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Those who love their pets tend to enjoy all animals. Our animal owners are no different. Check in on News-Herald staffers Robin Palmer and Cheryl Sadler as they share their own animal tales and announce upcoming events in Lake and Geauga counties.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Special black lab looking for a home

T'Oliver’s heart is about to be broken. The family that adopted her from the South Euclid Humane Society has made the heart-breaking decision to give her up because it can't offer her the time and attention she deserves.

Of course, T'Oliver doesn’t understand this. She’ll know only that someone is going to take her away from the people she loves.

Can you turn T'Oliver’s heart-break into a dream-come-true?

Her bio: "Her rescuer called her Lammy because she was 'on the lam' - lost and alone, wandering the streets. Someone took the time to house train her, to teach her to sit, to give her paw. So why didn’t they take the time to look for her? It soon became clear that this special girl really is sweet and gentle as a lamb. T'Oliver is one of 'those dogs' - the kind that all other dogs will be compared to."

T'Oliver is a roughly 2-year-old, 50-pound black lab mix. She has been spayed and has all her shots. She is house-broken, high-energy and playful, but also calm, affectionate and cuddly. She loves people and dogs, though it's uncertain how she'd respond to cats. This strong girl just needs some help walking with a leash, and a safe place to run.

An adoption fee and home visit are required before adoption. Anyone interested in T'Oliver should call Laura Bruck at 216-297-0360.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dinner/auction benefits cat sanctuary

Caroline’s Kids Pet Rescue will hold a dinner/auction from 6 to 11 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Kirtlander Party Center, 9270 Chillicothe Road, Kirtland.

Proceeds benefit the 250 cats at the no-kill, no-cage sanctuary in Concord Township.

Cost is $34 a person ($12.50 is tax-deductible) by Oct. 30.
It’s bring your own liquor, beer or wine, but wash is included in the cost.

Music will be proved by DJ Ryan Schlesinger, and the event will include side boards, 50/50 raffle and Chinese and silent auctions.

Donations of Purina or Friskies canned or dry cat food, scoopable litter, paper towels, or gift cards to PetSmart, Pet Supplies Plus, Home Depot or Lowes would be appreciated, but not required.

For tickets, call Judie at 440-449-3496 or send your check for reservations to: Caroline’s Kid Pet Rescue, P.O. Box 24068, Mayfield Heights 44124.

If you are unable to attend, donations can be made at the above address.
Donations are tax-deductible and will go toward daily expenses for the sanctuary.

-- Robin Palmer

Meet new Lake Humane Society director

Meet Lake Humane Society Executive Director Chuck Farone, who started the gig in August, in today's News-Herald.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Handsome trio looking for homes

Here's a line-up of pups looking for homes through the South Euclid Humane Society.


• American bulldog, 2 years old, about 65 pounds. All shots, neutered.
• Expert kisser, total lap dog. Goofy, playful, affectionate. House-broken and crate-trained. Very strong: loves to learn and needs someone who will teach him with positive reinforcement. Likes dogs but needs to be introduced properly. Loves all humans, especially those who like big dorky bulldogs in their laps.
• "Bob traveled long and far before being rescued. When we saw his out-of-state rabies tag we were excited about being able to reunite him with his family. But despite several messages, Bob’s family never returned our calls.
"Surely, this sweet boy must be wondering why the people he loves don’t want him anymore. Loaded with worms, terribly underweight, and with ears bright red from a painful infection, Bob greeted his rescuers with kisses of gratitude. He knew how to give his paw—and he certainly understood that when anyone sat down, his place was in their lap! Bob had been 'taught' little else, but our boy is quite the smarty pants! In only days, he learned to walk on a leash and to sit and stay."

Fluffy, aka Fluffy Frank

• Lab mix, 1 to 2 years old, underweight at about 50 pounds. All shots, neutered.
• Expert kisser. Sweet, cuddly, playful, goofy. Adores everyone - kids, dogs, cats, kittens. His DogTopia foster family loves him to pieces.
• "In his first foster home, he had a crush on a pug named Doris and licked the kittens like a mama cat. When this sweet, skinny boy arrived at the police station, someone called and said he was his dog. But when he got there (and heard about the small kennel fee), he 'changed his mind.' At best, no one came looking for Fluffy. At worst, he watched as his person walked away. Either way, Fluffy now finds himself in search of someone who will never walk away. And this sweet, gentle, playful boy greets everyone he meets with kisses!"


• Probably Boxer-Greyhound mix, 1 1/2 years old, about 50 pounds. All shots, neutered.
• An old soul, thoughtful and gentle. Great with kids, shy with some men at first. Playful, powerful, lots of energy. Likes bigger dogs, may not be good with cats. House-broken, walks well on leash, likes playing fetch, great in the car.
• "How sweet and gentle is this boy? When a toddler at Richmond Heights Home Days tripped and fell right on him, Dylan neither growled nor snapped. He just waited calmly for the little girl to get up, and then he gently licked her face. With adults he can be more exuberant in his face licking, but he is affectionate and gentle with everyone.
"Dylan was found by Cleveland police crippled by frostbite and far from Florida, where someone cared enough to implant a microchip but not enough to register it. Now he is healthy. For 8 months this wonderful boy lived in a cage at a vet clinic. Now, just newly released from 'prison,' he’s adjusting to life 'on the outside' and can’t believe how lucky he is to be playing in the green grass and sleeping on a warm pillow in his foster mom and dad’s room. But all that is temporary - he dreams of a house, a yard, and people to love him forever!"

"The weather is getting cold and no one is adopting!" Laura Bruck recently told me. "Until we find homes for at least some of these pups, I won't be able to take in any more - it's so stressful. They're all terrific."

Home visits and adoption fees are both part of the South Euclid Humane Society's adoption process. Call Laura at 216-297-0360 if you have room in your heart and home for a new best friend.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Lake Humane to hold microchip clinic this Saturday

One of every three pets will be lost in a lifetime - and only 14 percent of lost dogs and 4 percent of lost cats will ever find their way home.

To help those odds, Lake Humane Society will host a Microchip Clinic from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, October 24, at the shelter, 7564 Tyler Blvd., Bldg. E, in Mentor.

Microchipping costs only $25 per animal. All dogs must be leashed, and all cats in a carrier. (LHS sells cardboard cat carriers for $4.25.)

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Jack Russell pup looking for a home

Get a load of this guy.

Three-month-old Munch is a Jack Russell mix who's looking for a home through the South Euclid Humane Society.

His bio: "When this little boy was brought into the police station, he was shivering from fear. It turns out that all Munch needed was a warm lap to snuggle in. It’s hard to imagine such a little guy being out on the mean streets, lost and alone. In his foster home, Munch tosses his toys in the air with glee - and snuggles with his foster people at every possible opportunity.

Munch is 12 pounds, has his first puppy shots, and will get his next series of shots and get neutered soon enough. He still needs basic puppy training with positive reinforcement. Beyond that, though, he's pure puppy - plays hard and loves hard. He's also great with kids and other dogs.

With all its foster homes currently occupied, Laura Bruck said South Euclid Humane Society won't have space for another dog in need until Munch is adopted. "Everything is an emergency these days," she said. Anyone interested in this little boy should call Laura at 216-297-0360.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pets, people invited to Halloween party

Pets and People Halloween Party will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24 at the Paw Prints Bakery, Boutique and Grooming Saloon, 100 N. Main St., Chagrin Falls.

The free event will benefit four animal rescue groups.

It will include psychic readings by Rev. Beverly Carole for pets and people.

The event will include Halloween treats for humans and pets, raffle and prizes from Pet Paws dog and cat boutique for best costumes worn by human and pet attendees.

Rev. Carole will speak about the spiritual aspects of Halloween from 5 to 5:15 p.m.

Free will donations will be taken for the psychic readings.

All contributions, as well as money raised from raffle ticket sales will be given to Euclid Pet Pals in Cuyahoga County, Happy Tails Cat Sanctuary in Geauga County, Abandoned Animal Welfare in Lake County, and Kathy Deptola Animal Rescue in Ashtabula.

Dogs brought into the store must be leashed, and cats must be in carriers.

For details, call 440-247-3611 or 440-729-1426.

-- Robin Palmer

Upcoming fundraisers for South Euclid Humane Society

Three great fundraising events are on the horizon with all profits funding the care of needy animals at the South Euclid Humane Society – and it's a good thing, too, because the nonprofit group serving South Euclid, University Heights and Richmond Heights has never been in such need of help. (Remember, this organization does not have a shelter. It relies entirely on foster homes and donations.)

The first is a spaghetti dinner from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, October 24, at the University Suburban Health Center, 1611 South Green Road. Think food and the opportunity to meet cats up for adoption. Tickets will be sold at the door: $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and children under 10.

The second is DogTopia Daycare for Dogs' fabulous Howl-o-Ween Party/Doggy costume contest from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, October 30. Bring your leashed, well-behaved dogs! Admission is $10, but prizes could more than make up the difference – first prize is five days of daycare and one month service from Poopbusters ($150 value), second prize is a doggy toy chest of toys and treats ($75 value), and third prize is a DogTopia sweatshirt and hat and a Poopbusters T-shirt ($50 value).

Four great dogs – three big boys and one medium girl – and "tons of cats and kittens" will be looking for a new home at the event. In addition to the party, DogTopia of Cleveland Heights will proudly unveil its Adoption Hall of Fame with photos and stories of all dogs it has fostered for the group. Should be a heartwarming time.

Then, at 2 p.m. Sunday, December 6, the annual Pets Light Up Our Lives tree-lighting will brighten up the northwest corner of Mayfield and Green roads.

This event will also include the drawing for a hand-hooked rug, “Home at Last: Lonely No More,” valued at more than $750 and crafted over six months by Linda Crane and the Tuesday Morning hooking group. Tickets are a dollar each, with a free ticket for every 10 purchased. The winner need not be present to win.

Anyone unable to attend these events may send a tax-deductible donation, with checks payable to South Euclid Humane Society, to Laura Buck, 4508 Rainbow Road, South Euclid, Ohio 44121 – and put those donations toward the rug raffle, too! Just write RUG, your phone number, and the number of tickets you're buying on the memo line.

Call Laura at 216-297-0360 with questions about fostering or adopting, the raffle, the spaghetti dinner or the Halloween party.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Monday, October 19, 2009

Munchkins: "Toto got paid more"

As far as showbiz dogs go, few are more recognizable than the female Cairn Terrier in The Wizard of Oz.

But it's always somewhat fascinating, too, to learn what we don't know about some of our most recognizable pop culture relics. Take Skipper's little buddy from Gilligan's Island, for instance. Did you know his full name was Willy Gilligan? I sure didn't.

How about Toto's gender? Seems to be male in the film, but Toto was actually a little lady called Terry back in those days. (Her name was officially changed to Toto only after the 1939 film - which sounds a bit confusing for a small dog, but I'm sure it eased the process of booking her for public appearances...)

Believe it or not, Toto also pulled in more dough than her Munchkin co-stars.

Take it from head Munchkin Jerry Maren, who said his kind made $50 for a six-day work week, while the pooch was paid $125. Four surviving Munchkins recently discussed the discrepency in this quirky Newsweek reunion.

Other fun facts from Toto's IMDB page:

• She lived from 1933 to 1944.

• Her first film was Bright Eyes, with Shirley Temple, in 1934 - and she would go on to act in 13 more movies through 1942.

• She spent two weeks at Judy Garland's house while training to play Toto, and suffered a broken foot on the set. She was also quite afraid of the powerful wind machines.

• She attended the premiere of The Wizard of Oz at Grauman's Chinese Theatre.

• Her autobiography "I, Toto" can be purchased on for $13.57.

• Her trainer, Carl Spitz, went on to train acting dogs, including The Call of the Wild's Buck in 1935, until his death in 1976. Alas, there was no dog like Toto.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Friday, October 16, 2009

October 16 is National Feral Cat Day

Happy National Feral Cat Day from your friends at Pets Unleashed.

OK, so maybe a day of awareness for a cat-astrophic problem is nothing to celebrate. But it is a great day to celebrate local efforts to reduce overpopulation in the stray and feral feline world.

For example, Geauga Humane Society's Rescue Village has provided a community service called CatSmart/TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) since 2001. The program humanely traps, examines, neuters and vaccinates stray and feral cats, then returns them to their outdoor homes. This allows them to live out their lives in a managed colony without bringing new life into the equation, and also reduces nuisance behaviors like fighting, spraying and yowling.

This year alone Rescue Village has spayed/neutered more than 2,500 cats in this situation. Donations fund the program, which is free to residents who agree to care for the released cat.

Please click here to learn how you can give back, if just a bit, in observance.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Fall Festival Event

Animal Rescue Center, a nonprofit, no-kill foster group, will host Fall Festival Event from noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 24 at its Eastlake location, 36370 Vine St.

Pets, children, adults and families can take pictures with the Magic Pumpkin for a $2 donation.

The high-quality digital will be sent to you by e-mail.

The event will include a 50/50 raffle, face-painting, bake sale and apple cider.

Cats, dogs, kittens and puppies also will be available for adoption.

Proceeds will benefit the group.

-- Robin Palmer

Thursday, October 15, 2009

MJ's kids: Scooby-Roo deserves legs, too

It's not exactly "We Are the World" or "Heal the World," but it counts.

TMZ is reporting that Michael Jackson's eldest kids, Prince and Paris, have fallen for Scooby-Roo, a 6-month-old puppy likely born without his front legs and dumped in a bad neighborhood, after seeing his story on the local news. The siblings now hope to help raise $2,000 for a custom-made cart to help the pooch walk.

According to Scooby-Roo's Web site:
Because he is a growing puppy, Scooby-Roo must be fitted into multiple carts at different stages of his life. Furthermore he will need professional therapy as Scooby-Roo has had a horrible start — his hind legs are very weak, and his hind foot was twisted from being left on the streets all alone from a young age.
Like how the kids are following in their dad's charitable footsteps? Consider starting with the man in the mirror and adding a little change yourself.

It's worth noting, by the way, that Prince and Paris' daddy was famously afraid of dogs - even his best friend Elizabeth Taylor's tiny white Maltese, Sugar. "She know I don't like that dog because I'm afraid of dogs," he admitted on his Private Home Movies special. "They're little, but they bite."

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ohio news: Signature gathering OK'ed for dog auction measure

This just came over the wire here at the paper.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Officials have cleared the way for supporters to gather signatures for a proposed Ohio ban on auctions of dogs.

A 4-0 vote Tuesday from the state Ballot Board means backers of an Ohio Dog Auctions Act may go to work collecting nearly 120,700 valid signatures from registered Ohio voters. The petitions are necessary to put the proposed law before the Legislature in January.

If lawmakers don’t act within 90 days, supporters could attempt to gather more signatures to put the plan on the 2010 ballot.

The Dog Auctions Act would ban the auctioning or raffling of dogs in Ohio, or the sale or trading of a dog acquired through an auction elsewhere. A first offense would be punishable as a minor misdemeanor.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Two labs need a home

What a week for multiple pets in need of new homes.

Here's another pair: 3-year-old labs Cookie and Coco, whose owner Katherine plans to move overseas two weeks from Friday, October 9.

She writes:
They were raised together and pine without each other. The lab rescue have already said that they would probably separate them, so this is my last resort.

Cookie is my mellow-yellow. She just loves her tummy rubbed and lots of attention. Coco is adorably funny and lives for her ball. She also loves the water.

Both dogs are loyal and love to walk. They have been raised with my three kids running around all over the place, and have survived Sammy's constant hugging and love of 'dress-up,' so they are fantastic family dogs.

This is by far one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make, but under the circumstances I have no choice.
Both are in great health, spayed and implanted with ID chips, she adds.

If you know someone who might be interested in adopting Coo-Co, e-mail Katherine at

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Monday, October 12, 2009

Owners killed; four Chicago dogs in need of home

Spread the word: four dogs need and deserve a home together, and they need and deserve our help.

Here's the story of Susan and Mike Kelms of Chicago, ages 54 and 65, whose four dogs were like their children, and who died in a tragic crash over Labor Day weekend. (Sadly, Susan had just won a yearlong battle with lung cancer.)

Now the Chicago Canine Club is seeking the right person to adopt the big, happy, friendly family: (pictured from left to right) Cedonia, 3, a 34-pound female husky mix; Everett, 4, a 47-pound male Austrian Shepard lab mix; Tacoma, 7, a 92-pound male lab mix; and Anacortes, 6, a 47-pound female American Eskimo lab mix.

As of Oct. 2, the dogs were still waiting together for a home. But time is running out. A fund has already been created to help keep them together as long as possible, and it's said someone has even offered to drive them wherever they need to go in the country, as long as there's a new loving home at the end of the road.

All the dogs are spayed and neutered and up to date on vaccines. Inquiries can be made of Kathy Deets at (708) 542-8969, or here.

And if you can't help, which most of us can't, consider passing this link along. It's a big task, taking four new dogs into your home, but somebody must be up for the challenge - and these poor four have been through enough already.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Photo courtesy of Chicago Canine Club.

Pet Acoustics app: Worth $1.99?

When it comes to spending $1.99 in the name of science, I'm hesitant. Call me cheap.

But the selling point for Pet Acoustics' new iPhone and iPod Touch app was ultimately this paragraph in its news release:
Animals have extremely sensitive hearing that includes different ranges than their human companions. Janet Marlow, composer and the leading authority on music for animals, has created a musical genre that soothes your pet with separation anxieties, for thunderstorm nerves or just for calm in their living environment. Using limited frequencies, non-jarring volumes, and rhythms designed for an animal’s acute hearing, Pet Acoustics fills your pets’ environment with a sense of safety and balance and calm.
Now if there's anything I wish for my spoiled cats, it's a sense of safety and balance and calm. So I forked over the $1.99, hooked up to a WiFi connection and downloaded the thing.

Its selections vary: music for dogs alone, cats alone, horses alone, dogs and cats, My Dog and Me, My Cat and Me, and My Horse and Me, as well as specific tunes to ease trauma caused by thunderstorms, alone time, car travel, vet visits, grooming, training, boarding, animals shelters, injury and abuse, owners who play silly music for them...

OK, all but the last one.

Other features: various timers (assumably for iPod Touch users, because not in a million years would I leave my iPhone home for my cats to use), hearing analysis for all three types of animals, and environment and best use recommendations for each track.

So now the test. I walked into my kitchen, where Muppet was happily eating some kibble, and started "Dreams," suitable for rest time, introducing your cat to another pet, thunderstorms, kennel stay-overs, sitters' feeding time, a call to come in for the get the picture.

Did it work?

Well, it's hard to say.

Muppet went on chewing. Sister did bound out of the bedroom, but only because she thought I was about to give her a treat. I was in the kitchen, after all.

Marlow says feline hearing is three times greater than human hearing, which explains why Sister's always at the door when I open it. Apparently cats don't have such visible responses to music, though.

Leave those to Muppet's favorite high-tech toy, the Cat Sitter DVD. She eats it up. And yes, I have actual proof of that.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Not all pets are dogs, cats or fish

Thought I'd share a touching, albeit slightly unusual, tribute that ran in our paper Friday, October 9. The text:

Memorial and Burial Sunset Service in celebration of Petey Rowan
Sunday, October 11th, 6:30 p.m.
1926 Barnum Road Geneva, Ohio

Petey Rowan, a renown house goat, died at the age of five on Thursday, October 1st, 2009. He was rescued from a Zoo in Orono, Canada in 2004. After he moved to Geneva Ohio, Petey enjoyed an unusual lifestyle. Petey did "dog" agility, won several awards at the fair, traveled to schools, and especially enjoyed annual visits to the Deep Springs Trout Club - where he was welcome. Petey had a high level of intellect and could often outsmart his canine, equine and human family members. He could also toss an antagonistic small child three years. He will be missed terribly not only by his family, but by everyone who knew him, especially those at Big Creek Veterinary Clinic.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Tallmadge represented in Cutest Dog Competition

A Tallmadge dog is now in the running for the Cutest Dog Competition. Let's help a local mutt win Week 11!

What makes Scamper worthy of the win? Aside from his cuteness, dude also retrieves a six-pack of toilet paper when it's thrown down the stairs and brings it to the bathroom, carries his owners' dad's lunchbox inside after work, and praises the Lord - or so his owner told told NewsNet5.

The $1 million grand prize would help his owner a ton - she's been unemployed since getting laid off in March, and will get married in April. (Guess who will be ringbearer.)

Ultimately the public will pick the contest's four finalists from 12 semifinalists, judges will name the grand prize winner on Thanksgiving, and the other three will get $5,000 for their trouble.

Register to vote in the contest and vote for Scamper here once a day through October 17.

Oh, and by the way, Mozart won Week 9 fair and square. Take that, Colbert.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Putting superstition aside

In case you missed it in today's News-Herald, click here for my story about whether local shelters adopt out black cats around Halloween time.

Their answers may surprise you...

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Friday, October 9, 2009

Three Stooges need a home

Did you know some homeless pets have taken up residence on Craig's List?

For instance, these brothers were rescued after abandonment in Chardon. As if homeless life weren't bad enough, all three were also born with a minor eye condition: from top to bottom, Larry squints, Curly has one eye that weeps a little, and Moe went in for surgery on a very weepy eye Thursday.

Poor kitties.

Foster mom and regular rescuer Kathy Deptola writes, "The boys all love to be held, and my how they can purr. Even though they are slightly shy, they are extremely loving and affectionate."

Larry, Curly and Moe are about 6 months old, neutered, wormed, vaccinated and have tested negative for leukemia/FIV.

Adoption costs $70 for one, $70 for a pair, or $70 for all three - in other words, give them all a loving home!

To help, contact Kathy at 440-474-9721 or

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Brother kittens need a home

These 8-month-old littermates were abandoned at an apartment. Now they're looking for a new place to call home.

Both are neutered, vaccinated, litterbox-trained and very people-oriented and affectionate.

They are also very bonded on each other, comically keeping each other occupied for hours on end, and best not be separated.

If you know anyone who might like to meet them or consider adopting them, please contact Den Ruck at 440-812-5245 or

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Number Two on Air Force One?

Needing a little comic relief on a dragging Friday afternoon?

Try this blog by Elizabeth Williamson, who reports on the White House for The Wall Street Journal.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The camera-shy cat - busted!

For those with camera-shy cats like my Muppet, here's my tip of the day: Get a camera phone.

"Never mind me, Mupp - just watching TV and checking my voicemail..." Snap!

On another note, doesn't it feel amazing when your cat staaaares at you as you're doing something as mundane as watching TV? Nothing like a little adoration after a hard day's work.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Monday, October 5, 2009

In the News: Quite a wild and crazy day

Sunday did not bode well for interaction with wildlife, domestic or otherwise, according to the Associated Press.

In Allentown, Pa., a 350-pound pet black bear killed its owner, 37-year-old Kelly Ann Walz, as she cleaned the steel and concrete cage where it lived near her house.

Also a licensed owner of a Bengal tiger and African lion, Walz had thrown a shovelful of dog food to one side of the cage so she could clean the other side. Officials said the bear must have lost interest, and was later shot and killed.

Stories like this make me wonder how many times the dog-food toss worked before it failed - and whether the owner even imagined it ever would.

Also Sunday, the sheriff of Polk County, Fla., reported a female resident "filleted" by a pack of five raccoons as she tried to chase them from her yard.

Gretchen Whitted, 74, suffered extensive cuts from her neck to her legs, and was treated for rabies, though officials don't believe the pack was infected. The incident has since triggered a cat-food-and-sardines-baited hunt for her attackers - so far, to no avail.

Tale two reminds me of a particularly haunting episode of my favorite radio show, Chicago Public Radio's This American Life. Consider listening to the 11-minute first act of And the Call Was Coming from the Basement and tell me it's not as frightening as any ghost story you've ever heard.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Update: Lost golden girls spotted in Eastlake

Two lost Golden Retrievers have been spotted in Eastlake.

"We got an anonymous phone call today (Saturday) that the girls were sighted," the dogs' owner Marilyn wrote me. "She said that they were in her garage and then they took off. I called the Eastlake police."

The missing ladies are a mother and daughter pair, both spayed, who dug out of their fence Thursday and took off near Hellriegel's and Route 20 in Painesville Township.

Chessie (top picture) is a dark golden with a graying muzzle at 11 years old. She weighs 72 pounds, has a cyst under her left front leg, and wears a purple collar with a Lake County license.

Her daughter Star (bottom picture) is almost 7 years old and totally devoted to her mom. She is also dark golden, weighs 68 pounds, and wears a green collar with a Lake County license.

Local authorities have been notified, including Lake and Geauga shelters and Humane Societies, area vets and police departments. Flyers have also been posted, according to Golden Retrievers in Need Rescue Service, or G.R.I.N.

Please contact Marilyn at 440-655-9137 or if you spot these lost ladies in your neighborhood.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Friday, October 2, 2009

Studies: Pets living longer these days, like us

If it seems like there are an awful lot of gray muzzles walking around, it's because there are.

About 40 percent of American dogs and cats qualify as "seniors," living longer than seven years - remember, that's about 50 in their years - according to USA Today.

The story predicts 18- to 20-year-old dogs and cats will become even more common in the next 10 years. MSNBC reports something similar today.

So what's making our furry friends live longer? Surgeries, pacemakers, nutrition and other medical advances, for one thing. For another, tips like the ones listed in both stories above make pet owners more responsible.

Knowledge of breeds with longevity also lets owners choose those with longer lives: Chihuahua, Toy Poodle, Miniature Dachshund, Tibetan Terrier and Pomeranian. Those with the shortest lives are the Irish Wolfhound, English Bulldog, Great Dane, Bernese Mountain Dog and Bullmastiff.

MSNBC adds that the Guinness Book of World Records lists the oldest cat as Grandpa Rexs, a Sphynx who was 34 when he "finally died" in 1998, and the oldest dog as 21-year-old Chanel, a Wirehaired Dachshund who died last month - though a 26-year-old terrier mix, Max, is alive and awaiting certification to steal the title.

It's a race to the finish.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

P.S. With a free minute, check out a few of the Fantastic Pets records on the Guinness Book's Web site. Imagine driving with Striker, the car-window-opening Border to gone in 11.34 seconds? No, thank you.

Friday Pet Pause

Click here for this week's 6-minute, 26-second installment.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Kitten needs a home

Celeste has had a rough start so far in her 5 weeks of existence.

Some how, the Siamese mix ended up on the berm at Interstate 90 and Route 44 in Concord Township on Sept. 14.

She was infested with fleas and had anemia.

She was taken to Caroline’s Kids Pet Rescue in Concord.

The good news is, she is doing well and soon will be available for adoption.

She is a sweet female, who loves to play with another kitten with whom she shares a cage.

For more information on Celeste or any of the cats at the sanctuary, call 440-449-3496.

The rescue group also is holding a pet blessing Sunday, the feast day of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals.

Cats and dogs and their owners are welcome to attend the event at 3 p.m. at the sanctuary, 7394 Morely Road.

-- Robin Palmer

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Endangered Species Chocolate looks to the skies

As if we all needed another excuse to eat sweets...

Here are two more:
1. Endangered Species Chocolate donates 10 percent of its net profits to support species, habitat and humanity.

2. Today the company becomes 100-percent powered by wind farms in Indiana and Texas.
The move will circumvent an estimated 868 metric tons of CO2 emissions - the one-year equivalent of 159 passenger vehicles or 120 average American homes, according to the Environmental Protection Agency's Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.

It's just one of several changes the company has made in joining the EPA's voluntary Green Power Partnership. Others: a reduction in material scrap to less than 2 percent; an estimated 40-percent drop in 2009 energy usage thanks to HVAC and electrical systems improvements and warehouse lighting reductions; and a daily savings of 500 gallons of water thanks to a new, more efficient washing machine.

"This commitment aligns with our company vision to manifest the Earth as a habitat where species and humanity flourish," CEO Wayne Zink said.

I'm consider forwarding that vision this Halloween by ordering a 24-pack of individually wrapped milk or dark chocolate pieces for $6.72 here. Otherwise I'll surely pick up a piece in my local Walgreens check-out aisle.

Now that I'm vouching for the cause, let's see if I can vouch for the taste. (Excuse No. 3...)

-- Sandra M. Klepach,