Thursday, July 25, 2013


While I love Sly and the Family Stone's take on kicking back in summer, for lots of people, it offers a chance to bike,  hike, swim, kayak, golf, ploy tennis, and to make good on that New Year's vow to finally exercise and shed some pounds. 

If you're still having trouble finding the motivation, walking your dog might be the answer. Weight-loss guru Bob Harper says an early morning, low-intenstiy stroll on an empty stomach can rev up your metabolism. It's also great for bonding with your pooch and Bowser's kidneys will really appreciate the relief. One caution though. While sunny skies might be great for lounging by the pool, summer temps and high humidity can lead to heatstroke in humans and their 4-legged trainers. Responsible dog guardians should learn how to recognize and avoid heatstroke. (from GIMME SHELTER - 'Dogs & Heatstroke')
                                                                           ~ ~ ~ ~
 Dogs regulate their temperature chiefly through panting. Heatstroke occurs on hot, humid days when they can no longer maintain a normal body temperature of approximately 101 degrees F. It often occurs when a dog is left outside on a hot day in direct sunshine or confined in a car, kennel or crate. 
It can strike suddenly, and if your dog's temperature rises to 105 F or above, you must act immediately. If not, his internal organs will begin to breakdown, and he may die. Even if you are able to lower his temperature, he may still suffer irreversible internal damage.

The symptoms of heatstroke includeRapid panting, Warm, dry skin, Pale gums and a bright red tongue, Anxious expression or disorientation (blank staring, an inability to respond to its name), Increased heart rate, thick, clinging saliva, vomiting, difficulty breathing, Collapse, coma and death follow shortly thereafter.

If you suspect your dog is suffering from heatstroke: It’s urgent to quickly reduce the dog’s body temperature. To do this: Remove your dog from the car, kennel or wherever he was confined and get him to a place with cool, circulating air, like an air conditioned room. If possible, immerse him in a cool (not cold) bath, or hose him down. DO NOT leave wet towels on your dog and DO NOT use very cold water--both can prevent your dog from cooling himself. Ice packs may cause hypothermia.To promote blood flow, gently massage the skin and flex the legs. While you’re working to cool him, it’s essential that he be transported to a veterinary hospital as quickly as possible. Even if you manage to reduce your dog's temperature, take him to the vet for a thorough exam, since serious internal damage to your dog's organs might have taken place.

To prevent heatstroke: On hot, humid days, or days with strong sun, NEVER leave your dog in an unattended car. Keep your dog indoors during the heat of the day in a well-ventilated or air-conditioned room. If your dog must be outside, make sure he has cold water, shelter and shade. Since dogs really don't know their limits, try and keep your dog's activity to a minimum. If you must exercise your dog, do it in the early morning or evening when temperatures are generally cooler.

Dogs Prone to Heatstroke IncludeYoung puppies, older dogs, overweight dogs, sick dogs or dogs recovering from illness or surgery. Short-faced breeds, like Bulldogs, Shar Peis, Boston Terriers, and Pugs. Cold climate dogs like Malamutes, Huskies, Great Pyrenees, and Newfoundlands. Double-coated breeds such as Pomeranians, Samoyeds, Collies, Shelties, Akitas, and Chow Chows.

Saturday, July 20, 2013


According to an article in the Los Angeles Daily News, 'kill' rates plummeted this year at County Animal Care facilities, and are approaching a decade low. "Los Angeles Animal Services was on track to have put down 4,00 fewer cats and dogs in the fiscal year that ended June 30 compare to the previous year, with final numbers due out next week. "The city is poised for its best year of reducing shelter deaths and increasing the live-save rate since the city established it no-kill goal a decade ago," said LAAS General Manager Brenda Barnette in a statement. "I believe this success belongs to all pet loving Angelenos." That means groups like No Kill L.A. and their supporters like Kristen Bauer Von Straten who plays fetching, feisty vampire 'Pam' on HBO's True Blood and stars in the latest NKLA ad.
Kristen Bauer Von Straten as 'Pam' on HBO's True Blood
Finally, if you're a member of the 'dogs are great but people stink' club, it might be time to rethink your misanthropy in light of a story by L.A. Times reporter Bob Pool about Martha Aguel, a homeless woman with two dogs, who rescued a North Hollywood man's lsot beagle and then declined a reward, saying she was just "glad he had his dog back". With help from the grateful dog owner, County officials are trying to get Martha and her two dogs, Chino & Nina, permanent shelter.

Friday, July 12, 2013


Summer...a time of long, lazy days spent lounging at the beach or pool, eating junk food and reading trashy novels (or moving dog books!). Hah! Tanner, Eugenie and I have been busier than ever trying to stay on top of work, book business and social events. That's probably why we forgot to trumpet the fabulous article about GIMME SHELTER in the July-August issue of Malibu Times Magazine. Writer Michael Aushenker's piece was very flattering and  the photos by our dear friend and ace photographer, Roxanne McCann, make us look like movie stars. That's no great feat with Eugenie and Tanner, who always look terrific ,but I sure needed her magic. Roxanne began her career doing stills on film sets, and learned photography at the side of Academy Award-winning Cinematographers. Her photographs have been published around the world, and her fine art is in private collections in many countries. If you're thinking about doing photos for a big event - a graduation, anniversary, wedding, book signing or just to have some great shots - you should give Rox a call.
Lou, Eugenie & Tanner @ Diesel Books, Malibu (photo by Roxanne McCann)
As someone who cares about all animals, pets and their wilderness cousins, I was heartened to read about the Malibu City Council's vote to oppose the sale and use of rodentcides, which often harm our resident raccoons, possums, squirrels, bobcats, coyotes and birds. In explaining his support, a local rabbi, Levi Cunin, offered this quote from well-known book on Jewish mysticism, Tomer Devorah, by Rabbi Moshe Cordevero: “in addition… one’s compassion must spread over all creatures. Do not humiliate them, do not destroy them, for the Higher wisdom has compassion on all creatures, and its compassion spreads forth over all of creation, the inanimate creations (such as minerals) the vegetative creations (all plants) living creatures (all animals, mammals etc.), and the speaking creatures (humans). And for this reason our sages cautioned us regarding disrespecting our food source. This matter is noteworthy, for just as the Higher wisdom, does not waste any existence, and everything is made from there (the higher wisdom) as it is written “You have made everything with wisdom” so shall be the mercy of man on all of His workings, blessed be the source”. Amen.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


As you know, Tanner, Eugenie and I often use this blog to thank friends, family and supporters who promote GIMME SHELTER, animal rescue and other things we consider important and fun. Well, Al Santillo, a master baker from my hometown of Elizabeth NJ, deserves kudos as our biggest fan. Although our families lived in the Peterstown neighborhood (the Burg for locals) and did business together, that doesn't explain why Al, who's busy running his family's terrific pizzeria and bakery, would make the time and effort to share the book with his friends and customers. Next to Diesel, our local bookseller, Al has sold more copies than any other person or outlet. So, when you're in back East and looking for a great, award-winning pizza, and some fun conversation, stop by Santillo's and tell Al Tanner and Lou sent you.
The Maestro at work. Grazie, Al.