Looking for An Ecard? Try Sloppy Kiss!

cat-freetrial(1) Sloppy Kiss Cards is an animated ecard service for pet lovers and pet businesses. It’s the only pet ecard service where you get to choose and name the pet that stars in your animated ecard. There are over 250 dogs, cats and more pets to choose from!

Sloppy Kiss Cards is based in Vancouver, BC, Canada. It was founded in 2006 by avid pet lover Nicole Stocker. After spending several years working at Microsoft Nicole felt she was barking up the wrong tree and that it was time to combine her digitally developed sensibilities with her love of animals. Inspired by the many pets – past and present – in Nicole’s life, in June of 2006 Sloppy Kiss Cards became a bone-a-fide business. First it was just dogs, then cats were added in March 2007 and as of April 2009 a whole new crew of pets joined the Sloppy Kiss Cards family including: horses, birds, fish, rabbits, pigs, monkeys, chickens, frogs, and more! Finally, in 2011 a Pet Business Ecard Service was added to provide pet businesses with a unique and fun way to keep in touch with their clients.

Nicole likes to think of Sloppy Kiss Cards as the post office for a global community of pet lovers. Read what our members have to say about Sloppy Kiss Cards. Also be sure to check out our Facebook page to read even more comments.

To honor the immeasurable contribution our canine and feline companions make, Nicole donates part of each ecard membership to the Petfinder.com Foundation, a foundation that helps homeless pets find loving homes.

We are so excited that Nicole and her company have joined us in our Bookstore and we hope you’ll check out her amazing selection of fun ecards–especially for Valentine’s Day!


Books: All Creatures Great And Small

dog eared bookSome time ago, our Facebook page manager, John Jordan, recommended a series of books to me that I’d heard of, but never explored.  If, like me at the time, you’ve never read All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot, you’re in for a treat!

In 1940, James Alfred Wight worked at a rural veterinary practice in the town of Thirsk, Yorkshire, close to the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors in England.

The first book in this series, All Creatures Great And Small, consists of partially autobiographical stories of his career as a country vet and his many adventures caring for the dogs, cats and farm animals of the locals. According to Wikipedia, Wight’s son, Jim states “a lot of the stories, although set in the 1930s, 1940s or 1950s in the books, were actually inspired by cases that Wight attended in the 1960s and 1970s.”

Not only do you get a great feel for the heart of the English people of the region, but also for the challenges vets face–and I think you’ll find no other series of books about pets to be so utterly charming.

Herriot’s style of writing, as well, is easy to follow.  And it’s interesting to imagine what it was like to live at that time–not only from the perspective of the rather primitive veterinary resources that were available but, for me, just imagining what it would be like to stand in a freezing barn or field for hours, waiting for your part in some major event, like a calving.

By the time you reach the end of the first book, you really feel like you met Dr. Herriot yourself, and know him as a kind and dedicated man.  And by the way, the adventures as he meets and courts his wife are just hilarious!

It’s always been amazing to me that real people are far more fascinating than made up characters could ever be, and never more so than in this series of books.  You’ll love them!

 Check out the YPS Bookstore for this and other awesome books about pets!

 Joy JonesJoy Jones is a syndicated columnist living with her husband Dave in Anderson, Ohio.  When not working on Your Pet Space, she writes a metaphysical column called The Midwestern Buddhist as well as urban fantasy and humor.  You can e-mail her at joy@yourpetspace.info as well as follow her on Facebook or Twitter.


We’ve been privileged to know veterinarian Ron Leick for several years, and this week we contacted him about his first interview with us.  We are pleased to announce that he will also be added to our staff page, so you may contact him about his services!  If you comment to his article here with questions about his work as a dog chiropractor and horse chiropractor, or general questions about animal chiropractic, he has kindly consented to future interviews with YPS.

Dog chiropractor Ron Leick adjusts a basset hound.

Interview With Dr. Leick

1.) What types of services does your practice offer?

My practice offers chiropractic, acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapy for horses and dogs.

2.) What is animal chiropractic and why/when do pets need a dog chiropractor?

Chiropractic treatment involves resolving issues with spinal and extremity misalignments and range of motion restoration.  Chiropractic is indicated when there is a disruption in an animal’s normal gait, or if it can no longer do things that it once could do.

3.) What other types of animals does a dog chiropractor adjust and can you explain how?

I adjust horses and dogs.  The spine and extremities (legs) are moved, and where there is diminished range of motion an adjustment is performed.  An adjustment is a short, light thrust that is directed at a specific structure in a specific direction at a specific angle with the intent of restoring normal range of motion.

4.) What do you enjoy the most/find most rewarding about your practice?

The most rewarding aspect of my practice is being able to help animals in ways that traditional primary care veterinary can’t.

5.) What is pet acupuncture and why/when do pets need it?

Acupuncture is an ancient technique of restoring normal energy flow to areas of the body using needles at specific points and specific energy pathways called meridians.  Acupuncture can be used for any and all conditions that impact an animal’s health.

6.) On what types of animals can acupuncture be performed?

Acupuncture can be used on any and all types of animals, from marine life to poultry to mammals.

7.) Why/when would a pet owner use herbs prescribed by a dog chiropractor?

Herbal therapy can be used alone or in conjunction with acupuncture and/or chiropractic therapy.  It can prolong and augment the benefits of acupuncture.  It also can be used in animals that will not allow acupuncture to be performed on them.  It is used for anything/everything, from behavioral issues, internal medicine issues and musculoskeletal issues.

 dog chiropractor Ron LeickDr. Leick is a l975 graduate of the Ohio State University.  He had a
traditional multi-person veterinary practice for 25 years.  Ron began to
take classes in veterinary chiropractic from the American Veterinary
Chiropractic Association, and became certified in 1998,.  He took the
International Veterinary Acupuncture Society course of classes in 1999
and became certified in acupuncture in 2000.

He incorporated both modalities into his already busy practice until
2001, when he made the choice to turn towards a more holistic practice,
as the effectiveness of chiropractic and acupuncture became more and
more apparent to him.

In 2004, Ron next began taking classes from the Chi Institute of
Traditional Chinese Medicine in Herbology, and became certified in the
use of Chinese Herbs for treatment in 2006.

Ron has been an examiner for the AVCA Certification Committee and also
has served as chairman of the AVCA Examination Commission over the past
few years.  He has incorporated Chinese herbs into the Chiropractic and
Acupuncture practice, while also including diet, rehabilitation and
saddle fit  advice.

Ron works with his wife Margy in his practice.  After graduating, also
from OSU, with a BS in Microbiology, she became a registered
Microbiologist, Medical Technologist & Animal Techncian. She had set up a laboratory in
the clinic for routine lab work, cultures and sensitivities, and plasma
transfusions on newborn foals.  In 1992, she became interested in Energy
Healing on animals, and after 1996 she continued in Healing Touch and
Energy Medicine on people, going to certification  in Healing Touch. She
attended a two year school in advanced healing with the same teacher, as
well as studying with her for two more years privately.

She has always supported Ron in his search for more education in
Chiropractic, Acupuncture,and Chinese Herbology.  She learned a lot by
watching Ron work, and she furthered her own education to become a
human Acupuncturist at the age of 58.  She has graduated
from the SHI School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine in
Lebanon, Ohio, and is now working toward National Registration in

You can schedule appointments for your pets with Dr. Leick at this link for

Complementary Veterinary Care in Alexandria, Kentucky.

E Books E Books E Books!

cat writerAs we have posted numerous times recently, Your Pet Space will be building a collection of pet-related electronic books for sale on our site.  We’re very excited about offering our own e books, for a number of reasons:

1.)  E-Books don’t kill trees!  ‘Nuff said.

2.)  They’re faster to obtain.  If you’re a pet owner, you need answers about your fur babies NOW, not at the leisure of UPS.

3.) They’re portable.  You can read an e book anywhere, and carry many more than if they were paper books.

4.) Find what you need fast!  You can do global searches within an e book that are impossible in a paper version.

5.) You can be a published writer, and make some change doing it.  We can not only showcase new writers about their own pets, but create an affiliate program so you can create income by helping to promote our books.

6.) They’re affordable for everyone.  The average e book costs between $3–$37.00, depending on the content.  We plan to offer our books for $5-$15, depending on the book and creators, as well as production costs.  So you’ll be able to afford to purchase some you like, help shelter pets, and help keep YPS on the air, all at the same time.  😉

7.)  Upgrades can be offered free!  For any e books we create, we will update them for free to our customers.  (So your info is never out of date.) 

8.)  We can load them with useful links.  Our e books will be full of resources–they’ll be virtually (hehe) chock full of information as vast as the internet.

9.)  E-Reader technology can only get better.  Woot!


Re-Thinking Of The Pitch Your Breed Project

A few months ago, we released an appeal for writers to contribute a paragraph on their pets to helps us create our first two e books.  Originally, we intended that a portion of the proceeds would be donated to a local shelter.  But we’ve since decided, in keeping with our deepest goals in starting this site, and our theme in 2014 of a PET REVOLUTION, that these books will be written by shelters and rescues, and will be descriptions of pets currently needing forever homes.  Further, ALL the proceeds (except production costs) will now go to a rescue in need.  (We’ve chosen Lil’ Paw Prints Animal Rescue Haven as our first recipient organization).

Any contributions of pet owners will go into one of our other pet e book projects, such as…

Other E Book Ideas We’re Kicking Around

Your Good Pet  (training)

Your Holistic Pet

Your Heroic Pet

Your Senior Pet

For this purpose, among others, we’ve recently acquired a sister domain, Petsstories.com, which currently re-directs back to YPS, but may be used in future to promote e books exclusively.  In the meantime, we’d LOVE to hear what ideas you have!  And of course we’d love to hear from you if you have something to contribute to any of our e-books.

Just request guidelines or send submissions to Joy@YourPetSpace.Info




Your Furry Valentine!

furry valentineBefore we know it, Valentine’s Day will be upon us, and here in Cincinnati we usually get a brief warm spell, heralding spring even before the robins return!  Along with the roses and chocolates that fly, there’s also an amazing event that takes place we’d like to share with you.  It’s called My Furry Valentine.

Your Pet Space is proud to be a sponsor for this wonderful event, Greater Cincinnati’s largest companion animal adoption event.  Many many local shelters, rescues, animal hospitals, pet stores, animal photographers and advocate groups participate.  And, if you’re looking for a new friend to love furever, you can choose from hundreds of adoptable pets at their main location in West Chester, or any of their satellite locations throughout the city.

All adopters receive free pet supplies, products, toys and food from sponsors. You’ll also be entered to win one of their gift baskets valued between $250 and $500!  Or just stay for games, balloons, face painting, music and snacks!

Event dates are:

  • Saturday, February 15th from 11AM to 7PM
  • Sunday, February 16th from 10AM to 4PM

Admission is free, the main location has free parking. You can view satellite locations in your area, get directions, see pictures of pets up for adoption, submit pets for adoption, and read the event blog at MyFurryValentine.Com.


Remember–Have a Heart–Adopt, Don’t Shop!



Living with a parrot is like having a boyfriend all your friends hate. They look at your relationship and can’t understand what you see in him, but it all just reinforces an “us against the world” bond between you.

My eight year old caique, who I have had since he was a few months old, has recently learned how to open the door to his cage, all the better to stalk and attack my seventeen year old son, Django. Not only does he want to kill Django, but just about anyone who comes into our apartment. I have been called back to the apartment: “Luciano’s out!!” to find a member of my family standing on the couch with this small parrot pacing, pigeon toed underneath, just waiting for the opportunity to shred some skin. There have been times I wasn’t fast enough, and he has swung from hair, bitten hands and drawn blood from toes.

Not that I am spared from the wrath of Luciano. If someone he doesn’t like (basically everyone) comes into the room when he is on my shoulder, he will go for my face. What I found stops the attack is cooing “Oh, Luciano” and kissing his beak. It takes courage, but it never fails to stop his aggression. His yellow eyes dilate and go to half mast and he allows me to scratch his fat neck.

So what is the flip side of living with this little dinosaur? He loves affection from me, will go to the bathroom over the sink on command and will actually say “go potty” when he needs to. He has perfected my laugh and seems to know the rhythm of a joke and will laugh at it, even if no one else does.

He is my husband’s best audience.

Living with Luciano is a huge lesson in living mindfully. I watch his behavior and experiment with what makes life good for him. Caiques live in flocks, and call to each other to let their presence be known. During the day, I answer his squawks with one of my own to let him know where I am in the apartment, and he is content. Or I do chores with him on my shoulder.

When I got Luciano, we lived on an acre in New Mexico, and he loved being outside gardening with me. If he saw a hawk, he would climb into my shirt until the danger passed, and eyed the quail with their broods of babies with interest. Living in a New York City apartment made Luciano unhappy. It took months of desperately trying to solve it in various ways until I finally came up with the right answer for him.

I found flight suits for birds online; little coats that Velcro on and
are attached to lanyards. They act as diapers and leashes and as the weather warmed, Luciano and I hit the streets, taking the dogs for walks, having a glass of wine at outdoor cafés, riding the subways to Bloomingdale’s.

Trouble came in the winter. At first I left my little parrot at home, worried naturally about the effect of the cold on my tropical bird. My vet suggested a carrier, but that was just too bulky and not really warm enough. One day as I was taking the dogs out, I put him inside a tight fitting down vest and topped it with my coat. I told him “Lucie, if you try to come out, this will never work,” and he never did. He loves traveling in my vest, and I love having him there. We have been to places in the city together that probably would not appreciate having a bird, but it’s our secret as long as my vest is on. The only indication he is there is his heartbeat next to mine and the odd time he will join me in a laugh when I am talking to someone.

Let me tell you, my vest gets some very confused looks.

Parrot of Nana Visitor

Nana Visitor has been unable to live without animal companionship since she was a little girl. Although bitter about it at the time, now that home is NYC, she is grateful to her husband Matthew for discouraging the adoption of the dwarf bull in New Mexico.


Dog Whisperer: Importance of Walking

Tina Caldwell, our very own resident dog whisperer, reminds us that walking weather is back!  Here’s why you should walk your canine on a regular basis.

The Importance Of A Walk

The most important activity that you can do with your dog is the walk.   Birds like to fly, fish like to swim, dogs like to walk.  Going for a walk allows your dog to get out and travel. The walk stimulates your dog mentally as well as physically.   Dogs that do not get enough good walks can become bored, hyper and destructive. The walk allows your dog to burn off energy, but it also strengthen your position as the pack leader.  
Some simple guidelines for a nice pleasant walk:
First, always start the walk out calmly. Ask your dog to sit and be calm as you put the collar and leash on. Your dog should walk beside you or slightly behind you.  Never let your dog pull out in front of you. Why? As the leader you should ask the dog to follow you, the dog can not pay attention if he is out front smelling the ground and pulling.    Keep a short leash, but not a tight leash. Anytime you stop there should be slack in the leash.  A tight, tense leash will create tension in your dog. For the first twenty minutes of your walk, your dog should follow your lead. After that, you can let your dog sniff and explore, then back to the walk.  Make sure you set a good pace for you and your dog.  Keep it interesting: change routes, go to different parks and pet stores. Dogs love that.
There you have it, much as famous dog whisperer Cesar Millan might recommend.  Have a fun walk, everyone!
Tina Caldwell
Tina Caldwell has been training dogs and their families for about twenty years. She likes to work with all kinds of dogs and people, and has shown and competed in many different events over the years.   Some of her specialties are conformation, obedience and agility trials.  Her favorite breed of dog is the Cane Corso. You can contact Tina through Petsmart Eastgate in Cincinnati, or at jrc3770@fuse.net


vet questions: rabbit

Vet Questions Answered: Fit and Trim – Healthy Life for Small Animals

So, you recently picked out the sweetest, cutest, most adorable small animal to join your family.  You’ve got the litter and the cage, picked out the toys to stimulate their little brains, found a water bottle and grabbed a handy bag of small animal chow…  You must be all set to go home and settle in with your little one, right?  Not necessarily.

It’s important to note that each small animal has their own set of dietary needs.  I can’t emphasize enough that no matter what small animal you have in your home, it should have a vet, just as a dog and cat would.  Your vet should see the animal at least once, for a wellness checkup.  This will not only put your pet‘s information on file, but is a great time to talk diet and learn what could be ahead for the future health of your animal.  If you’ve never cared for this kind of small animal before, make sure you get a list of safe and unsafe foods for your baby to enjoy and be certain that if your little one has constantly growing teeth, you have some type of food that will help wear those little choppers down.

vet questions: rat nutrition

After recently discovering a new brand of rat food in our local pet store, I sat down with our vet, Dr. Jason Smith, during a wellness exam, to talk out our options and find out what was best for the two new, growing rats we have in our home.  Later on, I realized that there might be a few families out there with a first time small pet and that this conversation would be a good one to share.  I asked Dr. Smith if he would be willing to answer some generic small animal questions and he agreed.

During our chat, I was not surprised to hear that there were many new small animal families in to the office this past year.  Small pets are becoming very popular these days, and as a rat owner, I honestly can’t argue against their fame.  Just look at their adorable faces!  Who wouldn’t want these sweet little bundles of love to be a part of their home?  What DID surprise me was the very beginning of our conversation…

Remember my saying earlier that you grabbed “a handy bag of small animal chow“ on your way out of the pet store?  A lot of people assume that because the contents of the foods are similar, the animal on the package doesn’t matter much.  You look through the clear plastic and see seeds and dried corn and some pellets that are made of some kind of Flax Seed or Oat products, plus vitamins and minerals and it looks just like the bag next to it, where the pellets are a slightly different color or size.  The size difference is probably because the animal is larger and the color change simple to explain.  Don’t other products remind us that color can vary with each batch?  One can only assume they’re the same food, right?

Vet Questions guinea pig

Dr. Smith was very serious about this common misunderstanding, because while people are right that the CONTENTS are basically similar, it is the AMOUNT that you need to watch out for.  “Many of the foods will have similar ingredients but the amount of each will be different.  Small animals have different ways of breaking down food from one another and us,” he reminded me.  “NEVER buy food for the wrong species!”

All right.  Check that you‘ve got the right bag for the right baby.  You find the right one, then read the back and it says that in addition to this food, “it is recommended to feed a limited amount of appropriate fresh fruits and vegetables.”  Woah!  “Appropriate?”  How do you know what they mean?  Again, always consult your own vet on this, because some small animals need more green leafy vegetables or vitamin C than others, but most vegetables are good for all.  Most fruits are okay too, but remember to keep quantity down because, well… imagine what happens to you when you eat too much fruit.

vet questions not-to-do list

What small animals should AVOID are things like avocados, green parts of raw potato and plants from the onion family.  Dr. Smith says it is also important to avoid large quantities of grapes.  And what about those bags of dried fruits and veggies at the store?  They must be healthy, they’re fruits and vegetables, just dried up.  Well, they might taste good, but they “won’t provide the healthy nutrition of fresh fruits and vegetables.” So fresh is the way we go at our place, especially since Dr. Smith pointed out, “Dried products are more likely to cause health problems like diarrhea and obesity.”

Giving our babies healthy fruits and vegetables must mean that if I’ve got some human food with broccoli or carrots in it, I can just let them steal a little or lick my plate when I’m done.  Plenty of people do this, so we assume it must be safe.  Dr. Smith reminded me that what is safest is to avoid this kind of thing completely.  “The animal will consume more than you think!  This often results in the pet getting toxins or large amounts of fat.  Commonly, eating people food will result in a loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting and diarrhea.”  And of course avoid things with chocolate or high fat all together!

Vet questions: critical care supplement

But, what if your animal is sick or needs a boost to the immune system?  If they’re losing weight, can’t these foods with a little extra fat be helpful?  Our vet recommends giving a product like Critical Care for these needs, which is a supplement that can be syringe fed if necessary and should be available from your own vet.  Remember, elderly and sick animals that are losing weight require additional care anyway, so when you’re in for your exam, make sure to ask what they recommend to help give your baby a boost.

Of course, once you’ve read all this, you might think the issue of balanced nutrition sounds like a complicated process, but don’t let it keep you away from critters in cages.  Certain small animals can be just as affectionate and loving as a dog or cat and some are even more social.  If the best way to get on like peas and carrots is to share a small bite of banana, it’s well worth that extra trip to the produce department.

Vet questions: Caduceus

Dr. Jason Smith attended Rider University in New Jersey where he earned his undergraduate degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology with a minor in Chemistry.  He then attended the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, where he graduated with his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 2005 with honors.  He enjoys all aspects of small animal medicine and surgery and has medically and surgically treated dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, rats, prairie dogs, chinchillas, hedgehogs, hamsters, mice, gerbils and pot bellied pigs.  He currently practices at both Timberlyne and Legion Road Animal Clinics in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Mirrani 300

Mirrani Houpe has had rats since she took home her first little boy once they both completed the second grade.  Since that time she has purchased, rescued and bred many kinds of rats, from many backgrounds. She may not be a vet, psychology major, or scientist, but her babies have her very well trained when it comes to how to care for them.  She is constantly working with her family’s veterinarian to come up with new and innovative ways to love and care for the most often misunderstood rodent in the pet world. You can e-mail her at mirrani@earthlink.net.

Critical Care Products At Amazon

Other Oxbow Small Animal Products Available At Pet Food Direct