Friday, February 24, 2012

Why Scoop the Poop-HOA



Besides being a nuisance, uncollected dog waste is a serious problem for our association. Next time you’re tempted to leave your dog’s droppings on the lawn, please remember these facts:

1. The Environmental Protection Agency is becoming aggressive about enforcing the Clean Water Act. Many Home Owner Associations can be fined if dog waste goes uncollected.

2. Uncollected dog waste may lead to a special assessment. If fined by the EPA, an association can face a potential special assessment that would be levied against all members—not just dog owners.

3. The appearance and quality of the common areas are known to affect home sales—not just whether and for how much they sell, but how quickly.

4. The more residents complain about dog waste, the more time the manager must spend on enforcement rather than serving the association.

5. Uncollected dog waste spreads disease and attracts rodents who feed on pet waste.

*The HOA where I live deals with this problem daily and although many people on our board want to confront this issue, it still does not get the attention it deserves and often is not dealt with. Each Association experiences these issues, but until there is a clear mandate or set of standards and regulations, many are on their own in enforcing statutes and rules.

* Lastly, in the City of Cotati where I live, police do not enforce city statutes on the books which allow for fines for those who do not keep dogs on leashes or pick up after their dogs. Until our own police cannot provide the manpower needed to enforce our laws, then people will continue to let their dog's go to the bathroom and not pick up.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Rohnert Park Dismisses Leash Law

It was a beautiful day today as I took my beagle for a walk at the office park down the street from Sonoma State University and Starbucks. We were enjoying the sun and quiet time shared when I saw twp women with three dogs, one large black dog and two smaller brown dogs off leash. This was the second time I saw these dogs unleashed. Not only is there a leash law in Rohnert Park, but my dog is seventeen years old, deaf, losing his eyesight and much slower. Therefore, my beagle is at a disadvantage and I was clearly upset that this happened again. The first time it happened, I left the park. I told the woman that there was a leash law in Rohnert Park and that the dogs should be placed on a leash. She was defiant and told me to call the police thinking I would not do so.

Why is it that this woman was arguing with me when she knew that she was in the wrong? There were no apologies and although she held a leash, she never put her dogs on it. Perhaps she thought I was joking when I told her I had the police departments number of my cell phone. She and her friend continued on their merry way. I called the Cotati Police Department who transferred me to the Rohnert Park police. I made a report and was told that they would be arriving soon. Ten minutes later I received another phone call from the Rohnert Park police telling me that they were backlogged and didn't have enough people on duty to come out. Would I like to wait? I told them what she already told me which was that by the time someone came, they would be gone, therefore it was worthless for anyone to come out.

I was very irritated and am still annoyed. I don't know if I believe their reasoning that they were very busy. It was in the middle of the day. I wonder if I was attacked or my dog if it would have been different or if they still would not have the time to show up. I live in Cotati but I am pretty sure there is a leash law in Rohnert Park. What was the real reason they did not enforce the code? Should other people be concerned? If the Rohnert Park police will not enforce the codes in their own city, why do we have dog leash signs? Should we have them removed? Many people are not cleaning up after their pet but the other offense is that they are not even keeping their dog(s) on a leash. What good is a code if the police will not enforce it?

Have their been others in a similar situation and what was the result? Both Cotati and Rohnert Park are in dire need of money and I believe one of the ways to receive more would be to enforce the codes and charge for any violations. I believe the violation in Cotati is over $250. I would like to know why the cities do not enforce these codes. Again, if it is too time consuming, then the signs should be removed. It is obvious that both Cotati and Rohnert Park police departments are in bad shape. I was told there is only one officer on duty per hour. When my car was vandalized I did everything I could to get a drive by in my condo, but it never came although I was told by both a lieutenant and a regular police officer that they would stop by.

I have discussed this issue with my friends and they have experienced similar situations. Many of them including myself feel that even if we say anything, the behavior continues to go on because their is no enforcement. It is also quite disturbing to see the combative behavior they display when they know they are going against codes in their city. What do the people do when there is no one to help? We are literally on our own and many of us are beyond upset.

My personal opinion on this matter is that each city should have a police department that employs enough people to keep their citizens safe. We need more than one person at the police station. Any programs or things that we do not need should be cut back or removed. Get our budgets in order. Without the police, their is chaos and citizens are being let down. All of us should demand better.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Ways to Resolve Pet Conflicts

Have you ever received a call or letter in the mailbox about your barking dog? It can be very distressing to receive such news from your neighbor and there may be a sense of helplessness and anger. However, it is best to handle the situation so that the relationship does not deteriorate.

The first thing to do is to identify your situation. Can it be managed? When I moved 12 years ago to Cotati, it took a while for my dog to get used to the new environment. I went through too much flashing, which was ripped off every two days. I was working full time. When I received a note from my neighbors about him barking, yes, I was very mad, but I forced me to take action and hire a dog walker. His behavior was much better from then on. In fact, I like to think he was a model dog. Although expensive, it gave me piece of mind, knowing my dog would be safe and have the exercise needed when I was gone, as well as giving my neighbors some peace.

During my beagle's earlier years, he was very mischevious. Back to the flashing. So, after picking up my dog from the pound one day, as he ate the flashing once again and got out my fenced gate, I decided to hire my contractor and put a iron gate on my own gate. It has worked magically for years and he has never escaped since. Having a dog is like having a child. There is much trial and error, but you will eventually find out what works for you and your dog.

If your neighbor(s) notice you are taking steps to try to curb your dog's barking or other problem which they may be having, it will go a long way. I pass this on using my own experience. If you are retired or live at home and your dog is annoying  neighbors, it simply comes down to whether your neighbors are right about your dog. Perhaps your dog was adopted and has anxiety or abuse problems. If that is the case, it is wise to call your nearest animal shelter and they will give you advice for free. It is also worthwhile to speak to your veterinarian. They are a valuable service.

Indoor cats provide no problems to your neighbor. In fact, I would say that even outdoor cats most likely do not provide problems. Dogs are social animals and if the owner is working, it is natural to have a dog bark. Dogs know when someone is at a gate, your home and are protective. You may have a neighbor which is just being a pain. I am sure there are those out there who do not have enough time on their hands and therefore feel the need to complain to be relevant. That may sound harsh, but I have come across people over the years who exhibit these characteristics. In the end, if you are doing everything you can for your dog or cat, it will most likely work out. Any disturbances you have with your neighbor can be worked out by simply discussing with them what you are doing to rectify the situation. Be polite, but firm. I am sure in the end it will work out for everyone.

Pet Custody in Divorce-American Law

A Guardian's Perspective on Pet Custody

Pet Custody Battles Over Your Companion Animal

When separation or divorce occurs, it can be very difficult as to deciding over who gets their beloved animal. Animals are considered part of our family, but did you know that in the eyes of the law, animals are seen as property. Splitting up in a relationship is hard, and the emotional pain one must deal with in regards who gets the dog, cat or other animal can cause anger and resentment. If you find yourself in this position, here are some suggestions on how to handle a stressful situation.

  1. Consult with an attorney 
  2. Offer proof that you adopted the animal. If you did not do so, were you the primary caregiver?
  3. Find receipts from your veterinarian as this shows proof that you were responsible. Did you take your animal to get groomed, buy the food or can you show proof that you took your dog to have training classes? As you can see, any receipts showing the above will help you.
  4. Speak with your neighbors or anyone who can be a witness to you taking your dogs on walks, etc. Please visit which is an article titled "Lawyers Must Plan for More Pet Custody Cases" for more information.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Homework Help Cotati Tutor

Specialties in the following areas:

  • Reading and Phonics
  • Spelling and Study Skills 

Visit my homepage for further information at: .

Email directly at

Phone: 707 971-9503 


Friday, February 10, 2012

Pet Safety Pack-Free

Receive your FREE pet safety pack from ASPCA. Are you prepared in case an emergency, not only for yourself but your loved dogs and cats? Enter your name and address at the link below and you will receive a window decal, animal poison control magnet and free 800 numbers to guide you in case of an unexpected emergency. Go to

Here are a few quick tips of what you will need to do to prepare in case such an emergency happens:

  1. Put a window decal on your window(s)
  2. Plan in advance and choose a location where your pet(s) will be safe. Contact your local animal shelters, veterinarian and kennels.Speak with family to see if they could offer a temporary safe place as well.
  3. Buy a pet first aid kit
  4. Purchase a first aid kit for humans
  5. Keep animal supplies such as dog leashes, blankets, food, litter and toys near you boxed up in a safe place in case of emergency
  6. Always keep water available for use

Visit the ASPCA website for a more complete list of items to keep on hand at: . Your animals will thank you for your preparedness.

Gifts for Dogs and Cats

The ASPCA is a great organization promoting adoption for dogs and cats. They also encourage people to fight animal cruelty. Year round they provide gifts for animals and humans alike. Treat yourself to a dog or cat mug, bear or jewelry for Valentine's Day. Let your spouse or family member know you care about them. The ASPCA also donates proceeds to causes that are needed such as animal cruelty. Know that your money not only helps other animals, but puts a smile on those you love.

Interested? Check out their website at :

Friday, February 3, 2012

Pet Waste At Dog Parks Can Make Your Pet Sick

Visiting a dog park or other community area is a great way to give your pet the exercise and socialization she needs to be happy and healthy. Unfortunately these places can become contaminated with deadly microorganisms found in dog waste and other bodily fluids. These are the facts about 4 common diseases spread in contaminated pet feces. Parvovirus Background: Parvovirus appeared in the 1970s. Since then it has spread around the globe and is considered ubiquitous (potentially everywhere) in the environment. This virus’s rapid proliferation was due in part to its hardy nature. Parvo is often fatal so any dog that has symptoms that suggest infection should receive immediate medical care. Symptoms: Rapid dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, high or low temperature, lethargy and/or muscle weakness, loss of appetite, pale mucous membranes in mouth. Infected animals become sick 3 to 7 days after exposure.

How It Spreads: Parvovirus is primarily spread through infected dog feces so be careful to avoid it. However other bodily fluids including urine, saliva and vomit can also spread Parvovirus. Once this pathogen gets into soil it can remain active for months and freezing temperatures don’t kill it. Parvovirus survives best in shady, cool, moist areas so the dirt near things like trees, bushes or playground equipment are favored spots for this virus.

Prevention And Treatment: Puppies receive their initial vaccination at 6 to 8 weeks of age followed by a booster shot a few weeks later. Adult dogs receive a yearly booster shot. Parvovirus can be killed with bleach on nonporous surfaces like plastic, metal or cement however it is not possible to completely disinfect porous surfaces like soil. If infection occurs veterinarians can offer supportive care until the body is strong enough to mount a successful response to clear the virus.

Roundworms Background: Roundworms are the most common worm parasite that infects dogs. Adult Roundworms live in the stomach and intestines of a host and shed their eggs into the environment through the host’s feces. These parasites are several inches long and look like thin, white or light brown worms in feces. Nearly all dogs will become infected with Roundworms during the course of their lives. Infestation in puppies can lead to serious illness or even death. Dogs older than 6 months develop a natural resistance to this parasite and usually don’t suffer from severe infestations or show symptoms of infection. Roundworms can infect humans and cause serious illness in children. Symptoms: Diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, stunted growth, dull coat and hair loss. How It Spreads: Roundworm eggs are shed into the environment through the host’s feces and become infectious approximately 3 to 4 weeks later. These eggs have a tough outer shell and can remain active in dirt or sand for years. If your dog or child ingests contaminated soil or sand infection can occur. In addition if your dog eats a dead animal that is infected with Roundworms it can become infected. These parasites can also be spread to puppies before they are born or through their mother’s milk during nursing.

Prevention And Treatment: There is no known way to prevent Roundworm infection. Veterinarians can prescribe worming medicine that treats Roundworm in puppies and adult dogs. Whipworms Background: Whipworm is a common species of parasitic worm that infects dogs. They are extremely small and difficult to detect in the feces of infected dogs. Whipworms burrow into the walls of the large intestine and appendix, suck blood and lay eggs that are shed in the dog’s feces. Symptoms: Mild infection may not produce symptoms but severe infection can cause abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea and in rare cases death. Symptoms may not begin for a month or more after exposure. How It Spreads: The only way to become infected with whipworms is to ingest a Whipworm egg. Unfortunately this is very easy for your pet to do. A dog can become infected if it eats contaminated feces, soil or grass. In addition if a dog rolls in contaminated soil it can become infected when it cleans it’s fur and ingests the eggs. Whipworm eggs have a thick outer shell that protects the core and allows them to survive for years in the environment. These eggs are best adapted to cool, moist, well shaded soil and they can survive freezing temperatures. Sun and heat can destroy Whipworm eggs by drying them out. Prevention And Treatment: Like Roundworm there is no known way to prevent infection with Whipworms. Veterinarians can prescribe worming medicine for puppies and adult dogs. Campylobacteriosis Background: Campylobacteriosis is a common gastrointestinal disease caused by bacterial infection. Up to half of all dogs carry the bacterium that causes Campylobacteriosis but few show any symptoms. This disease is most dangerous in puppies younger than 6 months of age and adult dogs with compromised immune systems. Occasionally this disease is mistaken for Parvo because the symptoms can be similar. However unlike Parvo most cases of Campylobacteriosis run their course in 1 to 3 weeks and this disease is rarely fatal if prompt medical care is administered. Humans are susceptible to this infection so care must be taken around dog waste. Symptoms: Mild to severe diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, lethargy, lack of appetite. Symptoms start within 48 hours of exposure.

How It Spreads: Campylobacter is not a hardy germ. It can only survive for a few days at room temperature and can’t efficiently reproduce unless it’s inside a digestive tract. Unfortunately exposure to less than a thousand Campylobacter can trigger illness. At a park the major mode of transmission for this bacterium is fresh dog waste. Campylobacter can also spread through infected food or water. Prevention And Treatment: Antibiotics can treat this disease. A veterinarian may provide other supportive care as needed. When you visit a dog park or other community area the number one way to protect your pet is to keep her away from strange dog feces. If your community doesn’t clean up dog waste consider having a pet waste removal company do the work. Most cities have companies that offer this service. If you suspect that your pet has become sick with any of these diseases take your dog to a veterinarian immediately. Clean or dispose of any old toys, bones and bedding to reduce the chance of reinfection and to protect other healthy pets. Exercise and socialization are important for your pet’s health and well being. So watch out for landmines and keep your trips safe and fun! Pet Article courtesy of

Monday, January 30, 2012

Have We Lost Our Republic?

Early Voting, Spain Receives Our Vote Tallies

As someone who follows politics, I've noticed that people are turning away and I do not blame them. Why were there 19 debates? Why did people in the news determine the questions? I ask this because I have noticed that the issues are not discussed, but character assasination among several of the Republican candidates. We have many issues which need to be dealt with and the animosity among the candidates is a distraction from what we should be talking about. I believe the media does this so that they get high ratings, at the same time, our country is going to you know what.

I was made aware of early voting in some of the primary states as well as the fact that Spain is now holding the ballots which we Americans cast. What is going on? Why is this information not being reported and why is there no outrage? Perhaps I just answered my own question. If the people were aware that our votes were being obtained by those outside of the United States, there very well just might be some kind of revolt which would compromise those in the media, and our politicians in power. No one wants to upset the apple cart. I am not clear why there is early voting. I believe it is not proper. If you are lazy enough to vote months in advance, then perhaps you shouldn't vote. It sounds harsh, but this is the future of our country. I always wonder what happens when we learn more about candidates and these people already voted, perhaps for someone else. Either we all vote on the same day or our voting system has been compromised, which I believe it already has.

To add fuel to the fire, it is all about money. It has become clear that if you do not have money, it is very unlikely you can run for politics. Whoever has the most money, usually wins. I have noticed this with Mitt Romney who cannot articulate his own views because they are all over the place, but he has been using much negative campaign ads outspending others, 14 million in Florida. This is not a fair process for the American people because we are not getting the best of candidates in both parties. What can be done?

Our election laws should be overturned. The ability to use any amount of money and wherever is extremely disappointing. This means that Saudi Arabia, and other outside influences can give money to our candidates and how will we ever know? This needs to end now, as does the ability of voters to vote months before our election. I know this will draw criticism from others, but I strongly believe there should be one day only to vote. This includes illegals who should not be voting. Until we regaiin our election results to be held the same day as well as receiving the tally of these votes in the United States only, only then will we be on our way to making progress.

I would love to get your views on how you think we can better improve our voting system.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Addison Disease in Dogs

Uncommon Disorder- Addison Disease

Addison's disease is a endocrine disorder which results from a deficient production of adrenal glands. The immune system causes the destruction of the adrenal glands. There is normally a deficiency of cortisol which is responsible for dealing with stress. Dogs who may have a predisposition to this disease are Great Danes, German Shepard, Bearded Collie, English Springer and Portuguese Water Dog. Fortunately, this disease is rare in dogs and even more so in cats.

Please watch for the following symptoms in your dog:
  1. Vomiting
  2. Weight Loss
  3. Excessive thirst
  4. Diahrhea
  5. Lethargy
  6. Limited Appetite

This disease can be difficult to diagnose as it presents symptoms of other dog diseases. Diagnoses will require bloodwork, the dog's history, a complete physical history, and urinalysis test. Treatment will depend on how far the disease has spread, which is why it is always important to make yearly check-ups with your veterinarian. If your dog has been diagnosed, the following treatments are as follows: fluids and cortisol replacement. Be sure to work with your veterinarian.l


Sunday, January 22, 2012

City of Cotati- What Makes a Good Dog Park?

It's a beautiful day and you want to take your dog to the local dog park. Before you take your dog, consider what makes a good dog park. This blog is a complement to my earlier posting in regards to what to look for in dog parks which you can find It is crucial you understand that if the dog park does not have any of the features which I will discuss in a moment, pass.

One of the main things to look for are doggie bags and any other type of materials to remove pet waste. There are many diseases which can be passed through dog feces and affect not only dogs, but humans as well. It also shows that you are taking responsiblity for your pet and respect the area which you are at by cleaning up. You are setting a good example for others.

Another MUST HAVE is a bowl of cold water. It is important that when dogs play and exercise that they have the necessary water. It has been known to happen that if a dog does not receive water and it is a hot day, it is highly likely that your dog could have heatstroke. If the park does not have any shade, limit your time there. You do not want your dog to over exert himself where he could develop something fatal as heatstroke. If the park has shade, you are in luck.

When you enter the dog park, check to see how much space there is and how many dogs are already there. Also be aware of other dog owners bringing their dogs to an already crowded park. Be alert that the park does not become to crowded so that fights can break out, where dogs can harrass other dogs or be bullied. If you see any signs of overcrowdedness, leave. It is always in your dogs best interest to be safe.

How many entrances do the dog park have? If it is a small park, there may be only one entrance which is fine. Again, go back to the previous rule and check for overcrowdedness. If you enter a larger park, there should be more than one gate where you can come and go. It is also very convenient in case a dog fight breaks out.

Make sure that there are no cracks where your dog can dig or get through. I may have mentioned my beagle before. He is a very industrious little guy, especially in his earlier years. This one is pretty self explanatory.  Be aware the environment is safe for your dog.

If you have a small dog and bring him to a small park, check to make sure that there are not too many large dogs which come over. It is quite interesting. My dog actually feels intimidated by bigger dogs. One dog is fine, but more than one in a small environment can be worrisome, depending on your dog's disposition.

If you follow the above "rules", you will find your experience is more pleasant. Your dog may not be able to thank you, but I would like to think he or she would. It is so important to maintain a positive environment for your dog. I hope this has helped and I encourage anyone who has any other ideas to let me know. Happy Dog Park Hunting.

Rohnert Park News

Saturday, January 21, 2012

City of Cotati - Dog Park Etiquette

Myrtle Park

Going to a dog park can be fun, but it is also important to keep a few basic guidelines which will help you to have a positive experience. Without familiarizing the risks and dangers of a dog park, you may leave not having a positive experience and not wanting to go back. To make sure that doesn't happen, make sure you are armed with the following important information. Once applied, you will notice what situations to watch for and what to stay away from. Here are a basic few principles:

  • Don't spend your time on a cell phone. Give your complete attention to your dog.
  • Don't bring dog's in heat to a dog park.
  • Don't leave your dog off -leash in an unfenced park
  • Don't allow your dog to be in a dog park if he does not know voice commands
  • Don't allow dog's to form packs
  • Don't bring treats with other dogs present
  • Never bring a puppy less than four months
Here are a handful of ideas which you may want to consider in the event you go to a dog park:

  • Clean up after your dog at all times
  • Make sure your dog has had all necessary vaccinations
  • If your dog is being too playful, being bullied, or being a bully, leave the park immediately
  • Observe all other dogs in relation to their health, as necessary
  • Check to see if there is a supervisor or someone in charge of the park area
  • Watch other pet parents and sparingly take their advice, especially if they are not a pet professional
  • Watch other dogs in the park to make sure your dog is not being bullied
By following the above principles, your dog will most likely have a good time and you will also most likely have a pleasant experience. Myrtle Park in Cotati is a decent dog park to visit. I have seen many times however that most people do not pick up after their pet. Unfortunately, it is easy to pass disease along. In fact, I would suggest to all dog owners going to a dog park that the first thing they should do immediately is to check to see if the grassy area is poop-free. You do not want your dog roaming around in dog waste which can be very contagious with health risks. Once you clear the area and make sure it is pet waste free, then apply the techniques above and enjoy your time with your dog.

Peet's Coffee Review

City of Cotati - Peet's Coffee

I couldn't wait to visit the new Peet's Coffee which just opened up in Cotati. As many of you may remember, it used to be a Foster's Freeze, until it was closed which seemed like forever. Ok, I exaggerate, but it was quite a long time. So, today I was excited to visit Peet's Coffee for the first time since it broke ground in my neighborhood. The customer service was good, but unfortunately, that was about it.

If you are a Peet's Coffee addict, then you most likely would have no problem with the price of coffee. As someone who needs her coffee everyday, and will pay for it, I was stunned at the high prices on the board. I began to get concerned. Will Peet's Coffee make it? We are in a down turn in our  economy and I do not see us coming out of it none too soon. Many stores and businesses have closed in both Cotati and Rohnert Park, with most of them still bare. So again, with the high prices of coffee, I was a was asking myself in the coffee house whether I thought it could make it. Will Peet's Coffee end up like other businesses who left us dry? Or, will it survive, despite the fact they have high prices?

I believe in the next few months I will be able to tell based on the traffic they receive and how busy their coffee house is. I hope and pray for their success. Cotati needs the income, but we also need stability in our little town. If you have visited Peet's Coffee, let us know what you think! If you are interested in another short read on Peet's Coffee, please go to : where you can find more opinion and news.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Acrobatic Dog Video

This is a hilarious short video of a dog with incredible balance!

Must Have Dog Phone Numbers

There are several phone numbers which all dog owners should keep on hand in case of an emergency involving your dog. These numbers will come in handy in case your dog falls ill, is found to be stolen, or you are in need of travel information. I have included a few extra numbers you should be familiar with just in case the unexpected happens.

  1. Spay Hotline - 1-800-248-SPAY. This service provides free or low cost neuter services as well as referrals in your local area.
  2. National Animal Poison Control Center - 1-888-426-4435. While the information here is much needed, it is important to note that there is a $65 charge to speak to consult with a veterinarian about your dog's condition. As a dog owner, I think this is a little pricey and will continue to look for additional sources which are cheaper as well as informative. If you suspect your dog has been exposed to poison(s), I suggest immediately taking your dog to your veterinarian. 
  3. Emergency Disaster Hotline - 1-800-227-4645.  In case of a disaster, including earthquakes, call the above number to get information on where to go in case of an emergency and what to do. It will also provide additional information to help you make the best decision when faced in a crisis situation.
  4. Animal Recovery - 1-800-252-7894. Call this number if you are looking for yourself or others who have lost their dog and is part of the AKC registry.
  5. Lyme Disease Hotline - 1-800-886-5963.  Useful information on how to prevent your dog from getting ticks.
  6. Pet Loss Hotline - 1-888-478-7574. This is an extremely beneficial service providing emotional support when dog owners have either lost their dogs or are dealing with life threatening issues keeping their dog alive and need additional support. What is great about this service is that it is 24 hours, 7 days a week, and if you cannot speak to someone immediately, you can leave your information. This is a FREE service.
  7. Stolen Pet Hotline- 1-800-STOLEN-PET. You are assisted with information on what to do if you believe your dog has been taken.
  8. Pet Travel Resources- 1-800-545-USDA. If you know you will be traveling with your pet by plane, call this number to find out what you will need to bring.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

City of Cotati Municipal Dog Codes

It is important to know the dog municipal codes in our city, Cotati. I knew we most likely had them concerning our dogs, but it took a while for me to find the exact codes which our city has adopted. Please visit to see a listing of our many dog and animal regulations at

Cotati's municipal code 7.24.80 specifically deals with dogs who are not on leashes and describes the rules which are to be obeyed in our local area. You can read it word for word at the website above, but let me paraphrase. It is unlawful for any person who has a dog to be off-leash in or about any public property within the city limit except that public property posted with signs allowing your dog to be off-leash. Each dog found in violation of this can be immediately taken and impounded. Any police officer or animal control officer has the right to take such action for the protection of our public health and safety.

I have not seen any police officer or animal control person enforce this regulation. Have you? I have encountered it many times where dogs are off their leash, but no one was in sight to enforce the code we have. Is this a concern for you? Have you also witnessed or been a victim of a dog off leash and either attacking you or your dog?

My favorite city municipal code is the following: 7.24.60 which deals with animal waste. As you will see, there are many more animal and dog municipal codes, but the two I mention here are the ones which I feel should definitely be enforced. Again paraphrasing what this code states is the following. No owner or person who has a control over any dog or animal, except those who are disabled and needing a dog, shall allow any animal to do the following:

1.Must not defecate on any street or other public property without immediately removing their dog's waste and putting it in a doggie bag or a receptacle.

2.Must not defecate on any private property other than that of its owner without the consent of the owner.

When enforced, an officer or animal control officer has the right to show proof of a tool or doggy bag showing that you are removing the waste. Unfortunately, since most of the time this is not enforced, neighbors and others in the area begin to get angry. This does not mean that they are anti-dog. It means that they begin to feel resentful of the person who does not clean up after their dog continually.

I look forward to what you have to say about this subject. Feel free to visit my website at

Saturday, January 14, 2012

City of Cotati Leaving Us Vulnerable

Are you happy with the City of Cotati board members? One would like to think that they are doing the bidding for our city. Our city is already bankrupt and their duties should consider that when making decisions. Unfortunately, we have a board who voted yes, knowing in advance that the California Supreme Court voted to eliminate the RDA funds allocated to all of California. Well, our board decided that they were going to allocate 3.5 million dollars in RDA funds, knowing full well that they were most likely not going to see that money.

As I have mentioned before, I live in Cotati and have noticed the blatant disregard for the views of our citizens. Yet, it is very obvious that they allow people who have contracts from outside our city to speak freely and as long as they like. Cotati citizens are fed up. We are not being heard by the very people we place in authority. Something has got to change. Cotati no longer employs volunteers to clear the brush away from creeks(such as Laguna. It took about three months to get someone to come and wack the trees and grass. In fact, after they cleaned it, they left trees for weeks with no one coming out. It got to the point that the trees were dead and could easily start a fire. My condo is very close to the creek. Finally, they were removed, but it was not a easy chore. I was advised that this happens all over Cotati.

My other pet peeve as you might notice is the fact that they do not enforce rules and regulations. Too many times have I heard stories of dogs not on leashes and many times attack other dogs who are on leashes. I cannot blame the dog on all instances as it is up to the owner to keep their dog on a leash at all times, unless there is no one around. I have experienced this myself, but there was no cop to be found. Even if I did call a cop, the event was over and the person would probably deny it anyway because the cop did not see it. My other issue concerning dogs is the fact that there are many dog owners who do not pick up after their dogs and when these laws are not enforced, more dog owners do it as they see no consequence.

Does the City of Cotati know that they are putting us at risk? Do they know we only have one police officer on duty per hour? It really irritates me when they visit the bars each evening and rarely if ever swing by the condos and apartments for a drive around to make sure everything is ok. My condo experienced a series of car break in's. I spoke to several cops about adding patrol at night. I was told both times they would swing by. They never did. The people of Cotati can not rely on the police. It is a sad state of affairs. Instead we have our city council who live in other places except for Cotati, who receive funds for a car to drive. This is money we don't have.

I really believe we need to have people who not only have property in Cotati, but they must have lived here for 5 years to be able to serve on our board. If anyone in Cotati believes our board members have done a good job, I would like to hear from you. I believe we need a recall effort to remove all of them and to let us have our city back. Yes, it will cost $24,000, but it is nothing in comparison to the silly decisions such as the roundabout which would have cost us 3.5 million.

I encourage you to visit my website at

Friday, January 13, 2012

Keeping a Dog File

It is something we really do not think about, what to do if something happens to us. Where would our dog go? Are there family members to help out, friends? Confronting our own death is not something many americans want to do, but it is something that all dog owners must think about.

As an epileptic, I have spoken to my family as to who I want to take care of my dog in case anything happens and if they are not able to take care of him, to interview people extensively so that he will go to a good home. Most likely than not, nothing will happen, but the chances that something will come up due to a prior existing disease is something to take seriously.

I recommend keeping a file on your dog and list your veterinarian, vaccinations, the type of food he or she eats, medications and whether or not your dog is microchipped. You may also want to jot down a few things about what your dog likes and dislikes as this will be very helpful in the event your are unable to take care of your pet. There is no one except for yourself who knows your pet better and this is vital information to share in his file.

After you have your dog's file ready, you may want to write down this information for your friends and family who have dogs. It doesn't take long at all and is such important information to share. Dogs bring such joy and companionship to us. I hope this information has helped you in looking out for your dog when you are unable to speak for him yourself.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Dog Poop Facts-What You Need to Know

Below are a list of dog waste facts which all of us should be aware of:

1.       Dog poop is toxic to your lawn!

2.       The EPA classified dog waste as a dangerous pollutant

3.       Un-scooped poop is washed in storm drains, ending up in our rivers and ground water

4.       Pet waste can spread E-coli, parasites, hookworms, ringworms, Salmonella and tapeworms. Even when infected dog waste is picked up, parasite eggs can last for years in your yard.

5.       There are 23 million fecal coliform bacteria in a single gram of pet waste!

6.       If you’re not cleaning up your dog’s waste, you are endangering your family and dog and your water supply at risk.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Dog Waste and Our Water

Is your health at risk? When taking your dog out to do his duty, do you clean up, and if so, where? If you leave it to the side of the grass or near the street, you may not know it, but you are causing pollution, possible health problems and depending on where you live, municipal violations. I bet you never considered the effects that the clean up of your dog's waste has.

The creek that I live behind is not as clean as I would like it when it comes to picking up after one's pet. I believe it has gotten worse. It is one thing not to pick up on a walkway or park, although both are usually subjected to a fine when enforced, but the worst offenders are those who do not clean up their dog's waste in creeks or trails which are near water. Animal waste contains nutrients which promotes algae when entered in streams or lakes. Dog waste can also carry organisms that carry diseases that enter the water which makes it unsafe to swim, drink or fish. Why would anyone knowingly do this to our environment and health? I believe it is do to a lack of education on the subject matter. With that said, I also believe there is a lack of responsibility among many dog owners who feel they can let their dog defecate anywhere without any penalties. Unfortunately, they are usually right. Rarely are penalties enforced. In Cotati, there are pet waste stations and baggies at every park and trail, yet it seems there are many that think they are immune to these signs. When police do not follow up on violators, the habit goes on unpunished and allows the violators to do it again without guilt.

Water quality suffers not only when not picked up, but also when disposed of improperly. Animals and humans are at risk of infection due to bacteria and parasites found in dog waste. Many people do not like flys because they are simply irritating, yet did you know that flies spread disease from the dog waste it left? Such diseases include the following which are transmitted from pet to humans:

  • Campylobacteriosis- this is a bacterial infection carried by dogs and cats that routinely causes diarrhea in humans
  • Cryptosporidiosis- this is a parasitic infection which causes diarrhea and abdominal pains
  • Giardiasis- this is a infection of the small intestine which causes fatigue, loss of weight and cramping
  • Salmonellosis- this is the most common bacterial infection transmitted to humans by animals. Symptoms include headache, vomiting, diarrhea, fever  
  • Toxocariasis- Roundworms are transmitted from dogs to humans and causes vision loss, cough, fever, cough. Many times the symptoms are not very noticeable.
  • Toxoplasmosis- a parasite carried by cats that can cause birth defects, mental retardation, blindness and is also a problem for those who have low immune systems. Symptoms include headaches, body aches and lymph node enlargements.
The best way to eliminate waste is to flush it in your toilet. I was shocked when I heard that as well, but the waste from our toilet goes to a treatment plant that removes most pollutants which can get in our water before reaching our lakes and rivers. One note is that you should never put cat litter down your toilet to prevent plumbing problems. Cat feces however can be flushed down the toilet.  The next best thing is to  dig a hole 5 inches deep and bury it. Keep away from gardens, streams, or lakes. Lastly, put it in the trash. This is not the best solution however as waste taken to a landfill can still cause problems. With that said, it is much better than the alternative which is to do nothing.

Next time you are out walking your pet, try to remember the implications of not picking up after your pet and how that affects all of us. I know it is something that we do not think about, as our lives are too busy, yet now that you are aware of the harm it can cause, remember to pick up.

Visit my website at

Treating Dog Constipation

You are walking your dog at the park and notice that your dog is straining to go to the bathroom. Nothing happens. Have you been in this situation? Most likely, sometime in your life you will come across it. In fact, I dealt with this matter several months ago. I was a bit perplexed because there was nothing in his diet which had changed. I called my veterinarian who I respect and adore (she saved his life), and asked her what she recommended. She had good results with pumpkin so I tried it. Unfortunately, it did not have the desire effect I was looking for. I then purchased a several cans of W/D and that did the trick.

It is important to realize that not all dogs are the same and one product may not work on all dogs. If you have a dog who likes to get into things, watch your dog for other signs such as drooling and vomiting. You do not want to wait as your dog may have ingested something and it is of the utmost important to take him to your veterinarian right away. Most often than not however, it is something that can be taken care of without seeing your veterinarian. Keep in mind the following methods to see which one works best for you in this situation.

  • Check your  dog's diet. Often times, adding 2 teaspoons of regular pumpkin to your dog's diet will do the trick.
  • Add moisture to your dog's diet. Add a few teaspoons of water in his food.
  • Add Pumpkin to your dog's diet.
  • Give your dog regular excercise to keep things moving.
         *Medical conditions to check if the tips above don't work:

  • Check for Whipworms which are parasites that can cause constipation
  • Test for hypothyroidism and endocrine conditions known to cause constipation
  • Neurological damage. This would be pretty self evident as seeing your dog with this is extremely painful to watch.
  • Discuss medications your dog is taking with your veterinarian. Sometimes these drugs can be counteractive with one another and may cause constipation.
It is worth noting that if your dog has additional symptoms to constipation such as lethargy, loss of appetite and vomiting, it is vital to get your dog to the veterinarian so that he can have fluids injected to help with his dehydration. I hope this has been helpful.

Please visit my website for more information at


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Reasons to Clean Your Dog's Waste

There are several reasons to clean up after your dog. Before I discuss them, I would like to tell you why I have got involved in this issue. It is an issue which is not talked about often for obvious reasons. Why would you go up to your neighbor and start talking about your dog’s business? I have been unemployed for over a year now and have seen some things which I wish I didn’t. I live behind a creek in the Cotati area and have seen a number of violations daily. I also have seen dog waste on the walk ways, the worst was which I slid. I did not fall, but the fact that it happened made me angry. I am a proud dog owner of 17 years and when I was younger didn’t always pick up after my pet. Yes. I was young and not responsible as I would have liked. I stopped that behavior and became a responsible dog owner. That means picking up after my dog whenever I take my dog out. There are signs and even doggie bags located near pet owners to encourage them to pick up, yet many think this does not apply to them.

One of the most important reasons why cleaning up after your pet is disease. This includes roundworms, salmonella and E-Coli. Your dog may contract the parvo-virus through feces that was infected. Do you want to place the dog you love at risk?  If not, for an affordable price I will come to your home and clean up your dog’s waste. See my new website at I am serving the Cotati and Rohnert Park area in my local area and would like to know how big the demand is. Please feel free to contact me at my website.

What does the disease of feces have in common with the next offender? Fly’s. Fly’s lay eggs on the feces, then unknown to you, they can fly into your house. Sounds disgusting, right? By hiring someone to come in once or twice a week, you will save yourself time having to do an ugly chore as well as take care of your dog by removing the feces that can cause disease.

Can you walk in your yard without stepping on your dog’s business? Do neighbors and family have to watch their step when they come in? Maybe your kids accidentally walk in your dog’s mess? By not cleaning up after your dog, your dog will get less exercise in the yard because there is less space. Take your yard back. Reclaim it. Your dog, family and friends will thank you for it.

Many dog’s eat their feces. It is a proven fact. It is a gross and embarrassing habit that the pet owner endures. The good news is that is it not always their fault. Many dog owners try to take care of it themselves by using products to place on the feces or their foods. Often times however, it will take persistence to find the product that works. My dog fell into this category. I tried many products and picked up as best I could. Unfortunately, when at work it would be difficult. With passing time, it got easier and he eventually grew out of it. There are many pet owners however who do not take responsibility to try to correct this habit. This is disadvantageous to their dog who can ingest bacteria or disease to make them ill. If you are in this situation, visit my website at and let me know how I can help.

As noted earlier, I am a Cotati resident and am doing an exploratory to see what the demand is in my local area. If you are interested, please contact me at or visit my website for more information.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Cotati Need for Dog Removal?

Let me introduce myself. My name is Suzanne and I am 42 years old. I have lived in Cotati for about twelve years. Last year I was laid off like so many people. Unfortunately, there are not as many jobs as in other areas. I have always found an interest with dogs. They are so loveable. Anyway, I realized that a problem which I see often is that of the dog owner who does not pick up after his dog. I have noticed that it has gotten worse.

I must say, in my earlier years, I was an occasional offender, but that was long ago and I have learned and taken responsibility. A few months ago, I slid on it. It was late in the afternoon and I was walking towards my home and I almost fell. After that episode, I paid more attention and noticed that walkways on the cement were not being cleaned up after. I don't know what the reasons are exactly. Perhaps the economy? Lack of money? I don't see how a doggie bag is that expensive and I tend to think that is not the answer.

In any case, I have been seriously thinking of whether there is any money in it. It is not an attractive idea, but perhaps the problem is more widespread than in my area near Oliver's market. I would like to speak to Cotatian's to see if this is a problem they have encountered and whether or not they would see themselves paying for a dog waste service. If you live in Cotati or Rohnert Park, I would love to hear from you. Your input is very important. Please visit my website for more information at

Neighbors Who Don't Pick Up After Dog

(seen on youtube)
It is a common problem in Cotati, CA where dog owners do not pick up after their pet. I came across a video from youtube which demonstrates this. This neighbor does not live in Cotati, yet shows the problem faced on a daily basis. What has happened to responsible pet owners?

Gardening Tips for Dog Owners

Having a dog is like having a child. It is important to make sure that they are unable to get into things which can harm them. The outdoors is no exception. When your dog is outside, make sure that all toxic chemicals are kept away. Dogs are very curious and find themselves causing mischief often. All toxic chemicals should be in the home on top shelves, or at least locked on bottom shelves, but I do not advocate this as well due to the curious nature of dogs. I myself have a beagle and he has found himself in many silly situations; however, he has never ingested anything fatal.

Be aware of the plants kept outside, as not all plants are non toxic. A good link to visit is You will get a comprehensive list of plants to stay away from.

Consider using containers or planters when planting a garden and vegetables. It is much easier to maintain. In regards to keeping your dog outside, always remember to lock the gate. I myself have two locks, one on the inside and one on the outside. Soon after moving to my home, I noticed my beagle liked to play houdini one too many times, so I finally hired a contractor to install the locks. This has lead to me not having to worry when at work. It is also a good idea to have your neighbor's number on speed dial in case you are ever uncertain or want to have it checked.

Always make sure that your dog has water. This sounds obvious, but it is especially crucial during the summer months. When at work, and if the temperatures hit the high nineties or hundreds, I would call my neighbor to look in and make sure that he still had water. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Lastly, make sure that any jagged rocks are removed outside. This includes sharp objects such as shovels. They should be locked inside a shed or another safe location. By taking precautions early, you will prevent illness or even death in your dog.