Friday, June 26, 2009

National "Take Your Dog to Work Day" Guidelines

Expanding on a story reported in today's Pet Chat Radio broadcast, in honor of today's Take Your Dog to Work Day, provided 7 Take Your Pet to Work Day don'ts, provided courtesy of Jennifer Fearing, author of the book "Dogs at Work" and mom to 8-year-old Yoda, who dog who commutes with her to work every day. Quoted from the MSNBC website, here are these important doggie work guidelines:

1.) Don't … Bring a stinky dog to work. You and your dog should both dress for success! "Hygiene needs to be a top priority for your dog if you're going to bring him to work," Fearing says. Make sure your pup is well-groomed, with clean ears and trimmed nails, and that any bedding you bring along for them is laundered and as tidy as possible.
2.) Don’t … Wander around the office with your dog. The office is not the dog park! Taking a stroll around the building with your dog can disturb others, so use the nearest exit to take your dog out for a walk when it's time for him to do his "business."
3.) Don’t … Let your dog hang out in common areas like bathrooms or elevators. Avoid places where coworkers who aren't comfortable with dogs may be confined. "These people should have safe harbors where they don't have to come in contact with dogs if they don’t want to," says Fearing.
4.) Don’t … Assume you're the Dog Whisperer. You wouldn't just walk up to another dog on the street, so why do it in the office? Avoid petting or feeding other people's dogs without permission. Find out a dog's boundaries and comfort level before you interact with them. "When strangers walk up to them, they may just be uncomfortable," she says.
5.) Don’t … Let your dog run off without a leash. "Your dog [needs to be] either restrained by a baby gate or under your desk," says Fearing. Anytime you're walking in the hall or heading to your car, your dog should be leashed.
6.) Don’t … Wash dog bowls in the office kitchen. Dumping out your dog's water over the dishes that are shared by coworkers is a no-no – and so is letting your dog lick food off of plates used by others. "Some humans find that less than sanitary," says Fearing. "It's not really appreciated."
7.) Don’t … Bring squeaky or stinky toys with you. It’s fine to bring toys to entertain your dog throughout the work day, but be considerate of others. Squeaky toys are not for the workplace, say Fearing. And leave the big rawhide bone at home — no one needs to smell the wafting aroma of your pup's favorite chew toy.

In setting these basic guidelines, Ms. Fearing is trying to make Take Your Dog To Work Day something that may actually begin to catch on, by participants exercising basic pet owning courtesy, so that employers who decide to have a little fun and give this a try, won’t live to regret it.

In the greater context, she likely feels compelled to do this because, like in all other aspects of pet participation in human activities, a trip to the beach, a meal at a sidewalk cafĂ©, a day at the air show, etc, it is the idiot pet owners that do not exercise basic pet owning courtesy, that ruin it for all pet owners. In Florida’s Space Coast where I live, for example, beach tourism is a big supporter of the local economy; making keeping the integrity of our beautiful beaches a top priority. Thanks to enough lazy, uncouth local dog owners leaving their dog’s excrement unpicked up, littering the beaches for all to step in, dogs have long been banned from being allowed access to the beaches.

And why is it that it is so hard for pet owners to rent housing, especially those with large dogs? Is it simply because all landlords are unsympathetic swine that have no heart? Perhaps some are, but the biggest problem resides once again in the idiot pet owners who allow their animals to destroy the home they rent, with no regard for the fact that they allow this to happen to someone else’s home, one that another tenant will eventually have to live in, one that, thanks to them, a future pet owner will NEVER get to live in.

So pet owners, in order to make this a more hospitable world for our companion animals, just exercise common sense and common courtesy with your pets. Don’t be the moron who brings his dog into my waiting room unleashed to wreak havoc on the numerous other clients who happen to have their animals properly restrained. Don’t allow your pets to destroy your rental home, or at least have the decency to fix the damage done. And by all means, clean up after your dogs when they eliminate in public. An environment littered with dog feces is just plain nasty for all people, whether they are pet enthusiast or not. Beyond nasty, it is a health hazard, especially for our children.

If we choose to not make our pets someone else’s problem, people can focus more on the joy of watching owners delight with their beloved companions as they play at the beach, passionately enjoy the park, or take in a sidewalk meal together. This would go a long way toward their inclusion into the routine of our society having greater likelihood of being more welcoming.

Happy Take Your Dog to Work Day - hopefuly no discoureous morons ruined it for you and your office.

Roger Welton, DVM
Founder, Web-DVM

Friday, June 12, 2009

Pig Poop For Energy Independence!!!

In a report by National Geographic, the Netherlands have found a way to further the cause of energy independence and decrease greenhouse gasses by generating electricity from pig feces. Methane-rich pig excrement on a large Netherlands farm is being turned into electricity and partially fed into the national power grid.
The farm uses the electricity it needs, and feeds the rest into the national grid, for which the government pays up to $238 US dollars per megawatt as a green energy subsidy.

United Nations scientists say farming and forestry account for more than 30 percent of the greenhouse gases that are gradually heating the Earth.
Much of that pollution comes from cattle, sheep and pigs that belch or excrete methane, a heat-trapping gas more than 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, the most common global warming gas.

One way to deal with the problem is to make use of it and burn it.
The waste from the pigs at Sterksel Research Centre drops through slats in the floor.

The slurry is then channeled into three, four-thousand cubic meter tanks, mixed into a thick paste with other organic waste, and then broken down by bacteria.
The gas is then siphoned off into a generator to produce electricity.
Together with four other commercial farms, the group reportedly saves 40-thousand tons of carbon emissions per year, which can be sold as credits for nearly $7 US dollars per ton to offset carbon emissions.

Though operating expenses for the biogas plant are considerable, the combination of electricity savings, power production and carbon credits makes it profitable.
This leads me into today’s personal comment. WHY ARE WE NOT DOING THIS??? In a country desperate for cleaner energy and energy independence, that also happens exceed the world in farm animals per capita, we could power our country and perhaps half the world with the staggering amount of cattle, horse, and pig feces that is available for the taking. Heck, we could probably provide that much power from Texas alone!

Forget clean coal, President Obama, use our nations most abundant and renewable resource: POOP. I would not be so bold as to presume that the President reads my blog or listens to Pet Chat Radio, but if you do, Mr. President, wake up and smell the doody!

If he does not access my weekly addresses, I am a believer in 6 degrees of separation, you know, that premise that, if a person is one step away from each person they know and two steps away from each person who is known by one of the people they know, then everyone is at most six steps away from any other person on Earth. If that is true pass my broadcast and/or blog post along to everyone you know so that they can pass it along and perhaps 6 degrees of separation later, this information may get to the President and we can have clean energy and energy independence once and for all. Shout it from the roof tops if you have you!!!

Roger Welton, DVM
Founder, Web-DVM