Fast and Furriest Is Much More Than a Timed 5K Run & 1M Walk With Your Dog

Most Dogs Are Natural Networkers 

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Your neighborhood is filled with dog lovers. In the United States, nearly half of all households, 44 percent, include at least one dog according to the American Pet Products Association. Not only are dogs great companions, they help connect their owners to their communities and people who enjoy being outdoors with their pets.

Just visit a park to see what I mean. Pets are natural networkers introducing their owners to a variety of possibilities. FF-group-336x223I recall a dog park visit where I met a woman and her pet visiting for the first time. Hank was met with wagging tails. Hank’s owner had just moved from Atlanta. Other pet parents learned Hank came into her life in college and has been a constant companion through moves, break-ups and celebrations including the job promotion to Saint Louis. Hank helps her meet people, network and explore their new neighborhood.

You see, Hank loves to exercise with his owner. I mean serious running. Hank is a Whippet, a superb athlete as well as a gentle companion. Several of us made sure Hank can stretch his legs in an upcoming event to help homeless pets. I want to make sure you know about it too whether you have a pet or not! ffThe 9th Annual Fast and the Furriest 5K Run and 1-Mile Walk will be Sunday, April 23, 2017 at Hollywood Casino in Maryland Heights. The run is the Saint Louis original dog-owner professionally-timed race. Others with or without pets will take part in the walk at a leisurely pace or activities on the grounds. This is an event not only for athletes, but the entire family! There will be food trucks, vendors in addition to the activities. This major fundraiser for homeless pets in the Saint Louis area is sponsored by Purina.

Great FFYou can take a gamble on the 1 mile Pooch Poker Walk, which offers a more leisurely pace with the added fun of creating your best possible poker hand along the way. Both the 5K and 1M come complete with a race t-shirt and the best goody bag in town. There are special awards for fastest runners in each age group and for the fastest overall male and female dogs. But you don’t have to have a dog to get in on the fun.

FF%Collecting pledges for your participation with your pooch is another way to involve your friends and family while increasing your impact to help pets. A generous donor is matching all the pledges at the Fast and Furriest to raise double the amount for homeless pets at the APA Adoption Center. The top fundraiser will lead the race and gets a grand prize

It is easy to get registered and be a part of this fun mission to help pets. This is the link to learn more, register and invite pledges or visit the APA’s website at apamo.org.

Don’t miss this great opportunity to spend some quality time with your pup, get some exercise, help homeless pets and meet great people who love dogs. I’ll be there and I hope you will too!

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My Pet’s Cancer Diagnosis

541030_10200807370730847_356137719_nIt was frightening. I knew what the words meant, but couldn’t comprehend how they could possibly apply to us. I heard our veterinarian gently explain one of my beloved Maltese needed to see another veterinarian to explore our options. I was shocked. I forced myself to take a breath. My hands were shaking as a hundred questions raced through my mind. I was too afraid to ask some of those questions.

My sweet sixteen year old had slowed down, was a bit pickier about her food and didn’t like to get up before the sun, but she never seemed in pain as far as I had noticed. My best friend still had puppy moments; bark battles with the dog next door and always seemed to lead the way for her younger pack mate. I prayed our veterinarian was mistaken and there was another explanation.

Our long time veterinarian wasn’t wrong on her diagnosis. My dog was suffering from lymphoma.

Navigating a cancer diagnosis can be a frightening time for a pet owner. It is important to have access to information if you should ever face the issue with your pet. That is why May, 2016, is the seventh annual “Pet Cancer Awareness Month.”

Cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs over the age of 10. Cancer in cats is less common than cancer in dogs but it tends to be a more aggressive form. If caught early, about half of all cancers are curable.

“Cancer in pets is painfully common, frequently treatable, and among the most manageable chronic diseases of old age” explains Jeffrey N. Bryan, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVIM. The Director of the Scott Endowed Program in Veterinary Oncology and Comparative Oncology and Epigenetics Laboratory at the University Of Missouri College Of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Bryan has front line experience in amazing advances in pet cancer treatment.

Many cats and dogs diagnosed with cancer can be treated by their veterinarian. Some cancers can be removed surgically and the pet is cured. For others, there are many of the same options available to human cancer patients; radiation, chemotherapy and immunotherapy.

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Cancer therapies in pets are very effective if the cancer is caught early enough.

“Cancer treatment involves a lot of communication between what we refer to as the ‘triad of care’ – the pet parent, the primary care veterinarian, and the specialist,” says Gerald Post, DVM, MEM, DACVIM (Oncology), practice owner of The Veterinary Cancer Center located in Connecticut which is one of the organizations that sponsors Pet Cancer Awareness Month. “For example, the pet parent needs to be aware of any unusual lumps or bumps a pet may have, the primary care veterinarian will aspirate those bumps to find out if they are cancerous or benign, and the specialist will develop a tailored treatment plan for that individual pet patient.”

The warning signs of cancer in pets can be similar to those in people. If an animal is not feeling quite right, a swelling or lameness can be a sign to check with your veterinarian explains Dr. Bryan, “Clients should report new lumps or changes in health to their veterinarians immediately. The vets should investigate promptly.”

Unfortunately, sometimes there are few or no warning signs of cancer, at least early on. The point of Pet Cancer Awareness Month is to empower pet parents with knowledge, so that they realize that cancer is not automatically a death sentence for pets.

Pet parents can find specialists across the country through location searches on the VetSpecialists.com directory. VetSpecialists.com was developed in 2015 as a partnership between the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and the American College of Veterinary Surgeons to provide education about diseases and conditions affecting animals and to increase awareness of veterinary specialty medicine.

If you are interested in learning more about pet cancer check out the University of Missouri’s Veterinary Oncology website. There are a number of resources on cancer and animals on their website.

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Cancer in dogs is often treatable.

 

Attend a Furry Friendly Event: Action-Packed Fun + Exercise with or without your Pup!

7th Annual Fast and Furriest 5K Run + 1-Mile Walk is Ahead for Your Best Friends

236504It’s said some of our most precious gifts we place in museums or vaults; others we take for walks. It is a very unique walk and run for dogs and people I want to share with you.

I think most dogs and pet people find ways to make friends. This observation is based on a recent dog park visit when I met a pet owner and her pooch visiting for the first time. Her dog, Hank, was met with wagging tails. Hank’s mom just moved from Atlanta. Other pet parents learned Hank came into her life in college and has been a constant companion through moves, break-ups, and celebrations including the recent job promotion to Saint Louis. Hank is helping her meet new people and learn about their new home.

Hank and his owner exercise together. I mean serious running. Hank is a Whippet, a superb athlete as well as a gentle companion. Several of us want to make sure Hank can stretch his legs in an upcoming event to help homeless pets.

The 7th Annual Fast and the Furriest 5K Run and 1-Mile Walk will be Sunday, April 26th at Tower Grove Park. The run is unique because it offers Hank and his owner the opportunity to take part in a professionally-timed race together. There are not many across the nation. Others will take part in the walk at a leisurely pace with our dogs. This is an event not only for athletes, but the entire family. Fast and Furriest also offers a children’s fun area, vendor booths and food trucks.

FF_Runner-Dog‘Pooch Poker’ is new to the annual fun-fest. Event organizer Robin Wood of the Animal Protective Association of Missouri (APA) says the game is open to anyone registered for the one mile walk: “Walkers will be dealt playing cards at stations along the 1-Mile Walk route. Players with a winning hand receive a prize at the end of the walk!” Hank and his mom are planning to run and walk with some members of the dog park community.

Animal lovers and APA supporters who can’t participate in the walk or race can still pitch in by fundraising with individual fundraising campaigns. Proceeds from this event will benefit the APA’ s mission of bringing people and pets together, advancing humane education, and creating programs beneficial to the human-animal bond.

You can learn more about this non-profit event and many other exciting community programs underway at the APA Adoption center at http://www.apamo.org/donate/fast-

and-the-furriest/ FF-group-336x223

A Smart Spring Break Stay-Cation Idea: Fun With Furry Friends at APA Adoption Center

ttttttumblr_n2r4gqdeib1r3zbhoo3_1280Spring break may prompt thoughts of a beach getaway or an exotic trip but family fun and adventures don’t have to include travel. A “stay-cation” in Saint Louis is filled with wonderful possibilities.

One creative and fun option is the Animal Protective Association of Missouri or APA. The APA Adoption Center offers many choices of activities and interactive sessions for kids of all ages.

Parents often get together and plan a joint outing for several families during spring break. This is easily done because the options at APA‘s Adoption Center are customizable and cost effective. There are a variety of classes about animal care, safety, center tours, pet related crafts and interaction with animals mixed with fun and games.

Not all lessons during spring break take place at the Adoption Center. For some youngsters, anticipation of the animal adventure begins days before as they join forces to collect supplies to help homeless pets. These collection efforts can take on the air of a scavenger hunt involving extended family and neighbors. It is a great opportunity to share the joy of volunteering and practice the lesson of selflessness with children. There is a wish list of easy to find items for homeless pets on the APA website.

APA Director of Humane Education Jennifer Blome works with educators and volunteers to deliver fun and meaningful opportunities; “It is more than learning to love and play with animals in the right way. We have a curriculum of age appropriate lessons and activities to engage minds and hearts.”

It doesn’t have to be spring break to take a class. The APA offers birthday parties and other special events customizable for your group. Some of the party details can be found here. 

The APA works year around to educate on the importance of treating each other and animals with compassion and respect. APA presentations are held in the community along with group classes for scout, school and community groups. You can see a list of some program options by clicking here or on the website: http://www.apamo.org/education/group-programs/group-programs-list/

You can sign up for a public class as an individual adult, or bring your child to a family event. For information on upcoming classes and programs through community organizations, email jennifer@apamo.org.

Scheduling a class or event at the APA Adoption Center can be such a rewarding and unforgettable experience; it may become a favorite family tradition. Remember to bring a camera to capture the learning and play of your APA day.

Personalize your visit to the APA of MO for fun, crafts, safety, and more!

Personalize your visit to the APA of MO for fun, crafts, safety, and more!

Be a Party Animal at APA Adoption Center

 

10 reasons to host your party at nonprofit APA 

There can be a lot of expense and pressure in planning a birthday party that will be memorable and fun. Whether you’re 3 or 93, children and adults agree having a party at the Animal Protective Association of Missouri is a tail-wagging good time!

11025160_807130716029148_5874756013793407181_n1. Your big day at the APA of Missouri can be customized and personalized for the guest of honor. There are choices of fun classes, crafts, and your celebration can include a VIP shelter tour with animal petting, time for celebrating with games for the guest of honor and up to 15 friends.

2. Birthday parties at the APA include balloons, streamers, and goodie bags. Plus APA staff and volunteers clean before and after the party so you don’t have to.

3. You don’t have to worry about where party guests will park that will not irritate your neighbors. There is plenty of free parking for guests at the centrally located APA.

4. Worried about how and where to put up the bouncy castle you are going to need to rent? There are no inflatables to blow away in a gust of wind except for the helium balloons decorating the special APA party room.

5. An APA party is affordable. The fee of $250 covers the party room, decorations, favors and activities. The money goes to help the homeless animals at the adoption center. You can make your own cake, food and drink making the party even easier on the budget.

6. You don’t have to be in charge of food. There are many restaurant delivery options surrounding the APA. Whether your party animals prefer pizza, sandwiches, or even ribs and sushi you can have it delivered to your APA birthday bash.FB_IMG_1449114000840

7. Very easy to skip the gift dilemma. There can be angst over gift registries for parties; but you really don’t want another board game or pool toy. With an APA party, you can ask guests to bring something for homeless animals in lieu of a gift for you or your child. The APA has a wish list of easy to find items to help the pets waiting for adoption. It is a great way to teach and practice selflessness.

8. No need to be concerned space to accommodate excited children and adults in your home if the weather prevents you from accessing outdoor space for your bash. The APA party room is “kid proof” and comfortable 365 days a year. Plus you don’t have to do a major house clean before party day!

9. An APA party includes invitations. You have a choice of free printable invitations for your bash and there are also APA Wish List inserts if guests wish to donate to help homeless animals.11390326_844980078930795_2036857226601795217_n

10. Finally, many people love animals and it is a memorable venue that offers a treasure of experiences. The APA makes it so easy and affordable you can do more than birthday parties–go all out with Halloween, Christmas, Chanukah, end-of-school and end-of-summer parties! No matter the celebration or age of the honoree; the APA staff and volunteers are ready to make it a memorable day. Party planning starts with an email to Jennifer Blome at jennifer@apamo.org for more information.

Parties with adorable animals are fun and teach lessons too

Love a Party Animal? Check Out Purina Farms Pooch Parties

Valentine’s week is not just chocolates and flowers at my house. It is also time to stock up on special pet treats and toys. It was the second week in February eight years ago my heart was forever changed by the adoption of my dog Coconut. 
I am among many pet owners who observe the day my furry friend came to be a part of our family. The adoption days for both dogs are reason for celebration. The folks at Purina are offering a new way to make the day even more special with Pooch Parties.
A Purina Farms Pooch party is $75 and includes:
A 16 x 18 party room with a convenient prep room next door
An adjacent off-leash fenced-in exercise area
Two hours of party time for dogs
Max of 10 people with their dogs
Printed or electronic invitations
Goody bags with Beggin’ treats and a collapsible water bowl
A dog-appropriate cake and cupcakes for human guests
There are extras that can be added like a sandwich platter for human guests for an  additional $45 people and includes sandwiches, chips and soda to feed 10 people.
Call 314-982-3232 Monday through Friday between 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., or email purinafarms@purina.nestle.com to book your party.
Purina Farms is offering Pooch Parties for Your Furry Friends

Purina Farms is offering Pooch Parties for Your Furry Friends

Skin Cancer in Dogs: One Owner’s Fight and What You Should Look For in Your Pet

My two dogs are very important to me and I treasure each day with them. My Maltese have been members of the family since I was fortunate enough to adopt them from a local shelter. Some people call them “rescues”. An appropriate name because each day they rescue me from the mundane with their lively antics and companionship.

I saw a story about another Midwest family and their rescue, Marsha, a 5-year-old American Bulldog mix. The video below on Marsha’s life before adoption and what she now faces touched me and prompted me to learn more about skin cancer in dogs.

I learned skin cancers are the most common tumor in dogs, accounting for approximately one third of all tumors.

As in almost any form of cancer in dogs, but especially with certain types of skin cancer, it is critical to identify and treat skin cancer in its early stages. Examine your dog monthly by separating the fur with your fingers and closely look at the skin.

Look for:

• Tumors, areas of color change, or scaly, crusty lesions

• Any suspicious lumps or areas of discoloration under the tail

• New growths or a change in color or size of an existing growth calls

• Tumors that bleed easily or areas that do not to heal

• Any area the dog is continually licking or scratching

• Swelling in the breast tissue or discharge from a nipple

• Any masses or tissue that seems different from surrounding areas in the mouth

The cause of most skin cancers in dogs is unknown. Exposure to the sun has been shown to cause a higher incidence of three types of skin cancer: squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma and hemangioma.

• Light-colored dogs with thin fur coverage that spend time in the sun have a higher risk of developing certain forms of skin cancer.

• Some breeds of dogs (Boxers, Scottish Terriers, Bull Mastiffs, Basset Hounds, Weimaraners, Kerry Blue Terriers and Norwegian Elkhounds) have been found to have a higher incidence of skin cancer thereby raising the distinct possibility of a genetic link. Male dogs that have not been neutered have a higher incidence of perianal tumors. Generally, the age of a dog also plays a role as middle age to older dogs are more likely to develop cancerous growths

Please take a moment and see how one family is fighting for Marsha and making every day special with a “canine bucket list”.

If you were making a “bucket list” for one of your pets, what would be at the top of the list? Please let me know and take part in the poll.

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