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Business Spotlight: Gotta Go Out, LLC

Wednesday, September 30, 2009 Comments

Gotta Go Out, LLC is one of Madison's premier pet sitting services. Principal Owner Tami Lewis provided this exclusive interview with Mad About Pets, to help better acquaint pet owners in Dane County with the history of Gotta Go Out, LLC and the services offered:

What animals does your business cater to?

Cats, Dogs, Fish, Birds (including parrots), Lizards, Horses, Chickens, Hamsters, etc. Pretty much any pet, as long as they don’t require live feedings during the visit and they are in our service area of Central, West, or South Madison; Fitchburg; Middleton; Monona; or Verona.


What made you decide to start up your business (how did your business come about?)

After working 20 plus years in corporate America and using pet sitting services to take care of my own pets, I decided to follow my passion for pets and start my own pet sitting business.

Please describe your facility or accommodations, and any special training or accolades you or your staff possess.

Gotta Go Out, LLC is bonded and insured and a member of Pet Sitters International (PSI). I (Tami Lewis) have been trained in pet first aid through the American Red Cross and am an accredited pet sitter through PSI. I am well versed in caring for pets from cats and dogs to rodents, reptiles, parrots, and horses. I have cared for geriatric pets, provided hospice services, provided puppy training, and medicated pets when needed.

How are you different from other animal boarding/sitting services in the Madison area?

I spent some time and money getting accredited by Pet Sitters International, the largest pet sitting organization in the world. I also set the business up as an LLC from the beginning and bought Liability insurance and got bonded. I currently have 100% satisfied customers and I go out of my way to keep my reputation extremely high. I have experience providing hospice care to pets ill with cancer as well as administering medications, so I offer services to human clients with their terminally ill and geriatric pets.

How can customers contact you for more information or with questions?

For general information about Gotta Go Out’s services and pricing, the website is a good resource. They can see it at http://www.ggout.com/. If they wish to ask questions or get more information, they can contact me at (608) 316-2021 or tlewis@ggout.com.

LinkReferral: Great traffic tool for pet bloggers and other niche writers

Tuesday, September 29, 2009 Comments

Whether you have a blog about your own pets, pet care, pet news, pet adoption, or anything else pet-related, you’ve probably realized that creating traffic and buzz as a niche blogger is easier said than done. This is just a quick post to lend a helping hand to fellow pet bloggers.

If you search Google for tools to help increase traffic and hits, you’ll encounter more or less a lot of scams, pay-per-click offers, and link farms. Trust me on this one—I’ve tried just about all of them! The only tool I’ve really found that stands out for bloggers like me is LinkReferral. It’s free, it’s easy, and best of all…it’s not a scam. Yay!

LinkReferral is a simple concept. You add your blog or website to their listing in whichever category fits you best (for me, that’s “Home/Life” with subcategory “Pets.”) From there, you earn better placement in the directory by completing simple tasks: review other sites, post on the forum, visit other registered sites in the directory, or add a site to your favorites listing. By doing these simple tasks, you are participating in the network and increasing your rank in the directory. Better rank=more traffic.

Besides getting more visitors to your site, LinkReferral is a great way to network with other bloggers. While visiting sites in the directory, you’ll discover lots of similar blogs or websites to enjoy and frequent. Finding similar blogs and commenting on them is a great way to network and possibly exchange site links. Plus, you’re helping your LinkReferral ranking just by visiting these other sites. No more random Googling to find similar websites!

To me, the best thing about LinkReferral is the reviews. Other users can review your blog or website on items like navigation, content, load time, etc. Honest reviews by other bloggers are not easy to come by, but with LinkReferral they come free with the territory. I’ve really enjoyed seeing what users think of my site, and ways that I can improve it.

I’ll get off my soapbox now and get back to my regular scheduled content, but I really just wanted to share how useful I’ve found LinkReferral to be and how useful I believe it can be for other pet-bloggers (and any other kind of blogger!)  Free networking, reviews, and traffic—what’s not to like? :)

Recipe: "Milk Bone" Dog Treats

Friday, September 25, 2009 Comments

Ingredients:
3/4 cup hot water
1/3 cup margarine
1/2 cup powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
3 cups whole wheat flour

*Variation: increase margarine to 1/2 cup and add 2 teaspoons sugar

Instructions:
In large bowl pour hot water over the margarine. Stir in powdered milk, salt, and egg. Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Knead for a few minutes to form stiff dough. Pat or roll to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into bone shapes. Bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes. Cool. They will dry out quite hard.

Makes about 1 1/4 pounds of biscuits. Costs around 30 cents per pound.

The Bucky Book: Save and be charitable at the same time!

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Many Madison residents are already familiar with the Bucky Book and the savings it offers. For those not familiar, the Bucky Book is a coupon book which offers money-saving vouchers for many local businesses. Unlike other coupon books which target a broad region of the state, the Bucky Book is geared specifically towards Dane County businesses. As a result, more of the coupons are useable and buyers can save a lot more!

What some may not realize is that by purchasing a Bucky Book online, $12 of the overall $35 price tag can be donated to whatever charity the buyer chooses. When ordering online, simply designate the charity of choice and $12 will be donated directly to that charity! The Bucky Book is a great way to help local charities, all while saving hundreds of dollars on products and services at local businesses already frequented by most Madisonians.

The Bucky Book contains 2-for-1 and 50% off offers for 300+ local merchants, as well as over 50 coupons for absolutely free items and services! An added bonus to this year's edition is online access to even more coupons and offers, as well as special deals sent to buyers (with online access) on their birthday or anniversary. In addition, the book comes with a free gift of over $70 in coupons good-as-cash with 16 participating businesses.

The Bucky Book can also be used as a fundraising opportunity for schools, groups, etc.

For more info: Participating businesses, Buy Bucky Book online, More Bucky Book Info

Strategies for coping with pet allergies

Thursday, September 24, 2009 Comments


It is estimated that up to 30% of the human population is allergic to household pets. Though the only way to completely treat pet allergies is to remove the pet from the home, there are many strategies that can be employed to lessen the effects of pet allergies and avoid parting ways with the offending pet. Here are just a few of the ways to cope with pet allergies:

1. Vacuum and dust often. The more often you clean, the less pet hair you have to deal with. Though it's not the actual hair that causes allergies, the allergy-causing dander does remain on hair and skin flakes that are shed by the animal.

2. Eliminate cloth window coverings. Cloth drapes and blinds are a magnet for pet dander. Wherever possible, use plastic, vinyl or metal blinds. They can be easily dusted and will not collect as many allergens as cloth drapery.

3. Designate a "pet free" room. Allergy sufferers should have at least one room in the home that is totally "pet free." Often the bedroom is the best place to have such a room. The door should remain closed at all times, and the pet should not be allowed to enter the room at any time.

4. Purchase allergy-reducing pillow cases and bed covers. Allergy-reducing pillowcases and mattress covers do not accumulate allergens the way normal fabric covers would. The fabric is impermeable, so it aids with pet allergies and the often-accompanying dust mite allergy. Wash these covers on a weekly basis.

5. Use hardwood wherever possible. Carpet collects animal hair as fast as your pet can shed it. Even with thorough vacuuming pet hair can still remain embedded. Hardwood floors are much easier to clean and do not collect hair as carpet does. The next time the carpet needs replacing, consider hardwood as an alternative.

6. Use filters everywhere. Purchase allergy-reducing furnace filters and change them once per month. Purchase a vacuum with a HEPA filter to eliminate airborne allergens. Run a HEPA air purifier at all times to reduce airborne allergens. Wherever an allergy-reducing filter can be used, use it!

7. Bathe your pet. Though your pet may not appreciate it, bathing them once a week can wash away much of the loose hair and dead skin cells that harbors dander. If bathing is out of the question, there are also allergy-reducing wipes that can be used to wipe the pet's fur and theoretically lessen the dander.

8. Consider immunotherapy. If your pet allergy is medically diagnosed and interferes with daily life, talk to your allergist about immunotherapy (or allergy shots.) This is a process that typically takes several years to complete. A small amount of the allergen is injected into the allergy sufferer; the dosage is increased as time goes on. Eventually, the person will be immune to the allergen or at least suffer a less severe reaction.

9. Take an antihistamine daily. Many antihistamines that previously required a prescription are now availble over the counter. Claritin and Zyrtec are two of the more popular brands. They are also available in generic form as Loratadine (Claritin) or Cetirizine (Zyrtec.) If one brand does not work, try another. Taking an antihistamine daily rather than on an as-needed basis can help prevent allergy symptoms rather than just treating the symptoms as they occur.

10. Purchase a central air cleaner. Forced-air heating and cooling can essentially blow allergens out of the vents and all over your house. A central air cleaning unit (such as April Aire) can be purchased to clean the air before it is circulated. If this is not possible to purchase, an alternative is to place a breathable cover (such as cheesecloth) over the vent to trap particles.

Before making any drastic changes to your lifestyle, make an appointment with an allergist to be tested for specific allergies. Though it may seem like your pet is the culprit, you may actually be allergic to something entirely different. A visit to the allergist will allow you to pinpoint your specific allergy triggers. Your allergist can also provide you with other options for controlling pet allergies if your pet does prove to be the guilty party.

Pet loss resources available in Madison

Wednesday, September 23, 2009 Comments

As little as we want to think of it, all pet owners will one day be faced with the emotional pain of losing a pet. Fortunately, residents in Dane County do not have to face this sad time alone. From making tough medical decisions to the post-loss planning, there are many resources available to make losing a pet a little easier on all involved.

Personal and Wellness Support Services (PAWWS) at the UW-Madison Veterinary School has compiled an excellent list of resources easily accessible on their website. It includes links to cremation services, support groups, grief hotlines, and much more.

The list can be found online here.

Joint Public Hearing scheduled for September 23 in Madison for Dog Breeders Licensure Bill

Monday, September 21, 2009 Comments


A public hearing is scheduled for September 23, 2009 at 10:00 am at the State Capitol regarding AB-250/SB-208, the Smith-Kreitlow Commercial Dog Breeders Licensure Bill. Members of the public are encouraged to attend this meeting.

In short, bill AB-250 will help to eliminate puppy mills in the state of Wisconsin. It will put into place strict rules for dog breeders and shelters, and make their facilities subject to inspection by the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection. It will also put laws into place regarding standards of care for animals covered by the bill.

The bill is still in committee in both the State Assembly and Senate. Attending the meeting on the 23rd will be members of committees who are reviewing the bill, as well as any members of the public who wish to attend.

What: Public Hearing on the Smith-Kreitlow Commercial Dog Breeders Licensure Bill (AB-250/SB-208)
When: Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 10:00 am
Where: State Capitol, Room 412 East, Madison WI

For more info: The Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project, Inc.

Bob Barker promotes animal rights awareness with new book

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"Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered." Fans of the popular game show The Price is Right have heard this call-to-action spoken by Bob Barker (and new host Drew Carey) since 1979. Though Bob Barker retired from hosting the game show in 2007, he has publicly continued his animal advocacy crusade with his new book Priceless Memories.

Released in April of 2009, Priceless Memories is a collection of stories from Barker’s early years living through the Great Depression as well as from his 50-plus years of television experience. Fans of The Price is Right will enjoy the behind-the-scenes look at production of the show and Bob Barker’s memories of hosting various game shows like Truth or Consquences. Animal advocates will enjoy the fact that all proceeds from sales of the book go to DJ&T Foundation, founded in 1994 by Barker to help pay for spay and neuter programs.

Also featured in the book are Bob Barker’s recollections of favorite contestants and celebrity guests. Most importantly, he discusses his beliefs on animal rights, including his controversial decision to no longer allow fur coats as prizes on The Price is Right or to be worn at beauty pageants he hosted.

For more info: Priceless Memories on Amazon.com

Recipe: Super Simple Chunky Peanut Dog Treats

Friday, September 18, 2009 Comments

(Note: Natural peanut butter does not contain hydrogenated oil or sugar so it makes a more healthful treat for your dog.)

Ingredients:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup chunky natural peanut butter
1 cup non fat milk

Instructions:
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Grease cookie sheets. In large bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Use another bowl and combine the peanut butter and milk.Add the milk and peanut butter mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well.On floured surface, turn out the knead. Roll out to 1/4" thick. Cut out using cookie cutters. Place on baking sheets and bake for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Place on racks to cool then store in airtight containers.

The WizDog makes indoor potty training easy and convenient

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Everyone knows that cats use a litterbox to “do their business”, but many dog owners don’t realize that their pet can be trained to do the same. Though paper-training a new puppy is common practice, it can be a pain to clean up and the smell is often difficult to control (not to mention newspapers on the floor don’t entirely prevent urine from coming in contact with the bare floor.)

Owners who are fed up with the old methods of potty training their dog now have a new option: the WizDog! The WizDog is a simple, yet ingenious, product that makes the challenge of training dogs to eliminate indoors an attainable goal for dogs of all ages and sizes. Basically, the WizDog is a litterbox without the litter. It consists of a shallow pan containing either a pee pad or newspaper lining, and a grate on top which allows urine to pass through to the pan but solid waste to stay put.

The design is conceived with both owners and dogs in mind. Dogs prefer to eliminate in one spot (as evidenced by the concentrated “urine burns” in the front yard of many dog owners.) The WizDog allows dogs to have their own personal potty spot indoors, making it convenient for those times where the owner isn’t around to let the dog out or the weather outdoors is not conducive to a potty break. Since the grate system allows liquid waste to pass through to the pan, the dog does not have to stand in a puddle of its own urine as with traditional paper training (no more wet pawprints on the floor!) Clean-up of solid waste is simple, as it stays on top of the grate. The smooth surface of the grate makes it easy to simply flip the grate over and dispose of the mess.

Unlike cats, dogs do not cover their waste. Instead they prefer to kick it away. As a result, litter is not a practical solution for potty training a dog as they will likely kick it all over the room by doing what comes naturally to them. Many dogs have also been known to ingest pelleted litter or shred newspapers and pee pads. The WizDog’s grate system eliminates these problems as the dog does not come in contact with anything but the smooth grate.

The WizDog was designed for small to medium sized dogs, but the design can easily accommodate larger breeds by placing two WizDog systems side by side. The product is durable enough to hold up to 200 pounds, so even the largest breed of dog can be trained to use the WizDog.

Owners who would like to give the system a try but are unsure how to begin training their dog to use it can be comforted knowing that the system comes with instructions for training. The WizDog website also contains a helpful FAQ section that answers many of the common questions and concerns regarding the product. In the rare case that a dog cannot be trained to use the WizDog, there is a 30-day money back guarantee offered by the manufacturer. With the purchase of a WizDog system, the manufacturer will also include a helpful book on general dog training principals.

Reptile Expo to be held September 20 in Madison

Thursday, September 17, 2009 Comments

If you love reptiles, make sure you come out this Sunday for the Wisconsin Reptile Expo! Held at the VFW on Cottage Grove Rd, the event features vendors of snakes, reptiles and related supplies.


An admission fee of $5.00 will be charged for adults. Kids under 12 get in for a reduced fee of $2.00.
What: Wisconsin Reptile Expo

Where: VFP Post 7591, 301 Cottage Grove Rd, Madison, WI

When: Sunday, September 20, 2009 from 10:00 am-4:00 pm

For more info: Email swreptile@aol.com or visit the event's website

November date added for Baby-Ready Pets Class at DCHS in Madison

Wednesday, September 16, 2009 Comments


Due to the overwhelming success of the first few Baby-Ready Pets Classes held by the Dane County Humane Society, another date has been scheduled for November 19, 2009. If you missed out on the other dates or are just learning about this awesome program, now you have another chance to sign up!

Held at the Goodman Community Center in Madison on November 19 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM, participants in the Baby-Ready Pets Class will learn about issues faced when blending children and pets in the same household such as behavioral changes, proper introduction of pets to a new baby, and pet-related diseases.

For more info or to register: contact the DCHS Shelter Educator at esteinwehe@giveshelter.org or call (608) 838-0413 ext. 115. You may also visit the DCHS website for more information on this class and the shelter.

The Painful Truth: 10 Reasons Not to Declaw

Saturday, September 12, 2009 Comments

Though it is still common practice in the United States to declaw pet cats, many owners have begun to disapprove of this procedure for valid and important reasons. Before making the decision to declaw, here are just ten (of the many) facts to consider.

1. Declawing is illegal in most countries around the world, especially European nations. Several US cities have also proposed outlawing the procedure.

2. Cat claws are not toenails; they are actually an extension of the toe bone. Removing the claw is the equivalent of amputating a human finger at the first joint.

3. Declawed cats are more likely to bite, as their first method of defense (scratching) is now gone. They are also more likely to be withdrawn or fearful of humans because of their lack of defense.

4. Anectodal evidence states that declawed cats are more prone to litterbox avoidance issues. Since declawing is painful, the cat may associate the pain with the litterbox and therefore avoid it.

5. Cats walk on the tips of their toes. By removing the first joint, the cat's gait is altered. An altered gait can lead to arthritic joints, joint deterioration, balance issues, and even a "sway back."

6. Scratching is a natural behavior for cats. It allows them to stretch, tone their agile bodies, and mark their territory through pheremones located on the paws. With positive reinforcement, cats would much rather scratch a material like sisal rope or cardboard than your favorite loveseat.

7. Even after the amputated toes have healed, many cats continue to experience pain and sensitivity in the paws for the rest of their lives.

8. If accidental cat scratches are a concern, vinyl nail caps are available for purchase. They are easy to apply and the pretty colors make cats look extra fancy.

9. Veterinarians do not alway remove enough of the claw-forming bone during the surgery. This bone can continue to grow, causing a painful, deformed claw (invisible to the naked eye) to re-grow within the cat's foot. The claw will occassionally break through the skin; if not, it will need surgical repair.

10. Declawing is a major medical procedure. As such, there is always the risk of infection, bleeding, swelling and other complications. The surgery does not benefit the cat in any way; therefore, these risks are entirely avoidable by choosing not to declaw.

For more info:
-Photos of the procedure (graphic)
-Article on declawing from Dr. Michael W. Fox,
-Declawing links database
-Technical facts about declawing
-Sophie's Story: Declawing gone wrong

Business Spotlight: bad dog frida

Wednesday, September 9, 2009 Comments

bad dog frida, located in the popular Atwood shopping neighborhood, is a truly unique pet care store. Full of bright colors and whimsy, bad dog frida is everything you'd hope for in a Madison pet boutique. Mad About Pets was very happy to learn more about this fun business through an interview with the owner of bad dog frida:

What animal(s) does/do your store cater to, and what kinds of products/services do you offer?

We cater to dogs primarily but also to cats. While our cat selection is smaller the items we choose are favorites among many! Some of the products that we offer for both dogs & cats are:

* high quality healthy food and treats
* health supplements
* durable toys including "smart toys"
* eco-friendly beds
* unique collars/leashes
* whimsical t-shirts, sweatshirts and hats for humans
* artwork - much of it local
* books on health and training

Services that we offer are referrals and reference materials for people looking to provide holistic care for their animals. For example, we have had a lot of experience and success with treating our own animals through acupuncture and herbs and can provide lots of information. We also hold monthly educational workshops on a variety of topics.

What made you decide to start up your business (how did your business come about?)

I have had a vision of starting a store like this for years. My passion has always been animals - I've worked at a Humane Society in Seattle for years and then managed a vet clinic in Madison before opening the store. Our goal in opening our store was to provide unique items for people who feel about their animals the way that we do - but also to be a community resource. Supporting rescue groups and humane societies is also a part of our mission.

How is your business unique/different from others in the Madison area?

I believe we are different because of the experiences and knowledge we have had and can share with people. From behavior to health we have learned so much in our own lives and continue to educate ourselves both for the benefit of our own animals and for our customers. Our customers continuously tell us they appreciate that when they come to the store they know they can talk to us (the owners) and that we care...and remember their situation. That continuity is important and valued with our customers.

We also hold many events, including a monthly (usually free) educational workshop. We have had some great topics and speakers, including Patricia McConnell.

Our support of rescue groups and humane societies is also somewhat unique. In addition to holding Meet & Greet events in our store to promote adoptable animals, we also feature a different group each quarter. During that quarter the group is featured on our website and in our store, we have a collection jar out for customers to contribute to, and then at the end of the quarter we provide a check from bad dog frida. The donation is typically around $850. Fifty dollars or so is usually from the collection jar and the remaining amount is from us.

We have recently started Re-Dog, a resale store-within-a-store! We purchase gently used, clean items from people and then put them out for sale the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month. Items are priced very low - a great way for people to get a deal on items and for things to be recycled and kept out of landfills!

In regards to our products we carefully screen everything before we will carry it. We won't sell anything that we would not give to our own animals - whether to eat or to play with. We look for local and eco-friendly items and are proud to support local artists and give them another venue to show off their work.

What kinds of special events, classes, etc (if any) do you host at your business?

In addition to the workshops and meet & greet events listed above we also hold a fun monthly social event called Coffee Hound Hour. It is held the 1st Saturday of every month from 9:30-10:30 am. We provide coffee, dog treats and people treats and it's a fun activity for dogs to meet other dogs (on leash), and for people to meet other dog loving people! In addition all treats are 10% off during the hour. We also are proud to participate in MMOCA's Gallery Night event as another way to support artists.

For more info: Visit bad dog frida at 2094 Atwood Ave, Madison WI 53704 or on the web, call (608) 442-6868, or email bark@baddogfrida.com

The FURminator: Is it truly a miracle brush?

Friday, September 4, 2009 Comments

If you have pets, you're probably very familiar with the struggle of keeping the hair off of your furniture, your bed, and your cupboards. Having two cats, this has been a never-ending battle in our household. We vacuum, we dust, and we brush the cats...yet the cat hair still finds a way to accumulate at an alarming rate.

When it comes to brushes, we have tried everything (and I mean everything!) Shedding blades, nubbed vinyl mitts, combs, slicker brushes--you name it, we've bought it. In the end, all have ultimately failed to provide satisfying results. Fortunately, our male Siamese has a sleek coat which requires little maintenance. But then...there's Tinker. Tinker is a Siamese mix with a coat that lies somewhere between a rabbit and a sheep. Though smooth to the touch, her undercoat is thick, dense, cottony and endless.

On one of my many trips to the pet supply store to size up new brushes, I came across a product called the FURminator. The display claimed that this brush was better than any other, and that I would be amazed with the results. At a price tag of $30, I was incredibly skeptical. An associate saw me eyeing the display and excitedly shared her own story with me. She said that she bought the FURminator for her Golden Retriever, and the amount of loose, shedding hair that can be removed with the brush is unbelievable. Still skeptical, her story nudged me into curiosity. I shelled out the $30 for the brush, fully aware that my husband would likely have my head for spending that much money on a cat brush.

As soon as I got home, I set my sights on my first victim: Tinker. Fortunately, Tinker loves a good brushing. Bracing my self for the impending disappointment I was certain would follow, I started brushing. My jaw nearly dropped when I made the first pass of the brush. The FURminator was literally removing bails of loose fur. I continued along, removing enough loose hair to knit a small sweater (if only I was that resourceful.) Tinker appeared as amazed as I was to see the mound of fur that was accumulating on the floor next to her. By the time I was done, Tinker's coat was sleek, soft and noticeably less bulky.

Needless to say, my husband was not pleased that I spent $30 on a brush. However, the prospect of no longer having tumbleweeds of cat fur drifting across the living room seemed to quell his displeasure. Now when my husband and I talk of brushing the cats, we affectionately refer to it as "bailing the cats."

So is the FURminator worth the price? Absolutely! You can toss all your other brushes and combs out the window, because this is the only brush you will ever need. Even if the cost makes you cringe (as it certainly did with me), the results will quickly convince you that the FURminator was worth every penny. Now you just need to figure out what you're going to do with all the fur.

For more info: The FURminator for cats, dogs and horses.

Artist Dale Moses brings pets to life on canvas

Thursday, September 3, 2009 Comments

Dallas artist Dale Moses is a painter of many talents. Over the years, he has refined his style to one that is uniquely his. Moses’ work is easily recognizable by the bright colors, simple shapes, and bold black outlines. Despite his consistent style, his subject matter is in perfect contrast. Moses takes everyday objects like a pair of tennis shoes and turns them into a bright, whimsical masterpiece. There is, however, one particular subject that Moses has a special talent for painting: animals.

Moses received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Illustration in 1970 from The University of Texas/Arlington. Up until the mid-80’s, Moses himself states there was no consistency in his art. He would paint seemingly random subjects with whatever style suited him at the time. It wasn’t until a Dallas art consultant offered him the advice to “develop a style” that he really began to establish and master his bold and unique style.

Though he continues to paint still-life and everyday objects, Moses recognizes that he has a special talent for capturing animals with a paint brush. For the last 15 years he has offered animal portraits at prices similar to his other works. However, due to the recent downturn in the economy, Moses has begun offering pet portraits for a significantly lower price. Moses can be commissioned to paint a one-of-a-kind portrait of a loved pet based on a photograph provided to him. His uncanny ability to capture the expressions and emotions of animals make his portraits truly masterful. In his hands, pets become works of fine art.

For more info: Visit Dale Moses online for prices, information and to see more works.

Where can I find pet friendly housing in Madison?

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Any pet owner who has ever moved with their pet has probably encountered the challenge of finding a truly pet friendly apartment complex. To make the search a little easier in Madison and surrounding communities, check out these complexes and management companies for a headstart:

*JSM Properties, (608) 255-3933. Manages multiple properties in the greater Madison area.

*Madison Property Management, (608) 251-8777. Many different Madison locations of all sizes.

*Resident Services, Inc., (608) 848-8365. Manages several properties for different sizes and budgets.

*Prairie Crest Apartment Homes, (608) 845-7255. Property in Verona, WI.

*Springtree Apartments, (608) 836-8640. Located in Middleton, WI.

*Goldleaf Development, Locations in Madison and Sun Prairie.

*Steve Brown Apartments, (877) SBA-1300. Multiple locations in Dane County.

*Prima Management, Inc., (608) 831-4035. Most managed communities are pet friendly.

It may sound elementary, but a simple web search for "pet friendly apartments Madison WI" also turns up a large amount of individual complexes and locations. Another simple resource is word of mouth: asking around to find out where friends, co-workers, or casual acquaintances lease can lead renters to hidden gems they may not have otherwise found.

An important fact to keep in mind when searching for a new rental home is that "pet friendly" does not necessarily mean that every type of pet is welcome. Breed restrictions are often in place for insurance purposes, and many apartments charge an extra fee or "pet rent" to cover possible damages to the property. Additionally it may be a requirement that pets are spayed/neutered, or declawed in the case of cats. Be sure to ask for clarification of the pet policy before signing a lease (it may take several tries before finding an apartment with a pet policy that is good for both owner and pet.) Renters with pets have an advantage living in Dane County, since nearly half of residents are renters. That means more choices are available, and with a little persistence pet owners should be able to find the perfect, pet friendly home with relative ease.

Recommended Reading: 13 Steps to Finding Pet Friendly Housing

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