compared to Human Years

Pet Care Trends

How old is your cat or dog, really?

When people start talking about their pets, the topic usually gets around to deciding how old your pet is based upon your age.  Inevitably someone will come up with the age old answer,”Well they say that a dog ages about 7 years for every one of people years.” Then everybody begins to calculate how old “Fido” is  by multiplying his real years by seven. Read more: Continue reading “Dog and Cat Years Compared to Human Years”

Pet Care Trends

What happens to a pet when the owner can no longer care for him?

Colorado Springs, Colorado has one answer

Pets are wonderful companions to elderly people who no longer have family close by.  Their love is unconditional-They don’t care how old their owner is; their love is freely given

Pet Care Trends–News for and about pets Continue reading “Pet Care Trends”

Relief for Pets with Arthritis

Cats and Dogs and Arthritis

If you suffer from arthritis, and most of us dodo, who have reached the grand old age of 45 and up,  find it hard to believe that our beloved pets either have or will have some form of arthritis.

Case in point: I have two cats, both around 14 or 15. Both are females, both are spayed and so have never had a litter of kittens. Both have lived indoors in the very lap (mine) of luxury. One of them is crippled with arthritis in the spine and hind legs; the other one has a touch of arthritis in a front leg. Continue reading “Relief for Pets with Arthritis”

Keep your pets safe during the Holidays

The holidays are here again.


In the frenzy of decorating the house, baking cookies, shopping for presents, and all the other activities that keep us in a whirl, we often forget about our four-legged family members. They don’t understand what all the fuss is about.

Kitten under tree

People are bringing in things they have never seen before. You’ve heard the saying,”Curiosity killed the cat.” Cats are by nature curious and anything new must be cat inspected.

There are colored lights and artificial garlands strung around. Continue reading “Keep your pets safe during the Holidays”

Planning a Road Trip with the Dog


When the weather begins to moderate, we begin to day dream about vacation time. The days grow longer; daylight stays until almost 8 o’clock in the lower United States and we have “cabin fever.”What is “cabin fever” you ask? It’s not a real, physical illness, it’s a longing to get out of the house and plant flowers, take a long walk in the sun, build something, go fishing, etc. Most of us are disgusted with Winter. It’s so cold outside, the days are short, and our tempers get “short” too.

Family members begin to talk about where to go this summer. The kids want to go to a Theme Park; Dad wants to take a prolonged road trip,with a couple of fishing side trips along the way. Mom wants to go somewhere that doesn’t require her to do anything domestic. She wants to be pampered, she doesn’t want to cook, wash or iron clothes.

Then the kids ask, “Can we take Tops with us, please, can we?” Tops is their new dog. He is part Golden Retriever and no one knows exactly what else. He is a sweet dog, but how will he travel? Mom puts the kids off with a half-hearted, “We’ll talk about it later.” The last thing Mom wants to do is to plan a road trip with the dog.

Train Your Dog for the Trip

The begging, the tears and the shouts of joy are all over and it’s been decided that Tops will go on vacation with the family. Does Tops know about riding in a car? Someone in the family must take charge of his training.

1.Take Tops in to see the veterinarian. Tell the vet you’re going to be on vacation and you want to be sure Tops is healthy. Make sure he has a current rabies shot and any other shots he may need. Get a copy of Top’s medical record to take with you.

2. Make sure Tops is okay with riding in the car. Do some short practice road trips. Make sure none of these trips are to the vet. You want Tops to understand that riding in the car is fun and he may go anywhere with you. Take him places that are strange to him and where people that he does not know are shopping or visiting. Make sure he knows how to act in these instances.You will be his guide.

3.Tops is a large dog so you won’t have a carrier or a crate for him, but don’t let him roam loose in the car. All dogs should ride in the backseat. Keep a leash on him at all times. When you stop at a rest area, you don’t want Tops to bolt out of the car.

4. Stop about every two hours. Dogs need rest stops too.

5. Take dog treats and chew toys. Bring Tops’ favorite food, his favorite blanket or bed and his water bowl. Also bring his comb and brush. He will be getting out of the car into  some places that have weeds and high grasses and you will want to keep his coat clean.

Decide on places to see, Where to Sleep

You have the dates you are going to be gone, you have the dog trained, now where are you going? You have made arrangements to visit a theme park for the kids and the rest of the trip will be sight seeing with overnight stops at motels. Find out from the Theme park their rules concerning pets. Some will allow dogs on leashes while others have kennels for visitors to house their pets while seeing the sights.

Check with Motels about rules for pets. Some allow pets with no extra arrangements, others charge an additional fee for a  pet to stay in the room. A few motel chains do not allow pets in the room. Do not sneak your pet into the Motel, go on down the road to another facility. You can save yourself some hassles, it you decide how far you are going each travel day and make motel reservations ahead of time.

Traveling with a small Dog has a few different  considerations

Before we round out our story , we need to take a look at our friends with small dogs. If you are traveling by car, all small dogs should be confined in a crate or a small carrier. Put them on a leash so that when you stop for a rest, your little dog can’t get away. They should at all times be in the back seat,  All other considerations would be the same as for large dogs. Small dogs are more likely to be acceptable at most Motels.

Some rules are made to be broken, however. My mother had small dogs and the current family pet always rode in mother’s lap in the front seat of the car at all times. In their retired years, my mother and father drove all over the Southwestern United  States. Dad bought a GM pickup truck and a small travel trailer and  outfitted it with everything necessary for camping.  The little dog, sometimes two little dogs, were always with them.

Alternative Travel Vacations

Some people like to “rough it” and spend all their vacation time in the great out of doors. It’s called Camping. With the right gear, camping can be almost as easy as being in your own kitchen. However, everybody in the family should be in agreement about a camping vacation. If even one person is not happy about the choice then the whole vacation will be less than ideal.

But if everybody is “gung ho” about a camping trip, consider National Parks, and National Forests for your destination. All campgrounds have information on rules and regulations for campers, and if pets  are allowed.

 You would be wise to check early on campgrounds in popular areas. During summer months campgrounds in some areas are completely filled.

A good time was had by all

Our pets become part of the family. With a little training, your dog can be delightful company, especially for your kids during a long trip. Also consider that your dog can be a watchdog for your belongings. Most dogs bark when strangers approach, and that can be a good safety measure. Take the dog. You’ll all have a great time.