Archive for the ‘summer’ Category

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30 Aug 10

By Nancy E. Hassel,

The 35th Annual Hampton Classic

The tents are up, the horses are competing and people from all over the world are coming to watch or compete in the 35th Annual Hampton Classic.  This week long jumping competition is a spectacular way to see horses and their riders up close compete in all levels of jumping competitions.  If you are a native Long Islander and have yet to attend this Hamptons classic, you don’t know what you are missing.  This event is very kid and dog friendly, as long as your dog is leashed, well behaved, friendly, and won’t freak out seeing a horse. 

Also if your kids like animals, they will love this.  Especially the exotic animals that are on display and on Saturday, September 4th is the annual Cablevision Kids Day with all kinds of activities geared for your 2-legged kids.


Some of the animals your kids can see pretty close.

The classic started on Sunday, August 29th and runs through Sunday, September 6, 2010 with many events during the week.  Try to go during one of the weekdays when it is less crowded and you will be able to see more.  There is also the ‘Boutique Garden’ there with a ton of vendors for your shopping pleasure.  Its $20 bucks for a car load of people or $10 a person.  If you were lucky to go today, admission was free!   For more information on the classic go to:

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24 Aug 10

By Nancy E. Hassel,

Celebrities & Their Dogs Unconditional Love

Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons (ARF) has some very unique events to raise funds to continue to help homeless animals…and last night was no exception. At Guild Hall in East Hampton, NY, ARF hosted a movie premiere of ‘My Dog, An Unconditional Love Story,’ by Daryl Roth ( and Mark St. Germain, which is a movie about stars celebrating their best four-legged friends.

Featuring celebrities like Edie Falco, who was also there to give an introduction to the packed audience, the film also featured Richard Gere, Glenn Close, Lynn Redgrave, Cindy Adams and many others who spoke unconditionally of their dogs, past and present.

(L to R): On Stage: Sara Davison Executive Director of ARF,
Edie Falco, Actress; Daryl Roth, Film’s Producer

An endearing, humorous and touching film, anyone who has owned or owns a dog, will absolutely love this movie. There was a lot of laughter and the audience stayed until the very end credit, with tons of applause. Whether you are a famous actor, musician, poet or author, the fact is that dogs bring all people the same joy, love, companionship and laughter – this movie shines a light on that.

Proceeds from the evening screening went to ARF and many audience members also moved on to the cocktail reception at the Maidstone after the screening, also benefiting the non-for-profit animal rescue. Local pet celebrities Jill Rappaport of the Today Show and Beth Stern were also in attendance.

Jill Rappaport Pet Contributor Today Show,
Beth Stern; and me! Nancy Hassel, Founder Long Island Pet Professionals

For more information on upcoming ARF events and how you can participate go to:

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23 Aug 10

Vroom, vroom! ...

By Nancy E. Hassel,

Cruisin’ for Companions! 

Got you hot rods detailed, polished and ready to show off?  Got your four-legged best friend ready to cruise around check out other ‘tails’ and cool cars?  This Saturday, August 28, 2010 the first ever ‘Cruisin’ For Companions’ is taking place from 9am to 5pm at

Four Towns Training Center (Fireman’s Field) on Merrick Road in Merrick.  Cruisin’ for Companions is hosted by Vinyl Concepts, and all proceeds will benefit Forgotten Friends of Long Island animal rescue and the North Merrick Fire Department.

Joann Ferrara, one of the owners of Vinyl Concepts said, “We have about 20 cars that are pre-registered a lot more cars that are going to be coming the day of, and many local car clubs involved. We also have a bunch of vendors with something for everyone!”  This very cool event will also feature musical entertainment provided by Juke Box Drive; food and refreshments from Souper Fry; and many doggy/pet contests with prizes, $1.00 raffles, and a 50/50 raffle.  Forgotten Friends is going to have a mobile pet adoption for the day as well.  Joann also hinted there that may just be some local celebrities there signing autographs, hmmm I wonder who it will be.

So get those cars ready, groom your pup and head on down this Saturday to Four Towns Training Center (Fireman’s Field) on Merrick Road in Merrick. (Off of exit M9E on the Meadowbrook Pkwy.), for one pawtacular event.  You know I will be there!

For more information go to:

Admission for adults is $6.00.  Children are FREE and Pets are FREE.  For Pre-registered car participants the admission fee is $25.00. For same day car participants the admission fee is $30.00.

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23 Aug 10

August and Animals ...

By Pamela Fitzpatrick, of YourDogWalkers,

August and Animals 

Did you know that August 24 marks the date that the Animal Welfare Act was signed into law? This 1966 act, the original intent of which was to regulate the care and use of animals in the laboratory, has become the only Federal law in the United States that regulates the treatment of animals in research, exhibition, transport, and by dealers. Other laws, policies, and guidelines may include additional species coverage or specifications for animal care and use, but all refer to the Animal Welfare Act as the minimum acceptable standard.

ASPCA founder Henry Bergh was born on August 29, 1813.  In addition to founding the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in 1866,   Mr. Bergh also helped form the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.   According to their website, the ASPCA was the first humane organization in the Western Hemisphere, and continues today with their mission “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”

Finally, most of us have heard of ‘Dog Days of Summer’ those hot late summer days when the air is hot and stagnant. In some European cultures, July 24 through August 24 is still considered to be the dog days.  The name comes from the ancient belief that Sirius, (aka the Dog Star), is closest to  the sun during the ‘Dog Days’ and that proximity was responsible for the hot weather.  Sirius, which is found in the Canis Major (Big Dog) constellation, is the brightest star in our summer night sky.  Why not look up at the stars tonight and see if you can see it?

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06 Jun 10

Swim safety for dogs ...

June 6, 2010
by Nancy E. Hassel,

Did you know that not all dogs can swim? Most people think that swimming comes naturally to dogs. We have all seen the funny videos of little dogs doing the doggie paddle in the air when held above the bath water by their owners, but that movement doesn’t mean they will be able to swim, stay afloat or tread water.

Being on an Island, dog owners should consider this when out at the beach, near a lake with their dogs, or hanging out by the pool. We are lucky that nowadays there are life jackets made for dogs, scamper ramps to help dogs out of a pool and dog trainers willing to teach dogs to swim. But that doesn’t mean your dog is going to like it or have a swimming technique come naturally to them.

Some things dog owners should never do when trying to get your dog to swim, is force your dog into the water by dragging or throwing a dog in. It’s not only cruel, but can scare a dog or make the dog fearful of water. If you have a puppy, you want to start young introducing the pup to the water, always, always monitored by an adult and never left alone near a body of water. Keep the puppy leashed, and it you have a dog life jacket (properly fitted for the dog’s size), have the puppy wear it. You can get the puppy accustomed to wearing it, by having the dog wear the vest for a few minutes at a time while indoors or on a short walk. While the puppy is leashed you can go into a pool or in the calm water on a shore and just have the pup wade in the water along side of you. Let the dog go in on its own or if you have a dog or friend with a dog that likes the water – that will often help your puppy have less fear.

When teaching the puppy how to swim, make sure that you eventually take the life vest off during lessons for short periods of time, so the dog learns to become buoyant on their own. Owners can assist by helping hold up the dog’s body from the mid to back section of the dog:

Photo, American Boxer Club.

Some dog breeds do take much more naturally to the water as that is what they were bred for. Labs, Goldens, Portuguese Water Dogs, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, to name a few are natural water dogs, but they still may need help along the way learning. Some breeds are not designed for long swims or swimming at all. My Pit Bull Max, is an excellent swimmer, but his mouth is so wide that he tends to inadvertently swallow a lot of water while swimming. Which can make him sick, so his swim time is never more than 10 to 15-minutes, and that is in and out of the water.

If you are unsure how to teach your dog to swim, the best thing to do is to hire a skilled dog trainer who knows how to do this properly. (Interview the trainer to be sure they know how to teach this). In teaching a dog to swim it’s best to be in the water with the dog as some dogs can panic, and you or the dog trainer can help assist them out.

Another thing to consider is if you are at the ocean beach, be careful of throwing a ball or stick into rough surf – this could easily knock down a dog and injure the dog. Dogs can easily be tossed around by a wave. Some bay beaches have a quick drop off, and if your dog is not used to swimming, a deep drop off can be dangerous. While we all want our dogs to cool off, not every dog is suited to swim. So take steps to enjoy the water with your dog, but safety first!

Writer note: The life jacket can also be a safety precaution while out kayaking or boating with your dog. Also a long line, not a retractable leash, a long leash made of cotton that can be purchased at most pet stores in 10, 15, 25 and 50 in length, is a great tool while teaching a dog to swim. If the dog is over enthusiastic and not on a leash the dog can keep going and going. Believe me I have witnessed this in person. Funny at first, scary when the dog was pretty far out into the bay, luckily for the owner the dog turned and finally headed back. If the owner had a long line, he could have gently pulled the dog back towards the shore.

I owned a Doberman who was not a graceful swimmer at all, and her rear end always tended to sink, so her doggie paddle was more in the air than in the water. She also jumped off the dock once, and we had to coax her around the shore. She did it, but was panicked and exhausted when she came out. While she loved the water, she was smart enough to know her lack of swimming capability and only went out so far (where she could still stand!), not all dogs are that smart!

Don’t let this picture fool you, her back paws were touching here!
And this was clost to the shore of the bay.