Tags Posts tagged with "Dogs"


Pixabay photo

By Daniel Dunaief

Daniel Dunaief

Rufus is not sure what to do. He’s never there first. He circles the yard carefully, looking back at the fence. Bob sits in his usual seat at the picnic table, talking on his phone.

He doesn’t want to run before the others arrive. He sits under a tree, closes his eyes and allows the smells to fill his ample nostrils.

“Hi,” chirps Peanut, jumping up to reach his face. “Hi, hi, hi, hi!”

“Back up,” Rufus barks, “you’re too close.”

“Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry,” she says. Peanut repeats herself in that high tone that annoys Rufus. “Even though I can’t see red or green, I know that holiday sweater is hideous,” Rufus said.

Fifi lowers her head.

“On the plus side,” he adds, “your fur looks great.”

Fifi prances in approval. She likes it when others notice that she’s been to the groomer.

Rufus glances at Andrea, Fifi’s human. He likes the way she scratches his ears and looks directly in his eyes.

Finally, the rest of the crew races over, tongues hanging out, fur flying off Oscar as he skids to a stop.

After the customary butt smelling, Oscar, the golden retriever, speaks.

“You had Uncle Doug’s sweet potato?” he asks Cole, an apricot poodle. “Does that taste as good as it smells?”

Cole barks his agreement, although he eats it so quickly he barely tastes anything. “And you had asparagus,” Cole says to Rufus.

Rufus sticks out his tongue. He doesn’t get his usual treat from Bob during Thanksgiving unless he has a few pieces of asparagus, which he hates.

“Stories?” King demands.

A French Mastiff, King regularly reminds the group he has the shortest life expectancy so he can’t waste time on food chatter.

“Bob’s got a new girlfriend,” Rufus starts. “She reminded him to walk me earlier than usual. She makes him shut the bedroom door, but she makes up for it by giving me more leftovers.”

“Nice,” barks Roxie. “Glad someone had a good holiday.”

“What? What? What?” barked Peanut.

A basset hound, Roxie hates her name and her short legs. Her ears also annoy her because they fall in her water when she drinks

“My family had a huge gathering,” Roxie barks. “These new kids thought they could teach me to fetch. I don’t fetch. Do they think I’m a golden retriever?”

“Hey!” Oscar barks.

“No offense,” Roxie adds. “What about you?”

“Aunt Linda spent the entire dinner saying she shouldn’t eat garlic. She didn’t listen to herself and was in the bathroom for an hour, groaning and cursing. How about you, Cole?”

Cole is among the tallest dogs at the run, particularly after he went to the stylist. Cole wanders over to the water bowl, with the rest of the group following closely.

“Cole?” Fifi asks. It is one of the rare times she doesn’t repeat herself.

“We watched movies in the dark,” Cole shrugs.

“There’s more,” says Rufus. “What’s going on?”

“Audrey looked out the window and wiped her eyes all weekend,” Roxie says. “She kept whispering how much she missed her brother.”

“What happened?” Oscar asks.

“I don’t think she’s going to see him again,” Cole says. “When I leaned into her legs, she ran her wet hand over my face. Other than a few walks, she spent most of her time on the couch. She barely ate, so I didn’t eat much, either.”

“Sad, sad, said,” barks Fifi.

Rufus agrees.

“You did what you should have done,” King says, the folds under his lips turning down. “You’re going to help her and we’re going to need to help you.”

“Help? How?” Oscar asks. Whenever Oscar became anxious, he circled the water dishes at the run. He knocks one over.

“My bad,” he says.

“Cole drinks first,” King says. “And we let Cole go to Andrea before the rest of us. We all know she’s the favorite human.”

Fifi nods, indicating she would share.

“How about you, King?” Rufus asks.

“It was great,” King says. “My family welcomed a new baby. At first, they kept me away, but they slowly let me see him. We’re going to be friends.”

“How do you know?” asks Cole.

“He touched his hand to my nose. It was soft and wonderful. He made me feel so young,” King adds.

Pixabay photo

By Daniel Dunaief

Daniel Dunaief

What if my dog had opposable thumbs, understood technology, had his own phone and could, and wanted to, take pictures of me?

Yes, I know that’s a lot of “ifs,” but, given how often I take pictures of him in different lighting, rolling on his back in the grass, lifting his ears when I call for him and wagging excitedly to go in the car, I can’t help imagining the kinds of pictures he might take of me.

— Picking up poop. This one would probably be one of his favorites. Having an OCD owner, he might enjoy opening his phone and showing his pet pals how I turn my head as I reach for his solid waste. He might ask them to notice my shallow breathing and my pursed lips. He might also suggest they observe the way I pull my head back as far as my short arms allow from his poop while I try to get as much of it as possible into a bag.

— The frenetic play face. Sometimes, my excitement gets the best of me. My dog might show his friends how I purse my lips, raise my eyebrows and pull my cheeks back in an expression that looks like excitement bordering on mania. We were once sitting with another family in an already awkward social situation. When their dog came out, I instinctively made that face, causing the conversation to stop and adding to my list of awkward moments, courtesy of dad.

— The tug-of-war face. From his vantage point, I’m sure he sees me gritting my teeth as if I’m tugging with my mouth. He might point out to his pet pals, if he had a photo, that I bend my knees and make a low, growling noise to match his sounds.

— The bad doggy face. Sometimes, dogs struggle to distinguish between their toys and, say, a Derek Jeter signed baseball that either was too close to the edge of a desk or that fell on the floor. He might take out a picture that shows me pointing, stomping my feet, and shouting words that often include “no” or “don’t do that” or “bad doggy.”

— The don’t hump my leg face. The arrival of company sometimes gets the whole house excited. My dog might show his friends how his owners shake their heads, roll their eyes, frown, point and shout some combinations of the words “no” and “down” and “he doesn’t normally do this.”

— The down on all fours moment. I can imagine dogs chatting about how adorable — or maybe ridiculous — it is when their owners get down on their hands and knees to play. They might show their friends how we smile and tilt our heads as they approach. Then, of course, they might laugh as they observe how slowly we move in this position. They can cross the backyard on all fours in seconds, while we don’t stay down for long.

— The my-human-needs-a-friend face. Dogs can sense, either from the sounds we make or our body posture, when we are feeling down. My dog reacts to my tone. He jumps up, wags and throws his head into my knees when he hears me telling a story filled with conflict or when I raise my voice after hanging up after a frustrating call. In a picture, he might show me sitting at my desk, shoulders slumped, with my head down and my eyes nearly closed. In that picture, he might brag to his fellow dogs about his value as a companion.

— The my-human’s-team-just-won face: Pets probably find sports somewhere between amusing and unnerving. Humans shout at the TV, jump up and down, and scream “no” and “yes” in rapid succession. When it’s all over, if our team wins, we might reach down and pet them with so much energy and enthusiasm that we jump up and down, holding their paws as we dance and shout with them.

Popular pet showcase features entertainment, education & shopping

The Long Island Pet Expo returns to Suffolk County Community College’s Suffolk Federal Credit Union Arena, 1001 Crooked Hill Road in Brentwood on March 4 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and March 5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with fur flying entertainment, dog sporting competitions and educational programs designed for the whole family. The event will also feature many special attractions, pet adoptions and outstanding shopping for pet lovers and their pets and is expected to draw over 10,000 attendees over the weekend.

“The Long Island area is passionate about animals and pets of all kinds,” said show co-producer Karen Garetano of Family Pet Shows, which runs several similar events in the northeast.

The 100+ special exhibits always feature some of the hottest new products coming out often before they hit the retail shelves. Pets on leashes are always welcome, and several area rescue groups with adoptable pets will be on hand. Popular performers and presenters include Gail Mirabella and the Dynamo Dogs, Diana Frohman and her Beautiful Dancing Dogs, Schutzund Demonstration by Maximum KP Service, the Dog Lovers Days Lure Course, Rainforest Reptiles, TICA Championship Cat Shows, Rabbit Hopping, the Long Island Dog Derby and more.

About This Year’s Featured Performers/Presenters:

New for 2023: Gail Mirabella and The Dynamo Dogs Variety Act! You can teach your old dog new tricks – these veteran- performing dogs will knock the spectator’s socks off with their Trick Dog Show Routine, Frisbee Dog Acrobatics and dynamite performances. Gail and her canine friends will wow the crowd as they do all over the country.

Also New for 2023: The Long Island Dog Derby! Come down and enter your dog in the first ever Dog derby. Dogs of any breed, 25 pounds and under will race head to head to see who is the fastest on Long Island. Races will be held at 1 pm on both Saturday and Sunday. Prizes will be awarded to the top three dogs on each day. There will be an entry fee per dog. Check the website for additional information or email [email protected]

Diana Frohman & Her Dancing Dogs: Diana Frohman and her beautiful golden retrievers will be dancing the weekend away with several performances on both days. “Dancing With Your Dogs” is one of the most popular returning features of the event. It’s a wonderful display of communication and relationship between dog and handler set to music. https://freestyledancingpro.com

Schutzhund Demonstration by Maximum K9 Service: Maximum K9 Service will be doing a Schutzhund demonstration which will include obedience, dumbbell retrieval, tracking, protection work and a detection demonstration. www.maximumk9service.com

Dog Lovers Days Lure Course: This popular event is back! Dogs will have a blast running through the lure course and testing out their agility while letting out some energy! Dogs love to zip through this course and it’s a blast to watch! www.dogloversdayslurecourse.com

Rainforest Reptile Show: an exciting, fascinating adventure through the rare and endangered reptile world! Many exotic reptiles will be at the show for kids and adults alike to learn about. www.rainforestreptileshows.com

Rabbit Hopping: Rabbit Hopping, it’s not the bunny hop you’re thinking of – but talented rabbits who love to jump! Allikatt’s Bunnies will present an agility demo of rabbits hopping all weekend – and there will be demonstrations and there is even a seminar so you can learn how to get involved in this sport with your own hare. www.rabbithopping.com

TICA Championship Cat Shows: for cat lovers who have never been to a cat show, this is a purrific way to see a wide variety of cat breeds up close. www.TICA.ORG

LI Dog Derby: Enter your dog in the Dog Derby. Dogs of any breed, 25 pounds or under will race head to head to see who is fht fastest on Long Island. There is an entry fee. additional information on the website

“We always have fun at these events, but we also are strong supporters of responsible pet ownership and humane values when it comes to all issues involving animals and pets,” said Garetano. “We partner with several community organizations, shelters, veterinarians and other animal lovers educate and inform when it comes to best practices for training, feeding and all aspects of pet care.”

Community and rescue organizations participating in the show include Almost Home Animal Rescue, Chippy’s Angels, Pawsitive Paws Rescue, Bark Animal Rescue, the LI Parrot Society and more to be announced before the event.

Adult admission at the door is $15, children ages 3-11 are $6, and those under three years old are always free. For additional information, call 631-423-0620 or visit www.familypetshows.com.


Please note: Free parking and attendees are welcome to bring their well-behaved pets to the expo. There are some regulations and restrictions. Visit  www.familypetshows.com for more information.



Photo from Unsplash

By Matthew Kearns, DVM

Dr. Matthew Kearns

As Halloween approaches, we usually worry about chocolate toxicity, but let’s not forget about grape and raisin toxicity. Grapes and their dehydrated form, raisins, have been implicated in kidney damage (sometimes severe irreversible damage). There is also still debate as to how many grapes or raisins are toxic to pets. Let’s take a closer look at grape and raisin toxicity to see if we can shed some light on what we do know about this nebulous topic.   

Unfortunately, the exact toxic substance to dogs in grapes and raisins is still not completely known and neither the color of the grape, nor seeded versus seedless makes a difference. However, although this has not been completely verified, there has been somewhat of a breakthrough recently. 

A compound in grapes called tartaric acid has been speculated as the toxic culprit. Previously, experts felt that high concentration of a type of sugar component called monosaccharides was to blame, whereas others blamed a compound called tannins. Additional theories do not implicate anything in the grape itself, but rather the growth of certain fungi on the grape and toxins produced called aflatoxins, or pesticides sprayed on grapes.  

The toxic dose or quantity of grapes and raisins is also up for debate. There does seem to be a genetic component associated with which individual dogs are more sensitive grapes or raisins. An article published in 2009 reviewed the charts of almost 200 dogs over a 13-year period. The study found some dogs ate over two pounds of raisins without developing any signs of poisoning, whereas others developed irreversible kidney failure with as little as three grams of grapes or raisins. 

Just to give you some perspective as to what three grams is: your average grape weighs 5 grams, and a raisin weighs about 0.5 grams. As little as one grape or six raisins could be toxic to your dog. However, some dogs will not get sick, or require large amounts of grapes/raisins before any damage is done. A good rule of thumb is 1 grape/raisin per 10 pounds should be a concern.

There is no antidote once the patient starts showing symptoms so this is truly an example of, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Symptoms of toxicity include lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, and increase in thirst/urination. These patients were less likely to make a full recovery. Some were euthanized before discharge. The patients that did better in the same 2009 study were those in which the owners witnessed the ingestion and brought to a veterinary clinic immediately where veterinarians were able to induce emesis (force vomiting) and give activated charcoal ASAP. 

In conclusion, although veterinarians are closer to determining the toxic component (tartaric acid), we are not sure why some dogs are more sensitive than others and what is a toxic dose. Therefore, keep grapes and raisins away from your dog when possible and, if you witness your dog eating grapes or raisins, bring him or her immediately to your veterinarian’s office or an emergency clinic for treatment.  

Dr. Kearns practices veterinary medicine from his Port Jefferson office and is pictured with his son Matthew and his dog Jasmine.

Sergeant William Madden and Officer Paul Altmann were honored by SCSPCA Chief Roy Gross in front of the 6th precinct Dec. 4. Photo by Julianne Mosher

It was a ruff rescue last month when Piper the Yorkshire terrier fell down a storm drain outside his home in Coram.

A Suffolk County emergency police officer rescues a 4-month-old Yorkie Piper from a storm drain around 11:45 a.m. in front of 87 Argyle Avenue in Coram on Nov. 7. The owner of the dog Freddy Wnoa, said his wife and his two daughters were inside the home when the dog ran out of their front door and fell into the storm drain in front of their house. The dog was not injured, but the police suggested to the family that Piper needed a bath.
James Carbone/Newsday

Four officers from the Suffolk County Police Department Sixth Precinct responded to a call on Nov. 7 and began the task of climbing into the drain to save him.

“Officers safely extracted the frightened puppy and reunited it with his family,” Roy Gross, chief of Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said. Piper was, luckily, uninjured.

On Friday, Dec. 4, Gross presented certificates to Sergeant William Madden and Officer Paul Altmann outside the Selden precinct. Emergency Service Section Officer Carmine Pellegrino and Sixth Precinct Police Officer Lynn Volpe, who were not in attendance, will also be receiving certificates.

“In the 37 years that I’ve been with the Suffolk County SPCA, it’s such a great partnership because when they need us, we also need them,” Gross said. “It goes both ways, and we really appreciate the comradery we have with them.”


By Daniel Dunaief

Daniel Dunaief

My dog is delightfully imperfect. In fact, as I type this at my home computer, he is staring at me, hoping that I have succumbed to the snack urge and I will either intentionally toss a few morsels his way or that gravity will help him out, causing a carrot to slip off my desk.

Yes, he eats carrots, which isn’t terribly surprising because he also eats cat poop whenever he can get to it. I’m not sure he has taste buds or that he pays attention to them.

I love my imperfect dog and would like to share some of his quirks.

For starters, walking in a straight line is clearly against his religion. As soon as he’s on one part of a sidewalk, he needs to cross in front of me to the other side. He is a canine windshield wiper, swishing back and forth in case there is a scent, a scurrying insect, or a frog hopping nearby that he needs to see or smell.

When he’s not sitting during our walks, because he seems to have the words “walk” and “sit” confused, he turns around every few seconds to see what’s behind us. If he is a reincarnated person, he must have been in the rear guard of a military unit, making sure no one was following him.

When we turn around to go back in the direction he was staring, he then stops to look over his shoulder in the direction we had been walking.

It’s not about what’s out there, but what’s back there that concerns him.

His breath is an absolute mystery. He consumes a bowl of chicken and rice formula twice a day. And yet, somehow, his breath smells like fish. You know how they say you can hear the ocean in a conch shell? Well, you can smell the ocean, and not the good, salty crisp air parts, but the rotting-seaweed-and-dead-crabs-on-an-airless, overheated-beach parts, on my dog’s breath.

Then, there are the neighbors. They are so appealing to my dog that he pulls to go see them whenever they are outside. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that they drop a treat in front of him each time he appears.

Yes, I know I could train him, but I could also go running more often, go to bed earlier, read better books and make better choices for myself, so I haven’t trained either of us particularly well.

You know that delightful foot thing dogs do when you pet them behind the ear, on their stomach or on their chests? It’s the one where they shake their leg as you scratch them. Well, he does that once a month, as if he wants to confirm that he actually is a dog, but that he’s a conscientious objector to flailing his feet in the air regularly.

He treats the doorbell as if it were the starting gun at a race. He jumps up from the floor, ready to greet refrigerator repair people or HVAC workers as if they had come to see him, refusing to let them pass without an ear rub.

Food is the ultimate motivator. He may not particularly want to lie down at my feet and have me pet him while shaking his paws, but he does go back and forth with me to the grill. He always seems to be on the wrong side of our patio door. If he’s outside, he barks to come in. As soon as he’s inside, he barks to go out.

Maybe he’s not actually a dog, but a metaphor.

Dogs die in hot cars! Stock photo

Dogs and cats can suffer from the same problems that humans do in hot weather. These health concerns include overheating, dehydration and even sunburn. By taking some simple precautions, you can keep your companions healthy and happy in higher temperatures.

▶ Never leave your animal alone in a vehicle. Even with the windows open, a parked automobile can quickly become a furnace.

▶ Limit exercise. Your pet may slow down when the weather heats up, so the best time for exercise is in the early morning or evening, but never when it’s especially hot or humid. 

▶ Take care not to let your dog stand on hot asphalt, his body can heat up quickly and his sensitive paw pads can easily burn.

▶ Never trim your pet’s coat to the skin, which can rob your dog of his protection from the sun. 

▶ Always provide plenty of shade and cool, clean water for animals when outdoors.

▶ Bring your cat or dog inside during the hottest part of the day.

▶ Make sure your pet always wears a collar and identification tag.

▶ In Suffolk County tethering a dog outside in temperatures over 90° is against the law.

If you see a dog in a hot car, record the information about the vehicle (make, model, color, license plate number), alert the management of the business and call 911 or the Suffolk County SPCA at 631-382-7722.

Photo from Metro

By Matthew Kearns, DVM

Concerns about a human coronavirus, better known as COVID 19, is raising fears for a global outbreak. The good news is that although COVID 19 may have its origins in a coronavirus found in bats, THERE IS NO EVIDENCE AT THIS TIME that the known canine and feline coronaviruses can spread from animals to humans. The risk of spread of COVID 19 is human to human at this time.

Coronavirus in dogs typically causes enteritis, or inflammation of the bowel. Most of the cases cause a mild, self-limiting diarrhea that lasts for a few days and does not even require a trip to the veterinarian’s office. Less commonly, more severe diarrhea, loss of appetite, or vomiting occur. 

More recently, a canine coronavirus respiratory virus has been isolated in association with other respiratory viruses into a disease termed Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC). Again, the symptoms are usually mild and self-limiting rarely causing death.

Coronavirus in cats is much more serious. Most coronavirus in cats also cause self-limiting gastrointestinal symptoms similar to dogs. However, there is a particular strain of feline coronavirus that leads to a disease process called Feline Infectious Peritonitis, or FIP for short. 

This FIP strain of the coronavirus appears to be a mutation of one of the more benign strains of the enteric (gut) coronavirus. Rather than a self-limiting diarrhea, the deadly FIP develops. FIP has two forms: a “wet form” and a “dry form.” In the wet form a high fever and effusion develops. This effusion, or protein rich fluid, usually develops in the abdomen causing a peritonitis. Less commonly the fluid develops in the chest cavity causing a pleural effusion. In either case the outcome is severe and always fatal. The symptoms develop rapidly (over a few days to, at most, a few weeks). The patient stops eating and is usually humanely euthanized if he or she does not pass away on their own. 

There is also a less common “dry form” of the disease. The dry form of FIP is a slower developing sequela of the disease. Rather than a rapid progression of disease over a few weeks, the dry form takes months to years. The dry form produces a granulomatous response and produces deposits of a specific type of scar tissue in internal organs. These internal organs then begin to dysfunction and ultimately shut down. 

My experience has shown patients usually are humanely euthanized or pass away from kidney failure secondary to the dry form of FIP. The kidneys, unlike some other organs, do not regenerate cells or repair damage. Once a certain percentage of the kidneys stops functioning the rest of the body quickly shuts down.

There are both feline and canine coronavirus vaccines but their actual efficacy is questionable. There are so many strains that the single strain in the vaccine protect against them all. It would be like having a single flu vaccine that is never modified year to year. The good news is that most cases of both feline and canine coronavirus are mild and self-limiting. Also, I have found no information at this time that states that the canine or feline coronavirus poses any threat to human health. 

If you have questions that are not answered in this article, or are concerned about the health of your individual pet please contact your regular veterinarian for an appointment.  

Dr. Kearns practices veterinary medicine from his Port Jefferson office and is pictured with his son Matthew and his dog Jasmine. Have a question for the vet? Email it to [email protected] and see his answer in an upcoming column.

By Daniel Dunaief

Daniel Dunaief

You know the face dogs make when they’re taking care of their business? I’m not talking about number one. I’m talking about the big whopper: number two. For many dogs, I imagine that is the equivalent of the human concentration face, as we ponder everything from what we should have for dinner, to the best route home in a traffic jam, to the best use of our time on a Friday night when we’re exhausted but know we could contribute to our area through community service.

My dog must know that I’m watching him closely because every time he finds exactly the right spot to release the contents of his bowels, he turns his back to me. Before he enters his squatting position, he looks back over his shoulder to make sure no one or everyone is watching him. He’s easily distracted in the moment of separation from his solid waste.

I respect his wishes and give him his moment of privacy once he starts the process. Now, of course, much as we might watch them as they relieve themselves, I know that they watch us closely, wondering why we’re so meticulous, or not, as the case may be, about scooping up everything they’ve dropped.

My dog still seems to think that he’s doing sufficient cleanup duties by kicking a few blades of grass in the general direction of his creation. He starts tugging on the leash immediately after that, sending a nonverbal signal from his neck to my hand, as if to say, “I got this one, let’s move to that flower bed where Marshmallow left me a secret scented note.”

As I bent down recently to clean up his mess, he saw one of his favorite couples. That’s not exactly a fair characterization, as almost any combination of two people would immediately rank among his favorites if one or both of them came over to him and rubbed his stomach while he turned over on his back and dangled his paws in the air, as if he were at a canine nail salon. The challenge for me, as he was pulling, tugging and twisting on the leash, was to do the impossible: Chat with his human friends, keep him from knocking one or both of them over with his enthusiasm and politely scoop up his poop.

I waited for a moment to retrieve my retriever’s droppings, hoping that he’d calm down enough to allow me to bend my knees and lift the boulders from the ground. No such luck, as he seemed to be playing twist-the-leash-around-the-human-legs game.

One of the many sensory problems with my dog’s poop is that the longer it remains in place, the more it seems to spread out and sink into the ground. Knowing this, I was eager to bag it and to move on during our walk.

Just as the couple finally disengaged from my dog and his leash, another dog and his owner appeared, causing my dog’s tail to wag so violently that it looked like those whirling propellers on an old airplane. While my dog darted and retreated from his much bigger and more mellow friend, I got farther away from his droppings. In the back of my mind, I wondered whether I could, just this once, leave his biodegradable droppings where they landed.

When the other dog and his owner took off, my dog and I returned to the expanding pile. I’m convinced that my dog watched the entire pickup routine with rapt fascination, knowing he’d succeeded in extending the process into something considerably more challenging for the human scrunching his nose at the other end of the leash.