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January 16, 2009

Protect your pets from winter’s chill

Let’s make sure we protect our companion animals from harsh weather conditions. Just because your dog has a doghouse doesn’t mean it is safe from the freezing temperatures.

People have the ability to find shelter if they want it. Animals that are confined to a yard or, worse yet, kept on a chain or in a cage, have no options but to suffer terribly. Please show compassion and bring your pet inside the house when it dips below 32 degrees. If your garage is not heated, then this won’t be much relief.

A wooden pallet will get your pet off the cold, concrete floor, and a heated, electric dog bed can be purchased at a pet supply store or ordered online. Extra food and water that is not frozen are essential.

In the summer, it is critical to provide a cool, preferably air-conditioned, area for pets when it gets above 90 degrees. A concrete garage floor and an electric fan can provide some relief, but your pet will still need lots of cold, fresh water.

Bring ’em in. When it’s too hot or cold for you, it’s too hot or cold for your pets.

Dawn Sparks
Kansas City



My youngest son and his fiance have a female that plays beautifully in the dog park with other dogs. The one we had we we got married eons ago was the same way.

The dogs became status symbols and I hate it when I see some kid with a pit pup that I know six months later will not have had a proper upbringing. My son has been the "foster father" with a Pit rescue organization for some of these castoffs. It was German Sheperds and Dobermans when I was a kid, Rotts after the Omen(w/Peck).

APBT are great dogs, but 90% of the folks who own one should not. As I said here before, a dog has to be a family member, and just like kids, must be raised right.

i had to get Handsome Bob neutered this year after hiding his jewels from animal control since the ordinance 2 years ago. He is 10 yrs old, so it will probably add a few years to his life, but I never bred him because I had concerns where the pups would end up.

Trivia.....for years Cocker Spaniels were the number one offenders in dogbites. Had something to do with Checkers and their popularity after the Nixon speech.


I know APBTs aren't bred to be human-agressive, but my question is, why would a dog-aggressive dog be so popular with people who don't match them? We go to the dog park a lot, and it's so wonderful to see all sorts of dogs romping, sniffing and getting muddy together. How well do pit bulls do in situations like that? I haven't seen one at our dog park (Heritage Park), but I wonder how I'd feel if one of our border collie mixes approached a pit bull. We encountered a couple walking a pit bull on a forest preserve trail in Illinois, and the damned thing would have ripped us to shreds if his owners hadn't been able to get him under control. It was pretty scary for me, but the whole time he was menacing us, my two sat quietly on either side of me with confused looks on their faces, like they thought that dog was crazy.

Good responsible dog people swear they're great with other dogs, but if they're bred to fight other dogs...can they really be right?


I have seen a show on what happened to many of his dogs. Most had happy endings. APBTs, even the ones that have been fought, are rarely aggressive towards people. They were bred for sport in England and Ireland to be "game", but as the rules of dogfighting calls for a ref and two handlers to be in the pit during the fight, focus was what was bred into them. you would not breed a "manbiter", as that goes against the entire idea. i have about $2500 worth of rare books on the subject, and the breeding parallels what went into Labs, Retrievers and Pointers.

BTW, I've never matched a dog.


A Chore Boy is one of those balled-up copper mesh pot-scrubbie things you find in the cleaning section at Price Chopper. And for once, I agree with NMMNG. A Chore Boy facial on Michael Vick sounds like a good idea, though I'll bet he's pretty miserable now as it is.

Have you seen the documentary, "Vick's Dogs"? I haven't had the stomach to watch it, can't even watch Lassie movies anymore. I hear it's a real tearjerker with some happy endings.


As a APBT owner for decades I agree with you on dogfighters.

What is a Chore-Boy though?


Animals are loyal and SOl is so right, treat them like they are your family because they are. The Michael Vicks of the world should have their skin scrapped off with Chore-Boy and pour vinegar on them for being abusive and exploiting animals.
We repeatedly have to get on nieghborhood kids for teasing our dog when out in the FENCED backyard doing it's business. Why do parents not teach their chidlren to not tease animals.

T. Hanson

My two labs are spoiled and stay inside... but I have to say that wooden pallet idea is a good one. I hope those that put their pets outside take note.


I look at our dogs and think of how much they rely on our care and it breaks my heart to know that so many suffer because of human carelessness and thoughtlessness. I watch them like a mother hen for signs of anything amiss. I'm so sorry about your dog, Solomon. I know how that must have gutted you.

Now I have to go treat a suspected ear infection in Jimmy, our border collie mix. The vet's booked, but she gave me step by step instructions. This involves a turkey baster...


Good letter. I had a dog freeze to death in the 70s while overseas. I had left him in the care of a "responsible" relative,(whom I still haven't spoken to in over 30 years)

Treat your animals like family, because in truth, they are.

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