Popular Posts

BOOK REVIEW: Wagging Tales by Tim Link

Tuesday, December 28, 2010 Comments

I recently finished reading Wagging Tales: Every Animal Has a Tale by Tim Link. Mr. Link is a self-professed animal communicator who uses his special skill to help owners understand their animals better, and to help animals be understood. According to the author, he is able to communicate telepathically with animals to interpret their innermost thoughts fears, and anxieties.

Tim Link (Credit: Author)
I admit that when I started reading the book, I expected sappy stories and ridiculous dialogues betwen Mr. Link and his animal subjects. I was very surprised to discover how wrong I was indeed! The author describes how he doesn't so much have conversations with animals as he interprets their emotions and subtle communications. For example, he may hear the animal "thinking" a certain word over and over again, or a brief phrase. He then analyzes these messages in context to understand what the animal is attempting to convey to him. Many of the stories in the book are about cats, so as you might expect there is very little by way of sappy conversation. It is mostly utilitarian communication. As a cat lover myself, I certainly wouldn't expect anything more from felines!

The biggest shocker to me when reading this book was the overall lack of "a happy ending." I was truly expecting the stories to end with the majority of behavioral problems solved, animals and humans happy, and all would be right with the world. Instead, there is an overwhelming majority of stories that end with adopted pets being returned to the shelter, pets running away, pets remaining long-term in the animal shelter, etc. This is in no way an indication of a lack of skill from Mr. Link; instead, it is a sad reminder of how uneducated many people are when it comes to pet ownership. There are examples abound in Wagging Tales of pet owners who jump feet-first into adopting an animal with little regard for the animal's mental well-being. One such example can be found in the first story of the book, "The Gang Finds a New Home." A family decides to adopt four cats at once, and lo and behold, the cats have behavioral problems and trouble adjusting. Though Mr. Link makes suggestions to the family on what they can do to acclimate the cats,  two of the four cats are ultimately returned to the shelter after several weeks as they "did not adjust quickly enough." This is a perfect example of how little patience people often have with new pets, and how a little knowledge goes a long way to happy, healthy pets.

One enjoyable aspect of Wagging Tales is that each story begins with a photo of the animal being written about. It is nice to put a face to a name! The rest of the layout, however, leaves much to be desired. The font is comically large, almost to the point of being distracting and difficult to read. Many of the stories seem quite repetitive, and aren't so much stories as a few sentences without much of a resolution. Towards the end I was almost *begging* for some of the sappiness I was initially dreading! The author's simplistic style makes the book a breeze to read, but the style also hinders it in that the stories somewhat plod along and never really take off. I personally would have liked to hear more commentary from the author's point of view instead of a clinical recanting of who, what, when, where. I have to think that the author has experienced strong emotions about the way some of the stories turned out, and the book certainly could use more of his insight.

Personally, I don't believe Wagging Tales is going to pique the interest of serious pet enthusiasts; instead, many would be frustrated (as I was) with the amount of human ignorance described within. This is the kind of book that would be entertaining to those with mild interest in animal communication, psychic phenomena or with a short attention span. It would make a great book for the waiting room of a veterinarian's office, or a coffee table book. By no means is it "must have" reading material for avid readers. A portion of proceeds from sales of the book do go to animal rescue organizations, however, so given as a gift it would truly be "a gift that keeps on giving".

Humane Holidays: Help animals waiting to be adopted this holiday season

Tuesday, December 7, 2010 Comments

Stop by any Mounds Pet Food Warehouse location this December 2010 and contribute to the wish list for the Dane County Humane Society. Buy any item on the wish list and Mounds will deliver it to yet-to-be adopted pets this holiday.


Pet Loss Support Group starts November 30, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 Comments

From the Dane County Humane Society:

Memorial Pet Services, in collaboration with HospiceCare, is pleased to offer a 4-week support group for people who have experienced the death of a pet. Our interactive sessions, led by a HospiceCare Grief Counselor, will provide information on the grief process, coping techniques and allow participants to share and support each other over the loss of their beloved pet.

The new session of the Pet Loss Support Groups starts:

November 30, 2010


Memorial Pet Services, 4319 Twin Valley Rd, Suite 15, Middleton

The next session will begin on Wednesday, September 8. Participants must pre-register, as we need to have a minimum of 4 people in order to hold these sessions. Once the session has started, additional participants cannot be added. The price for this support group is $40/person.

For additional information or to pre-register, please contact Maura Taggart, HospiceCare, at 608.327.7265 or Memorial Pet Services at 608.836.7297.

Sun Prairie man accused of brutally murdering pet dog

Tuesday, November 2, 2010 Comments

Michael Aasen, age 25, of Sun Prairie, WI was charged today with Mistreatment of Animals (Cause Death), Disorderly Conduct, Battery, and Intentionally Mistreating Animals.

Aasen is accused of domestic violence toward his wife. He is also accused of killing the couple's dog by stabbing it in an artery and allowing the animal to bleed to death.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for November 10, 2010 in this matter before the Honorable Sarah O'Brien in Dane County Circuit Court Branch 16.

To read the full complaint, click here. Be warned: it is very graphic and contains offensive language.

You can also check out the story from Wisconsin State Journal.

Why pet insurance is necessary for the fiscally challenged

Monday, November 1, 2010 Comments

As everyone knows, access to health insurance is the talk of the nation right now. Insurance is a necessity in this country. What many don't realize is that insurance isn't just for people; it's for pets, too. Many companies are now offering health insurance plans for pets that can cover anything from basic check-ups to the most advanced surgeries and treatments.

So why would a pet need health insurance? If you own a pet, you know the expenses involved. Routine check-ups can easily cost $50 out-of-pocket. Preventative bloodwork will cost you extra. Urinalysis will cost you. Vaccinations will cost you. . All of these routine expenses can amount to literally hundreds of dollars a year, and this is assuming your pet is healthy! It's wise to put away money in a savings account to plan for these expenses, but sometimes we don't follow up on our good intentions. Often this lack of available funds leads to the pet going to the vet less often for routine care, and serious conditions may go unnoticed.

Speaking from experience, unexpected illness in a pet can cost a small fortune. When our cat Gabe came down with a serious UTI and struvite crystals, we were caught totally off-guard. In between medications, urinalysis, catheterization, a hospital stay, and follow-up visits, this little incident cost our family well over $1000. We didn't have the money for the treatment at the time, but if we didn't act immediately Gabe would certainly die within a day or two. What did we do? It went on the credit card. We hadn't expected any of our pets to come down with a life-threatening condition! Our poor planning led to a fully recovered cat and a hefty credit card balance.
Photo Credit: Pasado Safe Haven

This is where pet insurance comes in. It seems that modern Americans in general are lousy at saving money. It's just not in our nature, and given the economy it's not entirely practical for many families. Pet insurance can be the answer for these types of people. Just like regular health insurance, you pay the monthly, quarterly or yearly premium and sometimes a co-pay for services. It simply becomes another necessary expense in your budget, instead of something you "probably should set aside money for." By securing insurance for your pet, you ensure that you will be able to provide for your pet when the need arises (and trust me, it will!) and you won't be forced to run up your credit card bills or take out a second mortgage.

If you are one of those "someday" people with unfulfilled good intentions of saving money for your pet's needs, enrolling your pet in pet insurance is both responsible and practical. Adding another monthly expense is obviously not desirable, but the monthly premium and peace of mind will be far better in the long run than the high interest rates and never-ending payments financing an emergency surgery will present. Pet ownership is a responsibility not to be taken lightly. Pets feel pain, have needs, and experience emotions; it's up to us as their caregivers to give them the best we are able to provide. Pet insurance can take our good intentions and turn them into positive, responsible action.

Halloween activities for pets around Madison, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010 Comments

Looking to celebrate Halloween with your pet this year? Here are a few fun activities for this weekend. Please comment if you know any other pet-friendly Halloween celebrations this year!

ANIMART, all locations

Creepy Crawly Halloween Show
When: October 30, 2010 Noon-3:00 pm
Click here for more info!


When: October 30, 2010 10:00 am-12:00pm
Click here for more info!

3 winners of Mad About Pets Clean+Green giveaway announced!

Monday, October 18, 2010 Comments

Thanks to everyone who entered Mad About Pets' October giveaway of Clean+Green Dog & Cat Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner. The response was awesome!!

Here are the three lucky winners of the contest:

- Angel from White Lake, MI
- Jodi from Lincoln Park, MI
- Kimberly from Milwaukee, WI

You will each be receiving a can to try out for yourself, directly from the company.

Make sure to keep reading Mad About Pets for more great reviews, events and contests!

BOOK GIVEAWAY: Dewey's Nine Lives

Wednesday, October 13, 2010 Comments

During the day, I work in a small office in county government. My coworkers and I like to talk sometimes about how much more fun the workday would be if we had a resident cat or dog. We're all animal people here in the office, and we enjoy daydreaming about the fun and companionship a resident pet would bring to our office. Though we're likely never to get our wish (unfortunately!), the Spencer Public Library certainly did in the chilly winter of 1988. A small bundle arrived in their metal book-drop...a tiny kitten. This kitten was christened "Dewey", and became the official companion, mascot, and inspiration to patrons of Spencer Public Library. Dewey's Nine Lives is the amazing story of how a tiny kitten brought love and magic to a community that needed him as much as he needed them.

Dewey's Nine Lives: The Legacy of the Small-Town Library Cat Who Inspired Millions is the follow-up to the 2008 #1 bestseller Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World. The book sold over 1 million copies in hardcover, spawned three children’s books, and became the basis for a film adaptation that is currently in development, with Meryl Streep in the lead role.

Dewey's Nine Lives, by Vicki Myron and co-writer Bret Witter, contains two new stories about the beloved Dewey, as well as seven other tales of amazing true-life cats of fans who were inspired to share their experiences with Vicki.

Want to win a free copy?

Mad About Pets is giving away to my lucky readers THREE copies of Dewey's Nine Lives. Here's how to snag a copy for yourself:

To enter the giveaway:

All you need to do is leave a comment on this post telling me about how your pet or another special animal has changed your life for the better.

Want some extra entries? Here's how:

5 extra entries:

*Blog about this contest with a link to this post (leave me a comment with a link)

1 extra entry:

*Tweet a link to this giveaway @MadAboutPets
*Follow me on Twitter
*Join my Facebook fan page
*Subscribe to my feed
*Post a link to Mad About Pets on your blog or site
Please leave a separate comment for each additional entry to state you have completed the requirement. I highly suggest that you leave your email address in your comment(s) so that I am able to contact you ASAP if you're a winner. If I cannot contact the winners within 3 days, I will have to draw a new winner.

The giveaway begins today and ends at 11:59 Central Time on October 22, 2010. I'll then be drawing 3 random winners from all the entries. This contest open to residents of the USA and Canada, only.

INTERVIEW: Wisconsin Dog Fair 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010 Comments

The Wisconsin Dog Fair is an amazing event held every year right here in Madison. The event features activities, demonstrations, and examples of almost every breed of dog imaginable. Mad About Pets was lucky to score an interview with Pat Discher, a representative of Badger Kennel Club, to get the inside scoop on this very popular event to be held November 7, 2010.

Please tell us a little about Badger Kennel Club, the organization behind the Wisconsin Dog Fair.

The Badger Kennel Club consists of about 100 individuals that love dogs! We have come together over the years to share this canine affection with other people of like minds. As you can imagine with a membership this vast, the interests vary greatly from those that have one pet and wish to do meaningful activities with it to members who actively compete in the many areas of the "sport of dogs". Breeders make up a good part of our membership as well. What is so great about the BKC is that there is something for everyone that meets their needs and wishes. We offer classes in obedience, rally, agility, conformation, puppy socialization and kindergarten, therapy and Canine Good Citizen and often other specialized classes such as attention, tricks, and freestyle. The neatest part about our classes is that they are all taught by volunteers. These volunteers account for hundreds of years of training experience and can't be topped.

How did the Wisconsin Dog Fair get started?

The Dog Fair started 22 years ago as a means to educate the general dog-loving public to the many aspects of living with and training their family pet. It started in the center of a Mall and has outgrown several places, each time, increasing in physical size to  handle the increase in offerings added. For the past 4 years we use half of the Alliant Center and that's full!!

What kinds of demonstrations, events, etc. can attendees of the Wisconsin Dog Fair expect?

Photo Credit: Podengo Pequeno
One of the big draws is the approximately 160 different breed representatives. These people are owners/breeders that love to talk about their breed, telling people about all aspects of their dogs. Then you there will be about 90 vendors that will be either selling dog products, promoting various dog related organizations or representing rescue groups. In the demonstration line of activities you find obedience, frisbee, tricks, carting, Sheriff's Department K9, rally, earth dog, lure coursing, agility, Junior showmanship and mushing. These will all be in ring 1. In ring 2 you find breed parades for each AKC group of dogs, including one for the Miscellaneous group and rare breeds as well as a parade of rescued dogs. And to top off all of this there will be 1/2 hour seminars in Eastern Medicine, Vaccines, Puppy socialization, grooming, and adding a dog to your family. Every year a Dog Hero is acknowledged and award a special plaque.

How much is admission, where is the Dog Fair located, and when will it be held?

The Dog Fair is held on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010 at the Alliant Convention Center (1919 Alliant Energy Center Way, Madison, WI) in Halls C and D. The hours are from 10am - 4pm. The admission fee is $7.00 for adults, $5.00 for seniors, $1.00 for children and under 5 are free. The Dane County Fairgrounds does charge for parking but attendees can download a Free Parking Pass from our website: http://www.badgerkennelclub.com/ or pick one up at one of the area Mounds Pet Food stores.

Make sure to mark your calendars for the Wisconsin Dog Fair: it's sure to be a blast!

FLWC Autumn with the Animals and Haunted Trail 2010

Thursday, October 7, 2010 Comments

From the Dane County Humane Society:

Join Dane County Humane Society's very own Four Lakes Wildlife Center for Autumn with the Animals!

October 16, 2010
12:00pm - 4:00pm
5132 Voges Road, Madison, WI

Featuring demonstrations by Madison Police Department's Capital K9 Unit all afternoon and "Meet the Monsters" of the haunted trail at 3:00pm. In addition there will be:

*Home-baked goods and silent auction
*Face painting and spooky tattoos
*Make your own pinecone birdfeeder
*Get your picture on a horse with a live cowboy
*All proceeds go directly to the care of the animals we serve.

Clean+Green Dog & Cat Carpet & Upholstery Giveaway!

Monday, October 4, 2010 Comments

As you might remember from my earlier review, Mad About Pets is a big fan of Clean+Green products by Seayu! With the huge increase in interest in "green" products, Clean+Green products are an absolute must for any pet owner: they're effective, non-toxic, and organic. There is a full line of products to accomodate any surface, so the perfect stain and odor remover is always at your fingertips.

If you need further convincing, here are some other great reviews from among the scores of them online:
- The wic project
- Cat Chat
- The Greenest Dollar
- A Happy Hippy Mom

Excited yet? I hope so, because here is a chance for 3 readers to win a FREE can of Clean+Green's most popular product: Clean+Green Dog and Cat Carpet and Upholstery! Here's how to enter:

To enter the giveaway:

All you need to do is leave a comment on this post telling me about your pets and why you'd like to win!

Want some extra entries? Here's how:

5 extra entries:

*Blog about this contest with a link to this post (leave me a comment with a link)

1 extra entry:

*Tweet a link to this giveaway @MadAboutPets
*Follow me on Twitter
*Join my Facebook fan page
*Subscribe to my feed
*Post a link to Mad About Pets on your blog or site

Please leave a separate comment for each additional entry to state you have completed the requirement. I highly suggest that you leave your email address in your comment(s) so that I am able to contact you ASAP if you're the winner. If I cannot contact the winner within 3 days, I will have to draw a new winner.

The giveaway begins today and ends at 11:59 Central Time on October 10, 2010. I'll then be drawing 3 random winners from all the entries. This contest open to residents of the USA and Canada, only.

Discover a great degree at certificate paralegal

Details on Wisconsin Dog Fair 2010 in Madison

Tuesday, September 14, 2010 Comments

Mad About Pets' guide to feeding wild birds in Wisconsin

Monday, September 13, 2010 Comments

Here in Wisconsin, we are fortunate to have a wide array of wild birds to watch year round. If you enjoy watching birds, setting up a few bird feeders is a great way to attract them to your yard, balcony, or patio. The right type of bird feeder to purchase depends on what type of birds you're hoping to attract and how much space you have at your disposal. Here is a list of the most common types of bird feeders available, what types of seed work best in each feeder, and some of the Wisconsin birds you can expect to see at your feeder.

TUBE FEEDER- Tube bird feeders are excellent feeders for attracting smaller song birds. They are a cylindrical tubes with tiny openings for releasing small bird seed; the openings are generally small enough that large birds cannot fit their beaks in to extract the seed. Generally the perches are too small for larger birds, or the feeders may entirely lack purchases in the case of mesh feeders. The feeders can be plastic, wire mesh, or sometimes just a hanging sack of cloth mesh.

Best seed- Thistle, nyjer, sunflower chips (if seed opening is big enough), Finch blends

Common birds- Goldfinch, House Finch, Chipping Sparrow, House Sparrow, Purple Finch

HOPPER FEEDER- A hopper bird feeder is more or less a reservoir that holds seed, and gravity causes the seed to disperse onto a flat tray (hopper.) This type of feeder is great for larger birds that cannot perch on tube style feeders, and a more versatile seed blend can be selected.  Spillage from this feeder will attract other birds on the ground as well.

Best seed- Sunflower seeds, whole corn, millet, peanuts, safflower, insects, cracked corn, thistle

Common birds- Cardinal, Mourning Dove, Blue Jay, Nuthatch, Finches, Sparrows, Woodpecker, Chickadee

SUET FEEDER- Suet bird feeders are generally hung to attract woodpeckers. Suet is a cake made of animal fat, and often has seed, fruit or insects blended into the cake. A suet feeder is usually just a wire cage which holds the suet cake and prevents hungry possums and raccoons from running away with it. Suet is very important to Wisconsin birds, as it provides them with the necessary fat content they require year-round. A suet feeder should be incorporated into any bird feeder setup when possible.

Best feed- Store bought suet, homemade suet

Common birds- Blue Jay, Cardinal, Nuthatch, Wren, Starling, Redheaded Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker

HUMMINGBIRD FEEDER- Hummingbird feeders are different from every other type of bird feeder in that they dispense liquid, rather than solid seed. Hummingbirds drink nectar from flowers, so the feeder is filled with a sugary nectar substitute. The feeder has a small opening for the hummingbird to insert his beak and drink of the nectar. This type of feeder can also be attractive to orioles. Hummingbirds only live in Wisconsin during the summer months, so this feeder should be put away when it begins to cool off outside. Four species of hummingbird have been documented in Wisconsin, although only two are common: the Rufous Hummingbird and the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. These hummingbirds winter in Central America.

Best feed- Commercial hummingbird food, Homemade hummingbird syrup

Common birds- Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Rufous Hummingbird, Orioles

ORIOLE FEEDERS- Oriole feeders come in several different varieties. Some oriole feeders simply contain nectar syrup, much like a hummingbird feeder. They are larger to accomodate the larger size of the bird. Some feeders simply contain a spike on which to spear an orange, orioles favorite food.  Many commercial oriole feeders will incorporate orange slices, jelly, and nectar into one feeder.

Best feed- orange slices/halves, jelly, oriole nectar

Common birds- Orioles

Great Product Find: Nylabone Nubz Dental Treats for Dogs

Wednesday, September 1, 2010 Comments

Did you know that dental disease affects up to 80% of pets over the age of three? The first sign of dental disease in dogs is often bad breath. You might also notice lethargy, bleeding and swelling of the gums, and reluctance to play with chew toys. Dental disease might seem like a minor issue, but it can actually lead to far more severe health matters including problems with the heart, kidneys, and other organs. The infected parts of the mouth have bacteria that can spread to other parts of the body, often causing severe illness or infections.

It's best to start a dental care regimen as soon as you get a new pet. Your veterinarian can give you great tips on how to brush your pet's teeth, and your pet will become accustomed to it over time. If your pet's dental health has been neglected for some time, you can schedule a dental cleaning with your veterinarian where your pet will be put under anesthesia and receive a thorough dental cleaning and extraction of any infected teeth, if necessary. Your vet will also do a blood panel to see if the dental infection has spread into the bloodstream at all. Another great option for supplementing your pet's dental health is dental treats.

A perfect example of a dental treat for your dog is a product I've recently discovered called Nylabone Nubz, Edible Dental Dog Chews. These dog chews are highly digestible, made of real chicken with no added sugar, salt, plastic, or preservatives, and they are also gluten-free (great for dogs with food allergies.) Nylabone has been creating quality bones and chews for dogs for over 50 years, crafted right in the United States.

Nylabone Nubz are textured treats with nubs (hence the name!)which help clean teeth, freshen breath, and reduce plaque and tartar build-up as your dog chews. Each package contains over 2 pounds of treats, 18 large-sized bones in all. The large bones can also be easily split to create 36 smaller bones. Feeding one dental bone per day is a great way to help keep your dog's mouth in great health and aid in preventing potentially dangerous plaque and tartar build-up before it starts. These treats should, or course, be used in conjunction with a regular dental hygiene regimene for your dog (including trips to the veterinarian.)

TIP: Nylabone products can be found at most popular retailers, but Costco members can enjoy a special discount! From August 19-September 12, 2010, Costco members can use a coupon in their monthly coupon book for $3.50 off Nylabone Nubz while supplies last.

Dog Paddle 2010 to be held September 12, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010 Comments

From Capital K9's:

Thanks to dedicated volunteers, generous sponsors and a heap of water-loving dogs the annual event to help raise money for the Madison K9 Unit is back. We are expecting a crowd so be sure to come early and have your registration form filled out to avoid long waiting times.

Sorry, no puppies or intact dogs allowed. All dogs must have proper vaccinations and current dog license. It is very important to note that we have a ZERO AGGRESSION POLICY. Any dogs that engage in aggressive behavior will be asked to leave immediately for the safety and security of all participants. For helpful links and additional rules and guidelines please click here.

What is Dog Paddle?

Each year Capital K9s hosts a canine only swim event to raise money for the Madison Police Department K9 Unit. A census of the greater Madison area puts the number of licensed dogs at near 15,000. More than 1000 of those were at the event in 2009 and that number is expected to climb. Activities may include, but are not limited to the following:
*Biggest splash contest
*Fastest retrieve contest
*Farthest water jump contest
*“Coolest wet dog” contest
*Photos with K9 Madison K9 teams
*Live remote radio broadcast

How much does it cost?

There is an admission and registration fee of $10 per dog. The fee also includes entry for two people. For those without dogs there will be a fee of $5 per person. Children 14 and under will be admitted free.
When is it?

September 12, 10 am – 4 pm. Other than menacing weather, this event will go on rain-or-shine.
Where is it?

Irwin A. and Robert D. Goodman Swimming Pool
325 Olin Avenue
Madison, WI 53713

Guest Post: Why We Shouldn’t Ignore Older Shelter Pets

Thursday, August 26, 2010 Comments

Puppies and kittens are only part of the great selection of pets available from the many animal shelters in the USA. Older, and in many cases, already trained pets make up a large portion of the population of these temporary homes for unwanted and unloved pets.

Animal shelters were set up as a safe haven for pets whose owners did not realise the amount of time, effort and money that is required in looking after an animal. It has been estimated that almost half the pets in the shelters are euthanized due to a lack of suitable new homes available. It is likely that many of these are older pets.

When visiting an animal shelter, chances are you will be immediately be drawn in by the cute looks from young animals just wanting you to make them your newest family member. But try not to neglect the great selection of older pets that are also available. These pets are often already vaccinated, spayed or neutered, de-wormed, and most importantly – toilet trained! So the chance of ‘little accidents’ is somewhat less than with young puppies or kittens!

It is an age old fact that kittens and puppies are bought as presents, which seems like the best idea in the world at the time. The realization of what you have let yourself in for only begins to sink in with the chewed up shoes, hairs in the carpet and the need to walk them or let them in the garden in the freezing cold and pouring down rain. Not such a brilliant idea now. Or the pet that was bought for a child that promised they would walk, feed and generally look after it which also loses its novelty when it is no longer so small and adorable.

What is often considered the easy option is to pack the pets off to a shelter where they can just be forgotten about. This is why there is such a huge amount of older animals being left in shelters. People seem to forget the famous saying, ‘a pet is for life, not just for Christmas’.

Now you wouldn’t want to be overlooked or ignored just for being an adult would you? Or be left on the shelf for a younger and seemingly more appealing model. So next time you consider a new addition to the family, why not take a look at the pets that don’t get the attention they most definitely deserve.

(This article was written by Ellie on behalf of GJW Titmuss pet supplies)

Photo credit: www.miccio.org

Madison cockfighting case dismissed.

Monday, August 23, 2010 Comments

Jorge Iglesias (photo below), the Madison man accused last year of running a cockfighting operation out of his home, is a free man. The Dane County District Attorney moved to dismiss all charges on August 17, 2010. All thirteen charges of Instigation of Animal Fights have been dropped, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Click here for more information about the original charges, and here for a great story from the Wisconsin State Journal.

Madison's very own: Comfy Cozy Pet Furniture

Thursday, August 19, 2010 Comments

Do you want to support local pet businesses, but just don't find enough variety in-store? Good news- you can shop online for pet furniture, products, and gifts, and STILL support local Madison entrepreneurs!

Online retailer Comfy Cozy Pet Furniture provides designer and luxury pet furniture for cats and dogs of all sizes. The website features quality premium cat and dog beds for sale, in small and large sizes, bumper, donut/round, and elevated/raised. They also offer a large selection of Made in the USA and earth eco friendly furniture for your pet.

Madison resident Barb Pawlik has owned and operated Comfy Cozy Pet Furniture since 2007. Her husband, Carl, helps out by doing unique engraved glass pet portraits, memorials, pet portrait lights, etc. It is truly a 21st century "mom and pop" business! As of March 11, 2009, Comfy Cozy Pet Furniture carries only products made in the USA. According to Barb, "I've always thought it was important to try to use only products produced in America in both my personal and business life. I'm happy to say I've now found several manufacturers who not only make their own products right here on U.S. soil, they do it in an earth-friendly manner. Yes, you can buy less expensive beds, gates, toys & more elsewhere. But I hope you won't! This is my small effort to support USA workers and the products they make. If we all make some contribution to this effort maybe we can turn the economy around. It's become my mantra, "Is it made in the US? Ok, let's talk. If not, thanks but no thanks." "

So before you buy your next piece of pet furniture from Amazon or another online retailer, consider purchasing from Comfy Cozy Pet Furniture to keep your money right here in Madison supporting local business and American manufacturing.

Catapalooza 2010- this weekend!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Click HERE for more info on Catapalooza!

From City Hall Pet Gifts:

Customer Appreciation Pawty

This Saturday August 14, 2010 from 11:00 - 4:00

To celebrate 3 years in business we're throwing a customer appreciation party to say "Thank You" to all our loyal customers. Don't miss out on a day of fun for you and your dog with free treats, food, games, and a huge sale.

FREE Doggy Treat Bag!!!!!

Get a FREE Doggy Treat Bag with samples of 6 different treats when you make a purchase.


Come hungry! We will be serving:

-Grilled brats
-Delicious cookies from Golden Days Bakery

Plus there will be SNO CONES for everyone! Traditional flavors for people and Bowser Beer flavor for dogs.


For a chance at a special prize have your dog play one of two fun games:

Pop the Bubbles: Pop 5 bubbles in 1 minute to win. Bubbles used are made especially for dogs to chase in a peach flavor and don't pop as easy as traditional soap bubbles.

Bobbing for Treats: 5 freeze dried pieces of beef treats will be placed in a tub and if your dog can fish them all out in 1 minute a special prize will be awarded.


Take advantage of this special chance to save on just about everything in the store.

-30% off all Carriers
-25% off all Purses and Wallets
-20% off all Collars and Leashes
-20% off all Food and Water Dishes
-20% off all Dental Products
-15% off all Toys
-15% off all Food

*A Dog's Life Treats $5 (regular $7.99)

*Pet Green Treats Buy 1 get 1 FREE

See you at the Pawty for a barking good time!

CH Pet Gifts
100 East Main Street
Sun Prairie, WI 53590
(608) 318-2000


From the Dane County Humane Society:

Beginning Class, Part 1

"Energy and Breath Connection"
10:00 am - 12:00 pm (noon)

Learn how Animal Communication works in an exciting, gentle and step-by-step manner. Experience the energy that messages (words, pictures, feelings) resides on, so you can interpret it and know your horses, dogs or cats deepest desires! Practice basic breathing skills and see how the breath spontaneously opens the heart which leads directly to the soul of your companion. Bring pictures, for an opportunity to practice talking to the animals!

Class consists of:

-Guided Meditation
-Breathing Exercises
-Energy Awareness Exercises
-Talking to the Animals

Beginning Class, Part 2

"Heart to Heart Connection"
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Learn to move messages, with greater clarity and detail between your heart center and your beloved animal companion's heart center. Get details on their desires in life, ask questions and receive answers back! Bring pictures of your companions, for an opportunity to practice talking to many different animals!

Class consists of:

-Heart-to-Heart Guided Meditation
-Breathing Exercises
-Energy Awareness
-Talking to the Animals


** You are welcome to take one or both classes. If you have already taken the full day basic class with Asia, then you'd be ok to just take the second class (Part 2). **

Class Time and Registration:
August 21, 2010

Part 1 - 10:00 am - 12:00 pm ($45.00)
Part 2 - 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm ($45.00)

Location: Training Room, Dane County Humane Society, 5132 Voges Road, Madison, WI 53718

To Register:

ContactAsiaVoight@aol.com, 608-438-Asia

Website: www.AsiaVoight.com

Mailing Address:

Asia Voight
c / o Jane Austen
P.O. Box 192
Baraboo, WI 53913-0192

About Asia Voight

Asia has been an Internationally known Animal Communicator, Teacher and Healer for eleven years. She has been featured in news programs seen on ABC, NBC, and Fox TV. Speaking in front of thousands of animal lovers as a keynote speaker for events like the Midwest Horse Fair, Madison, Wisconsin, Asia amazes audiences with her on-the-spot personal readings. Asia's voice has been heard throughout the United States supporting animal wisdom on many radio interviews like the Rick Lamb Show and dressage rider Jane Savoie's tele-seminar. Readers of numerous newsprint publications (the cover of Women Magazine, the front pages of the WI State Journal and the Fitchburg Star) have been inspired by her uplifting and healing Animal Communication work. Asia has a published chapter in Crossing the Rubicon: Celebrating the Human-Animal Bond in Life and Death.

Having 35,000 successful conversations with animals, Asia passes on this impressive experience and teaches workshops gently and step-by-step on how to connect with one's own animal companions and all of nature. An enthusiastic health and body-aware person all of her life (especially after a life-altering car accident), Asia brings twenty years of training in yoga and meditation to her class itinerary.

Asia's home includes four horses: two Paints, a Morgan and a Mini! Asia has been studying Natural Horsemanship, and Connected Riding in the arena and on the trail for eighteen years. Asia's journey continues with her trips to Bimini, Bahamas, where she facilitates week-long swims with wild dolphins. Soon she will be adding worldwide whale, turtle and horseback riding adventures to this already impressive list.

What Clients and students are saying...

"The depth of our companion's thoughts, feelings, and aspirations were astounding. Your ability to reach out and connect us to our horses and dogs at that level is nothing short of miraculous. My world and how I perceive it has been changed forever."
- Jan Bogren, Reiki Master, Inspirational Teacher

"Asia's gifts include her teaching ability. Her warmth and professionalism provide a strong foundation for her classes. She creates an inclusive, supportive environment, encouraging and celebrating each students learning. Asia's personal experiences and anecdotes entertain as she leads her students toward better communication with animals."
- Barb Stanek, College Teacher for 30 years

Congratulations to Barbara M. of St. Cloud, MN. She was randomly selected to win the FURminator deLuxe deShedding Tool for cats!

Thanks to all who entered. Please keep reading Mad About Pets for all the latest pet news, reviews, and great contests!

From DCHS:

Join Dane County Humane Society (DCHS) in our 2011 "Make Your Pet a Pin-up" calendar photo contest! Not only will your pet be guaranteed a place in the limelight - but also your entry donation will support thousands of homeless animals that are still waiting for their own time to shine.

Calling all procrastinators!

The submission deadline has been extended to July 25, 2010!

Now through July 25, 2010 we are accepting photos that will be eligible to win a spot in our calendar. We will also be opening voting NEXT WEEK for our Fan Favorites! And remember, EVERY photo gets a spot in the calendar.

Grand Prize - one lucky pet will grace the cover of the 2011 calendar and receive three complimentary calendars to distribute to their adoring fans.

First Place - eight lucky winners will have their photo featured as the "Pet of the Month" and will also receive a free calendar.

Fan Favorites - four lucky companions will be chosen as featured seasonal representatives through online voting being held July - August and will also receive a free calendar.

Runners-up - at least 60 pets will have their pics featured in smaller photos within the calendar portion of each month's page.

Best Friends' Collage - ALL entries will be featured in separate collage pages within the calendar.

A $20 entry donation fee per photo is requested. Every entrant that gives $20 will also receive a free calendar! All proceeds go directly to the homeless animals in our care. All entries will be blind judged by DCHS staff.

For more information, click here.

From Tabby & Jack's:

It brings us great excitement to announce that we will be opening a location on the Capitol Square this August! After much research in many of Madison's neighborhoods and the surrounding communities, we found the Capitol Square to be the greatest opportunity for us. The Central Downtown District currently is lacking a pet store and grooming facility and we are thrilled to fill this need!

We will be located at 14 W. Mifflin on the Square located next to Coopers Tavern and conveniently located 1/2 block from State Street. Meter Parking is available on Mifflin or in the W. Dayton/N. Carroll parking ramp only one block away.

We will provide the same human grade dog and cat food free of byproducts and fillers. Our focus still remains on fresh foods containing raw meats balanced for your dog or cat. Of course the unique accessories will also be plentiful including new lines of gifts for the pet lover.

We will also provide full service grooming. Our holistic grooming salons provide the most calming environment for your pet. We do not use cage dryers and only use the highest quality products free of any chemicals. The 1-2 hour appointment is ideal for a trip to the square with just enough time to grab a bite to eat, some java or shopping on State Street.

To make a Capitol Square location possible, we are moving our inventory and equipment from Struck Street and closing the west side store. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause our west side patrons, and hope you understand that this was an opportunity of a lifetime that was too hard to pass up.

Because of the anticipated closing, new store hours for Struck Street will be as follows:

-Monday: Closed
-Tuesday: Closed
-Wednesday: 11-6
-Thursday: 11-6
-Friday: 11-6
-Saturday: 9-1
-Sunday: Closed

Starting immediately, everything store-wide at the Struck Street location is 20% Off. We anticipate Struck Street closing permanently in approximately 3 weeks.

Please stay tuned for our downtown opening sometime in August!

Bone Appetit!

The Pack at Tabby & Jack's

Review: The Perch by DKCat

Monday, July 19, 2010 Comments

I must say I wasn’t totally sure how The Perch from DKCat was going to go over with the Mad About Pets cats. As you may know from my earlier review of the SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post, vertical scratchers don’t seem to be “their thing.” Nonetheless, The Perch sports a perch on top (hence the name) so I figured if anything it would at least be a place for the cats to hang out and survey the goings-on in the living room.

Surprise! Whatever lack of enthusiasm the cats had for the Ultimate Scratching Post, they more than made up for with their love of The Perch. Within minutes of setting it up in the living room, Gabe was sitting on top of it. Andromeda was scratching it with enormous vigor. Even shy Rory was checking it out and playing near it!

The cats love The Perch so much they actually argue with each other over who gets to be near it. Sometimes if Andromeda is using it, Rory will come over to chase her away and claim it for himself. Rory has sort of designated it as his own special possession, and you can often find him laying at the base of The Perch lazily, daring the other cats to try to take it away. (photo: left)

In short, The Perch has been a smash hit with the Mad About Pets cats!

Here’s a little info about The Perch itself. The 26” post is wrapped in thick sisal rope, a favorite texture for scratching with many cats. The post is off-center on the thick plywood base, and the base is covered with coarse carpet. This allows loads of room for kitties to scratch vertically and horizontally. Many cat owners believe that carpet should not be used on a scratching post as it encourages cats to use the stairs or other carpeted surfaces for scratching. However, the carpet by Interface Flor used on The Perch is unlike “regular” carpet used in homes; it is very thin and coarse, so there is very little chance your cat will confuse it with any carpet in your house. In fact, The Perch has stopped Andromeda from scratching on our stairs (which used to be a favorite pastime of hers.) She now uses The Perch instead.

Atop the scratching post is an 11” x 11” perch for cats to sit and watch the world go by. It’s common knowledge that cats love heights, so having another place for kitty to sit up high and observe is a definite bonus.

The Perch is available in 4 color schemes, all of which are very neutral and unobtrusive. The modern aesthetic is much appreciated in our household, as The Perch does not stand out terribly and become an eyesore as many cat scratchers and trees do.

In conclusion, go buy a Perch from DKCat NOW! It rocks!

DKCat is a California-based company run by Dani Kilmer. DKCat's focus is eco-friendly yet modern cat towers and scratchers. Mad About Pets was lucky enough to score an exclusive interview with Ms. Kilmer, and learn more about her incredible company DKCat and how it all got started:

-How did you get into designing pet furniture?

I worked as an interior designer before starting DK Cat just over a year ago, and one of my favorite parts of that job was designing the details for custom casework and built-in furniture. (photo left: Dani Kilmer) I also enjoyed restoring old furniture in my spare time. So when we added cat #3 to the household and desperately needed a better cat tree, I naturally decided I would design and build one for myself. I started by overhauling an old cat tree I had purchased at a pet store years before -- replacing the shaggy dusty carpet with a better quality one, adding wood trim edges and re-roping the shredded sisal. It turned out okay, but still had some inherent clumsy design flaws, in my opinion, as well as crude connection details.

I then started working on prototypes for a new and improved cat tree that eventually became the “Platform C.” I gave them to friends and family, and it got great feedback from cat and human testers alike. I was looking for a career shift at the time anyway, and the slowing economy eventually provided the opportunity to take the leap and start a new business.

-What is your design background?

I studied interior design at the University of Missouri in Columbia, then moved to San Francisco and worked for 12 years at three different architecture firms on a variety of healthcare and academic projects. I got a lot of design education on the job because the bar was really high, and I faced such a variety of design challenges designing for sick people and students. I also actually come from a long line of Mennonites who were very inventive yet practical, and that sense of simplicity and authenticity was instilled in me and definitely influences my design tendencies. I am also always taking design-related classes like photography, painting, woodworking, and have been studying Visual Arts at the University of California - Berkeley’s Extension for the past two years to further my appreciation and practice of art and design.

-How do you choose which materials to make your products from?

I choose materials that are natural and/or eco-friendly, first and foremost. I often rely on what I learned about sustainable materials when I was working as a LEED accredited interior designer. I knew from experience that two of the primary materials used in making cat furniture, carpet and plywood, both are indoor air polluters and can be toxic (and ugly!). So those were the first two things I set out to improve. I knew about Interface Flor’s high quality carpet tile, which is better for indoor air quality and uses recycled materials, and I found a formaldehyde-free plywood made from bamboo. I also am lucky to have access to multiple green building salvage yards in the Bay Area, where I gather reclaimed wood studs for the scratching posts instead of buying new ones, which means fewer trees are cut down. They get completely covered in sisal, so it doesn’t matter if they are not brand new. The sisal and wood trim are both new materials, but completely natural. I only use non-toxic wood glue and water-based stains and finishes. Other than the “green” criteria, I look for things with textural qualities that make interesting combinations with the other materials.

-What is the manufacturing process like for your furniture?

I currently make everything myself, with some help from my husband for the heavy lifting. I work out of a small workshop attached to the house (aka the garage). The process involves a combination of pre-cutting certain components in advance, such as the plywood structures and wood posts. After that, each product is made to order. I start by making the perch(es), which involves attaching the wood trim to the bamboo plywood, then staining and/or finishing the wood trim. When those are finished, the posts get attached, then wrapped in two widths of sisal rope (for enhanced texture and improved durability). Finally, additional perches are attached (depending on the product) and the carpet tiles are inserted. The process includes a variety of steps, each rewarding in its own way -- cutting wood is loud, dirty and empowering, while carefully painting on the wood finishes is quiet, calming and almost Zen-like.

-What is your favorite piece of pet furniture you've designed?

It is hard to decide which is my favorite! It is probably the one the cats like the best, which is the real goal in making them, and that would have to be the “Platform T,” as I have dubbed it. It is a custom taller version of the 26-inch high “Platform C.” (photo left) It is five feet tall and has four perches in addition to the base. All of the perches are anchored to a large central sisal post, and that post is exposed on one side to allow them to actually shimmy up the full height of the tree. It lives next to the sliding glass door, where the views of birds and squirrels are the best. All three of the cats can fit at once to watch the outdoors or play together. I have been working on developing this design for DK Cat as well, but unfortunately have run into some roadblocks when it comes to shipping. It is also a little big to manage in my small workshop by myself. I have started working on a four-foot high version though, which I anticipate will be easier to ship. Hopefully you will see it on dkcat.com sometime this year!

Up next...Mad About Pets' review of the DKcat Perch!

Review: Furminator deLuxe deShedding Tool + BONUS GIVEAWAY!

Thursday, July 8, 2010 Comments

It's no secret to readers of Mad About Pets that I am crazy about the FURminator. I love it, I swear by it...I make my friends and family each buy one. If you're new to the world of the Furminator or didn't get a chance to read my original review, check it out here.

When I wrote my intial review of the FURminator, I was writing about the classic deShedding tool for cats. As it turns out, there is a whole new "deLuxe" line of products available since I wrote my review, with upgraded features from the original brush. Imagine my surprise when the fine folks at FURminator sent me a FURminator deLuxe deShedding tool for cats to try out! Yippy!!

The first thing I noticed about the deLuxe FURminator is it is significantly less heavy than the previous version. The head of the brush weighs much less, so there isn't as much of a possibility of knocking your unsuspecting pet unconcious while grooming him as with the classic version. The deShedding blade is the same size in the new version, so the reduction in mass doesn't sacrifice the quality of the blade.

The handle has been totally redesigned to make it an ergonomic fit for your hand. This is a major improvement over the classic model, as maneuvering the deLuxe FURminator is positively a breeze. The classic model did leave a bit to be desired as far as ease of use, so the new handle is a welcome change.

Rounding out the new design features is a quick-release button to release all the hair you collect with the touch of a button. This is nice when you really get into a good grooming rhythm, so you can release the hair into the inevitable pile 'o hair with one hand rather than stopping what you're doing and collecting it in your hand.

The changes to the new FURminator are very nice, and both new and old users of the FURminator deShedding tools will enjoy the deLuxe line. Just as with the classic model, I just don't have enough good things to say about the FURminator! It's an awesome product!!


In addition to sending me one to try out, the FURminator folks also sent me a FURminator deLuxe deShedding tool for cats to giveaway!

To enter the giveaway:

All you need to do is leave a comment on this post telling me why you'd like to win the FURminator.

Want some extra entries? Here's how:

5 extra entries:

*Blog about this contest with a link to this post (leave me a comment with a link)

1 extra entry:

*Tweet a link to this giveaway @MadAboutPets
*Follow me on Twitter
*Join my Facebook fan page
*Subscribe to my feed
*Post a link to Mad About Pets on your blog or site

Please leave a separate comment for each additional entry to state you have completed the requirement. I highly suggest that you leave your email address in your comment(s) so that I am able to contact you ASAP if you're the winner. If I cannot contact the winner within 3 days, I will have to draw a new winner.

The giveaway begins today and ends at 11:59 Central Time on July 18, 2010. I'll then be drawing a random winner from all the entries.

Good luck!!

Breaking news: Dwayne Johnson sentenced in puppy-killing case!

Friday, July 2, 2010 Comments

Dwayne Johnson, the 35-year-old Madison man who plead no contest to charges of beating a puppy to death with a flashlight in December of 2009, was sentenced today.

Dane County Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi sentenced Dwayne Johnson to 2 1/2 years in prison, and 3 years of extended supervision. Justice is served!

(Pictured: Dwayne R. Johnson, 35, of Madison)

Click here to read about the incredibly cruel charges against the defendant.

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