What About the Pets?

There is so much tragic human news as we get set to honor our veterans on Memorial Day that brings out the compassion in all of us.  But what about the pets?  One of several groups working with veterans today is PACT for Animals.  The group is helping by caring for and then reuniting soldiers with their pets through its foster care program.

The horrific Oklahoma tornado is certainly foremost on our minds, as it should be.  The good news if any is the amount of human kindness shown to those in need.  For the pets, the story is still unfolding.  Tragically, according to dvm360, it appears many pets and animals have died in the terrible storm.   There are some heroic tales as well, including one about a hero dog guarding the body of its owner.  The American Humane Association is sending much needed support and will continue to update us via their social media platforms.

What about the pets in other areas looking for forever homes? Maddie’s Pet Adoption Days, the first free New York City wide Adoption Event, takes place next weekend — June 1 and June 2 in New York City.  Check out the blog post from Debra Horwitz, DVM, DACVB on the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals web site.  The Keep the L.O.V.E. Alive Behavior Express Tour bus will also be at June 1-2 events in New York City.

In other news, as pet owners travel the country with pets this summer,  The Center for Pet Safety is set to test travel products this summer.

What about the pets?  It looks like there are plenty of people and organizations that care.  Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

We Remember

We Remember. We remember who perished. We remember who helped. We remember where we were. We remember how we felt. Good or bad, we remember.

At goodnewsforpets, we are quietly remembering the search dogs that helped. The New York City-based American Kennel Club honors this special breed of hero. We reposted Steve Dale’s Inside Ground Zero column and our beloved New Yorker, the late Mordecai Siegal’s Paw Prints in the Dust. In Canine’s Role in Search and Rescue, FEMA tells us how urban search and rescue dogs are now used.

On 9-11, I remember I was in my office at the Livestock Exchange Building in Kansas City. I was reconfirming a phone interview for a client with a New York City business reporter. My then three school-age children were – in school. And then the world changed for everyone.

Frantic phone calls to my mom who lived just blocks from the World Trade Center – and who loved to frequently go there and to nearby Battery Park. Finally connecting by email. She was safe – thank G — she and her neighbors helping the streams of people coming from downtown as best they could. Calling the reporter who thought the smoke would clear in a bit, and then with shaky voices abandoning our plans. I remember – I just wanted to get my kids and go HOME. We all did. Then, when I knew everyone in my family was safe, I wanted to come to my New York.

Now, on the 10th anniversary of that horrible day, I am in the New York City metro area. My mom has moved but has not forgotten. New York is still her beloved New York. There are loved ones of people where we live that did not come home. So many changes. And while the tributes and memorials come to a crescendo, there are conflicting emotions for New Yorkers who lived it – some want to remember, some do not. We all deal with it in our own way. We remember.

Lea-Ann O’Hare Germinder

Bits & Pieces for the Memorial Day Weekend

Congratulations to Taylor Kearns, one of our ten goodnewsforpets.com 10th anniversary winners of an iPad & matching shelter donation. You can read Taylor’s column, “What Is It About Those Cats? Belle Remembered & More ” and his feature story, “Belle, the Wiley Little Thing.”  Also take a look at the Pawmetto Lifeline web site, the shelter he designated to receive his $500 donation. 

The Morris Animal Foundation (MAF) has announced David Haworth, formerly of Pfizer Animal Health, has joined MAF as the new president & CEO.

Last week, I presented a seminar: “Stay True to Your Brand: Tweet, Poke & Post, But Don’t Forget the Basics“ at the NYC Pet Show Retailer Summit. While other social media platforms were discussed, much of the question & answer session focused on use of Linked In and the subgroups.  If you haven’t joined the network, I encourage you to check these by joining Linked In.

Weight management continues to be a hot topic.  There’s still buzz about the NYC event we attended in Union Square with Alison Sweeny and the Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. Million Pound Pledge.  And, goodnewsforpets.com columnist and veterinary surgeon Phil Zeltzman has his new book out, “Walk a Hound, Lose A Pound.”

Natural products in all shapes and sizes continue to be a growing trend.  We saw plenty of them at the NYC Pet Show.  Check out our “What’s New” featuring the Planet Petco line of new products.

The Kansas City Animal Health Corridor is gearing up for its August events.  A reminder the deadline for applications to the Investment Forum is June 24, 2011.

For more news, go to www.goodnewsforpets.com.  

It’s a short post this week as we head out for the holidays as well.  Have a great holiday weekend with your loved ones.

Shows, Events, Shows, Events — New York Style

Congratulations to Joe Canning, one of our goodnewsforpets.com 10th anniversary winners.  You can read Joe’s column, “Cats & Kids — We Love Them All” and view his award-winning video.  Joe does some amazing work and is really lovin’ his iPad that he won as part of the contest.

Since Global Pet Expo, we’ve been busy, busy with shows and events, New York Style!  The Pet Socialite, pet trend, lifestyle expert, and consultant Charlotte Reed presented “Better Health and Wellness,” an exclusive Pet Showcase at the Intercontinental, New York Barclay.  The Pet Socialist does these events fairly frequently and it’s a chance for New York media, bloggers and celebrities to check out the latest in pet products in an elegant setting.  A reality celebrity star of the Bravo network’s New Jersey Housewives made an appearance and of course more traditional media.

The showcase was limited to 20 pet products companies — from organic foods to exercise equipment to special collars. Even Petco made a big splash with its new Planet Petco line.  It was interesting to see the array of products displayed including the Trimline™ Recovery Collar. This is an ‘oh so soft” collar that is much more comfortable than the traditional hard plastic ones.  I remember my Labrador Randy Jo having to wear that big ol’ “Elizabethan” plastic collar after a surgery.  She looked so sad and we heard a lot of wimpering.   This collar is absolutely better and they’ve got testimonials from veterinarians to prove it!

Next up was a show a bit off-topic, the Macy’s Flower Show.  (Although I did see quite a few pooches in the park median at Herald Square).   I am a native New Yorker but this was the very first time I had seen the show.  Now I will tell you it is a MUST SEE for pet owners and non-pet owners alike.  In fact, Macy’s hosts spring flower shows in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Chicago, Minneapolis and San Francisco.  The show actually began at the San Francisco store in 1946, but the biggest surprise is the “flower show,”  is actually a spectacular array of specialty gardens – antebellum, Japanese, Tropical, Hydrangea and a Desert Garden OVER the merchandise displays!  It may even give Harrod’s a run for the money (see earlier post).  Plan to visit New York for this one and of course, check out our lovely pets!

Finally, we attended an event in NYC’s Union Square featuring Alison Sweeny kicking off a Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. Million Pound Pledge.  More on that next post…

Independence Defines the Moment

Independence.  It’s what the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, www.ada.gov gave to so many, and what service pets provide to those who need them each and every day.  Thank you Mayor Mike, for taking the time to celebrate that fact, in perfect New York style. 

New York City’s 2010 Mayor’s Awards honoring the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act was held August 10 as a summer barbecue on the sprawling 11-acre lawn of Gracie Mansion, built in 1799 and home to many mayors including Mayor Mike Bloomberg since 1942.

NYC 2010 Mayor's Awards

As we made our way during rush hour on an MTA bus, we paused to allow a wheelchair bound passenger motor up the special platform.  He was apologetic about delaying other passengers. As the bus driver strapped in his wheelchair, he whispered with assurance, “you are the priority here — don’t you worry.”  Once the bus arrived at Gracie Mansion, he deftly navigated the line to enter the event.

Barbecue at Gracie Mansion

  Brightly colored picnic tables were scattered on the lawn with ample room for the wheelchairs and physically challenged.  High-topped tables featured children’s pottery from the VSA New York City.

The event reminded me of the hard work of my colleagues, Ed and Toni Eames at the Dog Writer’s Association, who traveled the world with their guide dogs and ultimately published a book “Partners in Independence”,   to celebrate the dogs and those whose lives they enhanced.   Ed was a native New Yorker and would have loved the event.

Karen & Her Service Dog Jessa

The hot, humid August evening was also not about to deter Karen Eisenstadt and her service lab Jessa.  We met Karen at one of the picnic tables while her dog Jessa sat quietly under her feet.  She was blind, she was alone, but strikingly independent.  Jessa was 8-years-old and had come from Guiding Eyes for the Blind.  As the crowd patiently stood in line to get a photo with Mayor Mike, the line was cut off just as Karen’s turn came.  No matter she said, don’t fuss over her, she would just sit with Jessa until the line started again.  Independence did indeed define the moment.