The National Dog Show – A History of Canine Excellence

NDSThis November, dog lovers from across the country are excited for the annual National Dog Show. Dogs, and their owners, will travel to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with hopes of winning their individual breeds, groups and the prized Best in Show award.

This year’s event spans the weekend of November 14th and 15th and will be held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center. The National Dog Show itself is held on Saturday, and includes all competitions and the awarding of the Best in Show prize. On Sunday, all dogs are available for exhibition, along with fun competitions and activities. It is referred to as a “bench show” because all dogs, when not in competition, are displayed on assigned benches so visitors can meet and interact with the various breeds.


One of the top canine events in the world, The National Dog show is sanctioned by the prestigious American Kennel Club and hosted by AKC founding member The Kennel Club of Philadelphia. The Show has roots that date back as far as the late 1800s, when the forerunner of the KCP first started staging canine related events. Reorganized and renamed, the Kennel Club of Philadelphia ran their first dog show in 1912. It has been held annually ever since (with a short break during the Great Depression) and has arguably never been more popular.

The event itself is not just an opportunity to see many beautiful dog breeds in top form, it is also a fundraiser that helps many canine-related causes. Past beneficiaries include the University of Pennsylvania’s Veterinary School of Medicine.


Winning Best in Show is not easy. In order to be considered for the competition, each entrant must be considered an American Kennel Club champion. To earn this status, a dog must accumulate 15 points by defeating other dogs at an AKC sanctioned show. The most decorated dogs in the United States can get up to 50,000 points in a single year!

The Show’s competition begins with champion dogs from the more than 175 AKC registered breeds. Judges compare each dog to their mental image of the perfect dog as described by their breed’s official top standard. Best in Breed winners are then assigned to their related groups.

The Group stage is divided into seven categories: Terrier, Toy, Working, Sporting, Hound, Non-Sporting, Herding. Each group represents the characteristics and function for which their breed was initially bred.


Last year’s winner was from the Bloodhound breed.

The elite seven that are deemed Best in Group then move forward to the final stage. Judged to be the cream of the crop, the ultimate winner receives the coveted red, white & blue ribbon and is crowned Best in Show.

Reigning Champion

Over the last 14 years, various terrier breeds have had the most success in winning the top prize. Last year’s winner was a playful bloodhound named Nathan. He has become one of the top ranked canines in the country and is a testament to the honor that comes with winning the National Dog Show’s Best in Show award.

The 2015 National Dog Show will be held on Saturday November 14th and 15th. The competition will be aired on Thanksgiving Day at noon on NBC.

7 Things My Dog is Thankful For

With Thanksgiving fast approaching we often take this time to look back and remind ourselves what we are most thankful for. My 7 year old hound mix, Chester has been on the top of my list for some time now. Sometimes IMG_4974I wonder what he is thankful for, so here is what I think his list would look like:

  1. My Little Sister
    When my parents brought home this little wiggly thing a year and a half ago I was less then amused. She started growing on me quickly and once they started giving her real food I was hooked! I am thankful to have someone to play with who sneaks me table scraps all the time.
  2. King Sized Beds
    I am thankful for my big warm king sized bed that my parent bought just for me!
  3. Family
    For the last 6 years I have been the only dog on my mom’s side of the family but this year I got two new K9 cousins! I don’t care to participate in their puppy antics but it’s nice to not be the only pup at family BBQs.
  4. My Mom’s Job
    Having a parent that works a pet store is every dogs dream right? Not only do I get the coolest and newest treats and toys but I can go with her to work!
  5. Flea Control10178106_10101032892477222_3758456951070288092_n (2)
    I guess because it’s cold out these little bugs think they can make my coat their home. Luckily I am protected by some awesome topical flea & tick treatment.
  6. My Tru Fit Smart Harness
    This awesome harness has a nifty little seat belt loop to help keep me safe and secure in the car. Now my parents have no excuse for leaving me home.
  7. Pet-Loving Family & Friends
    For some reason my parents sometimes think they need a vacation. Even though I don’t usually get to go, I have so many awesome friends and family members who are more than happy to open their homes to me.

Thanks for reading! Does your pet have a thank-you list this holiday season? I’d love to hear about it.


How to Prevent Diabetes in Your Cat by Learning from My Mistakes

Growing up I watched as my father tested his blood before meals, and I remember sitting there watching, and jumping right as the needle “snapped” into his finger to test his glucose levels. I grew up thinking that diabetes was just a dad disease. I was too young to understand what the disease meant, how people can get it, and how it can (in some cases) be prevented.  It wasn’t until our cat Roo turned 6, that we found out that she had diabetes. While some pets may be predisposed to the disease, it was by our actions that caused our cat to get the disease that eventually took her life.

Roo the Cat

We got Roo from a sweet lady up the street. All of the neighbor kids would stop by Patty’s house on the way home from the bus stop for milk and cookies. One day, we were beyond ecstatic to discover the kittens her cat had birthed a few months earlier. My sister and I immediately ran home, grabbed my mother’s hand, and ran back to Patty’s house. It took some foot stomping and crying between my sister and I, but we finally convinced my mother to allow us to take Roo home. My sister and I agreed on the name, because of the way she pounced around on her little kitty feet. Looking back on it now, we definitely were not ready for a pet of our own.

How it Started

It started with just a friendly gesture of “here Roo, would you like to try some?” to setting our dinnerware on the ground to allow Roo to lick it clean. We thought it was hilarious watching her lick the plates and bowls. We let her have anything from tastes of our food, to small bowls of ice cream, and shared licks of our popsicles.  Sugar in itself is not toxic to cats, though it is never recommended to allow your cats to have sugars as it leads to obesity and diabetes. We never knew we were doing so much harm. Our cat had Insulin-dependent-Diabetes-Mellitu (IDDM), and it was our fault.

We first noticed the heavy increase of dander by her tail.  We brushed Roo daily, but due to her increase in size and lethargy, she just couldn’t clean herself as well.  After awhile we noticed that the once a day water bowl fill wasn’t cutting it, and we were filling the bowl 2-3 times a day.  My mother who is now a retired RN, knew right away that something wasn’t right.  She called and made an appointment for for Roo the very next day.

Becoming Better Pet Owners

As soon as we received confirmation from the blood tests, we all began to make a plan of attack.  My mother made the decision to do the insulin injections herself, to which I didn’t have any issue with, and neither did my sister.  In case of emergency we watched, and learned how to inject the insulin ourselves.

We habitually ate in the living room so that we could watch television.  We tried to eat more at the kitchen table, but that unfortunately didn’t last very long.  If we ate in the living room we made sure that we took our plates to the kitchen when finished instead of leaving them lie. Roo was put on a weight management formula food, and her feeding instructions were held to a tee.

My best advice to everyone is take care of your pets by feeding them the proper foods, and in the correct serving proportions.  Our cat had to trust an 8 year old and an 11 year old, she didn’t have a choice.  Our pets look to us for love, compassion, and companionship.  They deserve to be taken care of.

Thank you for reading, and if you have any questions please leave them in the comments below.

If you would like more information regarding feline diabetes, please check out these educational resources:


What does a Veterinary Technician do?

In honor of National Veterinary Technician Week, we wanted to take the opportunity to get to know a local Veterinary Technician and answer a few questions that we all had. Erica VMC graduated from Wilson College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Veterinary Medical Technology, and has been happily employed with Veterinary Medical Center of Lebanon, Inc. since November of 2003.

What is the difference between a vet and a vet tech? The difference between a vet and a vet tech is that a vet goes to school for longer than a vet tech and a vet can diagnose, prescribe medications, and perform surgery, which a vet tech cannot do.

What was schooling like? What can others expect if they want to become a vet tech? When I went to school I had to take a 4 year program to be able to take the boards to become a certified vet tech. Now there are a lot more programs available where you can go to school for a lot less time and still be able to take the test to become certified. I went to Wilson College, which did offer a lot of hands on learning. I would definitely recommend a program that offers a lot of hands on experiences because a book can only teach you so much.

Why did you want to become a vet tech? Besides that you love animals? I’ve always had an interest in medicine and was always drawn to animal medicine. At first I thought about being a veterinarian but then found that a vet tech seemed to be more hands on with the animals.

What is one piece of advice that you would like to offer others who may be looking to become a vet tech? I would recommend shadowing at a vet clinic to see what exactly vet tech’s do.

Tell me about any training you’ve had in a clinic? In the clinic that I work at I’ve been trained to work the front desk, assist the vet with exams, assist with anesthesia and monitoring during surgery, and perform doctor assigned treatments on hospitalized patients. Every clinic is different, so not all clinics may have their technicians do as much.

Tell me about the animals you cared for and rose in your life? Growing up, my family had dogs. We had a husky mix, then a german shepherd than a shepherd mix. Now I currently have 3 cats, 2 of which I rescued.

erica skunk

What if a client comes in to euthanize a perfectly healthy animal? This question is a hard one. We typically won’t euthanize a healthy animal. Of course there can be exceptions such as if an animal has gotten severely aggressive and all resolutions have been exhausted (medication, working with a behaviorist, possibly re-homing if the issue is just aggression with other pets, etc.) then euthanasia may become an option but we really don’t want it to come to that if at all possible.

Have you had any terrifying experiences with animals? Yes, in the past I have been bitten severely enough to need stitches.

Out of your vet tech experience, what do you enjoy the most? I think I enjoy the fact that every day is different. You never know what exactly you’re going to get each day so it never gets boring.

Tell us about a particular animal’s case that stuck with you? It’s hard to pick one, I would have to say it would have to be a C-section case where the dog had been in labor for hours and we weren’t sure if any of the puppies were still alive but we were able to save mom and all the pups. That was a really awesome feeling when all the pups were nursing off of mom and everyone was okay.

Thank you Erica for taking the time to answer all of our questions. If you would like to know more, feel free to reach out.

National Walk Your Dog Week: 5 Free iPhone Apps to Try

In honor of National Walk Your Dog Week we have put together a list of 5 free apps to help keep you and your pup on a walking schedule.


Brought to you by Subaru. Dog tested. Dog approved.™


  • Calorie tracking can also help with your personal fitness goals.
  • Tracks and measures time, distance, pace, speed and elevation
  • Synchronizes with
  • GPS tracking that allows you to view your location and where you have traveled
  • Tweet your walk data to your followers
  • Ability to select and control your music while the app is running
  • Photo Geo-tagging automatically uploads photos taken during your walk to


Dog Walk – Track Your Dog’s Walks!
By Tractive

Dog Walk

  • Shows you the exact duration and distance of your walk and you current position on the map
  • Track where your dog is doing its business
  • Take pictures along your walk while the app keeps tracking
  • Apple Watch compatible

By WoofTrax, Inc.


  • Don’t just take your dog for a walk … Take your Walk for a Dog
  • This app donates to the animal shelter or rescue of your choice every time you take your dog for a walk
  • The amount donated varies depending on how many people are walking for the same organization


By Kentshire Software, LLC


  • Use your phones GPS to track the route, duration and date/time of your walks
  • Record the location of when and where your dog is taking care of business
  • Record feeding and set up feeding notifications
  • Share your favorite route with your fallowers on Facebook and twitter
  • This app can notify your pooch’s other caretakers when records are made so everyone can stay up to date

Family Dog
By Cooply Apps


  • GPS track your walk route, time and distance
  • Connect and compete with friends and family
  • Integrates with social media for easy sharing

Walking your dog regularly is great for your dog and you! Regular walks can help you get in shape or stay fit check out this blog post, Walking the Dog – How Exercising with Your Pets Can Motivate You to Stay Fit, for some tips on getting started.


8 ways to exercise your dog indoors

Just like us our pets can pack on a few extra pounds over the cold months. Here are some tips to help keep your dogs active as the temperatures drop.


  1. Hide some of your dogs favorite treats around the house and put his natural instincts to work sniffing them out.
  2. Visit your local pet store for some socialization and a long walk through the aisles.
  3. Most human treadmills can be utilized for K-9 family members too. Make sure to take time to train you dog safely to use a treadmill, and never leash your pet to the treadmill.
  4. Play fetch with an indoor safe toy like the Chuck-It indoor roller. Add a little extra to the work out by throwing the ball up the steps!
  5. Make meal time more fun and stimulating with some interactive puzzle toys!
  6. Create an indoor agility course for your pup out of things around your house.
  7. Have a play date with one of your dogs 4legged buddies.
  8. Rotate your dogs toys so he stays interested and doesn’t get bored.

Preparing Our Pets for an Emergency or Disaster

We rarely see natural disasters in the state of Pennsylvania, so when they hit it often sends people into a state of panic. Like troops, we assemble at the grocery store at the sheer mention of snow. During flooding we evacuate after moving our most valued positions to the second floor. The outcome is never certain, but one thing that is certain; in a state of panic our pets can be forgotten. How do we keep our pets safe and prepared during these stressful times? It is best to be prepared for these various situations, and it is a lot easier than most people may think.


Storm image referenced from wikipedia and originally posted by Gewitter

What to do First
Start by getting your pet microchipped. Microchipping is one of the easiest ways to identify your pet in case it should be separated from you. Collars with ID tags are great, but pets can get out of a collar. Microchipping can be done at veterinary offices, pet supply stores (when a clinic is held), and some local shelters. In the event that you have your pet microchipped, make sure that the information is current! If you move, change your name, change your phone number, or change ownership update the microchip. Some people may do this service at no charge or a small fee, but you can easily do it online at no cost to you. Most microchips do not cost very much ($15-$20), so it is a small price to pay in order to protect your pet.  Learn more about the importance of microchipping here.
Be sure to keep vaccines current too. Pets may roam for a while before they are discovered by a passerby, or show up in a public location. During this time, your pet is at the mercy of the wilderness. Your pet could be exposed to wildlife, various food and water sources, and a wide range of viruses. Stress also creates a weakened immune system. While having your pets up to date on vaccinations is not a guarantee of their safety, it is extremely beneficial to their survival.

teddy-242851_640Build a Pet Emergency Kit
Emergencies can happen at any given time, so it’s best to be also prepared for these given situations. Come up with an evacuation plan, and have drills with your family and pets. In case of injury, or loss of shelter, purchase a ready-made first aid kit or make one on your own. Be sure to place the kit in an accessible area. If you would like to make your own kit, here is a list of materials that you will need.





Emergency Contacts List
• Pet’s regular vet contact info and address
• Emergency vet contact information, in case your vet is not available or close by
• Poison Control Phone Number

• Clean towels (both cloth and paper)
• Cotton balls and swabs
• Disposable Gloves
• Heat pack or hot water bottle
• Lubricant jelly (mineral oil, KY)
• Nail Clippers
• Kwik-Stop powder or gel
• Hemostats
• Small penlight or flashlight
• Rectal Thermometer
• Scissors
• Syringes of different sizes
• Tweezers
• Wire Cutters
• Bandage Wrap
• Gauze of different sizes
• Band-Aids
• First Aid Tape
• Non-stick pads
• Unflavored Pedialyte
• Saline Solution
• Triple antibiotic ointment for skin
• Probiotic gel (BeneBac, LactoBac, Probios, or Fastrack)
• Wound Disinfectant (Betadine, Povidone)
• A plastic bag of their food
• Blanket
• Favorite toy
• Crate/carrier
• Spare leash and collar
• Any current medications

Some of these items may expire over time, so be sure to check your first aid kit often so that items can be replaced or replenished. While this kit serves as an emergency kit, it can also be used while traveling. Be sure to get your pet proper medical attention as soon as you are able to. Remember that our pets will feed off of our energy. If we are calm, our pet will be calm. In the event that your pet appears to be anxious, be sure to give them their space. Scolding your pet at this time will not benefit either party.

No one wants to be involved in a disaster of any kind, but they do happen.  It is best to be prepared, remain calm, and ensure the safety of yourself and all of your loved ones.


20 Ways to Celebrate National Dog Day

August 26th is National Dog Day—a day to remember and recognize all that these wonderful creatures do for us without question. Dogs save lives, keep us healthy, guide our blind and disabled, protect our neighborhoods, and bring joy to our families. Dogs do so much good for the world, yet so many of them end up neglected, abandoned, and abused.dreamstime_14698925

Here are 20 great ways to celebrate with your dogs:

  • Adopt a dog from a shelter or local rescue organization.
  • Buy your dog a fun new toy.
  • Teach your dog a new trick.
  • Take your dog on a hike.
  • Have a National Dog Day party and invite all your 4 legged friends.
  • Snap a few pictures of your dog and share them with friends online or enter them in a contest.
  • Have a caricature or portrait drawn of your dog.
  • Give your dog a bath or have him groomed.
  • Visit your local dog park.
  • Take a trip to the closest dog friendly beach.
  • Buy a fashionable new leash and collar.
  • Try a new DIY treat recipe.
  • Plan a play date with your dog’s favorite doggy friend.
  • Learn dog first aid and CPR.
  • If your workplace allows it, take your dog along for the day.
  • Give your dog some extra belly rubs.

Don’t have a dog? You can still celebrate:

  • Donate supplies, money or your time to a local shelter.
  • Walk a neighbor’s dog.
  • Watch a movie starring a dog.
  • Look into becoming a foster home for dogs in need.

Whatever you do, remember to celebrate all the wonderful things that dogs do for us each and every day!


Volunteering for Animal Shelters and Rescues in Lancaster PA and Your Community

A lot of us are always looking for that little extra that we can do to make the world a better place. For animal lovers, the choice to volunteer at a local rescue may be easy. Some may need a little extra encouragement. Most animal rescues and organizations are non-profits. Since they are non-profits, these organizations relay strictly on those willing to volunteer their time.

Volunteer Duties

Those who are pet owners know that day to day care of our animals is of the upmost importance. Here are just a few of the duties that you may have as a volunteer:
• Feeding – Feeding animals per their feeding schedule, adhering to any special needs diets.
• Grooming – Bathing and brushing animals as needed.
• Walking – Walking animals daily per the rescues schedule.
• Cleaning – General upkeep of the facility, kennel areas, litter pans, procedure rooms, etc.
• One on one/playtime – Socializing with the animals, handling animals, exposing animals to various social situations.
• Administering medications – Redressing wounds, administering medications as prescribed.
• Office work/Social Media – Run social media pages and websites, data entry, filing, etc
• Fostering – Temporarily house an animal available for adoption in your own home.
• Fundraising/Event Coordinating – Plan events and fundraisers, community reach out


Donations and other Support

With the internet, it is not hard to find out about an event being held by a local animal rescue. They happen more than you think! Here is a list of ways you can donate and support a local rescue even if you do not have the time to volunteer:
• Event posting Sites – Rescues will utilize other free event posting sites, especially larger scale events.
• Facebook pages – Information regarding a rescues needs and ways to donate can be typically found under the “about” tab.

Amazon Smile – Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible Amazon Smile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice.  You can search for an organization of your choice, and as long as they participate in the program, your purchases will continue to help their organization.
• Donation Bins – Collection bins that are placed at related retail locations.
• Wish list/Gift Exchange – General list of day to day materials needed at the facility. Ask for donatable gifts for birthdays, weddings, anniversary’s and give them to your local rescue.


Adoption Events at That Fish Place – That Pet Place

We at That Fish Place – That Pet Place work hard to do our part for homeless animals by regularly hosting meet and greets in conjunction with local animal welfare organizations. You can stay informed about our upcoming events by going to our Facebook page, our website, Google +, Eventful, and Susquehanna Life!

Local Animal Rescues & Shelters

There are a lot of local rescues that are in need of volunteers, donations, and fosters.  They cannot succeed without your help.  Here are just a handful of some of the local rescues that you can support.

Angels Among Us

-Petfinder page

Best Friends Furever, Inc

-Donation page

Blue Ridge Bull Terrier Club, Inc


Cocker Spaniel Adoption, Inc

-Donation page

Doberman Pinscher Rescue of Pa, Inc

-Donation page

Duswalt Foundation Exoctic Bird Rescue

-Facebook page

Feathered Sanctuary Exotic Bird Rescue

-Facebook public page

Lost Paws of Lancaster


Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary

-Donation page

Happy Hounds Homeward Bound

-Donation page

Pibbles and More

-Donation page

Keystone Greyhounds

-How can I help?

Kpets Pet Therapy

-Donation page

Lancaster Herpetological Society


Mostly Muttz Rescue

-Donation page

Oxford Ferret Rescue

-Ways to help

Pa Boxers


Triple J Reptiles



Pet Microchipping – 5 Reasons You Should Have Done it Already

355973_2711There’s nothing worse than losing a loved one. Let alone a loved one who doesn’t have a cell phone or really any clue on how to find their way back to the family they love. Unfortunately, that’s the reality you’re facing ever time your 4-legged friend hits the ground running outside. If you were to step back and ask the question – what can I do to offer the best chance that my pet finds his way back home in an emergency – and sure, not spend a ton of money in the process – your answer would be microchipping. So – without further delay – let’s look at 5 Reasons why you should have already microchipped your four-legged friend.

1. It’s a Lifetime Safety Net For Your Pet’s Security

You can’t really say that about anything else! Microchips are permanently embedded in your pet’s skin and made to last 25 years. That’s longer than any collar or tag, and it’s not about to fall off when your little escape artist crawls under that chain-link fence. The American Humane Association estimates over 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen every year – make sure you and your loved ones are prepared.

2. It Doesn’t Hurt Much

Your pet is used to vaccinations – and microchipping feels similar. Your veterinarian will simply use a needle to insert a small, grain-sized chip between your pet’s shoulder blades. A shot for a lifetime of security is a fair tradeoff.

3. Microchipping Works – We Have the Stats to Prove It

The American Veterinary Medical Association conducted a survey that said stray dogs at shelters WITHOUT a microchip were returned to their owners 21.9% of the time. That number increased to 52.2% when the dog was microchipped. To put that another way – it went from a 1 in 5 chance to greater than a 1 in 2. Similarly, cat without microchips were only returned 1.8% of the time, while cats WITH microchips were returned an amazing 38.5% of the time. Again, a 1 out of 50 chance changed to a 1 in 3. Microchipping has been so successful, that both England and Scotland have recently made it mandatory.
Dogs Returned Home With Microchip

4. It’s Inexpensive

Compared to the other costs associated with owning a dog a microchip is barely an expense at all. In fact, many animal rescues, clinics, pet stores and veterinarians offer low cost microchipping services all of the time. Not to put a cost on a lifetime of security and peace of mind, but you’re really only looking at $10 to $40 dollars per animal. Our store – That Fish Place – That Pet Place, regularly plans microchip clinics with the Furever Home Adoption Center and they only charge $15. In addition, though you should check the chip from time-to-time, they do not require batteries and have a lifespan of 25 years. This means there’s little to know upkeep cost. Awesome!

5. There’s No Better Feeling Than The Love Of An Animal!

As if you needed any more encouragement – here are a few amazing videos of pets being returned to their owners because of microchipping. Warning – you may want to have tissues handy!

Sources & Resources

Need to find a veterinarian near you to get your pet microchipped? – check out –


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