Friday, December 30, 2011

O hai! U haz finded the old Almost Perfect Pets.

We haz maded u a new blog. Pleeze to find us at the Almost Perfect book site. Pleeze to remember new bookmark -- weez wouldn't want to miss u through epic blog fail.

(Note to non-LOLcat speakers: Find translation here.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Beauty Is In The Eye of the Beholder

Inky, a Chihuahua      Photo © Carli Davidson

Just had to share with y'all this brief post on a professional photographer who felt inspired to do a photo essay on disabled pets. She sees what we see: the unspeakable beauty of the almost perfect pet. Enjoy!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Frank and Louie: When Being Two-Faced Isn't A Slur

This kitty was born with two faces, one of an uncommon type of cat called "Janus cats," after the Roman mythological god whose one face looked to the past, while the other looked to the future. And what do you call a two-faced cat, but two names?

This one's Frank and Louie, and I think you'll enjoy the story of this record-holding, literally multi-faceted kitty who didn't let being born different cramp his style one bit. Our little inspiration for the day.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sierra, The Three-Legged Dog

Found a great post about a brave girl named Sierra, who lost one of her back legs to cancer. Her parents were pretty freaked out at first, but soon Sierra taught them all the meaning of getting over it and getting on with life. So much like the critters we wrote about in Almost Perfect!

In fact, it appears they discovered our little book, since it got a blurb in the middle of this post. But what's really great about this piece is all the really sound info it gives for others who may be struggling with difficult choices -- adjustments that might have to be made, options for critter wheelchairs -- and what it really means to share your life with a disabled pet.

Read on, and see what you think!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

New News About An Old Friend

Just sharing a great article that appeared in today's edition of the Green Bay Packers' hometown newspaper about our friends Frankie and Barb over at Joyful Paws. Way to go, you two!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sparky Finds A Home

At one time, Sparky the black & white dachshund was trapped in Nowheresville -- a shelter dog with few prospects for any kind of a quality life. After all, who would choose a deaf dachshund from among all the other animals without special needs?

But then he was chosen to be trained in a prisoner rehab program in a Missouri state correctional facility. And instead of being returned to the shelter, Sparky was given to the Missouri School for the Deaf. And there he is thriving, among students and faculty who see him as something of a mascot.

This is his story, yet another one proving that home is where the heart is, that the families we choose are often more comfortable than the ones we're born into, and that in return for the extra care they require, special needs pets often give back far more than we invest. Enjoy.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Who's Savin' Who?

Starting this Sunday morning, I'll be pleased to share facilitator duties with my great friend and author colleague, Barbara Techel, leading the discussion about special needs pets and the wonderful and unexpected ways they change our lives, on the Facebook fan page of bestselling author and pet expert Darlene Arden!

Darlene is a respected animal behavior expert, whose new book, The Complete Cat's Meow: Everything You Need to Know About Caring For Your Cat, just hit the shelves from Howell Book House. She's been hosting these weekly chats about all things pets for years now on her Facebook page. Thanks to FB's recent changes, she's moved the discussion to her fan page, which unfortunately cost her the rich archives of previous discussions. But let's help her populate her new forum with a lively discussion of our own, shall we? Like any gray cloud, this one has a silver lining: It'll make it REAL easy to find the link to our discussion, since ours will be the second one listed!

So, what's it all about?

Well, Barb -- author of the popular and insanely well-selling Frankie, the Walk 'n Roll Dog book series, which chronicles the real-life story of her dachshund who became partially paralyzed from the effects of IVDD -- and I will be facilitating an open, week-long conversation about the challenges of living with and caring for special needs pets, and the incredible and often surprising ways their presence in our lives can uplift, fulfill and inspire us.

The title of our discussion comes from the common experience of the humans, who adopt or rescue these special needs critters from shelters or from being thrown away because they're no longer "whole" or "perfect," that while we thought we were rescuing the animals, in the end we learn that they have somehow rescued us. And it's all being hosted by Darlene, on her Facebook Discussion Page.

So join us, won't you? All you need do is join Facebook, and "Like" Darlene's fan page, then you're all set and ready to post your questions, comments and resources to share with others like us who really care about giving special needs pets the quality of life and love they so richly deserve. Looking forward to "seeing" you there!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Remembering Lucy

Lucy wasn't a special needs dog, unless you count needing a little extra attention every time she entered a room. Lucy was just special.

She worked as a therapy dog for special needs people, and I just wanted to share this little memorial from Lucy's people. Lucy crossed the Rainbow Bridge yesterday, just shy of her 16th birthday. We send gentle thoughts to her family, whom we know will miss her, and we also send thanks to them for having shared her with so many during her time on this side of the Bridge.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It's National Prevent Cruelty to Animals Month!

Photo by Jenna Mackenzie

April is National Prevent Cruelty to Animals Month.

Now, for some of us, that's actually every day, and I'm guessing that includes everyone reading this post. But I think it's a great idea to have a month devoted to reminding people that preventing cruelty is important and should be a priority every month.

Here at Almost Perfect Pets, we're all too aware that cruelty, including active abuse and passive neglect, creates special needs animals out of pets who were once whole and healthy. It's horrifying, it's inexcusable, but most of all…it's completely unnecessary.

As I type this, I have a purring ball of gray fur in my lap, my little Idgie who was born with anophthalmia. This is a condition in which kittens whose mothers were exposed to certain pathogens during pregnancy are born without eyes. (It's also not unheard of in human babies, about one in 100,000 of which are born without any optical tissue whatsoever.)

The point is, Idgie was born without eyes. No one took them from her through an act of cruelty. But there are so many other kitties, puppies and other critters who have physical damage caused by other critters in unfortunate situations. Many of these come about through the neglect of their owners, who either don't know not to allow certain animals to be alone together because they don't get along, or who know and simply can't be bothered to keep them apart.

But by far the worst are injuries inflicted by humans through intentional acts of cruelty. I've written of many of these right here, and without exception, these stories are deeply disturbing and profoundly moving. For those of us who love animals deeply, these stories are repugnant, but we feel obliged to read them in the hopes that perhaps there is some small thing we can do to stop it, to make it better, or at least to let others know so they, too, might add to the momentum against these horrid goings-on.

Today, I just want to remind you that there are groups out there whose sole purpose is to find animals who are suffering and to remove them from those situations, and to prevent such suffering from happening ever again. Joining and supporting the work of these organizations is something we can all do, no matter where we are or what we do for a living. We can join and support their activities with our dues, our donations of money and/or requested items, and through volunteer work.

Probably the primary mover and shaker in the anti-cruelty field is the ASPCA, of which I've been a member for years. Here's a video they made to commemorate 145 years of preventing cruelty to animals. If you're not already a member, please consider joining us in this worthy goal.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Blind As A Bat(ty)

Been away for a while and thought this would be the perfect way to come back with a bang.

Many of you know that a quarter from each sale of Almost Perfect, our book about disabled pets, is donated to Animal Welfare Karpathos, the only animal rescue on the Greek island. The author of the final essay in the book, Roberta Beach Jacobson, runs the rescue with her partner, Alf Meier.

They made this delightful little vid about Batty, a blind kitten there. I wanted to share it with you, because it reminds me very much of the way my blind cat, Idgie behaves, and shows what a full, happy life blind pets are capable of leading. It also carries a poignant message we all need to be reminded of. So take a few minutes and give it a look, won't you?

Monday, January 17, 2011


Today, I just want to share a little bit of this and a little bit of that, all of it about disabled pets.

Daisy was always looking up to the positive side of life. Look at that smile!

First off, it would hardly be fitting to start with anything other than a nod to Daisy, the sweet little Doxie who, for 16 years, was the mascot for our friends at Eddie's Wheels. Daisy crossed the Rainbow Bridge last week, and is now running unencumbered through the fields of gold. We will miss her stalwart little presence, but I could hardly do justice to saying goodbye any more than Barb Techel did over on her Joyful Paws blog. Daisy and Eddie's Wheels played a huge part in the story of Frankie, The Walk 'n Roll Dog, so I'll just let her say it much better than I could.

Next, I want to share a discussion of a great book about a blind cat and his amazing story. This one covers Homer's Odyssey over at SodaHead. Great discussion with author Gwen Cooper!

And last for today, a tale about living with a disabled cat named Basil.

I think it's appropriate on this MLK's Birthday observance day, which so many of us mark by contributing a day of public service, to reflect on the service rendered by individuals to their disabled pets, and the incredible service they receive in return.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year!

Well, 2010 was an active year in so many respects, but it was certainly a banner year for animals! Many, many puppy mills closed down, hoarders raided and the animals moved to sanctuaries where they'd be properly cared for, and FINALLY some legislation with teeth regulating puppy mills in Missouri, Iowa and Oklahoma.

There were, inevitably, major setbacks as well: hundreds if not thousands of birds, fish and other wildlife injured or killed in the Gulf oil leak disaster; dithering on "crush" video legislation; and a few games' winning performance causing selective amnesia in football fans where Michael "The Dog Torturer" Vick is concerned.

But especially for special needs pets, it seems 2010 was a year of major progress. The rise of pet bloggers and the huge success of their own professional conference, "Blogpaws," brought many of our issues to the fore. The momentum continued right into the mainstream press with several articles touting the adoptability of disabled pets, and that's a REAL victory!

But I believe it was a grassroots readership of blogs far and wide -- that may or may not have ever made it to Blogpaws -- that began this groundswell of visibility for the plight of disabled pets. I say this because many of us were blogging long before there was such a thing.

So, at this time when we're looking back over the year just past and forward to the New Year ahead, I'd like to give props to some of my fellow bloggers who have worked to make special needs pets more visible. Some of these are blogs dedicated to special needs pets, others have simply used their regular pet blogs as a platform from which to discuss this previously neglected topic. Doesn't matter -- whoever takes the time to speak out for our Almost Perfect Pets speaks out on behalf of us all. I just wanna say a great big "thanks!" from all of us here at Almost Perfect Pets.

Joyful Paws - Home of Frankie the Walk 'n Roll Dog and her mom, Barb Techel
Covered In Cat Hair - Mostly True Stories of a Life Spent With Cats
Pet News & Views - For pet and wildlife lovers - Help for handicapped pets - It's all about products to help disabled pets.
PeTango - Finding best friends for life.
Animals Reign - Pet News You Can Use - Part of the iVillage Home & Garden Network
Animal Friends UK - From our friends across the pond
Three Heelers Wild - About three happy heelers, two of them deaf, wild in Texas

I'm sure I've missed many, many excellent related blogs, but these are the ones I'm aware of and whose content has informed and moved me. I also think we owe a great deal to the programming on the incomparable Animal Planet TV channel, which brings us all kinds of heartwarming and sometimes scary, but always thought-provoking fare about our fellow travelers with fins, fur and feathers.

Here's to another great year for our animal friends, with or without all their functions. We love 'em!