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Pets General

Fiftieth episode Review

Val Cairney March 18, 2022 73

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Hi everyone and welcome to this very special 50th episode!  That’s right, this is my 50th episode and in the scheme of things that is a drop in the bucket but when I look back, that’s a lot of episodes!  So, for this episode, I’m going to highlight some of my favourite topics and interviews and some best lines, in my opinion of the last 50 episodes. 

One of my first episodes was on getting a new puppy.  In this episode I was able to go through the basics when choosing type of dog and even more important where to get a puppy.  This episode also dealt with all the things a new owner would need to know from food, training, containment, toys, treats, and stain removal, everything I could think of that a puppy owner would need to know.  My favourite from this episode was in the Pet Peeves section.  Here I stated, “Puppies, kittens, rabbits, it doesn’t matter, they are not a disposable item to give up or rehome in the future for some trivial reason. Getting a pet is a commitment.”  Nothing has changed with regards to this opinion.  When I did this episode, I had no idea that the world would lurch and as a result, getting a pup would increase so dramatically that people complained, yes, complained that there were no dogs in shelters.  I really thought that was a dream come true, but shelters are already seeing a rise in surrendered pets who are under a year old. 

I followed this episode with how to avoid the pitfalls when becoming a pet parent and here I was able to go into detail about the ways to acquire a pet and how to avoid being scammed.  But, most important was how to recognize if you are at a backyard puppy miller.  So many people fall prey to this scam so this episode spelled it.  And I also broke down the other ways that scammers get victims to fall prey to.  My favourite in this episode was explaining the plea from a kill shelter in some place to get some poor unsuspecting sole to “save” this poor dog.  The guy is a mill broker and as I said then, “he’s lying to you!”  

Since I was talking about backyard puppy millers, I decided to do a two part episode on the rise of puppy mills.  This was a difficult topic because it just made me so angry and I wished I could just shout from the rooftops to stop exploiting poor dogs and puppies and people, wake up!  Stop this horrible cruel business.  But, you know, puppy milling is an enormous business, so I thought, well, if just a few people listen to these episodes and tell one person and they tell one person, then that gets the communication going to educate and hopefully one day, it will be illegal to import dogs in the hundreds and those who puppy mill will be prosecuted as the true criminals they are.  And in conjunction with this were my episodes on Designer Dogs.  If you know anyone that is about to get on the crossbreed trend, have them listen to those episodes.  I still feel very strongly about this uncontrolled breeding and how it contributes to puppy milling and nefarious activity.  

And you know over the last 50 episodes I can say that in addition to the puppy mill and designer dog episodes there have been others that have been difficult or controversial. I had no idea that spaying and neutering would be an issue for some people, so in that episode I decided to tackle it with no holds barred because it still shocks me  to see intact dogs when they are adults.  I knew that dealing with when our pets pass away was something that I really needed to do, but I can say, getting through the Rainbow Bridge poem at the end of the episode, was not easy.  I also just loved sharing the Animals in War episode.  This episode was so sad but so uplifting at the same time.  The fact that elephants were used during WW1 was so interesting and the Imperial Camel Core, the use of dolphins in locating underwater mines, and who could forget, Cher Ami, a Pidgeon who despite being blinded, shot in the breast and in the leg continued his 25 mile journey and successfully delivered his message to “For heaven’s sake, stop it” to the unfortunate friendly fire that his unit the 77th Infantry Division was under stranded behind enemy lines.  Cher Ami is in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.  

Other episodes that I have really enjoyed tackling are those that I hope will help new pet parents, or refresh information for pet parents who haven’t been at it for some time, or to even have one tip be new for a seasoned pet owner to take away.  Things constantly change as with any industry with new research and innovations so we can always learn something new.  For this reason I decided to talk about topics like pet safety, summer and winter care and Christmas safety, worms and fleas and ticks, travelling with a pet, what to do when you can’t get to the vet.  I’ve had comments where people said “I never thought of that!”  Well that’s exactly what I was striving for. When someone said, “I never thought of checking with the emergency clinic before I had an emergency to see what their policies and procedures were.”  Well that’s awesome!  Someone may have just taken out a real shock finding out their credit card had to be approved for a certain amount of money before their dog was even seen.  That just adds to the stress you are already feeling when you are running to the emergency with your pet.  So, I find these type of episodes to be really fulfilling putting them together.   

Another area that I really like delving into, is holistic and natural care.  I realized that I could actually do a series on this topic from everything from types of alternative therapies for our pets and supplements.  But, this was also the area where I was able to get some great practitioners to come on to the show and share their amazing expertise.  Joanne Carr from Omega Alpha Pharmaceuticals was so informative.  Joanne is a wealth of information and she gives the information in such an understandable way.  I am frequently on Joanne’s webinars and I always learn something.  

Theresa Gilligan was so interesting.  She is practicing Ayurvedic medicine for horses and dogs and some farm animals as well as being certified as an Animal Neuro Myofascial Practitioner and Cranial Osteopathy.  I tell you, the breadth of knowledge with this woman has was something else and I really appreciated her taking the time to talk to me because this woman is busy.  I also had such a fun and interesting chat with Wendie Patrick who is a Quantum Practitioner and has her own podcast called Quantumly  Yours.  She too had great insights especially helping us to navigate pet allergies.  

Some other episodes that I have had such fun putting together are cat and kitten care but more specifically, Cats and their Mysterious Behaviour and the special Halloween episode on the lore and legends of cats.  I had so much fun talking about what is a cat kiss, and how and why cats purr or bump you with their heads.  Why do cats knead?  My cat Rory is a huge kneader.  And again, that slow blink at us called a cat kiss.  And the legends and lore of cats is just fascinating.  The fact that folklore sees cats as familiars or familiar spirits assisting witches with their practice of magic.  And of course the transformation of folklore into fairy tales is so much fun with examples like Puss n Boots.  

Other episodes that were a delight to put together were Tundra my Wonder Dog.  My dog Tundra had such an interesting journey I just had to share that.  And the spotlight episodes on different breeds of cats and dogs have really been fun and I always learn something. 

In terms of the other interviews I have done besides from the Joanne, Therese and Wendie interviews already mentioned, you know I have to really say thank you so much to these people.  Getting an interview with someone is a bit of a dance, as schedules have to be worked around and the interviewee has to determine when they can give an hour or so of their time.  So, I do interviews on a Sunday afternoon or in the evening, whenever that person can fit it the time.  So, I really appreciate them making the time to talk.  The people I’ve spoken to have real expertise so they are busy working in their field.  Dr. Rob Hillerby for example is a busy vet and he gave up his lunch hour to talk to me.  I really enjoyed talking to Dr. Rob and hearing about his life as a vet and I will always remember the story that when he was a young vet he worked in a practice that did everything so he was a real James Herriot.  

I also just recently enjoyed talking with Belinda Smith from Horizon Pet Nutrition.  Having Belinda interpret food labels as I threw them at her was quite fun. And Jill Thompson of Kissable K9 Care holistic teeth cleaning service was awesome because you could hear so much in Jill’s voice how much she cares for animals and how her approach is so pet centred making for amazing results with getting dogs and cats teeth cleaned while awake.   And it was so fantastic to have DanielleForbes co-founder and Executive director of National Service Dogs on twice.  Danielle is beyond excellent in explaining service dogs, their roles, the process it’s just amazing.  Danielle also shared with me the PTSD service dogs and facility assistance dogs that National Service Dogs provide during a special Remembrance Day episode.  And Stephanie Ridley shared her personal experience with getting her son’s service dog Beaument.  If you really want to understand the role of a service dog, this is the interview to listen to.  

Recently I decided to take on some more nutritional topics like fillers and I waded into the controversy on Dilated Cardio Myopathy.  I really wanted to talk about DCM but I was waiting for more research to come out and I think that’s just going to be ongoing.  But, be assured that if something significant comes out I’ll put that out.  

So, with this review of some of the past 50 episode, I would like to thank everyone again who I have interviewed and I would also like to thank all the listeners.  I know that you listen from all over the world and that is just amazing.  That just means that the animal loving community is worldwide.  Together we can all be puppy heroes and look out for the innocent animals and do our part to stop cruelty.  Plus, we can all share information so always feel free to email me at Val@valtalkspets.  If you have topics you would like to hear about or something to share I would love to hear from you, because you know, we’ve only done 50 episodes we have a long way to go!  But, 50 it is, and I’m super proud of all the episodes and the interviewees.  I want everyone to give their fur kids a special hug from me and everyone here at Val Talks Pets.  Pet lovers are a great community, so feel free to share your thoughts and questions because as I say, knowing is caring.

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Val Cairney

Hi everyone, and welcome to Val Talk’s Pets, the forum for pet parents and enthusiasts alike. So, I have been working in the pet industry now for almost 10 years and, on a daily basis, I handle a lot of issues and questions arising from pet parents. I am not a veterinarian but I do have certifications in Canine, Feline, Small Animal, Fish and Herptile and Avian Health and Nutrition from the University of California, Davis Extension, the Vet College.

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