Tomorrow is Veteran’s Day so Lou, Eugenie and I wanted to give a heartfelt shoutout to our longtime friend Joe Simone, and all of the brave men, women and dogs who’ve risked everything to defend our country and its values. Originally called Armistice Day, was started by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919, to commemorate the end of the WW I, ‘The Great War’, one year earlier. Made a legal holiday in 1938, the name was changed to Veteran’s Day after WW II and the Korean War. The U. S. has had many celebrated canine soldiers but the most famous, and most decorated was a Pit Bull named Sgt. Stubby. We’ve written about Stubby before and here’s a link to his amazing exploits.

Tanner, the patriotic Pit Bull

Sgt. Stubby, war hero

Not all dogs see combat but some of them do live in rural and semi-rural places like Malibu where they’re at risk from other creatures, like coyotes. Dog expert Cesar Millan offers these tips for keeping your dog pals safe from their  canine cousins.
  1. Be particularly cautious during coyote mating season, which is January through March. During this time, coyotes travel long distances to find suitable mates and require extra calories to carry them on their journey. They then expend extra energy to build dens for pregnant females, who will need to stock up on additional meals. Studies show that coyotes are particularly aggressive during this time.
  2. Keep an eye on your dog when outside. A small dog left unattended in a backyard is an easy target for a coyote. The best way to protect your dog is to go outside with it when you let it out. While a coyote will go after a dog, they tend to shy away from humans. If you come into contact with a coyote, it’s suggested that you wave your arms, shout, and do anything you can to scare it away, such as spray it with a water hose.
  3. If you have a fence, make sure it’s coyote-proof. According to an article by the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources department, a fence won’t always keep a coyote out. Coyotes can jump over fences and have the ability to dig under a fence or slide through a fence gap. While it’s tough to build a fully coyote-proof gate, fences should be a minimum of 5.5 feet high and should be built on a sloping terrain. To defer a coyote from climbing, fences should not exceed 6 inches between stays. In addition, a galvanized wire-mesh apron can be buried beneath a fence to hinder a coyote from digging under. An additional way to ensure that a coyote won’t leap your fence is to install a coyote roller, which rolls off an animal that tries to climb the fence.
  4. Keep coyotes wild: Do your part to make sure that coyotes remain fearful of humans. Don’t feed coyotes or leave food out for them. This will cause them to come back to your area and to become accustomed to humans. Don’t put your trash out at night, as coyotes tend to be most active in the evenings and early mornings. Also make sure to securely seal the lids of your garage cans so that coyotes don’t smell food and come into suburban areas.
  5. Keep your dog on a leash when walking it outside: A dog running loose will attract a wandering coyote. Keeping your dog on a short leash when walking, especially through areas where coyotes tend to thrive, will help to ensure its safety. Read more:
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Like coyotes, bees, wasps and hornets are a natural hazard for dogs that like rumbling through the flowerbeds and bushes. Here’s some helpful advice from Cesar’s newsletter on how to respond if your bruiser should suffers a sting.
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Lastly, many people share their homes with rescue dogs like me and work to improve the plight of homeless animals,  few of us are familiar with Henry Bergh, a pioneer in the fight for animal and children’s rights, who founded the ASPCA (1866) and the New York City Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (1878). If you’d like to learn more about this amazing man, our good friend, devoted animal advocate and ‘father’ of Luke & Curley, Gary Kaskel has just published Monsters And Miracles, detailing Bergh’s brave efforts to help the helpless.

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