Archives for June 2010

Ark Lady Ponders the Oprah Winfrey Network

ark lady oprah winfrey network OWN

In mid-May I got an email that informed me that OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, was accepting audition videos for the television network scheduled to launch in early 2011.

At the time I was not feeling too well but watched as more and more people began loading their video auditions in the hopes to win a show on the network.

There have been some great auditions and some wonderful ideas including those submitted by some of my pals.

This last two weeks I’ve been busy shooting some clips for an audition. Nothing fancy but I am focusing on what I might bring to a global audience and to the production team–with a list of topic ideas.

One of my dreams since before I embarked on my career with animals has always been to be a global animal ambassador to help people develop animal connections and a better understanding of the issues facing both wild and domestic animals.

So, although it might be a long shot but I am going to throw my hat in the ring–which is why I’ve been so scarce on the blog the last week or so.

My hope is that you will take time to vote for my video (which I will post a link to shortly since it is not up yet).

Although I have a number of ideas, I am not attached to any one type of show, format, or time slot and can relocate in a minute if needed.

Oprah has been on my vision board for a couple of years so it will be interesting to see what happens.

If nothing else, it will be good exposure to some of her producers and other production crew members.

Finally, it has also given me some ideas for some videocasting.

Anyway, just thought I would explain what was happening.

If you are on my email list you already received a personal note and I am so touched by how many of you wrote back saying that you would support me with your votes.

I’ll be sending out another email with details once the video is posted and if you want daily reminders (you can vote daily), please join me on Twitter or Facebook.

Behavior & Diet an Often Overlooked Issue

natural nutrition for dogs and cats book. Behavior influenced by diet and is overlooked.This is a guest post from animal enthusiast, Susan Long.

Just like humans, dogs require a balanced diet to maintain their health, vitality and general well being.

A common misconception held about dogs is that they are strictly carnivores, requiring a diet consisting solely of various meats and meat by-products.

Wild animals instinctively know what foods their body requires to perform at an optimum level and members of the canine family found living in the wild are often seen foraging for foods including fruits, root vegetables, and even grasses, to enhance their meat-based diet.

Domestic animals do not always have the same instincts. Domestically bred dogs lose a little more of their independent nature over generations and they rely almost solely on humans to provide for their basic needs.

To this end, dogs are often observed to eat whatever is put in front them, whether it is good for them or not.

While it is widely known that a poor diet can result in issues with a dog’s weight management, dental health, and coat quality, not many people recognize that it can also contribute to behavioral problems.

A healthy dog is playful, energetic and alert but when a diet is too high in carbohydrates this healthy energy can escalate into hyperactivity and is suspected to even contribute to aggression. (Behavior Problems in Dogs, William Campbell)

With so many mass produced varieties of dog food containing artificial colours, flavors, preservatives and even sugars it is little wonder that these can have a negative effect on a dog.

A dog’s digestive system is not capable of processing these ingredients effectively and they can have a huge effect on its blood sugar levels that can lead to startling shifts in behavior.

In addition to being low in sugar, a canine’s natural diet is also very low in grains and many lower priced brands of dry food (and some tinned foods) contain excessive amounts of them.

It is not only commercial dog food that can be an issue though, since many owners like to give their dog a treat from the table, bread, human biscuits and even pastas.

A dog’s inability to break down these products effectively can lead to weight problems, allergies, lethargy and irritability.

As the dog gains weight, its legs are required to support a heavier load, putting pressure on joints and causing pain.

A negative consequence to this is that the dog will sometimes resort to pain induced aggression and other inappropriate displays of behavior.

Common examples include growling, nipping and digging in their heels when going for a walk.

A change of diet often helps change behavior in conjunction with animal behavior therapy and training classes.

When a dog is not receiving a nutritious balance of foods, it will also have trouble learning and struggle with training lessons.

Some experts recommend feeding your dog an organic mix of meats and vegetables with a small amount of carbohydrates.

Whether purchasing or making your own dog food you should look for ingredients that follow a 50/40/10 ratio such as 50% vegetables, 40% meat (with a preference for turkey and fish over beef and chicken) and 10% carbohydrate.

Make sure that ingredients contain no animal by-products, no preservatives and no additives.

About the Author: Susan Long is a former animal handler for a large animal welfare organization and now works to help families find a happier life at Sell Property Quickly