Pet Peeves Unmasked Blog Mission

Pet Peeves Unmasked Blog Mission is to give followers access to information they can trust and help them care for their dogs and cats
The Pet Peeves Unmasked Blog Mission is to empower pet parents everywhere


My Mission

When you visit this page, the first post you will see is Pet Peeves Unmasked Blog Mission. That’s because the whole purpose behind each and every one of the posts I write is to push you gently to become the best pet parent possible! That’s the blog mission. And, that’s my personal mission.   


“Perfect” Pet Parenting

Furthermore, I have written a book entitled “Perfect” Pet Parenting that covers all aspects of caring for dogs and cats. It is based on my personal experience as a pet caregiver and incorporates the expertise of professionals who focus on specific areas of a companion animal’s wellbeing. This blog site contains extracts from my book. 

One of the biggest advantages of managing a blog site is that posts can be edited, updated and published at any time and as quickly as needed. Blog followers are hungry for knowledge and like to have access to the latest information in a matter of seconds. Consequently, they are faithful followers when they have sources they can trust that give them the tools to improve their life and the life of those close to them. 

Your Empowerment 

Pet Peeves Unmasked Posts covers a very wide range of subject matter that is organized into groups. Each blog is then filed in a specific category which is located in the right hand column of this page. 

As you will notice, group topics are extremely diverse. Animal rights and adopting. Breeds and body language. Gentle leaders and leashes. Dry food and water bowls. Vaccinations and CPR. Walking and dog parks. Pet sitting and pedicures. Car rides, air cargo and boarding. And, I mustn’t forget to mention the heart-warming stories of some amazing, heroic dogs and cats. 

Our Bond

Lastly, I want to encourage you to leave comments and suggestions because when we all work together, we can all keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!



This week we show how dog houses protect Mexican pets that have a human family but live mostly outdoors, often in deplorable conditions. Sadly, and for whatever reason, the canines are not allowed inside the home.

Our photos tell the stories of before and after. And we learn, first hand, why one small volunteer organization based in Playa del Carmen is able to step in and help.

The Snoopi Project – Riviera Maya

“When we started in July 2015, our initial intention was to provide animals with a proper shelter, educate owners on responsible pet ownership and promote spay/neuter,” explains Kelly Whittemore, Founder and Director of The Snoopi Project. 

Master carpenter Alonso Roda and his latest dog house, finished just in time for Christmas

Dog Houses Shelter Mexico’s Pets

In order to assist local pet owners who are obviously struggling economically, this organization donates dog houses for canines that are kept outside. These items are made locally out of recycled wooden pallets from local businesses. The objective is to protect the animals from the tropical weather conditions prevalent in the state of Quintana Roo, on the Riviera Maya. That way, the animals are sheltered from the blistering sun and torrential rain that is typical during the summer hurricane season.

“On average, we are now able to deliver two to three dog houses a week, sometimes more,” says Whittemore, who is originally from California and worked as a veterinary assistant in North Carolina before settling in south-east Mexico. The Snoopi Project pays a carpenter, Alonso Roda, for his work. The extra money he earns on top of his full-time job allows him and his family to have a better life. The first dog house was delivered in July 2015 and the total count up to and including end December 2018 stands at 596. What an amazing achievement! 

Scouting Low-Income Neighborhoods

When I asked Whittemore how they hear about pet guardians who need help, she explained that residents and volunteers alert her of precarious situations. However, in addition to that, Kelly and her friend and helper, Stephanie La, constantly drive around poor neighborhoods. They look for outside pets and check on their welfare. She even laughed about the fact that residents are a little shocked to see them in their Snoopi Wagon. The fact is “most times people think we must have taken a wrong turn.” 

Whittemore also commented that most people are very grateful and appreciate the help. “The Mexican community has, honestly, been very open. We have met a lot of wonderful people.”

Donations Are Key

The reason that The Snoopi Project is able to do its work is entirely because of the donations it receives. And, although providing dog houses toprotectvulnerable Mexican pets is the principle objective, that is not all they do. Here are some examples.

  • Each family that receives a dog house is also gifted de-parasite medication and flea/tick protection for 30 days, for all dogs on the property.
  • Needy pets also receive food and water bowls, collars with personalized ID tags, and toys as well as supplies of dry food.
  • Help is also provided so that pets can be sterilized.
  • While out on the streets, if they see an extreme case where an animal is injured, sick, abused or abandoned, they will take action. It’s important to note, however, that The Snoopi Project is not a shelter. All animals they rescue are either fostered or taken to a private boarding facility.

To Sum Up

Here are some of the people who deserve credit for the efforts described in this week’s blog. They are Mexico’s outdoor dog heroes. They are the people who care about the wellbeing of these sentient beings who, through no fault of their own, lack adequate care and protection. Thank you for what you do!

  • Kelly Whittemore and Stephanie La
  • Alonso Roda
  • All the volunteers, fundraisers, and those who donate to the cause

Follow them on Facebook: 

To donate you can do so via PayPal to

Please be sure to follow me next week. We’ll be staying in Playa del Carmen to visit a veterinary hospital to discuss injuries, disease and preventio. It will also feature the challenging medical case of tiny patient, Chanel, seen here in the arms of Kelly Whittemore.

The Snoopi Project founder, Kelly Whittemore, takes rescue pup Chanel to the vet for more tests
The Snoopi Project founder, Kelly Whittemore, takes rescue pup Chanel to the vet for more tests

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!  



This blog began with a single topic, but then it grew into a series all about Mexico’s street dog heroes. To be more specific, it zeroes in on the tropical south-east region renowned for its beaches, archeological sites and eco-tourism. The action starts in Mérida, Yucatán, and travels across the state of Quintana Roo, with stops in Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Isla Mujeres and Cancún. And if you’re wondering who the heroes are, they represent the three countries of North America (Mexico, Canada and the USA).

Feeders and waterers were installed in Mérida, Yucatán, by Mexico’s street dog heroes
Street dogs using feeders in the Yucatán capital of Mérida, south-east Mexico


Outdoor Food And Water Dispensers In Mérida

What first caught my eye mid 2018 was an article I read in the online version of the daily publication “Yucatán Al Minuto.” It dealt with outdoor feeders and waterers for dogs and cats that roam the streets of Mérida, the capital of the state of Yucatán. 

Votes For Voiceless Animals

At the time, political campaigning was in progress for the upcoming general election. Mexicans would soon be voting for a new President as well as state officials nationwide. Animal lovers who were working on behalf of the PRI party candidate running for state governor decided to launch an initiative called “Yucaninos.” This word comprises the first four letters of Yucatán, and caninos, Spanish for canines. 

Those working on this project decided to install the state’s first ever feeders and waterers in Mérida. Then, prior to the launch, they held orientations to gather the support of residents in the Emiliano Zapata neighborhood. In addition to that, the plan also included recruiting volunteers to ensure that fresh food and water was always on hand and being properly dispensed.

Unfortunately, I was unable to get comments from people on the ground there. However, the program appears to have been a success and was replicated in other communities. One of these is Tulum where we will now make a stop.

Street cat in Tulum, south-east Mexico, eating from an outdoor feeder
Street cat in Tulum, eating from an outdoor feeder


Business, Advocacy, And Endurance

Those who know Alma García well can tell you that she has boundless energy and a fighting spirit. And it is these qualities that have enabled her to do the following three things. 

Firstly, she and her Italian-born fiancé founded and manage two very successful boutique hotels and also offer eco-tours to visitors from around the world. Second, García loves animals and raises money for local homeless dog and cat populations. And, her third endeavor is to push herself further and win more marathons!

Feeder Flop

It’s certainly disappointing but there are times when you have a great idea but it just doesn’t work out. That’s what happened when this entrepreneur set up feeders close to her hotels. As my readers probably know, distemper is highly contagious and potentially lethal. So, when there was an outbreak of this disease in Tulum, the local authorities determined that the feeders had to be removed to prevent it from spreading further. 

Despite this setback, however, García continues to help Mexico’s street dogs and cats in other ways.

iTour Mexico in Tulum and Akumal sells tee-shirts to raise money for street dogs and cats
iTour Mexico in Tulum and Akumal sells own design tee-shirts to raise money for street dogs and cats. This one says “adopt, don’t buy.”

Tee-Shirt Triumph

Undaunted, García supplements her personal donations with funds raised from the sale of tee-shirts in her gift shops. “Visitors are really motivated to ease the suffering of all the roaming dogs and cats they see in our area,” she said. “They love all our tee-shirt designs.”

Through their support, García is able to buy food and contribute towards the cost of spay and neuter programs to reduce the canine and feline  populations on the streets. In addition, funds are allocated to construct dog houses out of wooden pallets made by a local carpenter. That way, some of the animals can shelter from the blazing sun and torrential rain.

A local carpenter makes dog houses for street dogs in Tulum, south-east Mexico
A local carpenter makes dog houses for street dogs in Tulum, south-east Mexico

To Sum Up

Here are some of the people who deserve credit for the efforts described in this week’s blog. They are Mexico’s street dog heroes. They are the people who care about the wellbeing of these sentient beings who, through no fault of their own, end up struggling to survive on the streets. Thank you for what you do!

  • Yucatán gubernatorial candidate, Mauricio Sahuí; Edwin Espadas, who worked on his electoral campaign; and the residents of Mérida’s Emiliano Zapata neighborhood.
  • iTour Mexico, Alma García and Marco Pasqualino.                                           

Please be sure to follow me next week. We’ll be taking a trip to Playa del Carmen for more on dog houses, the before and after photos, and The Snoopi Project!

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!  


I thought it was time to lighten up. So I went looking for videos of smart pets that make us laugh. Not ones that are just acting funny, slightly clumsy, and kind of silly. But ones that are really, really smart! After all, this is the start of a brand new year and not everyone should be serious and sad. So I’m dishing out a dose of pet humor so we can sit back and relax for a few minutes.

In case you hadn’t already realized it, your companion animal is probably smarter than you thought. In fact, it could be as gifted as your two-year-old child or grandchild. And, if you have the patience and are a dedicated teacher, your dogs and cats may be able to learn quite a bit of stuff…like this. 

Take a look and see how these three very smart pets can make us laugh and laugh. Enjoy!

Two Smart Cats Say “We Love This Game!”

These two cats have learned what it takes to get a treat. You hardly ever see these counter top bells anymore at a store. But you do on a television quiz program. Furball and Fluffy know exactly how hard to hit the knob and that they have to retract their paw after making the strike. I hope their pet parent knows when to stop playing this game. If not, they’re soon going to have a pair of very fat cats!

 One Smart Dog Says “Stop Ruining My Day!”

Pit Bulls, a/k/a Pitties, are sweet-natured, caring, loyal and highly intelligent. They are so gentle and protective of children that they are often called The Nanny Dog. And there are those that are talented in other ways. They are being increasingly trained to work with law enforcement and other government agencies to keep us safe. So, it’s hardly surprising that this guy has figured out exactly how to stop this annoying gadget dead in its path!          

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!  


A dramatic illustration like this shows why pet parents must heed this rawhide bones safety warning
These basic manufacturing steps illustrate why a rawhide bones safety warning is necessary. Courtesy of Rodney Habib

Dogs love them yet a rawhide bones safety warning is absolutely necessary. Why? Because nearly all the brands you see online and on the shelves of your favorite pet supply store are constructed with hide from dubious sources and full of toxic chemicals that are used in their manufacturing process. In fact, they have to be among the worst “entertainment” items ever created for dogs.

Rawhide Isn’t Really Raw

This kind of rawhide is more like leather because it goes through many of the same processing steps that are used to make shoes, handbags and a host of other items. 

How Rawhide Dog Bones And Chews Are Manufactured

Here is what happens.

* The hides are soaked in a highly concentrated salt solution to kill any protein-destroying organisms.

* Then they are treated with either an ash-lyme solution or sodium sulphide liming to strip off any hair or fat.

* Next, more chemicals are applied to separate the different layers, since only the inner most ones are used for the chews.

* The hide is then bleached white.

* A chemical preservative is applied so the hide doesn’t spoil.

* A coloring agent is applied.

* The leather is then cut, rolled and glued into the desired shape, packaged and shipped out.

What The Experts Tell Us

“Rawhide is the most dangerous pet chew ever. More dogs have died from rawhide treats than almost any other form of dog treats or food.” 

Rodney Habib, Canadian activist and founder of Planet Paws. 

“As the rawhide is chewed and turns soft and gooey, and the knots at each end get undone, it has become a choking and intestinal obstruction hazard.”

Dr. Karen Becker, holistic veterinarian.

To help prevent choking, intestinal obstruction and death, we need more rawhide bones safety warning posters like this.
A rawhide bones safety warning like this helps prevent choking, intestinal obstruction and death.
Courtesy of Mornington Peninsula Dog Lovers

Some Scary And Very Sad Stories

Like so many others, the people mentioned here hadn’t received a rawhide bones safety warning.

Teddy almost choked on one, it had completely unraveled and was down his throat.Thank God we were home and in the same room.” Tracey Schofield

Years ago, my Jack Russell was choking on a rawhide, but luckily I was able to put my finger down his throat and got it out. I don’t know why the stores keep selling rawhides.” Celine Ostendorf

After swallowing some pieces of rawhide, mine died in surgery, so sad.” Sylvie Haustete

“One of my ‘students’ had an obstruction. When I asked when the pup would be in for its 2nd level of training, I was told that, sadly, the little one had died due to blockage in the intestines.” Wendy Roberson (dog trainer)

I had a pedigree German Shepherd that ate some rawhide and died in my jeep before I could reach the vet! There was nothing I could do. His stomach was all swollen and twisted by the obstruction.” Mercedes López-Roberson

To Sum Up

These testimonials speak for themselves. Besides, there are other ways, much safer ways, to provide enrichment for your beloved pets.

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!  


My Advocacy

Many of us are seeking justice for dog on dog maulings so that irresponsible dog owners are held accountable. We strive to make sure that we protect our companion animals, and that they are not maimed and killed.

When you become involved—directly, or indirectly—in an issue that resonates, it makes you determined to do whatever you can. It’s something that strikes a chord. That makes you want to speak out. And reach out. To consolidate ideas. Advocate for change. And help others.

My earlier blog entitled Are Current Dog On Dog Mauling Laws Unjust? describes an incident which took place in August 2018. It involves Shih Tzu Rocky in Oldsmar FL. Here is the link

Below I outline two other confrontations I heard about recently. These stories highlight the dangers to dogs and why the current laws are inadequate and need to change.

My Three Chosen Stories: Rocky, Buckles, and Reese.

Many are now seeking justice for dog on dog maulings in every state. Here is Buckles after undergoing reconstructive jaw surgery
His jaw was shattered, tubed and wired shut after reconstructive surgery, but Buckles survived. Many are now seeking justice for dog on dog maulings in every state

Buckles suffered horrific injury to his jaw which is why we are seeking justice for dog on dog maulings across the USA


August 2018. Buckles was a five-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that had been rescued from an abusive situation. As he was returning with his human from a trip to the park in Washington Heights, he was attacked by an off-leash dog. The other dog clamped down on his throat and then his legs. But, miraculously, he survived.

Buckles needed reconstructive surgery to his jaw which was destroyed and disfigured. It was tubed and wired shut for healing, then six weeks later he underwent a second surgery to remove the wiring.

At this point in time, I’m happy to report that Buckles continues to make a steady recovery from his horrific physical injuries. Nevertheless, he will likely be emotionally scarred for the rest of his life after suffering such a traumatic event.


November 2017. Six-year-old Reese, a Yorkipoo, was mauled to death by two large dogs. It happened less than a block from home, as he was returning from an evening walk. The dogs had been tethered by their owner but managed to break loose and they also injured the two people that were with him. 

According to the existing ordinance, Casselberry authorities could fine the owner at fault $27.50. Then, if it happened again, they could issue another fine, double that amount, but would be unable to remove the dog(s) from the property. However, the City was well aware of the danger since these same dogs had gotten loose before, attacked other dogs and lunged at people walking along the sidewalk. Despite that, however, County Animal Control would be powerless to remove the vicious animals without the owner’s consent.

So, determined to fight for tougher laws involving dog aggression, and dog-on-dog maulings in particular, a friend posted a petition online.  Subsequently, Reese’s owner, Donna Syracuse, presented her case before Casselberry officials and Seminole County leaders. At the hearing, they approved adding new language to the existing ordinance on domestic animals and including higher fines for irresponsible pet owners.

Syracuse hopes that this ordinance will result in the following:

  • Improved communication between City and County officials to better protect citizens.
  • That if an animal that is running loose, and unprovoked, attacks or kills another animal or injures humans in the process, the attacking animal shall be immediately and permanently removed from the community.
  • And, if the dog’s owner has a documented history of possessing aggressive dogs, that individual should be banned from owning dogs in the future.

 A Step In The Right Direction

After reaching out to Animal Control of Seminole County, they told me that an amended Aggressive Animal Ordinance was executed. It is dated 10/3/18 and will be posted on their website soon. This is a positive step forward and I am sure that many of us will be waiting patiently to read it.

To Sum Up

Everyone involved in these horrific attacks is seeking justice for dog on dog maulings.

Rocky’s owners are struggling to pay off veterinary bills and have a GoFundMe page. They would also like to sue the aggressive dog’s owner, the owner of the condo he was reportedly renting from, and the management company. And, eventually, advocate for new laws to replace the current ones that do nothing to deter irresponsible behavior and help keep citizens safe. Here is one example of the law as it stands today. Even after filing a police report and going in person to Animal Control, the family was told that a dog is not deemed dangerous until a second dog-on-dog attack is reported. And even then, it cannot be removed.

As you know, Reese’s owner had to endure further heartbreak by relating her story in detail, yet again, in front of City and County officials. 

Buckles’ owner has also started a GoFundMe page to help with ongoing veterinary bills. They include costly reparative and reconstructive surgery.

My Closing Statement And Your Thoughts
  • Can’t there be laws that apply state-wide?
  • Why is it so difficult to pass laws at county level that are practical, logical and equitable, and serve the community at large?
  • Do more helpless companion animals have to die before proper justice is served? 
  • And, above all, how do we get this done and done right?

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!  


TWO BLOGS. ONE MESSAGE. Today I have an important question for you. Are current dog on dog mauling laws unjust? 

Maybe you haven’t given this topic much thought. Maybe you know little or nothing about animal rights and injustices.  But don’t worry. I can help change that, which is why I am now focusing on this particular blog category. Animal Laws And Rights.

My Angle

This blog is a departure from the types of stories I usually publish on my site. If what I write and communicate helps make a difference, I hope to continue featuring topics like these that catch my attention. 

My Community

When issues arise in your community, in your neighborhood, and in your county, you are more likely to act. I was appalled when I read about Rocky on my local Nextdoor online network. The incident occurred about one mile from where I live, in a community where I have had numerous pet clients over the years. I reached out to the family in question and offered to help in any way I could. 

That’s why I’m asking you to please comment and let me know what you think. And, also, I would be delighted if you told me about the injustices that are close to your heart so I can write about them, too.

My Three Chosen Stories: Rocky, Buckles, and Reese.

Rocky succumbed to his injuries so I ask this question: are current dog on dog mauling laws unjust?
A vicious dog did this to Rocky which is why I ask if current dog on dog mauling laws are unjust

Rocky succumbed to his injuries, so if current dog on dog mauling laws are unjust, they need to change
When a dog that is known to be aggressive is allowed to do this, a well-
written ordinance is needed


August 2018. On Friday the 11th to be exact, just past midnight, Olesa Fridman walked down one flight of stairs at her condo with her 15 pound, five-year-old companion. The downstairs neighbor’s 60lb dog ran out of nowhere and attacked Rocky, one of the family’s two Shih Tzus. 

Alerted by her screams, husband Oleg ran out and kicked the aggressive dog. It let go of Rocky who then took off running for his life. But, in full prey drive mode, the much larger, faster, attacking animal caught up with him and mauled Rocky a second time. Oleg chased after them and managed to kick the dog again. It released hold of Rocky but, despite his injuries, he was able to run away.

Searching for him continued throughout the early morning hours until night-time, with only a two-hour break. Rocky wasn’t found until late that night but, sadly, he was badly wounded.

The Fridmans rushed him to the nearest emergency clinic where they took x-rays, cleaned his wounds, administered pain meds and antibiotics, and allowed him to go home. 

But Rocky’s condition was worsening. He required hospitalization and was taken to BluePearl in Tampa for intensive care. Possible leg amputation was mentioned but a full evaluation would be done in the morning by the surgical team.

So, Olesa and Oleg returned home but within a few hours, received a call with the worst possible news. Rocky had sepsis and was not responding to the antibiotics. His sugar level was so low they could no longer read it. His kidneys were failing. So they hurried back to the hospital with other family members to say their final goodbyes. 

But this opening story doesn’t end here. Please continue by clicking this link to read about two other mauling incidents that had rather different outcomes. And find answers to the question…are current dog on dog mauling laws unjust?

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!  


“Buster Brown” tried to get comfortable on a computer chair, things changed, now shelter dogs love their armchairs
“Buster Brown” tried to get comfortable on a computer chair, things changed, now shelter dogs love their armchairs

Who would ever have guessed how much shelter dogs love their armchairs? Well, actually, when you think about it, that should be no surprise. 

By thinking outside the box, and applying a little creativity, the lives of homeless pets are changing. This is what Knox County Humane Society did and now other organizations are following their lead.

It all started earlier this year and shows how resourceful shelter staff are becoming in their efforts to boost pet adoptions. Read all about it here and see my favorite video, picked especially for you.

Shelter Mascot “Buster Brown” Starts A Trend

Whenever he got the chance, the four-year resident would try and climb onto a computer chair in the front office to get a better view of who was coming and going. Then the staff at the Knox County Humane Society, Illinois, thought it was time he had his very own chair. 

So they tried out an old armchair and “Buster Brown” was as happy as could be. He no longer struggled to curl up into a ball. He could stretch his legs and rest his head on the arm. That’s how the armchair initiative began and there are now 25 of them being used inside individual kennels.

Thanks to this guy, all Knox County Humane Society shelter dogs love their armchairs
Thanks to this guy, all Knox County Humane Society shelter dogs love their armchairs

It’s All About Comfort And Mood

Shelter Director, Erin Buckmaster explains the benefits and why the shelter dogs love their armchairs so much. “First of all, the dogs are off the floor and out of drafts. They are more comfortable and less stressed. Because of this, their behavior improves and they become more adoptable,” she told us. 

Buckmaster then went on to mention that in February the first chairs were put in the lobby, in an area specially set up for the three dogs that had been at the shelter the longest. That way visitors see them as soon as they walk in and they can immediately visualize them relaxing on a chair or a sofa in their own home. It was a big hit.

When the local community heard about about this, the response was amazing. In fact, the very first day, one lady showed up with 11 chairs she had bought at a thrift shop. It’s worth pointing out that donations are always welcome since the chairs are frequently replaced due to getting a bit chewed up and scratched.

See for yourselves why shelter dogs love their armchairs so much. Video created by KCHS staff member, Tanner Smith.

The Start Of A New Trend

“When we heard about the success they were having with the armchairs at the Knox County shelter, we decided to try it out, too,” said Lissa Waters, Development Coordinator at West Valley Humane Society in Caldwell, Idaho. This is an open admission shelter in the Boise metro area, that takes in over 7,000 animals of all kinds every single year. And, they will have up to 100 dogs for adoption at any one time.

A great example of an early success story relates to Roxy who was about 10 or 11 years old. “It’s always a lot harder to adopt out an older dog,” Waters commented. “She wasn’t doing well in this noisy setting but as soon as she was given a chair, she curled right up on her blanket and started to relax.” Staff took photos, then a local television crew came out, and Roxy was adopted a day or two later. What an inspirational story!

West Valley Humane Society shelter dogs love their armchairs, especially when they are a perfect fit!
West Valley Humane Society shelter dogs love their armchairs, especially when they are a perfect fit!

To Sum Up

An armchair is a comfort item that most homeless dogs are already accustomed to. And, because it has a calming effect, the canine’s stress level dips and it’s mood improves. As a result, it has a far greater chance of finding its forever home. And you can help, by spreading the word. Maybe you even have an old armchair to donate. The dogs will thank you for it!

A Helping Hand

If you would like to donate or volunteer at either of these shelters, here is the contact information. 

Knox County Humane Society

1855 Windish Dr

Galesberg, IL 61401



West Valley Humane Society

5801 Graye Lane,

Caldwell, ID 83607

208 455 5920


Sad Update

I am sorry to report that “Buster Brown” passed away August 20 2018 due to congestive heart failure. R.I.P., sweet boy!

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!  


When Aurora went missing Max, the Australian Cattle Dog hero, never left her side
When Aurora went missing Max, the Australian Cattle Dog hero, never left her side

She is three years old. He is 17. I describe how an Australian Cattle dog hero protects a lost child for 15 hours, Down Under, in Queensland’s inhospitable bush country.

This Happened

The incident occurred in April 2018 and it could well have ended in tragedy. Fortunately, though, Max was little Aurora’s protector and stayed with her throughout the ordeal after she wandered off that afternoon. 

Aurora was first reported missing at 3pm, and wasn’t found until 8am the next morning. Most likely she had snuggled up next to her faithful, four-legged friend during a rainy night outdoors. 

Thanks to Max, the Australian Cattle Dog hero, Aurora was safely reunited with her mother
Three-year-old Aurora is reunited with her mother after her all-night ordeal

The initial searches conducted by Aurora’s family and others were not successful but the next morning more than 100 State Emergency Service volunteers, police and members of the public were participating in the operation. Then everything changed. Aurora’s grandmother, Leisa Bennett, heard the little girl calling out from the top of a rugged, elevated piece of ground and rushed there as fast as she could. When she got closer she saw Max who then led her straight to her grand-daughter who, miraculously, had only suffered minor cuts and abrasions.

Queensland’s Appreciation

Because of his heroic act, Australia’s Queensland police department decided to give Max the title of Honorary Police Dog. And, what he did is even more amazing when you learn that he is actually a special needs canine. He is completely deaf and has only partial eye sight! Bravo, Max! You are a true dog hero and an exemplary representative of your breed.

Max, the 17-year-old Australian Cattle Dog hero, is completely deaf and has only partial eye sight
Max, the 17-year-old Australian Cattle Dog hero, is completely deaf and has only partial eye sight

The Australian Cattle Dog

In case you are not familiar with this breed, I thought I’d add this to Max’s story.

Also known as Heeler, Blue Heeler, or Red Heeler, depending on the coloring of their coat, Max, the Australian Cattle Dog hero in this story, is a Blue Heeler. The breed came about in the latter half of the 19th century in Australia to combine stamina, agility and intelligence so it could assist stockmen in their work. It was admitted to the American Kennel Club in 1980. 

Heelers are medium-sized, muscular and athletic as well as intensely loyal and protective. Some “owners” even call them velcro dogs, because they like to follow their human everywhere they go. 

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!