In December 2013, a blind man named Cecil Williams fell onto the subway tracks in New York City when he fainted. His service dog Orlando, a black lab, jumped down after him. Orlando huddled on top of his owner to help alert the oncoming subway train. Both Williams and Orlando were still struck by the train, but amazing only suffered minor injuries.
Williams called Orlando his angel for saving his life. He also said that he and Orlando protect each other. This amazing story went viral.
The issue is, Orlando is 11 years old, and was about to retire from being a service dog. However, Williams’ insurance won’t cover retired dogs. After the public got wind of this, many people donated and now Orlando is able to stay with his longtime best friend. In addition, Williams is receiving a new service dog, a yellow Labrador named Godiva who recently graduated her training.
Williams counts himself as lucky that he now has Orlando and Godiva to protect him. He told the Today Show, “The spirit of good will, it exists,” he continued, “In the world you see a lot of negative things, but I try to focus on the positive.”
Dr. Fiona is a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a pet insurance agency for dogs and cats
Hi, I’m Doctor Fiona Caldwell, and I’m answering questions for pet owners today for Pets Best. This question is, “How can I tell if my dog is going blind?” So it’s a great question, because it can actually be really tricky.
Dogs are amazing at memorizing their surroundings. They can figure out how to get up from their favorite spot, go out the doggie door, go outside, come back in, and all without really skipping a beat, and really it’s because they’ve memorized their surroundings. So especially in older pets that you’re starting to suspect that there might be some additional changes, there are some things that you can do to test it. One would be to create some obstacles, so moving the furniture or putting something in the way that isn’t usually there, most dogs will see them and they’ll go around it.
By Dr. Eva Evans, a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a pet insurance agency for dogs and cats.
Flying with your dog? Here are five tips to travel safe and smart.
As pets become more like family members, they are joining their human comrades during travel at an increasing rate. Traveling by car or RV is simple, but flying your pet on an airplane can get tricky! Follow these 5 steps to provide Fido with a first-class experience.
1. Get Your Travel Documents Early
If you are traveling domestically, travel documents include vaccination records, medications with dosages, known allergies, your veterinarian’s phone number, a health certificate and a written plan just in case disaster strikes. An interstate health certificate from your veterinarian shows that your dog has been vaccinated appropriately and is in good enough health to travel. If you are flying to Hawaii or internationally, you will need additional forms and possible blood tests, flea treatments, etc for your dog. Be sure to visit your veterinarian at least two to three months before your departure date to prevent any hold ups with travel. When you arrive at the airport make sure you have additional copies of paperwork in case the originals are lost.
2. Discuss With Your Veterinarian If Your Dog Needs Sedation
Flying is stressful, especially if it’s your first time! Many dogs do not need any sedation while flying, but occasionally some dogs do. If you suspect that your dog will have an uncomfortable level of anxiety, make sure to consult with a veterinarian. Often times these dogs will be prescribed a sedative that is safe for airplane travel. Be advised: the common sedative for dogs, Acepromazine, is NOT recommended for airplane travel!
3. Bring A Snack For Fido
A rottweiler poses with Santa at the Pets Best event to benefit a local dog shelter.
On December 18, 2013 Pets Best, a nationwide pet insurance agency, held a “Photos with Santa” event in their community to benefit a local dog shelter. The Meridian Valley Humane Society (MVHS) in Meridian, Idaho, was recently re-opened by its all volunteer staff and relies on donations to operate.
The event was a great success and raised $700, including a matching donation from Pets Best. In addition, 30 bags of food were donated to the shelter by H3 Pet Foods, where the event was held.
In total, 25 families brought 35 dogs to the event, including several dogs that had been adopted from the Meridian Valley Humane Society.
In January, several Pets Best employees visited the Meridian Valley Humane Society to see the new facilities and bring the matching donation check. The shelter has already had great success in adopting out their dogs. As a smaller shelter they are able to get to know each dog well and they work hard to ensure the dog get placed in their forever home. The Pets Best employees were happy to learn that each dog gets walked multiple times a day, some days a dog may get walked up to 7 times!
The shelter has had a very warm welcome in their new neighborhood. While Pets Best was there, an employee from a company next door stopped by on her lunch break to take a dog on a walk, which is her daily routine. MVHS said several employees around the area have become regular volunteers.
You can visit the Meridian Valley Humane Society at 191 N. Linder Rd., Meridian, Idaho 83642. You can contact them via phone at 208-794-0944 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at meridianvalleyhumanesociety.org.
Pets Best employees and the Meridian Valley Humane Society vice president pose together with the donation check.
MVHS is looking for donations of all kinds, including:
- Financial donations – Any/all amounts
- Food – Ideally grain free
- Dog toys
- Dog leashes
Their mailing address is: Meridian Humane Society, 3313 W. Cherry Ln. #603, Meridian, ID 83642.
A couple of photos from the Santa event on December 18th:
By Arden Moore, a certified dog and cat behaviorist with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Arden is an author, radio host, and writer for Pets Best, a pet insurance agency for dogs and cats.
1. Wear casual, comfortable clothing
Grass-stained and muddy knees can be quite common. Not to mention scrapes and scratches from excited dogs. Stick with sneakers or other low-heeled, comfortable shoes.
2. Don’t wear sunglasses
If the class is during the day, try wearing a hat to block out the sun. Your puppy needs to see your eyes at all times to grasp your messages.