Archive for October, 2010

What’s a Blogroll?

A)  The monster under your bed

B)  Those little crunchy things in the corner of your eye when you wake up

C)  A dinner roll dipped in gravy

D)  A list of links to other blogs

     And the answer is….D…sort of.  The original intent of the Blogroll list was to connect readers to other blogs that may be of interest to them.  However, the list evolved over time to include non-blog websites.

     The Blogroll featured here (look to the right) includes animal-related and non-animal-related sites.  Our clients have varied interests over and above pet ownership, so some sites (Norfolk Botanical Gardens, The Hermitage Museum) reflect that.  Other sites, such as Cooper:  Photographer Cat and The Delta Society, offer a sweeter look at pets and their people.  And still others, like Pet Poison Helpline and Tidewater Animal Emergency, are in the need-to-know category for our clients.

     If you haven’t clicked the links in our Blogroll yet, give it a try and find out what you’ve been missing.  If you know of an awesome site that I should check out and add to the list, tell me about it.  I’d like to know what I’ve been missing, too.  ~~  Jen

P.S.  Remember to click the Sign Me Up! button on our blog, so you can be notified by e-mail when there are new posts to read.

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Halloween Haiku Part 2

Jack-o-lanterns glow

Witches cackle and cast spells

We shout Trick or Treat


Dogs dressed as devils

Cats wearing pirate costumes

On All Hallow’s Eve


Bats flitting about

Now you see them, now you don’t

Vampires in the air


I pass an old man

Tired from working all day

Trick – boy in disguise


Flashlights pierce the dark

Tiny witch and her papa

Her small hand in his


The door creaks open –

A hand reaches out to me

I take the candy



Leaves crunch under foot-

We grab treats from door to door,

Happy Halloween! 

(Submitted by Alexandra W.)

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Halloween Haiku Part 1

Who is that calling,

Sitting in the old oak tree?

An owl watches us


Black cat stalks its prey

Then pretends to look away;

Will the mouse escape?


Trees scratch at the sky

Reaching out to grasp the moon

She sails out of reach


Dark house on the hill

Eyes glowing in window panes –

But no one lives there


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     Have you looked at your pet’s feet lately?  What do the toenails look like?  Unless your dog or cat gets groomed on a regular basis, its nails could be growing wild.  Some dogs and cats are afflicted with claws that grow around into the toepads.  The result is a bloody and painful mess.  Dewclaws or “thumbnails” which are not trimmed can sometimes catch in rugs, upholstery, or fences and tear or break off, which also leaves a bloody and painful mess.  Untrimmed nails may also cause your pet’s toes to spread apart when standing or walking, which can cause discomfort.

     Are your pet’s nails clicking on the floor?  It is probably time to trim them back.  You can do this at home with a cooperative pet, a good pair of nail clippers, and steady nerves.

     If your pet’s nails are white and you can see the pink quick inside, trim in front of the quick to lessen the chance of cutting a vein.  The quick is the fleshy part of the toenail, which has veins and can bleed when cut.  Leave a little bit of white nail between the trimmer and the quick.

     If your pet’s nails are black, you will not be able to see the quick.  In this case, trim off small amounts at a time.  In some pets, the tip of the nail is thinner than the base and is hollow-looking from the underside.  This is typically a safe area to cut, as it rarely contains blood vessels.

     Do not trim more than you are comfortable with.  If you feel that you have not removed enough of the nail, be sure to ask a groomer or vet to finish the job.  Keep in mind that a pet will sometimes sense the owner’s nervousness and become nervous in response.  If you are anxietous about trimming your pet’s nails, because you are afraid of cutting the quick, your anxiety may transfer to your pet which will then run and hide, saving you the trouble of trimming its nails.  As a result, you may wish to ask a groomer or the veterinary staff to do it for you.

     If you do cut the quick, the nail will bleed.  Use styptic powder or cornstarch with cotton and firm pressure to stop the bleeding.  Cut the other nails longer than any that bleed.  You can try a dremel tool like the sort advertised on tv, but we have heard few positive remarks about them.  Most clients report that their pets do not like the sound of the tool and run out of the room.

     Want more information?  Washington State University has produced a guide to trimming claws on dogs and cats.  ~~  Jen

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Finding Santa


     Christmas is only two months away, so you know what that means: time to lock down Santa for your holiday party.  Finding Santa is an art.  Too skinny?  Throw him back.  Fake beard?  No thank you.  Low tolerance for children and rowdy grown-ups?  He’s in the wrong line of work.

     Now, why should I care?  Because I happen to know* a good Santa.  Someone who fits all the parameters.  Someone who happens to be a local celeb.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Craig T. Adams.  Craig is one of the masterminds behind Fuzz and Stuffing Puppets (the other is his wife, Debra Burrell.)  He is also a writer, producer, actor (Brain, Waldo, et al) and propmaker on Dr. Madblood’s late night show.

     Craig Adams is a master of disguise AND he works well with children (see puppet credits) and rowdy adults (see Madblood cast), which is why he is a natural choice to play Santa at your holiday event.  Best of all?  The beard is real.

     Don’t wait until the last minute – book Craig Adams today.  For rates and booking information call 757-480-2991 (office) or 757-406-4600 (mobile); e-mail

     Read more about Craig Adams here:

and here:

*We were privileged for many years to care for Craig and Debra’s cats at our vet clinic.  Though the last of their furry family members passed away years ago, we keep in touch with Craig and Debra and bump into them at events around town.  ~ Jen


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Picture Day

When I think of autumn, I think of

October at Smith's Fort Plantation

Autumn in Surry County

The view from Blarney Castle

Adare, County Limerick, Ireland

     What are your favorite images of autumn?

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     Itchy, flaky skin.  Dull haircoat.  Excessive shedding.  Sound like your dog?  If you’re tired of bathing your dog weekly in an effort to improve its skin and coat, it may be time to try a different approach.  Your pet may need a nutritional supplement, like ProDerma.

     We’ve been dispensing ProDerma for years as a healthy, drug-free method of skin and fur maintenance.  ProDerma is a nutritional supplement in powder form which can be sprinkled over any kind of pet food.  It can even be made into a broth.  Its essential fatty acids, proteins, and vitamins help restore and protect healthy skin and coats.

       Clients have seen a demonstrable improvement in their pet’s skin and coat condition when using ProDerma.  It is safe to use as a daily supplement for all life stages.  Ask us about it on your next visit. 

~  Jen

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