Archive for the ‘kids’ Category

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01 Aug 11

Unleashed Hit the Hamptons ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

On a sunny and beautiful afternoon this past Saturday, July 30, in Bridgehampton, over 100 guests and their four legged friends attended the first, ‘Unleashed Hits the Hamptons’ event.  Unleashed NY is a non-for-profit organization that launched in 2010 and is just a year old.  Unleashed has a unique approach to rescuing puppies and helping change the lives of middle school aged girls – Unleashed is an after school experiential leadership program for middle school girls that uses a social change curriculum focused on puppy rescue and welfare.  Unleashed focuses on a pivotal time in the girl’s lives and the girls learn to advocate for others; think critically about a complex social problem; and, most importantly, gain confidence in their ability to lead change.  This inaugural event in the Hamptons hopes to become an annual event to help raise funds and awareness about the cause.

The event was a star studded event bringing in pet celebrities and vendors alike including Erika Searl and her two dogs, Cubby and Ginger of the NYC TV Show Doggie Mom’s, and fantastic vendors such as; Hampton Pet Club, Life is Grruff, Hampton Pet Chef, Macaroni Kid and the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation, and lots of scrumptious hors d’oeurves passed for both people and pets. There were also casting agents in attendance for potential stars of  Animal Planet’s hit TV show ‘It’s Me or the Dog,’ featuring Victoria Stillwell.

Erika Searl, Cubby & Ginger for NYC's Doggie Mom's

“We were delighted to make our debut in the Hamptons this week and were so happy to attract so many   enthusiastic supporters of girls and puppies.  We look forward to making many new friends as we grow and develop this wonderful program. We invite anyone that is interested in Unleashed to check out our website to learn more about the great work that we do,’ said Shelly Wimpfheimer, Event Chair of Unleashed Hits the Hamptons.

The day also featured veterinarian, Dr. Barry Browning, who provided consultation for all of those nagging problems plaguing pet owners every day.  Shelly also said, “We thank all of those who made this day possible, especially our generous sponsors, Ellen Kapit, Sotheby’s Realty, Middle Sister Wines, Pfizer Animal Health, Archie the Dog, Game Day Girl, Pine Barrens Printing, Scopinich Signs, Long Island Pet Professionals, the Zonta Club of Peconic, Dr. and Mrs. Fred Small and Julia, and last but not least, our generous hostess, Mary Moran.”

So many dogs were romping around, devouring yummy treats and gourmet pet food while enjoying a beautiful day in the Hamptons all for a wonderful cause and great new program.

To find out more about UnleashedNY go to their website and like them on Facebook too. If you are a local rescue group that would like to get involved with this program – please email to find out more information.

More Pictures below!

Kim Loper & Andrew LoMonaco of Life is Grruff!

Bonnie Mollin Emmerich of Hampton Pet Chef




Erika Searl of Doggie Moms holding Ginger and Nancy Hassel Founder of Long Island Pet Professionals holding Cubby

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06 Jul 11

by Nancy E. Hassel,

Hamptons Bound with your Hound?

Now that summer is in full swing and day trips and long weekends are in our near future – for many of us this means taking our pet along for the trip.  If you’re heading to the Hamptons for a day or weekend trip – and you want to know the best places to get pet supplies, a new outfit for your teacup poodle or need to board your pet for the weekend – here are our picks.

Are you renting a house that is not pet friendly and you need a place to board your dog that is not far from where you are staying? You will want to check out the East End Boarding Kennel.  The kennel is situated on four quiet, country acres in Westhampton, New York, south of Sunrise Highway. Open 365 days a year and can accommodate up to fifty dogs in an environment that is clean, safe, and secure. All dogs are housed in large individual (heated in cooler weathe) indoor- outdoor runs and enjoy time outside in one of our grassed exercise yard several times a day.

One Stop

Or if you are bringingyour pet with you where you’re staying and need some pet food, supplies and maybe even a pet bed – stop in  Southampton and go to One Stop Pet Shop (20 Hampton Rd).  The friendly staff of Janet, John or Sue will be there to help you with whatever you need and even though this store is in the heart of Southampton – their prices are very reasonable (better than some stores located ‘up island’).  If you can’t find what you are looking for – they can usually order it for you – but they are usually fully stocked with every pet need.  Open 7 days a week too.

If you are looking for some luxury for your dog, or a funny and unique t-shirt head down to Jobs Lane in Southampton and go to Little Lucy’s.  Named after the store owner’s dog, Lucy – the store is little too – but offers some gorgeous, interesting and not seen very often items for your pet.  Pat Hurley, the owner, provides her customers with new and unique pet items every season – you don’t want to miss it.  And just a few stores away – there is the Southampton Animal Foundation’s thrift shop – so every purchase made in the thrift shop goes towards helping their shelter animals.  You will be surprised what you can find in there! (There is also an additional store to the back of the shop – so two places to find a bargain and do some good at the same time.)

Little Lucy's

If you want your pet to have specialty food contact the Hampton Pet Chef.  Their vet approved home made, wholesome, fresh, and
natural pet made to order food, can also cater to your pets special needs.

If you are looking for a great place to bring the kids to see farm animals up close and personal and hear their amazing rescue stories be sure to stop at Amaryllis  Farm Equine Rescue in Sagaponack for a tour.  You will be touched by the stories of each animal at the farm and meet Christine and her daughter Rachel who work tirelessly day after day to care for each animal.  They also have all kinds of activities for kids, Pony Tail Little Kids Camp for one, the Amaryllis Saddle Club and more.

If you are looking to adopt a new pet into your family, Kent Animal Shelter in Calverton (on your way if you’re taking the LIE) has plenty of dogs, cats and kittens to choose from.  There is also the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation in Hampton Bays and also the Animal Rescue fund of the Hamptons in Wainscott.  You are bound to find you new furry love at one of these wonderful locations.

Planning on moving to the Hamptons full time, adopting a dog and need a way to keep your pet safe at home? Stop in Water Mill to   the Canine Control Company (720 Montauk Highway) and speak to Patty Veit about the Invisible Fence Brand.

And if you need a dog trainer or pet sitter – contact Waggin’ Tails Dog Walking service at (631) 283-1610.

Our next pet picks for day or weekend trippers you can’t miss will be of the North Fork, then Port Jefferson!

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18 May 11

Preventing dog bites ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

Preventing Dog Bites

As someone who has been working with dogs on nearly a daily basis since I was a kid, preventing a dog bite seems to come naturally to me, and by applying common sense to every situation with a dog in order not to get bit, has helped tremendously.  But not everyone is aware of dog body language, behavior, how to act around dogs, etc.  Recently a good friend of mine was bitten pretty badly on her hand by a Jack Russell Terrier, that flew off his property and was attacking, literally going for her Old English Bulldog’s throat.  Luckily for the Jack her bulldog didn’t react to the situation, (seriously that could have been his lunch), but my friend, the bulldog’s owner who was walking her leashed dog in a local LI neighborhood said she had to keep pushing the Jack away and got bit in the process. You can’t blame her wanting to protect her dog from being hurt in the process. This occurs more often that you would think – we only hear about attacks in the news when it involves a certain media sensationalized breed – but all and every type, size and breed of dog can bite.

This week being National Dog Bite Prevention Awareness Week, May 15 -21st, here are some tips to help the everyday dog owner:

  • Ask if you can pet the dog.  This seems like such an obvious thing to do – but not everyone asks.  How do you know the dog being walked towards you is friendly?
  • Teach your kids to ask you first if they can pet a dog – then have them ask the dog owner before they run up and pet the cute puppy coming along.  Dogs can get nervous (especially if they are not used to kids running up to them), and kids often times can be over zealous. A good rule of thumb, as the dog owner, is to instruct the kids approaching, ‘one at a time’ as they come up and pet the dog.  Also instruct them to let the dog sniff them first.  As the owner you need to watch your dogs body language – if he is backing away from the kids, trying to hide behind you, putting his hair up (hackles between should blades), or worse curls his lips or growls?  If this happens tell the children, ok thanks for petting him we are going to be on our way, and keep on walking.  Not all dogs like kids!
  • Don’t go up to strange dogs.  If you are not an expert, a dog trainer, and if you see a loose dog and want to help it, call your local animal control or animal shelter so they can send a professional out to help the dog.
  • Some dogs are food and toy guarders – meaning the may growl or lunge at you if you are near them while they are eating or playing with a toy.  This behavior can be corrected with a good dog trainer, (and that the owners actually listen to the trainers instructions!), but if you have a dog like this – the dog is warning you with that growl.  Take it seriously.  But seek out a trainer – many times an owner has helped the dog develop this bad habit unknowingly – it’s no reason to give up on a dog.
  • Teach your children and their friends not to tease or bully your dog.  They would not want to be teased, and either does a dog.  (A friend of mine years ago teased my friends dog relentlessly for years, not in a mean way, just what could be annoying to a dog and finally one day while we were all rollerblading with the dog – he was taunting her and I guess she finally had enough and chased him and bit him right in the butt! While we could not stop laughing at the time because frankly he may have deserved it, he was bleeding and she ripped his shorts.  If that was a child it would be a lot worse, needless to say he learned his lesson!)

  • A tired dog is a good dog. Many people don’t take their dogs for actual walks here on Long Island relying on just using their yard for the dog.  Dogs bond with us, learn better, get mental and much need physical exercise while on a walk.  Much more then just playing with them in your yard – try to start walking your dog more on a regular basis. You will see a huge difference.
  • Be sure to keep your dog up-to-date on their vaccinations (rabies is required by NYS law), license your dog and have regular check ups by their vet.
  • Take a dog education class.  Here on Long Island the Town of Islip offers this class for Free to anyone that wants to attend.  Dog Bite Prevention is one of the many topics covered.  More information can be found here on upcoming classes.

There are more tips from the American Veterinary Medical Association’s website to help you and your family avoid dog bites.  Dogs are such a wonderful part of our lives, but learning how to understand them better, interact your dog (or your neighbors dog) can make a big difference in avoiding being bit and having fun with our dogs.  Dogs are not children – while we think of them as family members of course, they are still animals first, with teeth!

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23 Mar 11

by Nancy E. Hassel,

Springtime and Dog Owner Amnesia

It’s springtime on Long Island, what a beautiful thing!  We can walk our dogs more often now and not worry about slipping and falling on the ice or climbing over huge snow piles.  This past week especially I have personally seen a lot more dogs being walked than I have throughout the winter.  But I have also noticed many dog owners seem to forget the basics of walking their dog or maybe their spring fever has given them dog owner amnesia.

Or maybe you just got a new puppy or adopted a dog and haven’t had a dog in what seems like 100 years, and laws and park rules may have changed.  Maybe this is your first dog ever and you are learning the ropes, here are a few dog walking tips to help you along the way (for both new and old dog owners alike!):

Proper leashes and collars – The best leash is a 6-foot cotton or leather leash; which come in different widths and styles for your type and size of dog. Retractable leashes do not give you any control of your dog or dogs and can cause injury to people and dogs alike.  Most county and state parks require your dog to be on a 6-foot leash by law.  Your dog should have a flat collar with ID and NYS dog license on it, and if you are using a training collar to walk your dog, be sure to get it fitted properly by a professional dog trainer.  Most big box pet stores selling choke, prong, harnesses and other training apparatus do not fit your dog (or know how to) and will sell you wrong size for your dog. Smaller mom & pop pet stores or dog training facilities will have a better idea what to sell you and help you fit your dog in the store.

Greeting another person with a dogASK! Can your dog say hello?  Is your dog friendly? Many dog owners inadvertently just walk up to another dog owner without asking if their dog is friendly or can say hello. While most dogs are friendly and social with other dogs, not all dogs are dog friendly.  Maybe their dog was attacked before and is now terrified of dogs (or the owner is terrified), or maybe the dog is dog aggressive – and now you’re wandering over to the dog without asking.  Maybe they are just working on training techniques or just beginning to socialize their dog.  Ask! And don’t be offended if their dog can’t say hello to yours.

Watching other people’s body language – Did a dog owner you were approaching just cross the street with their dog?  (Maybe to avoid you and your dog).  Are they pulling their dog closer into them, putting the dog into a “heel” position?  Walking closer to the side of the trail at the park to give you more room to pass by?  These could be very easy body language signals that you can look out for – for tell ‘tail’ signs that they don’t want to or cannot greet your dog with theirs.  Pay attention!  Pull you dog closer to you if you see this happening, and for dog’s sake don’t cross the street for your dog to say ‘hi’ after the person just crossed to get away from you and your dog! Again, not all dogs are dog friendly – but those dog owners have the right to enjoy a dog walk in the park just as much as you do.

Don’t over do it the first walk out there, if you have only been walking your dog 10 minutes for the past 5 months, gradually get your dog back into a walking routine. Increase your time and distance a little each day and before you know you and your dog could be walking a few miles a day.  A tired dog is a good dog!

Off Leash parks – are popping up across LI, so there is no need to let you’re dog run loose and out of control where you’re not supposed to because you think he should be free.  An easy rule of thumb to remember is if you can not verbally control your dog off leash, i.e. having the dog ‘come’ on command or recall your dog to you. Your dog should not be running off leash where they are not supposed to!  Go to an off-leash enclosed dog park.  You can find many listed here.

Walking in your town of village – If your dog is out 20-feet ahead of you on a retractable leash and you’re walking through a village of busy town – pull that dog in!  If you see another person coming towards you with a dog or children, retract your dog in to walk next to you – how do you know that person’s dog is dog friendly or if the person is dog savvy?  Some kids are really scared of dogs, so don’t let your dog jump up or run up to a child.

Kids – Parents please teach your children to ask to pet a dog, not to run up to a dog (a bunch of charging children can be very scary to a dog that is not used to it!), and monitor your children around all pets at all times.  If you are teaching your child how to walk the family dog – this is a great idea, just be sure to have control of the situation.  Many times I have seen a kid holding the leash and running with the dog – it may look cute and seem fun, but if that dog decides to run after something or up to an unfriendly dog, it won’t be so cute anymore.  So just make sure you are controlling the situation as the parent, aunt, uncle, guardian, etc.  You want to have fun while out with your kids and dog and educate them at the same time about dog safety.

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08 Jan 11

By Nancy E. Hassel,

There is a magical place on Long Island if you like nature, birds, and seeing wild animals up close and personal, and no it’s not the zoo, game park or sanctuary.  A nature preserve on the north shore of the South Fork is one of best places on Long Island to observe nature and have wild birds actually land in your hand.  The Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge is a treasure that many Long Islanders have either never heard of or have yet to visit.  It’s beautiful in every season, but something magical happens when there is a fresh fallen snow.  Maybe it’s the fact that there are less people there and more wildlife walking around.  The birds are always very active, but in the winter they are amazing.  You will never see so many bright red cardinals in one place at one time, and for some Long Islander’s you will see birds you have never seen before at your back yard feeder.

If you are looking for something to do outside with your now cabin fevered up kids, or maybe your kids have never been this close to nature, Morton’s is definitely worth the trip whether you live 5 minutes away or an hour away.  There is no other place that I know of like it.  On any given day your can see families of deer walking around, wild turkeys who are not the least bit scared of you, bunnies, squirrels, red tailed hawks, and of course the birds: chickadees, nut hatches, blue jays, tons of cardinals, sparrows and many other species, who will literally greet you at the entrance. It’s quite a spectacle.


The first time I ever went, I was with family members and it was a freezing cold day in February of 2006, we had no idea what the place was or that we would be bombarded by birds, and followed through the trails by them.  It was really funny.  At one point we turned around and there had to be at least 30 red (male) cardinals in on tree.

Pair of Cardinals

There is a trail that leads down to the bay beach, (maybe a mile long), and there is a look out deck equipped with binoculars and the view is spectacular.  Another part of the trail loops around through the woods and you pass and pond with a deck for observing wildlife, and you will also cross over a few short wooden foot bridges.  The variety of the landscape at Morton’s is quite interesting too, from wooded trails, tall pine trees, to a swampy feel near the pond to a magnificent bay beach – there is something to see around every turn.

Snow covered trail

View from lookout deck

If you have never been, or have only visited in the summer, you may just want to pack up the kids in their winter gear and head out for a day trip.  This place will not disappoint – and wouldn’t it be nice to get those kids off of the video games for a day?

This is a nature preserve so there are rules, like no pets allowed, not even your little cute dog – leave him home.  No bicycles, and please don’t liter or take things out of the park.

Directions and all info can be found here.  More photo’s below.

Hungry little Tufted Titmouse

White Breasted Nuthatch

Black-capped Chickadee deciding which sunflower seed to go for!

Another Chickadee

Slide show here: