“Treat Your Boo” Event with Pet Costume Contest

Through the years, I have loved picking out Halloween yearly costumes for myself and my own children. Though, I never thought about dressing up the guinea pig we had for a short time and our cats. I assist in a kindergarten class and I wonder if they are going to dress up their favorite pets. Actually, we have a new kitten at home…she might look good in the lion costume. PetSmart is truly the place to share this Halloween holiday with your entire family. You can enjoy picking out ghoulish goodies, classic costumes, and spooky toys for your dog, cat or even your guinea pig.

Have you ever dressed up your guinea pig as a mermaid? What about serving your pets special Happy Halloween treats or have them hang out in their own haunted house? At PetSmart,the leading pet specialty retailer in North America, online and in stores, you will find a full range of costumes for small breeds plus large dog outfits. A variety of pet accessories are available that include different collars, bandannas, bows and hats as well as Halloween bedding.

Pet parents are invited to PetSmart stores nationwide for a “Treat Your Boo” event on Saturday, Oct. 26 from noon to 2 p.m. local time. Dogs will be able to learn tricks for treats, and pet parents can fill a treat bag for their pet, at PetSmart’s exclusive Trick or Treat stations. The party will feature a costume contest with awards for first, second and third place, plus a certificate for social media bragging rights.

To make those social media posts really shine, stores will offer photos with Chance the Mascot for pet parents to share with followers by tagging with #petsmartparties. For those who want to keep the pet Halloween party going, free yard signs will be available at the event letting neighbors know that dogs are invited to their homes to trick or treat on Halloween night.

And after asking a few in my kindergarten class if they were dressing up their pets, some said that their pets were going to be disguised as pumpkins. More pet parents and families are choosing costumes for their pets in celebration of Halloween as well as pets being included in birthdays, and all sorts of celebratory events.

What a perfect time right now to attend pet parades while sharing pet photos of this dress up event on social media. PetSmart truly enjoys helping pet families share their ultimate experiences of fun together.

Dr. Michelle Radwanski – Argonne Animal Hospital: A true gift

I sat in the chair in my living room rocking him gently, as he rested his face in my neck, purring.  For eighteen years, we had done this routine when he was sick or just needed special attention but this time I was deeply sobbing knowing what the rest of the day might bring.  He was seeing a new vet in a few hours. She was a Mom to a student at school and we talked about Joe Bo briefly on a school field trip.

We waited in the exam room, Len and I, taking turns holding him and I thought of our last cat who was the same age when she had died at home two years before. It was a holiday weekend and horrible to watch her fail without a vet’s assistance.

Dr. Radwanski, owner of Argonne Animal Hospital in Lemont, Illinois, walked in ready to examine Joe Bo. She had a thorough knowledge of explaining what was happening with the cat as she gently explored his body especially for not having seen him before or any  past veterinarian records. She was extremely skilled in determining that he was in his declining days as she communicated clearly and also mentioned some medical options that may prolong his life a few days, a few months. However, we knew as a family with advice from Dr. Radwanski, that euthanasia was best for him and the procedure was completed that day without pain. Joe Bo’s quality of life had been greatly reduced and the doctor cared only about his welfare and that he did not suffer any further.

Dr Radwanski completed her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine with honors in 2000 at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Since then, she has over 18 years of experience caring for animals in the western suburbs of Chicago. She is skilled in diagnostics, anesthetics, surgical, and dental procedures. She holds a special interest in preventative medicine, senior care, dermatology, pain management, and dentistry. Most of all, she has become a respected community veterinarian.

A true angel was brought into our lives that day in Dr Radwanski at Argonne Animal Hospital as we said goodbye to Joe Bo. If we get another kitten or maybe a puppy, he or she will be immediately attended by the doctor for the first annual exam, crisis, or whatever comes first. There are no other words to express her honest love and true calling for the animals she treats.

Please feel free to call her office anytime or visit her website at argonneanimalhospital.com

Honoring K9 Veterans on March 13

By Caryl Clem:

Dogs have their own day for military service recognition.  A national day to give them credit took over 100 years.  I had no idea that dogs served as equal partners in combating the enemy dating as far back as 600 B.C.  In the United States, dogs were first used in the Revolutionary War but never gained recognition until after World War I.  A retired military dog trainer, Joseph White originated the idea to honor veteran canines on the birthday of the first Army K9 Corps which was March 13th.  An estimated 2,500 dogs are in service today while 700 maybe overseas.

I grew up watching television famous, Rin Tin Tin dog adventures. I had no idea that the brave, compassionate dog I adored had been rescued from a battlefield during World War I.  One of the strategies noticed by troops overseas during WWI was the Europe’s employment of dogs during warfare. As a young man fighting for his life in Germany, Lee saves a pup from a bombed demolished dog kennel. Lee Duncan, when young had been orphaned then taken away by his mother to have a dog as his sole companion. The fascinating story of Lee and his dog going to Hollywood after the war is in the book, RIN IN TIN, The Life and The Legend by Sue Orlean.

During World War I, several dogs are credited with saving troops lives. One story is about a stray Pit bull who prevent a siren gas attack and survived injuries from other combat arenas. Three Presidents met this dog at the White House.  Sergeant Stubby’s remains are in the Smithsonian.  In Italy, Chips attacked a group of soldiers in a machine gun nest forcing them out to be captured.  Chips was given medals but they were rescinded because the Army has a law that animals cannot receive awards.

Sources to supply United States trained military dogs are from breeders in Germany and the Netherlands. To become a certified pup trainer is a credible career with specialized training. Various duties the dogs perform fighting alongside our soldiers include locating bombs, searching for drugs, tracking people and imitating an attack.  US Navy Seals use Belgian Malinois dogs who join their handlers to parachute from helicopters and rappel on steep inclines.

A life career for a military dog averages from 6-7 years before they are forced to retire. There was no program in place to find homes for these gentle giants so many were released or euphonized before 2000.  President Clinton passed a law that protected these dogs, now over 90% are usually adopted by their handlers. The Department of Defense handles thousands of adoptions and many dogs transfer their military skills to law enforcement police departments. A bomb sniffing canine has $150,000 estimated value. Dogs are 40 times more aware of a scent than humans.

The loving unbreakable bond between a human and a dog is described in the official poem selected by the K9 Corps to represent the regard for the canines that stand by our military men and women Guardians of the Night .

The phrase “Man’s Best Friend” gains more appreciation and depth as we honor our canine veterans on March 13th.