Monday, June 30, 2008

More news on Tessie's family! We received this news from her today via the Chinese Crested Crush forum:

Joined: 27 Dec 2005
Posts: 4886
Location: Iowa
Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 8:18 am Post subject: Checking In
I just wanted to check in with everyone and first of all THANK YOU!!! Thank you all so much. Nothing has changed here. My house placard is still red, meaning we cannot enter our house. The basement still can't be shored up because there are no permits allowed. We still don't know if the city is going to let us fix our house or if they are going to tear it down. Just knowing that you guys are here has helped me more than I can explain. Right now I feel very alone in all of this. No one in this city seems interested in helping us or giving us answers that we so desperately need and want. The focus is on the 100 year flood plain and those of us in the 500 year flood plain are just left hanging. I have limited internet access so it isn't that I don't appreciate what you are all doing, I am just not able to log on for very long. It is incredible to me that you are all here and all supporting us.

In addition to the benefit raffle (mentioned in an earlier post), there has been an effort to bring Tessie's Family to the attention of ABC's Extreme Home Makeover. We urge everyone to please join us in this effort to bring The Webster Family to the attention of Ty Pennington and his amazing crew. To nominate this family for the show, please visit

Up until July 4th, the form letter at the head of this article is available to those who request it. So far we have over 50 nomination letters from all over the world, from people who have only "met" virtually to share a love for the Chinese Crested Dog and along the way developed lasting friendships. Crush is a family, and as Crush members, we at The Pony Dog Blog are trying to lift up one of our own. Won't you help us?

Friday, June 20, 2008

FDA News
June 19, 2008
Media Inquiries:
Kimberly Rawlings, 301-827-6242
Consumer Inquiries:

Today, at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Marshals seized various animal food products stored under unsanitary conditions at the PETCO Animal Supplies Distribution Center located in Joliet, Ill., pursuant to a warrant issued by the United States District Court in Chicago.

U.S. Marshals seized all FDA-regulated animal food susceptible to rodent and pest contamination. The seized products violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act because it was alleged in a case filed by the United States Attorney that they were being held under unsanitary conditions. (The Act uses the term "insanitary" to describe such conditions).

During an FDA inspection of a PETCO distribution center in April, widespread and active rodent and bird infestation was found. The FDA inspected the facility again in May and found continuing and widespread infestation.

"We simply will not allow a company to store foods under filthy and unsanitary conditions that occur as a direct result of the company's failure to adequately control and prevent pests in its facility," said Margaret O'K. Glavin, associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. "Consumers expect that such safeguards will be in place not only for human food, but for pet food as well."

The distribution center in Joliet, Ill., provides pet food products and supplies to PETCO retail stores in 16 states including Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.

FDA has no reports of pet illness or death associated with consumption of animal food distributed by PETCO, and does not have evidence that the food is unsafe for animals. However, the seized products were in permeable packages and held under conditions that could affect the food's integrity and quality.

As a precaution, consumers who have handled products originating from the PETCO distribution center should thoroughly wash their hands with hot water and soap. Any surfaces that came in contact with the packages should be washed as well. Consumers are further advised as a precaution to thoroughly wash products sold in cans and glass containers from PETCO in the 16 affected states.

If a pet has become ill after eating these food products, pet owners should contact their veterinarian and report illnesses to FDA state consumer complaint coordinators.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

This is from an editorial from 6/17/2008 USA Today

ProHeart 6 -- a controversial heartworm drug for dogs -- came back on the market last week, almost four years after it was pulled when hundreds of dogs died and thousands more suffered adverse reactions. Ordinarily, this might be of interest mainly to pet owners and veterinarians. But this is much more than a dog story.

During the process that took ProHeart 6 off the market, the drug's maker investigated and denounced a Food and Drug Administration scientist who gathered the damning data. And instead of protecting its scientist, the FDA booted her off the case and tried to have her criminally prosecuted.

It's a disturbing tale for anyone who relies on pharmaceutical companies and the FDA to ensure that medicines for animals and humans are safe, one that raises questions about the conduct of a major corporation and its federal regulator.

The story begins in 2001, when ProHeart 6 came on the U.S. market. It was regarded as a breakthrough. Veterinarians could inject it once every six months, replacing the once-a-month pill people gave -- or often forgot to give -- their dogs to ward off potentially deadly heartworms. Though many dogs did fine on ProHeart 6, others had dangerous complications. Eventually, the FDA says, 500 to 600 dogs died and there were "adverse" reactions, including seizures and uncontrolled bleeding, in 5,500 to 6,000.

In 2004, the FDA pushed ProHeart 6 manufacturer Fort Dodge Animal Health, a subsidiary of pharmaceutical giant Wyeth, to remove the drug from the market. Wyeth argued that the drug was safe but agreed to remove it. Then it fought back.

The company targeted Victoria Hampshire, a veterinarian and FDA safety officer who collected and analyzed the adverse drug reports on ProHeart 6. Wyeth hired investigators who dug up information on Hampshire's home, her tax records and a veterinary website where a handful of her friends and veterinary clients could buy drugs and pet supplies. (It's not uncommon for FDA's vets to practice medicine part-time in their off hours.) Wyeth executives then alleged that Hampshire had a conflict of interest.

Without telling Hampshire what was going on, the FDA took her off the ProHeart 6 case and began an internal investigation that culminated when FDA investigators asked the U.S. attorney in Maryland to criminally prosecute her. It took one day for the U.S. attorney to sort through the flimsy referral and refuse to press charges. The FDA eventually exonerated Hampshire, and she now works at the agency in a different job.

ProHeart 6, meanwhile, is back on the market. The manufacturer and the FDA say the drug is safe, free of the solvent residue thought to have caused the earlier problems. But the drug is being administered under a strict "risk minimization" plan that applies to only a small number of FDA-approved drugs for animals and humans.

We know much of this story not because Wyeth or the FDA disclosed it voluntarily, but because a persistent investigation by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, dragged it out of them. The probe revealed that Wyeth officials had easy, undocumented access to the FDA to lobby for ProHeart 6 and attack Hampshire. FDA managers seemed more interested in placating Wyeth than in dealing fairly with one of its scientists.

The most troubling aspect of this is the effect it will inevitably have on other FDA safety officers. After seeing what can happen when someone gathers evidence that a drug is unsafe, what safety officers wouldn't think twice about risking their careers by antagonizing powerful companies?

That's a terribly dangerous way to run a drug safety process that can ultimately mean life or death to animals and humans alike.

Help Tessie's Family

Tessie is a sweet little Chinese Crested whose family has lost everything in the terrible flooding in Iowa. Tessie's family has 5 rescued dogs and 3 cats. They foster and take in older dogs and dogs with behavioral or other issues that nobody else wants, that would perhaps otherwise be euthanized.

Tessie's mom Kristie is a self-proclaimed "doggie nurse" and helps on a daily basis to comfort dogs in need. One of Phinn & Veda's online friends for some time, we are all very saddened to hear of her family's unfortunate loss. We thought it would be nice to set up an online raffle to help Tessie's family, as they have helped so many others. We will have so many cool things to auction off, including Gift Certificates, treats, dog clothes, dog carriers and more! Please stay tuned as we are working to get the raffle items organized and work on the formatting of the e-tickets. Please check out the site that's been put together for them and keep checking back for raffle information.

Help Tessie's Family Benefit Website

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Well, as if Phinn & Veda weren't busy enough testing all the yummy treats coming out of the Monkeypups kitchen, they are now adding Product Testers to their resume!
Sometimes it can be a bit daunting finding a particular product that is geared toward hairless dogs. Ever try to find a harness that doesn't rub red marks onto skin? A training collar that doesn't do the same? How about skin care products? Comfortable yet functional clothing?

Do YOU have a product or service that is geared toward our beloved naked canine friends? If you do, and would like Phinn and Veda to review that product or service, then send us an email to detailing the product or service and Phinn & Veda may review it on The Pony Dog Blog!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

While perusing the plethera of online doggie boutiques for some cold weather wear for my dogs, I came across Lola's Boutique. The first thing that came to my mind was WOW. These aren't your run-of-the-mill, one-size-fits-all dog clothes or your kid's old onesie, or yes, as I have done, a sock (yes, that's right, I said it--a sock) with holes cut into it for doggie legs(I can hear the collective gasps now). I know, I know, the shame. No, this my friends, is canine couture.

The first thing that caught my eye (other than the simply fabulous style and fit of these garments) was the fact that their models are Xolos. Xolos are difficult enough to come across, but dog apparel of this caliber is--in my opinion--even harder. Lola, Charo and Consuelo all live in Montreal with their human Ralf, who was kind enough to consent to this interview.

How/when did you learn about Xolos?

When studying Veterinary Medicine, over 20 years ago, I went to a dog breed exhibition to learn more about breeds. They had a couple of standard Xolos. Their eyes spoke to me. I did about as much research as I could back then but there was very little info to be found and even less Xolos! I never really pursued it further, accepting them almost as a myth more than a reality. I had mentioned how cool I thought they were to an exchange student from Mexico and left it at that. Many years later he tracked me down because he had found Lola, who was in need of a home. The rest is history...

Tell us a little about each of your Xolos.

Lola is the matriarch, extremely intelligent and extremely loving, which makes her a worry wort. Always concerned about where every one is, always alert. She is from authentic old Mexican stock and very cobby...looks exactly like the colima pottery dogs. Charo is my litle goofball, all she wants to do is play, then play and maybe play some more. She is goofy, clumsy, a gluton and a thief. She is also cuddly, gentle, attentive and the worlds best hugger. She even sleeps hugging her toys. Consuelo is, I must admit, Daddy's spoiled little girl. She is very protective of me, jealous, very regal, snobby, a ham in front of a camera, very girly and a velcro dog. If she was human she would be Linda Evangelista or Naomi Campbell!

When did you open Lola’s Boutique?

2002. Necessity became a business idea. Because of Lola's nakedness and odd shape, I could not find anything stylish or even that would fit properly. The stuff you find in stores is more often than not ill fitting, made in cheap, yucky feeling fabrics and embarrassing or uncomfortable for the dog. Most pet clothes are more to amuse the owner than to fill the dogs needs. Mine are not. I vowed when I started Lola's that I would never make something for a pooch that I would not put on my child. I will not make a dress for a Lab or a Tutu for a Jack Russell just as I will not make a coat for a Saint Bernard or put hats on dogs. They just hate it with a passion!

What was your vision for the boutique when you began? Would you say you’ve achieved it?

I wanted to provide a service for people whose pets are truly a family member; that would make available what I could not find out there. I also wanted to create fun, beautiful garments that were for the pet more than for the owner, and that served a true purpose. Warmth for little or hairless dogs, comfortable style for "purse dogs", fitting clothes for barrel-chested Pugs, skinny deep chested sight hounds, short-legged long-bodied Bassets, special garments for dogs with special needs such as alopecia, handicaps, amputations, etc. I'm very proud of my work.

Do you have a storefront or are you online only?

My boutique at the moment is strictly virtual. Several boutiques carried my stuff in Toronto but that was not something I enjoyed. I prefer the custom approach. I will have a boutique/no kill shelter/daycare at some point. It's the plan...

Are your designs available anywhere else?


*Where are you located?


Are all the outfits from Lola’s made-to-order?

Absolutely, I custom design and make to measure each outfit for the individual doggie.

Do you take requests/special orders?

If it is respectful and comfortable for the pooch, imagination is the limit. As most artists, I work better and have better results when I'm am allowed to be creative.

What is your most popular outfit/accessory?

The Roll-up bodysuit. I got a patent for it.

Are your designs conceived by you or do you have a design team?

Just me for now. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and control freak. In the very busy seasons I might have to consider getting help to sew.

What is the most unusual or challenging request you’ve ever received with regard to canine couture?

I would not say it was challenging but I once went above and beyond what the client had requested for my personal pleasure! A young bride-to-be from Vancouver, BC sent me swatches of the fabrics her Bride's Maid dress were going to be made in and a picture of the dress, a pink princess gown. She had requested some kind of an ornament to put around her Shih-Tzu's neck, because she wanted the dog present at the wedding. Much to her surprise, I actually made the same dress for her doggie. I was glad it would be a treasured memory of that day and she will cherish it even more once the doggie passes.

What sets Lola’s Boutique apart from the crowd?

It's a project of love more than a business. A service provided by a true dog lover for other true dog lovers.

Consuelo (main photo top center), Charo (yellow), Lola (brown)

Photos copyright Lola's Boutique & Used With Permission

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

May 2008 Yappy Hour Pics

The May 2008 Yappy Hour was loads of fun and rather crowded! Thanks to everyone who showed up to support Coastal Poodle Rescue!

Veda Meets A New Friend

Veda meets her new friend and Agility training partner Annie:


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