Cricket’s Yips and Tips

Cricket's "signature" paw print

I’m lucky that I live within a few miles of my veterinarian’s office. It’s good to know that help is close by if I am sick or injured. But what if there is an emergency and help is not right around the corner? Would you know what to do?

Sign up for the American Red Cross Pet First Aid Class on Saturday, March 13th. The class will be held at the Capital Area Humane Society from 1 – 4:30 p.m. Participants will receive a manual and a DVD that demonstrates how to perform many of the first aid steps.

It’s important for pet parents to include their pets when preparing for emergencies. Take this class and Be Red Cross Ready.

Cricket’s Yips ’n Tips: Who does my donation help?

Michaelle Fleamvil carries supplies distributed by the American Red Cross at Croix Desprez. She is helped by Red Cross worker Matt Marek. January 20, 2010. Photo: Talia Frenkel/American Red Cross

Like many of you, I was moved to make a donation to the American Red Cross when I saw the devastation of the earthquake in Haiti last month. Now when I see the stories about the recovery on the evening news, I can’t help wondering how the Red Cross spent my donation. So I did some research and this is what I found out.

The American Red Cross:

  • Is producing more than 1 million liters of water per day, enough for 300,000 people
  • Operates water distribution points in 100 settlements
  • Has built sanitation facilities in 8 settlements
  • Distributed food and relief items (blankets, kitchen sets, hygiene kits, buckets, water containers, laundry detergent and mosquito nets) to nearly 170,000 people so far

More than 76 flights carrying Red Cross aid from around the world have arrived in the Dominican Republic or Haiti. I feel like I made a difference knowing that the American Red Cross turned my donation into a blanket, vaccination or a meal for someone in need. I’m glad I gave my allowance to the Red Cross – instead of spending it on another chew toy.

Visit our online newsroom for the latest on relief efforts.

Cricket’s Yips ‘n Tips: Valentine’s Day gift ideas for your pet parents

Image credit:

1. slightly-used bone tied with a red ribbon 

2. liver treats 

3. tips on proper stretching techniques 

4. the missing socks 

5. extra walks for a week 

6. replacement for the umbrella I destroyed 

7. chew toy 

8. one sleep-in Saturday 

9. I.D. tags – in case they get lost 

10. gift certificate for an American Red Cross pet first aid class 

Cricket’s Yips and Tips

It’s cold out there! And like a lot of small and/or short-haired dogs, I wear a coat when I venture outside in the cold. In honor of Dress Up Your Pet Day on January 14th, let’s get bundled up! Of course if your pet does not like dressing up, it’s best to find someone else to dress.

In a pet first aid class, pet parents might learn how to bandage an injured cat’s leg or a dog’s bleeding foot before heading to the vet’s office. In many cases, the pet will try to remove the bandage. But if the pet is accustomed to being dressed, it may be more likely to leave a bandage alone. I’m not saying that every Doberman should wear a dress – but there may be an advantage to having your pet accustomed to having clothing put on him/her. Wrap a bandage around your pet’s leg and tie it on. Try to divert your pet’s attention with a game or activity and see if the bandage stays in place. Keep trying until your pet accepts the bandage and you will both be better prepared for a pet first aid emergency.

Arctic Ohio

It seems to me that taking a simple walk outdoors becomes more like embarking on an arctic expedition when the mercury plunges. First I am bundled up in my pink coat and then my harness is put on over the coat. My collar and I.D. tags are checked – animals can lose their scent on snow and ice and become lost. When my leash is attached to my harness I’m ready to go.

The front steps are covered with pet-safe ice melt but I prefer to walk in the snow. The first stop on my expedition is my car. I sniff around the car to make sure there are no stray cats hiding under the hood. Sometimes cats hide under car hoods to stay warm, but they can be injured or killed when the engine starts unless I chase them away.

While I check out the terrain, my pet parent is watching out for salt, antifreeze and other potentially dangerous chemicals on the ground so we can avoid them. After our brisk walk we return home where I am brushed off to make sure there is no salt or antifreeze on my paws or stomach. Pets can ingest chemicals by licking their paws after being outdoors. Now I’m ready to settle down on my blanket and watch the snow fall outside the window – until the next walk.

Pet parents can learn about the signs that their pet has been poisoned in the American Red Cross Dog First Aid book or by taking a Dog First Aid class.

Cricket’s New Year’s Resolutions

1. Go for two walks every day    

Looks like Otis the bulldog is having a good New Year! Image courtesy of Dogster, Inc.

2. Lose ½ pound by next summer

3. Practice my escape plan in case of fire

4. Organize my toys

5. Save money

6. Brush my teeth more often

7. Volunteer

8. Don’t fight with my brother — as much

9. Restock my emergency kit

10. Donate to my local Red Cross

11. Do something with this hair

12. Have a great 2010!

Cricket’s Holiday Gift Ideas

Cricket in her holiday best!


Pets have it good during the holidays – we ‘come as we are’ to parties and we are never expected to shop for gifts. Although we don’t give holiday gifts, we are usually happy to receive them. I put gifts that people give their pets into three main categories. Category one is things I can eat (my favorite category.) Category two contains all the things I can chew. The third category includes all the items that make me wonder: “Really?!? You know I’m a dog, right?” 

Gift giving is a wonderful holiday tradition that many of us want to continue, even when times are difficult. That is why many people have been choosing to give more meaningful gifts this year. The American Red Cross Gift of the Month is a thoughtful gift that includes many important necessities that will bring help and hope to those touched by disaster all year-long. The Gift of the Month provides, among many other things, food served to those staying in Red Cross shelters and food delivered to people in disaster areas – things from my favorite gift category. 

Check out the Red Cross Gifts that Save the Day catalog for more great ideas. We even have useful stocking stuffers that won’t leave the recipient wondering, “really?!?” Happy holidays!