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The Ruff Report: Dogs and Safety
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About this blog
Joe Reppucci of Lexington, Mass., writes about dogs and keeping them a healthy part of the family. He has worked as a reporter and editor on major daily newspapers in the Boston area for more than 30 years and is a graduate of Lexington High School ...
The Dog Blog
Joe Reppucci of Lexington, Mass., writes about dogs and keeping them a healthy part of the family. He has worked as a reporter and editor on major daily newspapers in the Boston area for more than 30 years and is a graduate of Lexington High School and of Suffolk University in Boston. He writes often about nutrition, behavior and saving money on pet supplies and insurance.
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Pet poisons bloom everywhere in the springtime
Those fragrant flowers, budding shrubs and lush green grass in the yard might look bright and pretty, but they also have a dark, ugly side - they may be sickening, or even killing, your pet.
Springtime is an especially dangerous season for curious pets who unknowingly nose around in plants that are poisonous if ingested and the fertilizers used to help them grow, so pet parents must take precautions, animal welfare advocates warn.
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A book about a rescue dog
that will touch your heart

THE HUNT OF HER LIFE, is a nonfiction book about Samantha, an unwanted rescue dog who the author adopts at age 2. This nicely designed full-color book, by longtime newspaper journalist and MySetterSam.com publisher Joseph A. Reppucci, contains more than 60 beautiful color photos of dogs to help illustrate the compelling and uplifting story of Samantha - a pretty tricolor bird dog who uses her warm personality to win people over and build a new family after being put up for adoption by a hunter because she is gun-shy and afraid to hunt. Learn how she uses her special bonding abilities with people to help her eventually make a transition from the hunting fields to family life.
While reading the The Hunt of Her Life, you will travel with Samantha and the author along a trail filled with surprising twists, sudden turns, mystery and even what some call a miracle. And when the journey is finished, you may never look at people and their pets, motherhood - and perhaps even God - in the same way. The vibrant color photos are carefully positioned throughout the book so you can see images of Samantha and other dogs as you are reading about them, making the story and dogs come alive!
Pet enthusiasts will appreciate the deep bond shared between this unwanted rescue dog and the book's author. Their unique closeness helps Samantha to twice defy certain death. Mothers will be touched by the relationship that the author has with his own mother. Their connection helps him to overcome many frustrations and deal with overwhelming odds in his suspenseful nationwide "hunt" to try to locate the unknown birthplace and family roots of his unregistered rescue dog after she eventually succumbs to illness. Those who like suspense will be intrigued and fascinated by the crafty investigative journalism techniques the author uses to try to uncover his dog's family tree. And everyone will be in awe as they come to realize that God all along has been providing a guiding hand in Samantha's journey through life and astonished when they ultimately learn about the mystical gift at the end of this rescue dog's trail.
The Hunt of Her Life is must reading. It will take you on a captivating journey - a trip like no other - that will touch your heart.
What they are saying: 

"A wonderful journey made all the more remarkable by the determination of the author to honor his beloved English Setter and her bloodline. Twist after twist, turn after turn, you're never let down as The Hunt of Her Life proceeds toward its uplifting conclusion. Vivid photos complement the intelligent narrative. Don't forget the tissues, but don't worry - there's plenty to smile about, too."
- Dick Trust, sports writer (retired),
The Patriot Ledger of Quincy, Mass.

 ''The book is terrific! Wonderfully written, and I loved looking at those magnificent color photographs. This book really moved me, and I couldn't put it down. I don't own a dog, but I was inspired by this compelling rescue dog's story."
- Matthew Spencer, reporter,
Nebraska Life magazine

"A wonderful story that is told with love and pride by a fine writer. It's a great tribute not only to Samantha, the rescue dog who is the book's main character, but to rescue dogs everywhere, of all kinds. This book is a must read for all dog lovers."
- Maryellen Dever, freelance reporter,
Hingham, Mass., Journal 

Available at:
Also find it on: Amazon.com
Join us on:  Goodreads.com
 Story continues here

“Spring represents a time of growth and renewal, but not everything that springs forth this season is good for dogs,” Liam Crowe, a dog behavioral therapist with Bark Busters training company, states in a media release. “With a little awareness and a few simple precautions, dog owners can prevent many of the problems that arise with warmer weather and keep their dogs safe and healthy.”
Inquisitive dogs might mistaken fragrant spring blooms for tasty snacks, but many plants are toxic and can cause severe illness, or even death, if ingested, according to Bark Busters.
Lawns treated with fertilizers, herbicides or insecticides pose danger for dogs, so keep pets off them until these potentially toxic treatments have completely dried, Bark Busters advises.
The American Veterinary Medical Association also warns about the many potential hazards that spring ushers in for pets, which include the household cleaners used for the seasonal spruce-up of homes and yards.
"Spring cleaning is an annual tradition in many households, but make sure the cleaning products don't hurt your animals," AVMA states in a media release. "If the label states 'keep pets and children away from area until dry,' follow those instructions carefully, and store all chemicals out of reach of children and pets."AVMA says pet parents should especially beware of the following springtime hazards:
  • Rhubarb leaves. Rhubarb, a staple in many vegetable gardens, makes a fine pie, but the leaves are poisonous and can cause kidney failure.
  • Lilies. Lilies are a flower common in the spring, and they are very toxic to cats. But cats will often chew them, and even small amounts can lead to kidney failure and death.
  • Coco bean mulch. The fragrant spent shells of coco beans are commonly used to mulch gardens. But like chocolate, dogs like to eat them and they are toxic.
  • Lawn fertilizers. They are very toxic to pets. Store them in a place far from where your dog or cat can get at them. After applying fertilizers to a lawn, follow the manufacturer instructions regarding the period for keeping pets off. Abide by signs posted on lawns that tell you to keep your pets off.
  • Pesticides and herbicides. Even if not lethal, they can cause long-term health problems. Studies indicate the use of pesticides and herbicides may be tied to increased rates of specific forms of cancer in dogs. If your pet is exposed, wash them with soap and water immediately and call your veterinarian.
  • Rat and mouse poisons. Controlling vermin becomes an issue again in the spring. Be aware that the same properties of common rat and mouse poisons that make them irresistible to pests will also attract pets. These poisons can be fatal to pets.
Reports about dogs, poison and safety:
Grapes, mushrooms, pot are leading pet poisons
Deadly levels of toxins found in pet toys, gear
Common household item causes most pet poisonings
Protect your pet from accidental poisoning
Knowing signs of poison could save your dog's life

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  • Paint and paint thinners. Keep the pets away when using paint. Thinners, mineral spirits and other solvents can cause severe irritation or chemical burns if swallowed or even if they come in contact with your pet's skin. Latex house paints typically produce a minor stomach upset, but some specialty paints may contain heavy metals or volatile substances that could be harmful if inhaled or ingested.
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