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Monthly Barker

September, 2018

Deaf Dog Awareness

The last week of September is National Deaf Dog Awareness Week. This initiative was started by Pet Finder to promote education and to encourage dog lovers to consider bringing a deaf dog into their home. Unfortunately many people assume that a deaf dog would be too difficult to care for which leads to much lower adoption rates. But with the right techniques and training they can lead normal, happy lives and enrich yours in the process!

Causes of deafness in dogs are varied. Many cases are genetic and dogs with white fur or solid white heads are more likely to have hearing problems (this is because un-pigmented skin on the inner ear can cause the nerve endings to die). Deafness can also be caused by ear infections, loud noises, injuries to the ear or even certain medications.

As far as breeds are concerned, Dalmatians have the highest percentage of deafness at about 30%. Other breeds at higher risk include English Setters, Australian Cattle Dogs, Catahoula Leopard Dogs, Whippets and Parson Russel Terriers.
If you suspect that your dog might have hearing problems, there are various tests that can be performed at home which involve getting out of your dog's line of sight (or waiting until they are asleep) and making a loud noise. Things to try include squeezing a squeak toy, clapping your hands, whistling, jangling your keys or ringing your doorbell. For an official diagnosis, a specialist veterinarian can administer the BAER test (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response).  This procedure uses a computer to measure brain activity when a sound is made.
Caring for and training a deaf dog isn't necessarily harder but certain things must be approached differently. For communication, sign language is usually used with great success (either official sign language or hand gestures you develop yourself). A flashlight may be switched on to signal to the dog that you want attention. If the dog is asleep, holding food under their nose can be a good way to arouse them without scaring them. When approaching a deaf dog, it is important to let them see you as they can be easily startled when coming up on them from behind. Also it is good to make sure they see when you are leaving the room so that they won’t become anxious and have to come looking for you later.
Interested in learning more about deaf dogs or possibly adopting one of your own? A good resource for starters is Christina Lee's excellent Deaf Dogs Rock website where you will find lots of great info as well as a listing of dogs available for adoption!

Written by Michael Walker

The Blessing of the Animals
Come celebrate God’s good creation with Trinity Anglican Church, and Top Dog Pet Sitter of Villa Rica.  In observance of St. Francis Day we will conduct a service of the Blessing of the Animals in the parking lot of Trinity Anglican Church located in historic downtown Douglasville.
The Public is Invited:  
Bring your pet for a blessing.  Please bring your pet on a leash or in a carrier. 

WhenSaturday, October 6 at 1pm.

Where:  Trinity Anglican Church    –   in the parking lot
     8486 Bowden St.
     Douglasville, GA 30134

Parking:  Parking is available at the Conference Center Parking lot on Church Street.

Bring a Pet Food Donation:
We are also collecting food donations for the Douglas County Animal Services Pet Pantry.  The pet food pantry provides pet food to low income families.  Bring dry or canned dog and cat foods, or make a monetary donation.
For details visit us at
It's never too early to book a reservation!
We are already taking reservations for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays! Be sure to submit your request now to ensure we have availability! 
Schedule a Reservation

Pet of the Month

September's Pet of the Month is our Minature Schnauzer friend, Savi! Short for 'Savannah', this frisky, adventurous young pup loves to take walks is fond of playing and exploring. She also has a gentle, affectionate side and likes to be cradled and hugged (as you're holding her she will often gaze up into your eyes with a look that is guaranteed to melt your heart!)
Pet Memorial

Remembering those pets who have crossed the rainbow bridge. 
September Calendar
All of Sept: Responsible Dog Ownership Month

All of Sept: Happy Healthy Cat Month

Sept. 9: National Hug Your Hound Day

Sept. 9: National Pet Memorial Day

Sept. 13: Pet Birth Defect Awareness Day

Sept. 16: Puppy Mill Awareness Day

Sept. 23: National Dogs in Politics Day (also known as Checkers Day)

Sept. 27: Remember Me Thursday (spread awareness about adoption)

Sept. 28: World Rabies Day  
Did you know...
An adult cat can run about 12 miles per hour, and can sprint at nearly 30 miles per hour! While running, both of their back legs act as a unit and reach beyond their front legs, causing them to become airborne between each stride.

Emergency Planning

FEMA has designated September as National Preparedness Month. Top Dog's own Christina Walker has recently completed the Disaster Planning for Professional Pet Sitters course through PSI and the Pet Safety Crusader! We will be sharing some helpful emergency planning tips for your pets soon. Stay tuned!
All things of creation are children of the Father and thus brothers of man. ... God wants us to help animals, if they need help. Every creature in distress has the same right to be protected.

~ St. Francis of Assisi
Frozen Yogurt Pops for Dogs


  • 6 oz. container of plain, non-fat frozen yogurt
  • 1 cup of no-sugar added fruit juice
  • 1/2 cup of carrots, minced


  1. Add the yogurt, fruit juice, and carrots into a medium-sized bowl. Stir until the ingredients are smooth and well-blended.
  2. Drop the mixture into the ice cube trays by spoonful.
  3. Freeze until the ingredients are solid.
Mark Your Calendar
Sept. 30th - Oct. 7th
Please note we will not be available for pet sitting from Sunday September 30th - Sunday October 7th. During this week, we will be on our annual vacation camping in the Smokey Mountains! Thank you for understanding while we take this time off.  We will resume our pet sitting services on Monday October 8th!
Our new client portal, Time to Pet, went live on July 1, 2018!

A Welcome Email has already been sent to all clients so they can sign up for the client portal. If you did not receive your Welcome Email please let us know.

Please click the link below to activate your account
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Newsletter designed by Julie Gajewski of Professional Pet Care Consulting
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