Helping You Decide What Style of Dog Training to Use.

Look at all these trained dogs!  How did they learn to do that?  Are you ready to start training your newly adopted dog or new puppy or are at your wits end with an out-of-control dog and need to hire a professional trainer? Not sure what style of training to use? In this week’s episode of Raising Your Paws podcast, find out how training your dog will not only protect your sanity and furniture, but it actually increases your dog’s well-being. Learn the differences in the methods of training and how positive reinforcement training will enhance the relationship you have with your dog.

Full Show Notes for Raising Your Paws Podcast #60.

Title: Dog Training: Positive Reinforcement or Punishment Based? & Why the Cat Pees on Your Bed.

In honor of Valentine’s Day – (this episode was released on Feb. 11) a celebration of love and affection, since we give our hearts readily to our dogs and cats, here are some thoughts on how dogs help men express their feelings and how a cat’s purr benefits you physically.

If you need to start training your dog or want to hire a dog trainer, how do you know which of the different styles or methods of training will work and is best for your dog? Wouldn’t it be helpful for making an informed decision, if you understood in the first place, the basic difference in the styles of training, and if one has major benefits that the other does not. My guest, is Ken Ramirez, Executive Vice President of Karen Pryor Clicker Training, and author of The Eye of the Trainer: Animal Training, Transformation and Trust” and he explains both positive reinforcement and punishment training. He also tells fun stories about the training of many different kinds of animals besides dogs.

Then, here is a cat elimination problem that can have you losing sleep – literally. Why do cats start eliminating in your bed and what can you do to stop the behavior? You may think your cat is mad at you and acting out of spite – they are most likely feeling an emotion but its not anger. I’ll explain what your cat may be feeling that leads them to pee on your sheets.

I’m still offering the free children’s book, promotion, Adventures with Tuffy. It’s not only a nice story, there are pet food coupons included. To participate in the promotion, write me, tell me what particular challenges you are having with your pets that you’d like to hear addressed on the podcast and I’ll send you a free copy. To participate in this book promotion, just write me at


Additional Resources for the Show.

Stanley Coren Article. “The Gender Divide – Why Women Want Dogs While Men Need Them” from Modern Dog.

Listen to Raising Your Paws podcast about cat litter box issues. – Episode 11.

Resource for finding a Certified Animal Behavioral Consultant.

Ken Ramirez Website.

Ken Ramirez

How to order “Eye of the Trainer” by Ken Ramirez.

Karen Pryor Clicker Training Website.

Karen Pryor Clicker Training on Facebook – Videos of Ken Ramirez.

Follow Ken on Twitter @KenKPCT

Follow Ken on Instagram ken_ramirez_kpct

Find a certified Karen Pryor positive reinforcement trainer.

Source for Story about Cats peeing on beds – “Cat Wise” by Pam Johnson-Bennett.

Comfort Dogs To the Emotional Rescue.

Photo Permission and Credit: Lutheran Church Charities. From the Pulse nightclub shooting, Orlando, Florida.

Sometimes, it is the silent, gentle presence of a dog – accepting, non-judgmental, simply sitting next to someone,  offering its fur to be touched, that allows a few precious moments of relaxation and relief to someone who is experiencing, anxiety, shock or unthinkable trauma. Not to diminish at all the efforts and value provided by other people, the first responders, authorities, counselors and volunteers that help the people directly affected during times of crisis or disaster – but often it is a comfort dog at the scene, that may be able to reach and get through to the place in a person’s heart where emotions are blocked and words are not possible yet.

On this week’s episode of the Raising Your Paws podcast, you’ll hear about a very special organization, Lutheran Church Charities, and their K-9 Dog Ministry Comfort Dogs. This is a unique group of highly trained Golden Retrievers and handlers that deploy all over the country to lend their boots and paws to the aid of people everywhere, that are in need and suffering. Now, listen to the stories of Tim Hetzner, President and CEO of Lutheran Church Charities (LCC),  and Richard Martin, who is the Director of Deployment, about their experiences when they reported to the towns where mass shootings occurred and how their comfort dogs helped.

Here are some photos of the Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dogs.

LCC Sandy Hook K-9 Comfort Dogs Deployment Team.
Photo Permission and Credit: Lutheran Church Charities.
Maggie, one of the K-9 comfort dogs stationed at Sandy Hook.
Photo Permission and Credit: Lutheran Church Charities.


LCC – K-9 Comfort Dogs with a counselor at Sandy Hook Elementary following the shooting. She is holding the puppy, Isiah, that accompanied the group of dogs. 
Photo Permission and Credit: Lutheran Church Charities.
Leah, with a child. Photo Permission and Credit: Lutheran Church Charities.


LCC K-9 Ministry deployment at Henry Pratt Shooting, Aurora, IL. The man to the far right is Richard Martin, Director of Deployment, the other guest on the show.
Photo Permission and Credit: Lutheran Church Charities.

LAdeena and a firefigher. The K-9 Comfort dogs also help the first responders.
Photo Permission and Credit: Lutheran Church Charities.
LCC also has comfort dogs for the military.
Photo Permission and Credit: Lutheran Church Charities.
One of the K-9 comfort dogs with a National Guardsman. Photo Permission and Credit: Lutheran Church Charities.

LCC Comfort Dog, Katie with Child.
Photo Permission and Credit: Lutheran Church Charities.
K-9 Cubby, offering comfort. Photo Permission and Credit: Lutheran Church Charities.


Full Show Notes For Episode 59

Title: When Your Cat Pees in Unwanted Places & Golden Retrievers that bring Comfort during Disasters.

Are you having problems with your cat, not using the litter box, but instead peeing in places you’d never expect? In this episode I’ll talk about when cats choose house plants as their litter box, offer an explanation for why this might happen and tell you what to do about it. Next time, we’ll cover when cats begin peeing in your bed.

You may have heard of therapy dogs who visit patients in hospitals and clinics. Today, you’re going to hear about a special group of golden retrievers, who bring comfort to those suffering the aftermaths of mass shootings and other disasters. You’ll hear how, Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Ministry’s comfort dogs, along with their handlers, travel all over the United States–being deployed in times of crisis to bring comfort to all those affected. My guests today are Tim Hetzner, the president and CEO of the organization who started the K-9 ministry and Richard Martin, the director of the K-9 deployments.

Does your dog attempt to eat parts of dead animals it finds outdoors or even grab mouthfuls of dirt at times? When dogs eat what we consider to be disgusting, no doubt you probably pull your dog away, thinking it’s not only gross, but will cause your dog to get deathly ill from consuming such a germ infested thing. In reality, your dog’s body is equipped to handle consuming a lot of bacteria and germy things much more than you are. I’ll explain how.


Additional Resources for the show.

Amazon link to many brands of Sticky Paws Tape – most are advertised for furniture, however you can fashion strips to make a crisscross pattern on the top of the planter.


Lutheran Church Charities (LCC) Website.

Tim Hetzner, President and CEO of Lutheran Church Charities.
Photo Permission and Credit: Lutheran Church Charities.
Richard Martin, Director of Deployment at Lutheran Church Charities.
Photo Permission and Credit: Lutheran Church Charities.


LCC’s K-9 Comfort Dogs website:

LCC’s Kare-9 Military Comfort Dogs website:

LCC’s K-9 Police Comfort Dogs.

Lutheran Church Charities and the K-9 Comfort Dogs on Facebook:

LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs

Lutheran Church Charities:@LutheranChurchCharities


Find the K-9 Comfort Dogs on Instagram:

Comfort Dogs: @comfortdogs

Lutheran Church Charities: @lccharities

Find the K-9 Comfort Dogs on Twitter:

Comfort Dogs: @K9ComfortDogs

Lutheran Church Charities: @LCCharities

Source for the story about dog’s ability to eat carrion – “See Spot Live Longer” by Steve Brown and Beth Taylor.


Write and tell us the pet problems you’d like solved on the Raising Your Paws Podcast and participate in a free children’s book promotion



You can receive a free copy of the children’s book, “Adventures with Tuffy” Written by Sue Sailer and Illustrated by Troy Becker. This book was the idea of Charlie Nelson, the CEO and president of the family owned company, NutriSource Pet Foods. Tuffy was the name of his grandfather and is also the name of the family’s pet food plant.

To participate, please write me at, with your detailed comments about the Raising Your Paws podcast. We would like to know what some of the problems you are having raising your pets that you’d like to hear addressed on the show. I’ll select 10 of the first people to write and send them a free book. Good Luck. The book is also sold in many of the stores where you find NutriSource pet food.


How to Decide to Get Pet Health Insurance or Not.

Do you have health insurance for your pets? If not, do you wonder if you should get it, why its needed or would it really be worth it?

And how do you pick the right company anyway?  Does it feel like a hassle to have to figure it out?

To help  you decide if it’s worth getting, – it’s pretty easy. Just answer two questions.

And to choose which company to go with, there is a convenient online tool that takes you step by step through the process.

You’ll hear the two questions and what the online tool is, in this episode (58) of the Raising Your Paws podcast. This is a “best of podcast”  replay from one of the first pillar episodes of the show.

Full Show Notes.

Episode 58 (replay of pillar episode No. 1)

Title: Sure Fire Way to Decide if You Should Get Pet Health Insurance & Why Your Dog Lies Down After Spotting Another Dog.

In this, “Best of Podcast” pillar episode replay show, we’ll first start with what you should do if you think your pet may have been poisoned… besides panic. I’ll tell you a story about when I accidently fed a toxic drug to my dog and a phone number you’ll want to call right away if you suspect poisoning.

Next, do you wonder if you need to have pet health insurance for your cat or dog? Dr. Doug Kenney, DVM, author of the book, Pet Health Insurance, A Veterinarians Perspective, poses two simple questions to ask yourself in order to decide and then explains how to select a good company that meets your needs. You’ll hear about an online resource, his pet insurance tool kit, which helps you work through this step-by step.

Then, your dog may be communicating with you and other dogs, through doing this particular behavior. Find out what it is and increase your skills in reading your dog’s body language.

And, finally, why pouring your dry pet food from the bag it came in, into another can or bucket is not the best way to store the food.

Additional Resources for this show:

ASPCA Poison Control Hotline Phone number – 888-426-4435.

Amazon link for ordering the book, Pet Health Insurance, A Veterinarians Perspective.

Dr. Kenney’s Website.

Pet Health Insurance Tool Kit.

Dr. Kenny’s Podcast


Please leave your comments about the episodes at the bottom of any of the blog articles/show notes. Would love to hear your opinions and questions.


Can Rescuing a Stray Dog Rescue a Person at the Same Time?

Have you rescued a dog? Perhaps you found an abandoned one out on the streets or saved one from being ethuanized in a shelter. Rosy, my dog, a Sheltie, German Shephard mix, that I adopted, was taken out of a community pound by a woman who fostered dogs moments before the dog was going to be euthanized.

Perhaps you feel that as much as you saved your dog, your dog has saved you in many ways.

That is how one Marine who fought in Afghanistan, during 2010, feels about his dog Fred.

Listen to Craig Grossi’s dramatic story of his mission fighting the Taliban in one of the most violent areas of Afghanistan, how he fell in love with a stray dog living in the middle of the battlefield, got him home to the United States and is rescued by his dog everyday.

Here are photos of Craig and Fred.

Craig Grossi and Fred the Afghan. Two souls rescued.
Fred sleeping in the worn-torn area of Sangin, Afghanistan.
Fred would accompany the Marines as they visited and spoke with the Villagers.
Fred looking out over the compound where Craig’s platoon was stationed.


Full Show Notes For Raising Your Paws Podcast Episode 57.

Title: How Smelly Humans Are to Dogs & A Marine and a Dog from Afghanistan that Rescued each other.

How can search and rescue and police dogs sniff out and follow people that are long gone from sight? It is because, we humans smell ALOT to dogs and this makes it easy for them to track people. In this episode, I’ll explain exactly why and how you are constantly producing odors that dogs can detect and allow them to identify YOUR particular scent from all others.

Next, the story you’ll hear today, from my guest, Craig Grossi, a marine, who was stationed in, Afghanistan is about a stray dog who was scrounging out his living in the desert sands, and captured the marine’s heart and commitment. The story of Craig and his dog Fred, is one of the more unique and gratifying rescue stories I’ve ever heard. You’ll be able to read the entire story about how Craig brought Fred back from war torn Afghanistan to the United States, in Craig’s book, Craig and Fred: A Marine, A Stray Dog, and How They Rescued Each Other.

Then, it’s time for another “Where did that expression come from? There are two stories that offer an explanation for where “let the cat out of the bag” came from.

In the podcast, I promised  you some photos of cats squeezed in small places.

If you live with a cat, you know that they like to jump into bags and boxes.  Cats have a natural need for warmth and protection and their instinct tells them to be alert to dangers that might sneak up on them when they want to relax and doze so it makes sense that they would feel snug and comfortable and more protected in smaller, defined places.

But do you wonder how a cat can cram themselves into the smallest of places? It has to do with how they are made. Cats can fit through any space that is wider than their heads. That’s because they don’t have collarbones and their heads are the widest parts of their bodies. As long as they can get their head in something, with their  amazingly flexible spines, they can twist and wiggle themselves into all sorts of things in such a way that their front legs can be facing one way, their hind legs are facing another when they are lying down, and they’ll still be comfy.


Photo credit: Alina Esther©

Additional Resources for the Show

Listen to Stories about Search and Rescue Dogs finding missing people. (Episode 31)

Listen to Stories about K-9 Police dogs tracking criminals. (Episode 41)

Amazon link to the source for the story of how smelly we are to canines: Being a Dog: Following the Dog into a World of Smell by Alexandra Horowitz.

Craig, Nora and Fred.

Craig and Fred’s website and social media:


Fred the Afghan on Facebook:

Fred the Afghan on Instagram:

Craig Grossi’s YouTube channel.

Amazon link for how to order the book, Craig and Fred, A Marine, a Stray Dog, And How They Rescued Each Other.

Young reader’s edition of the Craig and Fred book.






What to Know about Giving Pets as Gifts.

As I am very busy trying to train Rosy how to help me tape up and wrap holiday packages, (not going so well) this week’s episode of Raising Your Paws is a best of holiday segments replay.

It’s good holiday related information to be reminded of or to know. Such as what to consider first, if you are planning on giving a dog or cat as a holiday gift, and also why you want to make sure you keep certain holiday foods out of reach of your pets. For example, do you know why you want to make sure the cat does not lap up the remains of the mulled wine in that glass or the dog is not able to wolf down the freshly made bread dough that is sitting on the counter rising?

Listen to episode 56 to find out why.

I do mention at the beginning of the episode some exciting news.  Our full-time, one of a kind, children’s hospital therapy dog has finally arrived.

Here is the press release about it.

NutriSource Pet Foods Funds Hospital’s First Ever Facility Dog

By:Pet Age Staff
December 6, 2019

Members of the Nelson family, (Owners of NutriSource Pet Foods) hospital staff and Rocket.

Press release: NutriSource Pet Foods

At M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, young patients met the hospital’s newest staff member who will to help them take medicine, relax during anxious moments, encourage them to walk after surgery and offer support and affection during medical procedures.

Rocket, presented by NutriSource, is a golden retriever and the first and only full-time facility dog to join the team at M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital.

Rocket will help support children and families during hospitalizations and clinic visits. Rocket was formally introduced to the hospital during a short program on December 5th. The staff position was made possible by community support and a generous gift of $250,000 from NutriSource Pet Foods.

Rocket went through years of advanced, specialized training allowing him to be present during medical procedures—something other therapy dogs visiting the hospital are not able to do.

There is nothing more important than the health and well-being of our children. The bond between pets and kids is extra special,” said KLN Family Brands president Charlie Nelson. “In addition to our mission to provide nutritious and healthy food for our four-legged family members, we are proud to support the great work at M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital by funding the NutriSource Facility Dog Program.”

“We want to extend a huge thank you to KLN Family Brands for their generosity and support to help launch the NutriSource Facility Dog Program at M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital,” said Anna Dressel, child life coordinator – Facility Dog Program at the hospital. “Rocket has only been at the hospital for a total of seven days yet he has already had a huge impact on patients, families and staff.”

Based in Perham, MN, NutriSource produces dry dog and cat food kibble along with semi-moist pet treats. The family owned and operated company was founded in 1964 by Darrell “Tuffy” Nelson and his son, current CEO Kenny Nelson. The company recently completed a $35 million grinding, mixing and storage bin expansion as well as an $18 million investment in a fourth extruder adding 50,000 additional annual tons of capacity. By the end of 2020, a new state of the art $65 million dog and cat treat manufacturing facility will be up and running in Delano, Minnesota as their manufacturing footprint continues to grow.

Here are more photos of Rocket. By the way, you might recall that when I was talking to Charlie Nelson, owner of NutriSource Pet Foods, about why they were donating money in order for the children’s hospital to have a full-time dog on staff, (episode # 51)  he told us that the family wanted to name the dog Tuffy, after  Darrell Nelson, Charlie’s grandfather, who started the company, whose nickname had been Tuffy.  Here’s why Rocket is not named Tuffy. This specially trained dog, who was selected to be NutriSource’s representative, was named Rocket at birth and it is not possible at this point to rename him. So maybe we can all just call him Rocket Tuffy or Rocket T. for short. I’ll keep you updated about this. I can’t wait until we hear about how he is doing at his job. As soon as we have some stories about him and the children he will be loving and helping, I’ll share them with you.

Rocket, his handler and some children.


Charlie Nelson, his family and Rocket.

Full Show Notes. 

Episode 56 Title: What to Know before Giving a Pet as a Holiday Gift & Why Certain Holiday Foods are Not Good for your Pets.

If you are thinking of finally getting that puppy or kitty for your kids, relative or special someone and presenting it as a holiday gift, you’ll want to consider these things first to ensure the pet will be a long lasting success in the home.

There are certain foods we like to eat around the holidays, that our pets would also like to partake in, but many of them can cause health problems for the dog and cat. In this episode I’ll list which ones can be hazardous and explain the reasons why.

Additional Resources for the Show.

Resource’s for finding a pet that will be a good match.  From there are two good tools:

1. This one determines which types of breeds and mixes may be a good fit for you and your family.

Here are detailed profiles of the major dog breeds so you can learn about their different characteristics.

2. ASCPA Meet A Match™ Program.

This one helps you to figure out which personality types of dogs and cats would match well with you. It is designed for matching you with dogs or cats that you would adopt from an animal shelter.

For the more detailed explanation about these resources and topic, see the original blog article “Finding the Pet that will be a Good Match for You” at the Raising Your Paws website.

If your pet eats the wrong foods and you suspect health problems, call ASPCA Poison Control Hotline phone number – 888-426-4435.

Have your credit card handy: After reception asks what the health issue is with your pet and relays this to a Vet, they will ask for your card number as there is a charge for the service. It is worth it.


Why Dogs Turn in Circles and Dig Apart their Beds Before They Sleep.

Does this photo look familiar – your dog going through the crazy motion of scratching at your blankets or couch before they lie down?

Has your dog torn apart their foam beds or mats from all that digging and turning around and around in circles before they can take a nap?

Why do dogs do this and can they be stopped? Find out in this week’s episode of Raising Your Paws podcast.

Full Show Notes

Episode 55 – Title: Hearing Your Pets Talk Using Artificial Intelligence? & Why Dogs Turn in Circles and Scratch Before Lying Down.

I promised you that I’d tell you why I knew my cat Willie would protect my apartment and get physical with any intruder that dared to enter the house. In this episode, I’ll tell you the story of why Willie’s nickname was “Killer Cat.”

Next, did you know that your dog can recognize your different facial expressions and that someday you may be hearing what your pets actually say, though using artificial intelligence? My guest today, is Richard Louv, a nature journalist and author of the book, “Our Wild Calling: How connecting with animals can transform our lives – and Save theirs.” Along with other new, startling, scientific discoveries about our relationship with our pets and other wild animals, he makes the point through many fun and fascinating stories, that the connection we have with non-human creatures affects our wellbeing and mental health in deeper ways than we may be aware.

Then, do you wonder why your dog turns in circles while digging at the carpet or its doggy bed before lying down to sleep? This photo of a wolf, offers a clue to the answer.

Additional Resources for the Show.

Richard Louv.


Richard Louv’s website.





Order “Our Wild Calling: How Connecting with animals can transform our lives – and save theirs.” By Richard Louv.









Source for story about dogs turning in circles: “The Secret Lives of Dogs” by Jana Murphy and the Editors of Pets, Part of the Family.

Fictional excerpt from book ”Walking in Circles before Lying Down,” by Merrill Markoe.





Will Your Dog Be A Drooler?

ALL dogs may drool at certain times but the kind of lips a dog has, effects the amount of saliva that escapes the dog’s mouth.  It’s good to know about dog  lips for two major reasons.

1. To help you understand why your dog is so slobbery, they don’t mean to slime everyone and everything and they can’t help from doing it.

2. If you are researching what kind of dog to get, and it matters to you, if a dog breed tends to drool a lot or not so much, knowing the type of lips a breed has, will help you make an informed decision.

What causes all dogs to drool and why are some more likely to have streams of saliva hanging from their mouths than others?

Find out in this week’s episode of Raising Your Paws podcast, Number 54.

Now, here are some photos of the dogs that have the two different types of lips. This is by no means a complete list of the breeds with either type of lips.

In dogs, the upper lips are called “flews.” The flews vary in length from breed to breed. Hound dogs and other heavy-muzzled breeds such as the bulldog and bloodhound pictured below, have long, low-hanging flews draped over their upper jawline.

These dogs have pendulous or saggy lips and will tend to normally, drool more.

Can’t really tell from this photo, but this is a Bloodhound.
Here again is a bloodhound, ready to work and start tracking.
St. Bernard puppy.

Compare this photo of an English Mastiff’s mouth, with pendulous lips to the mouth of a standard poodle that has tight lips.

English Mastiff.
Standard Poodle.

Here are some more of the breeds with tight lips that regularly drool less.

Doberman Pincher.

Keep in mind that even though, dog drool may seem gross to you at times, it is a sign that your dog is producing saliva and just like you, your dog needs saliva to aid in the digestion of its food, and it also helps keep your dog’s mouth comfortable. If you’re not seeing any slobbering from your canine and its mouth seems overly dry, your four-legged companion may have dry mouth, also known as the condition called xerostomia. Without a liquid (saliva) regularly washing over the teeth to keep them clean, dry mouth can cause bad breath in both dogs and people. Besides noticing bad breath, dogs with dry mouth may have sticky, dry-feeling gums. Xerostomia can affect your dog’s  swallowing and eating so if you suspect this condition in your pooch, take them to see their vet.

Here is Rosy, my Shetland sheepdog/German Shephard mix that has tight lips.

All of these dog breeds no matter how drippy they are, still merit our respect and care. If you have one of the more slobbery breeds, you just have to manage it a bit more. With all the love and fun and happiness that exists between you and your dog, its worth carrying tissues, or handkerchiefs or towels or a sponge around with you, isn’t it? And remember, that ALL breeds of dogs may drool at certain times – when food is present, when they are excited, when panting or when feeling sick or ill.

Bulldog, one of the more drooling breed, enjoying its water. All dogs however can drool while eating and drinking.








Full Show Notes For Raising Your Paws Podcast – Episode 54

Title: The Reasons Dogs Drool So Much & Why Family Dogs Bite Family Members.

Does your dog leave puddles of drool on the floor in anticipation of eating when you open the container of its food? Or perhaps you have one of those large dog who slobbers constantly. Why do dogs drool? There are many reasons for this. Find out what they are in this episode.

You may be surprised to hear that some of the most common dog bites happen to family members from the family dog. Why is this? What are the circumstances that can lead to your dog biting you or someone in the family? And most importantly, what can be done to prevent this? I’m continuing my conversation with Melissa Berryman, a dog bite prevention expert and author of the book, “People Training for Good Dogs: What Breeders don’t tell you and what trainers don’t teach.” We’ll cover those topics today.

Melissa Berryman









Does your cat sometimes act like they are hearing things? Maybe you figure they’ve gone kind of nuts – because you don’t hear a thing. Actually they are – hearing what you are not! In this episode I’ll explain just how much better your cat’s hearing is compared to yours.

Additional Resources for the show

Source for the story about dog’s drooling – The Secret Lives of Dogs by Jana Murphy and the Editors of Pets – part of the family.

Melissa Berryman’s People Training for Good Dogs website.

Amazon link to Order “People Training for Good Dogs.”

Source for the story about cats hearing – What Your Cat Knows by Sally Morgan.





Why Any Dog Can Bite Someone and How to Prevent It.

It can be the most innocent of things  – like you just wanting to move your dog from off of the couch. Did you know that one of the most common dog bites to  people in the home happens from an action like this? In this episode of Raising Your Paws Podcast – Episode 53, find out how being more mindful about your dogs needs and how they view you, their leader, can make a big  difference in preventing your dog from biting someone – the thing most of us think our dog would never do but in reality can happen.

Raising Your Paws Podcast  Episode 53

Title: Why Your Cat Brings You Dead Mice and How to React, & Your Dog Could Bite Someone – How to Prevent It.

Full Show Notes.

Does your cat bring you dead mice it kills or various rodent body parts? I’ll explain the current theory for why cats do this and the best way to react. It’s probably not what you think.

Then, if you are like many other dog owners, you don’t like to think that your dog could ever bite someone. The reality is that any dog – no matter the breed, can bite and injure someone. My guest, Melissa Berryman, is a dog bite prevention expert, creator of the People Training for Good Dogs dog handling program, and author of the book by the same title. In today’s episode, she talks about how we can take more responsibility for preventing dog bite injuries by better understanding our dog’s point of view and needs and expectations of us, and shares some of the innocent human actions that cause some of the most common bites.

Melissa Berryman









Plus, in the special feature, “Where Did That Expression Come From?” we’ll take on the phrase, “barking up the wrong tree” and then how one of America’s most popular foods, a sandwich eaten by the billions each year, got its name.

Congratulations to Ann from Woodburn, Oregon for winning a free large bag of NutriSource dog food. She did so, by being randomly selected from those that sent in a question about their pets that they wanted covered in the podcast. Her question, that we answered, was about why cats leave “gifts” of dead mice for her family. You can be selected as well and receive a free bag of pet food. Write me at or leave your question in the comment section below.

Additional Resources for the show.

Source for story about why cats leave dead mice and how to react. Why Does My Cat Do That? By Catherine Davidson.

Melissa Berryman’s “People Training for Good Dogs” Program Website.

Amazon link to order the book “People Training for Good Dogs: what breeders don’t tell you and trainers don’t teach.” By Melissa Berryman.

Source for Stories about where hot dogs got their name. National Hot Dog and Sausage Council Website

Blog Article: Why You Need To Take A Cat Bite Seriously.


If you get bitten by your cat, either through those play sessions that get a bit rough, or if you pick up your cat to separate them when fighting with another cat, the bite might not look like much at first and so you may play the injury down and forget about it. We tend to worry much more and pay closer attention to the possibility of dog bites as the wounds tend to be larger and can look so much worse. However, you’ll want to take any cat bites seriously and watch for unusual reactions especially if they are to your hand, wrist or forearms. Why?

Because cat bites can lead to infections. It’s not that a cat has more germs in their mouths than dogs, it’s the design and nature of their teeth that can inject hard-to-treat bacteria into your tissues. In comparison, dog’s teeth are more blunt and generally don’t penetrate down as deeply into the skin.

Even if your cat’s teeth are tiny and the bite mark is no more than a little pin prick, it can cause problems. Dr. Brian Carlsen, a Mayo Clinic plastic surgeon and orthopedic hand surgeon, relates that “Cat’s teeth are sharp and can penetrate very deeply. The bacteria gets into the tendon sheath or into the joint where they can grow with relative protection from the blood and immune system.”

And this is what puts you at risk, for a serious infection. With cat bites, it is best to seek medical attention.

Take the story of my father, who was checking in on my cat Willie, one afternoon while I was out of town a number of years ago. He had stopped by at the apartment, to feed, and play with Willie. My cat could be a tad unpredictable – lashing out and biting when you least expected it – to even those he loved the best.  Like my father who had cradled the teeny kitten when he was just a few weeks old, nestling him in the warmth of his neck. (Listen to Willie’s story – explains why my dad and I became the only mother he had. Podcast episode 30 – segment about socializing cats.)

So while visiting with Willie, in my home that day, my dad reached out to play or pat him and got rewarded for his affection with a bite to his hand. The bite stung – my dad’s feelings, mostly, but he washed it out and returned home. A few hours later my dad’s hand became red and swollen. When red streaks began radiating out from the hand, running up the length of his arm, my Mom and Dad figured there was probably something seriously wrong. They went to the hospital emergency room. Due to the seriousness of the infection at that point, he was admitted to the hospital and started on intravenous antibiotics.

This was quite a surprise to my father and very upsetting to me, when I heard the news over the phone – still being out of town. I felt so bad that my cat had put my father in the hospital. Who knew that a little cat bite could cause so much trouble? Fortunately, all was well by the next day after the medicine cleared up the infection.

My dad still loved Willie but, was somewhat more cautious around him after that experience.

My father and Willie.

Not all cat bites require hospitalization as it did with my father. People that have been bitten have seen their regular physicians when they could get appointments quickly, or more routinely visit the emergency rooms. Treatments can include oral antibiotics – but if they don’t knock out the infection, then intravenous antibiotics may be required. In some extreme cases patients have needed surgery to clean the wound or remove infected tissue. Research has shown in a majority of cases, if the cat bites were located directly over a person’s wrist or another joint instead of in soft tissue, these were the ones more likely to need hospitalization.

As you can tell, cat bites can be serious business – especially if you develop inflamed skin and swelling – you’ll need to seek medical attention immediately, so the wound can be treated aggressively. Play it safe and don’t wait until your hand and arm have long red stripes, like my father did.



What that Distinctive Vertical Slit in Your Cat’s Eye Is About.

Its Halloween time, and you’ll see many images of the black cats with their slitted eyes. It seems that for us, we associate animals, with eyes that have those vertical slits, like crocodiles and snakes and Harry Potter’s Voldemort, with being creepy, scary and threatening.


Some of the reason we perceive it as scary is that their eyes are different from ours.

Humans, (tigers and lions, as well) have round pupils and when bright light hits the eye, our pupils shrink or constrict to a tiny round pin prick size and shape. The constriction of the pupils is what stops too much light from getting in the eye which would damage our retinas.

In domestic cats however, their pupils are vertically shaped, not round, so when bright light, enter their eyes, to protect the retina, their pupils constrict into a narrow vertical slit. The cat’s vertical pupil shape is a real benefit, able to open wide, to an almost completely round shape, to let a lot of light in, when its dark out, to narrowing to a tiny slit to reduce the amount of light that enters as light increases.

Then to reduce the light even further, your cat may close her eyes half way and squint. We sometimes mistake this look on our cat’s faces thinking the cat is either sleepy or disgusted with something or us. This may be true, but it could also be that great adaptation at work, to protect your cat’s eyes.


The ability of your cat’s pupil to change from being a narrow slit in bright light to fully dilated  in low light large equates to about a 300 fold increase in the area of the pupil. Our round pupils only achieve a 15 fold increase.

Those wide open pupils gives them a huge advantage when hunting at night, allowing the maximum light in to see that tiny rodent in the grass.  The vertical slit however also gives cats an edge when hunting as it is believed that it allows them to better estimate their prey’s distance and focus more accurately on their target.

You’ve heard the expression that we apply to people – “the eyes are the window to a person’s soul.”  In your pet cat, the eyes are an indication of their mood and feelings. Start paying attention to the size of your cat’s pupils to get an idea of the state of their mind. You do need to take into consideration the context of what is happening at the time, and your cat’s overall body language as this affects what their eyes may mean.

Generally, a medium sized vertical slit usually indicates a confident, relaxed, happy cat.

The more open or dilated the pupils are at certain times, can mean your cat is feeling  defensive, may be agitated, and the eyes can warn you that they are about to jump away or may scratch or bite.  But as you can see in the photo below, this cat’s eyes are large but it is probably having a good time. Who doesn’t love sitting in a box?

If you notice that your cat’s pupils are becoming larger and rounder in bright light conditions, this can be an indication that something is bothering them. Pupil size is linked to the fight/flight response. If your cat is feeling fearful or threatened, the pupils get larger, letting in more light so your cat can see better, take in more information about the environment, assess any dangers and prepare to escape if needed.

Worried looking cat. Notice the ears – back and somewhat flattened.

A cat that is in pain, can also have dilated pupils. Vets learn to watch cat’s eyes for indications of how they are feeling during examinations.

Also pay attention to how they are using their eyes. If one cat is directly, continually staring at another cat, this can communicate a challenge. On the other hand, if your cat is avoiding eye contact with the other cat, he may be trying to reduce the likelihood of a confrontation.

You may have heard that one way a cat expresses its affection to you is to give a slow blink in your direction – sometimes called the cat kiss. It does seem true that blinking slowly is a sign of contentment and relaxation for domestic felines. Watch for this blink and you can participate in a bit of cat talk, and communicate your own happiness by slowly blinking back to your cat.

Speaking of cats, why do dogs seem to love eating their poop? Maybe your dog has too discerning of a palate to stoop down to the level of a litter box for a snack, but many dogs do covet cat turds as a particularly delicious treat. Why?  More importantly, is there something you can do to stop it? Answers are in episode 52 of Raising Your Paws podcast.

Full Show Notes for Raising Your Paws Podcast Episode 52.

Title: Why Dogs Eat Cat Poop & How to Stop the Dog From Barking at the Mail Carrier.

Do you have both dogs and cats at home? Does your dog eat your cat’s poop? Seems that many dogs find those little turds, a tempting treat. I’ll talk about the habit of eating feces, called coprophagia and how to keep your dog out of the cat’s litter box.

Have you wondered if there is anything you can do to prevent your dog from barking and going ballistic every time the mail carrier shows up at the house? Hear what Katie K-9, a long time dog trainer who I’ve had on the show a number of times before, has to say about how to change your dog’s behavior without using punishment or a shock collar.

You may know that there are numerous ways in which a dog positively affects your physical health, but there is a brand new worldwide study that was just released, (Oct. 2019) in the American Heart Association journal, “Circulation,” that finds that having a dog actually causes pet owners to live longer. I’ll explain all the exciting and comforting details.

Win a free large bag of NutriSource pet food and help us out – by offering your feedback about the podcast. Write me at either or leave a comment in the section at the end of the blog article for episode 52 at our website, We’ll randomly select three people to win a bag of dog food and three to win a bag of cat food.

Additional Resources for the show.

Source for story about dogs eating cat poop. “ComPETability: Solving Behavior Problems in your CAT-DOG Household” by Amy Shojai.

Katie K-9 Website – to hear radio show and podcast.

Source for story about dog owners living longer.

Who is the Nelson Family that Makes Food For Your Pets?

It’s always good to know exactly who is going to make dinner.

Right now, I’m talking about who makes your pet’s breakfast, lunches or dinners.  In the case of the NutriSource/Pure Vita/Natural Planet brands of pet foods,  then, you’ll be happy to know that it’s a family who is making your pet’s meals – the Nelson family from Perham (pronounced  Per-um,) Minnesota. This is where the family lives and the kitchen, I mean, the very large manufacturing plant, is located. (*see free promotion below)

It’s time to get to know the Nelson family, the people behind the company – who they are, and what they care about, besides making pet food, of course.

Let’s start with meeting Charlie Nelson, the president of the company, who is the third generation of Nelsons to be in that role.

Listen to the latest episode of the Raising Your Paws podcast, (episode 51), to hear Charlie tell the stories of his grandfather and father, why their manufacturing company is called ‘”Tuffy’s,”  the route he took from playing professional baseball to coming back home to work the family business and how this  family owned company is going to improve the lives of many sick, hospitalized children starting this coming winter (2019) with the help of one very special dog.


Charlie Nelson and his family.

* If you haven’t tried NutriSource or Pure Vita brands of dog and cat food, and even if you have, you might want to participate in this nice promotion we’re offering for anyone to win a free large bag of dog or cat food. All  you’ve got to do is leave a comment below. We’d like some feedback about the latest episode of the podcast (number 51) and/or you can ask a question or tell me your story about your pets – that relates to the episode. Ah, another reason to listen to the show.

For those who do write, we’ll randomly select three people to send a large bag of free NutriSource dog food, and three more people to send a large bag of free NutriSource cat food. (When you send your comment, you’ll be including your e-mail address so we know how to get in contact to send you the food.)


Full Show Notes for Raising Your Paws Podcast Episode #51.

Title: Teach Your Dog to Stop Begging & How A Pet Food Company Helps Children Battle Cancer.

Does your dog annoy you when it begs for one more treat, or pushes your hand so that you continue petting its back, or bark at you to throw the ball just once more? In this episode, I’ll explain how to teach the cue, “enough” which means they are to stop doing whatever rather demanding behavior they are doing and leave you alone.

Then, meet the family behind NutriSource and why in addition to manufacturing pet food, the company is dedicated to helping children that are hospitalized or battling cancer. My guest is Charlie Nelson, the third generation president of NutriSource Pet Foods, from Perham, Minnesota. Charlie tells stories about his background playing professional baseball and how they got involved with an organization that started from a promise between a father and a child with cancer. Then, hear about the Nelson family’s latest cause, placing a full-time therapy dog, who will be named after their grandfather who started the business, in a Children’s hospital.

Plus, have you begun a new relationship, spending a lot of time together at your place, or perhaps recently gotten married? All is going really well but does your cat acts like it hates your new partner? Growling or acting aggressively? You may think it’s because your cat is jealous – your cat is upset – but it is not because of the time you’re spending with the new person. Your cat is feeling anxiety and fear. Find out the reasons why and what you can do to change your cat’s feelings about your partner so they stop hissing and start bonding with them.

Additional Resources for the Show.

Source for story about teaching your dog not to beg: “The Other End of the Leash” by Patricia B. McConnell, PH.D.

NutriSource Pet Foods Website.

Charlie Nelson, President of KLN Family Brands. (NutriSource Pet Foods and Kenny’s Candy and Confections.)


Pinky Swear Foundation: Helping Kids with cancer and their families with financial and emotional support. 

Source for story about when cat hates partner: “Think Like a Cat” by Pam Johnson-Bennett.