Meko the Miracle Dog

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Kitsu with toy relaxing in bed


Two of our girls, Meko and Jacqs, understand that we occasionally have to go out and they need to stay home. They don't like it, but they have come to accept our way of life and usually relax and sleep while we are out.

Our newest girl, Kitsune, who we have had for a little over a year now, was six years old when we got her. We don't know a lot about her but we were told some of the circumstances that led her to us. She had an owner who died and then she lived for a year, before coming to us, with a foster-care woman who also had a 2-year-old grandson around a lot and a few other small dogs. Kitsu spent most of her day under a bed.

I think she is very happy living with Jim and I, our other two dogs, Kameko and Jacquay, and our cockatoo, Coco. She seems to be fitting in just fine, until we go out.

Jim has told me that when I go out for the day, she spends most of her time barking until I return home. I think she does that, also, when he and I both go out together and leave the pets at home.

And when we return, she barks and gets very excited, jumping at me for attention. I believe this is 'separation anxiety' behavior. I ignore her barking until she calms down, then I give her attention. But I don't know how to keep her calm when I am not home and somehow reassure her that we will be back.

I did my usual research on the internet but found most of the situations around separation anxiety dealt with people who had a dog from the time it was a puppy and they usually went off to work for the day. The recommendations were to take the dog for a walk before you leave for the day. Since Jim and I are both self-employed, we don't have a regular work schedule and don't always know when we will be going out and for how long. I also read to leave your pet with a piece of clothing that you recently wore that has your smell on it. This may reassure your pet somewhat. I have not tried this but don't have many articles of clothing that I would wear and also let my dogs lay on (they are very hairy!)

Another thing to do, that I do make a habit of saying to my dogs, is that I'll be back in a little bit. They know, then, that I won't be long. I'm not sure Kitsu is paying attention when I say that and has made a connection to what it means.

These are a few tips to use. I have no interest in other suggestions I've read to use drugs to reduce anxiety when we go out. I prefer to try all other natural solutions first and never consider medication a viable solution. Hopefully some of these suggestions will help with your anxious pet.





Kameko sitting on a park benchWhen our little Meko was diagnosed with IMHA and in the hospital for a week, she received 4 blood transfusions. I have no doubt that with her blood count around 17 (normal is between 35 - 55) that she would not have lived if she didn't receive the transfusions. I remember wondering, where do they get the blood from?


Just like people donating blood during blood drives, dogs and cats need to donate blood to help save the lives of dogs and cats when they are in need. Dog plasma can be stored frozen for up to a year and red blood cells can be stored in a fridge for up to five weeks. With cats it's a little different - it is taken directly from one cat and given to another when it is needed in an emergency.


And who are these heros who give their blood to save others? It can be your dog or cat. If they are between one and seven years old, they can donate blood once every two months.


And remember, while helping to save another dog's life, you may need blood for you own dog sometime in the future. And isn't it great that the blood is there to save your pet's life!



Our favorite breakfast restaurant is having a fund raising breakfast for the Lakes Region Humane Society. The money from all meals bought at the restaurant on Saturday, April 27, at Main St Cafe in downtown Alton, NH will be donated to the Lakes Region Humane Society. I will also be there with my Help Shelter Pets cards and instead of donating our usual 10% to our local shelter, LRHS, we are donating 20% for that day.


I will also be donating 20% to LRHS for any animal portraits that are commissioned by me that day. Come and see some of the beautiful portraits I have painted in pastels or oils. Support Your Local Shelter!!!




Main Street Cafe

Alton, NH

Saturday, April 27

7am - 1pm



The majority of Americans take care of their pets sometimes even better than they take care of themselves, running to the vets when their pets show the smallest sign of illness. According to the Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI), in 2012 policyholders spent more than $58 million treating the ten most common ailments affecting their pets. Below is their list of the top ten medical conditions that were treated in 2012:



  1. Skin Allergies
  2. Ear Infection
  3. Skin Infection
  4. Non-Cancerous Skin Growth
  5. Upset Stomach/Vomiting
  6. Arthritis
  7. Intestial Upset/Diarrhea
  8. Bladder Infection
  9. Periodontitis/Dental Disease
  10. Bruise or Contusion



  1. Bladder Infection
  2. Periodontitis/Dental Disease
  3. Overactive Thyroid
  4. Chronic Kidney Disease
  5. Upset Stomach/vomiting
  6. Diabetes
  7. Intestinal Upset/Diarrhea
  8. Skin Allergies
  9. Lymphosarcoma (Cancer of Lymph Node)
  10. Upper Respiratory Infection




If we are at all interested in saving our planet, there are a few simple things we can do that are also ways that we can protect our pets and wildlife, as well.

  1. First and foremost, clean up your dog's poop. It can be harmful to water sources. Dispose of it wrapped in a bag into your trash. Or drop it in the toilet. Never put dog or cat poop into your compost, particularly if you plan to use the dirt in your compost on your garden. The temps in the compost do not get high enough to kill bacteria.
  2. Clean up anti-freeze spills in your garage. Your pets are attracted to the sweet smell and may lick it up. Anti-freeze is highly toxic and if you suspect your pet has licked some up, contact your veterinarian immediately.
  3. Keep cats indoors. In the country where I live, we have fishers, raccoons, coyotes, foxes, hawks, and other wild animals that could easily snatch up a cat. Also, cats kill millions of birds yearly, so save the birds and keep your cat indoors.
  4. Invest in a natural lawn. If you use chemicals to keep your lawn perfect and bug-free each year, you are exposing not only your children but your pets as well to whatever toxins are in the pesticides you are using. Our lawn has been chemical free since we moved here, nearly 13 years ago, and we are happy with the green we have, whether it is from grass or a variety of weeds.
  5. Spay and neuter your pets to avoid an overpopulation problem.
  6. Adopt from a shelter. There are plenty of cats and dogs looking for homes. Think about adopting before going to a breeder. And never, ever purchase a pet from a pet store. Pet stores are notorious for getting their pets from puppy mills where the safety and health of the pet is of little concern to the breeder. Always go to a reputable breeder where you can see the conditions where the pet was bred. But first, check out your local shelter - they often have puppies that need good homes.
  7. Avoid using salt for ice. If your dog licks too much salt from its paws, it can become sick. If you live in an area where they use salt, you can either train your dog to wear booties or wipe your dog's feet when you get home from your walk.

There are many more tips for keeping your pets healthy and living in a greener world for you and your pets. We will feature more in other blogs, so stay tuned!




News about Help Shelter Pets.

Life with our "pack" - Meko, Kitsu, and Jacquay.

Musings by the Cofounders of Help Shelter Pets.

News about and shared by the shelters we're supporting.

Stories you've shared with us about your adopted pets.

Animal news, product reviews, and other useful information for pet owners.