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March 2007 Newsletter Articles

Did You Know That Both Cedar and Pine Bedding Can Be Harmful To Your Pets Health?

Every small animal owner should be aware of the following facts: Pine shavings as well as Cedar, causes liver disease in small animals. Most veterinarians have been aware of the problems associated with cedar shavings for years now, but it doesn’t appear to be common knowledge that pine shavings are equally dangerous to our companion animals. In the late 1980’s, not knowing of these studies, the House Rabbit Society of California discovered that rabbits who had pine shavings in their litter boxes were coming down with liver disease. The bottom line is, if pine and cedar are too dangerous for laboratory animals that researchers are planning to kill anyway, then they are certainly too dangerous for our pets.


This month’s profile is on: PEKINGESE

For centuries, ownership of the Pekingese was restricted to members of the Chinese Imperial Court. Venerated as bringers of good luck, the elegant little lion dogs lived a pampered and were not seen outside their country of origin until after 1860. In that year, British troops stormed the Summer Palace at Peking. Most of the palace dogs were put to death to prevent their live capture by the British. But five of the little things were found guarding the body of their mistress, an imperial princess, who had taken her own life. These five Pekingese were bought to Britain and they, plus a few imported at a later date formed the basis of the modern Pekingese breed.

One of the captured dogs was presented to Queen Victoria, who named him “Looty”. Royal approval plus the romantic legends surrounding the breed brought instant popularity to the Peke. This self-important toy breed weighs 14lb. maximum. Richly coated, all colors are admissible. The peke carries himself proudly, and while he may appear somewhat aloof with strangers, the breed is loyal and protective of home and family. The double coat should be brushed daily; eyes, ears, and nose wrinkles checked regularly and gently cleaned as needed. Exercise needs are minimal. This breed does not like the heat.

Insider Secrets of the Groom Shop

  • My favorite grooming rules are the unwritten ones. If you’ve been in this business long enough, you probably know them all by heart, but let me do a quick run through for any grooming greenhorns: Buy extra towels during rainy season. No one walks the dog when the weather is bad.
  • When you hear the words “Cocker Spaniel” think mat contests and piddle puddles.
  • When you hear the words “Lhasa Apso”, think steel jawed traps, even if they are outlawed in your state.
  • When you tell the owner you will call when the dog is ready, expect that person to call you within two hours to ask if their dog is ready.
  • Men always wince when you tell them its time to get your dog neutered; women don’t.
  • When the owner tells you Fluffy is “a little nervous”, get your animal handler gloves, a complete selection of muzzles, and the Elizabethan collar.
  • Never groom the day after Thanksgiving. Leftover turkey is the most effective laxative known to dogs.
  • No matter what its name is, the “one last dog” you squeeze in on a hair-raising busy day will hereafter be known as “Cujo”.
  • The most likely time for the plumbing to seize up, a major flu epidemic to decline the staff, the dryers to quit, the computer to crash and a plague of locusts to attack is a holiday week.
  • The most generous tipper drives an old economy car and owns a sweet beagle that you can groom in fifteen minutes, start to finish. The stingiest one, who doesn’t even tip at Christmas, drives a new sports utility vehicle and owns a matted chow that only comes in twice a year.
  • Married couples, even newlyweds always blame each other for the deplorable condition of their dog: “My husband said he was going to brush it”.
  • On the day your old flame drops by, you will be having the mother of all bad hair days and sporting a huge cold sore on your lip.
  • No smell is sweeter that puppy breath and none is more toxic than Bulldog gas.
  • On those days when you are on the top of your game, there is absolutely no happier place to be than a grooming shop and no job in the world better than yours.


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