Archive for the ‘NYC’ Category

Comments Off
21 Feb 11

LI Dogs at Westminster ...

By Nancy E. Hassel,

Living on Long Island we are very fortunate that once a year the most prestigious and biggest dog show comes to New York City.  The Westminster Dog Show draws thousands of dog lovers from around the world and is practically in our back yard.  With approximately 90 dogs entered from Long Island owners – some of which are breeders, owners, handlers – this year was a first time showing at Westminster for many of those dogs.  On Tuesday, February 15, 2011 a lot of the big dogs, and I mean this in size – not their status, took part in the competition.  One of those beautiful big dogs was the very handsome, playful and young Bull Mastiff “Brutus” (Bandog’s Brutus the II of Raven). Owned by Mike and Marilyn Schamroth of Hewlett – they were more than excited to see their boy in the ring – his first time at Westminster.  Mike & Marilyn have owned Bull Mastiffs before and have shown them – but it has been about 15-years since they have had the breed.  When I asked them, what made you get a back into the breed Marilyn Schamroth said, “We were in Florida and we happened to go to a dog show and saw the most beautiful brindle puppy and that pup let us to the breeder who we got Brutus from – it was kismet.”  Brutus who is now only 18-months old is already a champion and seasoned pro – he won the ‘Best of Winners’ at the Bull Mastiff Association Nationals in Massachusetts in Septembers 2010.  Brutus was led to that championship by his handler, Rolissa Nash – a long time Bull Mastiff breeder, owner, and professional handler, accomplished dog trainer and co-owner of Doggie U K9 Academy in Bay Shore, NY.  Mr. Schamroth said, “I can’t sing Rolissa’s praises enough – because with her it’s all about the dog, and the dog comes first – she has been fantastic to work with.”

Rolissa and Brutus in benching area.

Rolissa Nash said, “Brutus is a fantastic, even tempered, wonderful dog, eager to learn – a pleasure working with him and his owners.  They are more concerned about their dog being content and happy and if they thought their dog was unhappy doing dog a show, they would pull him out of the show without even thinking about it.   They want Brutus to be a well rounded dog so we have started him also in obedience and agility.”

Another new comer and Long Islander to show this year was “George” (CH BlacNFlat Burns and Allen) a Flat Coated Retriever owned by David and Carole Kralstein of Canine Club Getaway.  George started his show dog career at a single cluster of shows in tough North east competition in July of 2010 and in just 5 days earned his Championship title. He also won ‘Best of Breed’ and G2 (2nd Place of the sporting group), at the October 2010 Westbury Kennel Club show on Long Island. He also won 3 more Best of Breed titles at the Talbot Kennel Club, the Salisbury Maryland Kennel Club in November 2010, and Worchester Kennel Club in Massachussetts in December 2010.

George a very sweet and handsome boy is a willing and happy worker, while remaining the typical Flat-Coat goofball. He is currently dabbling in agility, and will begin working on field training in the spring.  George is also an accomplished Therapy Dog and has his Canine Good Citizen, his owners said, “George loves working with children as a therapy dog – he participates in a reading dog program where kids who may have trouble reading, read to him.” George who will be 3 years old in April is a tall boy and has a stable, solid temperament with both humans and other dogs.

George’s owner David said, “He had a great time and he looked great in the ring.  He was glad to get home and slept almost a whole day. He is now his goofball self.”  George also had a pretty big fan club at the Westminster show Frank Bonomo of Best Friends Dog Training, George’s trainer, and Dr. Keith Niesenbaum of Crawford Dog and Cat Hospital George’s veterinarian and his wife, who were all also first time visitors to the show.  They said they loved it and thought George did fantastic.

George in the ring at Westminster!

In one of the rings, the Newfoundland’s were showing and watching ringside, you could not take your eyes off the black and white or ‘Landseer’ newfie that was in the ring.  One of the spectators, Marcie Mackolin who is a new newfie owner said, “That’s my puppy’s father” beaming with pride. Marcie’s 8-month old puppy, Polly (Let Polly do the Printing) is also of the black and white variety and according to Marcie, “just the sweetest dog.”  Last year Marcie came to Westminster and saw Lancelot’s uncle in the ring, and well fell in love with the breed – and that led her to her Polly.  I asked Marcie if she is going to show her dog, and she said she’s contemplating it – then Lancelot won the group – and I said, “You have to show her now!”  Marcie was at Westminster this year to show support for Lancelot – and it seems to have worked.  Marcie is from Pennsylvania and got Polly’s breeder is from upstate NY, Lancelot lives in California – so maybe not from LI, but just shows that dogs come from all over to Westminster.


Polly, Lancelot's daughter.

This year there were six new breeds entered into Westminster: the  Boykin Spaniel; the Bluetick Coonhound; the Cane Corso; the Icelandic Sheepdog; the Leonberger; and the Redbone Coonhound.

Many of the breeds are actually old breeds, but new to the dog show.  The Cane Corso an Italian Mastiff had an impressive entry of 18 dogs and one more gorgeous than the next.  This breed’s popularity has taken off in the past 10-15 years and especially in the North East.  One of the handlers showing Vodoo, (see slide show), who is from Florida, said she was really surprised how many Corso’s were in the NY area.  I remember going to Rare Breed dog shows about 10 years ago to see them, it was great to see them in the ring at Westminster this year.

Cane Corso's for the first time at Westminster

The Leonbergers also a new, old breed – just amazing in to see in person.  Gentle giants in my opinion and just so beautiful to watch.  They also had a good showing of 13 dogs in the ring, although they were so big, it seemed like more than that.  I would not want to be a judge as they were all very impressive.

Leonberger's in the ring!

If you have never been to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show – this is a must do for anyone interested in dogs, mark your calendars for next year as this is the Best in Show of dog shows!

Comments Off
19 Jan 11

Pet Sitters & Blizzards ...

by Robyn Elman, President of In Home Pet Services, Inc.

What do Pet Sitters do in a Blizzard?

This has been a rough winter so far with two big storms a rain and ice storm and more snow forecasted to hit our area again.  They mayor says to stay off the roads. The schools are all closed and kids get to stay home with their parents or people are away on vacations. So what is a pet sitter to do?

When pet sitters have clients that are away on vacation they, and more importantly their pets, are depending on the sitter to come for their care. Dogs like Sophie the beagle still has to go outside to do her business, get feed, fresh water, love and attention, and cats like Bella needs her daily medications, litter changed, etc.

Dedicated professional pet sitters go with shovels in their cars to each appointment, and if the roads are not plowed they take the train or bus; and if that fails – as in the last blizzard in New York when there was no public transportation – they walked!   But pet owners who are hiring pet sitters should also take into consideration the following tips to ensure safety for their pets and their pet sitters:

If you are away during the winter and are relying on a pet sitter, you can make things safer for them, ensuring your pet can get their care.

  • Have someone “pre-hired” to shovel in case it snows. Have them shovel your driveway with a path to the road as well as the sidewalk in front of the house, and a path to the door.
  • Leave pet safe salt containers for the people shoveling your walk and driveways (with directions to only use that type of salt) – and leave an extra container or two inside incase the pet sitter needs to add additional salt to ice or snow.
  • Always have the numbers to your power company and/or heating company displayed for the sitter to call if there is an outage.
  • If there is a power outage, or no heat at your home, make sure you have arrangements with your pet sitter so that they can take the dog, cat or bird home with them to board in case of a no heat emergency.
  • Extra leashes, collars, dog or cat carrier is great to have available in case the sitter does have to take the pet with them.
  • Have the number to the nearest 24-hour vet emergency hospital displayed as well.
  • Keep a shovel handy for your sitter to maintain the paths.
  • If you have a regularly scheduled dog walker and you are staying home from work – remember to call them to cancel.
  • Make sure you have enough pet food, litter, pet medication and bottled water in case you’re stuck and can’t get back on your schedule day due to weather.

Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers truly work through rain, and snow, day and night. Planning ahead during the winter will make the care of your pet a little easier for your sitter to stay safe while caring for your pet.  The tips above will make a big difference in the life of your pet and pet sitter during another blizzard.

Dangerous roadways are tough enough on pet sitters.

Don't leave it up to your pet sitter to shovel your house out.

Comments Off
23 Nov 10

Invicibles – Pet product revie ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

A couple of weeks ago I attended the ‘No Place like Home’ pet product showcase in New York City.  As mentioned in a previous article, I was loaded down with pet products and decided to do a pet product review with my dog Max! The first product that we are reviewing is Plush Puppies Invicibles Snake made by Kyjen. 

Max posing with new toy.

These new dog toys have a few really great qualities, one being they don’t have all that poly-fil stuffing we normally see in dog toys.  You know the white fluff that ends up all over the floor looking like toy imploded after your dog was done killing it.  My dog Max has a particular way of de-stuffing a toy, he likes to first rip the little sewn on tag, find a seem and almost as good as a tailor take out the string with his front teeth, and then pull the stuffing out from the little hole he made.  Once he gets half the stuffing out, he goes for the “kill” meaning finding and taking out the squeaker.  Once he gets the squeaker out, he’s pretty much done with the toy.  And then I wonder why I bothered getting him a toy in the first place.

Taste testing!

The second amazing quality the Invicibles dog toy line is that has is large squeakers that still squeak even after it is punctured.  This is one of those, “how’d they do that” moments. Not only was I impressed that these damaged squeakers, (i.e. punctures from Max’s teeth), still squeak just as loud, but I think the dog was confused! 

This particular snake Invicibles toy has 6-sections of large squeakers.  Max only was able to get two of the squeakers out and has still been playing with this toy, now almost two weeks since I gave it to him.  Pretty impressive for a dog that usually just likes to rip up toys like this. 

Now, of course as with any toy or dog bone you give your dog you want to monitor the dog with the toy, make sure he or she doesn’t eat any parts of it.  People often give their dog a toy and go and do other things to come back and see the toy destroyed and not knowing where all the parts are.  So you need to know your dog and know your breed and how he or she is with toys. 

Luckily for me, Max doesn’t like to eat things that are not food.  One concern I would have with this toy is the rattle in the tail – seems like a small plastic container with smaller parts inside to make it rattle.  While the toy we have, the tail is still in tact, rattle and all, if you have a dog that tends to ingest things he or she is not supposed to, make sure you are present when you dog is romping around with his new Invincible.  I would give this toy a good rating, less clean up, squeakers that still work, fun and entertainment for the dog, and longer lasting.  Two paws up from Max!

Let the play time begin! - very short video of Max beginning to play with his new toy. 

For more information on this toy and other products that KyJen makes go to:

The next product review will be on the FURminator®!

Comments Off
15 Nov 10

NYC Pet Product Showcase ...

By Nancy Hassel,

No Place Like Home, Pet Product Showcase

Last Wednesday I had the pleasure of being invited to a media event for 25 of the most elite, beautifully designed and innovative pet products from companies across the US.  This exclusive pet product showcase, No Place like Home, that took place in Manhattan was presented by Pet Socialite Events and hosted by the fabulous pet trend and lifestyle expert, Charlotte Reed.  Among the press attending the event were various celebrities, most notably Richard Belzer and his dog BeBe an adorable poodle-fox terrier mix. 

Richard Belzer & BeBe checking out products

There was also elaborately designed ‘pet bedroom suite’ to tour that was decorated to meet the needs of pets and their owners.  

Some of the companies or manufacturers that were showcasing their products were: Furminator; Kyjen (Outward Hound); Sturdi Products; Luxury Pets; Bamboo; Hartz; Thunder Shirt; Premier; Designer Catbox; Unleashed Life; YepYup; Ecosmart; CitiKitty; R2 Solutions and more.  One of the companies had a very unique product, nothing this pet professional has every seen before – agility for pet fish – I kid you not, more to come on this.  This event was pretty crowded and filled with many pet press enthusiasts.   

If you look closely to left low hand corner you might spot a certain NJ House wife holding her cat, Grandma Wrinkles.

After receiving many unexpected pet product freebies from the event, what else to do but put them to the ultimate test, product reviews from my dog Max.  Over the next few weeks, we will be rating the products based on Max’s liking, how the product holds up, quality and more.  So be sure to look out for his reviews soon!  The first product being reviewed is doing quite well, here’s a teaser picture of Max getting his first sniff: