Cute Cat Photo

How’s this for a cute cat photo???  Laura is a cat-lover and devoted “cat mommy”–and even though these aren’t hers, she wanted to share this adorable photo with everyone!



Cat-mommy Laura also sent me a photo of her baby, Shayna. A 15-year-old Himalayan Seal Point, Shayna always comes when called, says Laura–and Shayna has to be wherever Laura is.  Shayna knows the words, “milk, cheese and tuna” and loves to play in boxes–she’s particularly fond of Amazon ones.  When it’s cold, Shayna meows in the morning until the heater is put on, so she can sit in front of it and get all warm.

Irene Ross, CHHC, AADP is a nutrition and wellness coach for the 2-legged.  Irene helps people instantly double their energy so they avoid that mid-morning or afternoon slump, get more done in less time and balance their lives.  Her website is:

She is also author of the forthcoming book, 25 Ways To Fire Up Your Day:  Increase Energy, Get More Done in Less Time, Balance Your Life. 


All Dogs Pant–But When Does It Mean A Problem?

My westie, Baxter, had a very thick coat (two coats, actually), so in the summer months I needed to keep his hair cut short and the air conditioning up high (and keep myself braced for the electric bills).  As soon as the apartment got the tiniest bit warmer, he’d start to pant–at which point I knew to turn up the air conditioning again.  Forget about opening the windows and relying on natural air!  That would only make him pant and pace.

Baxter--the greatest little dog a person could ever want

Baxter also panted when he was thirsty or after a round of play.  As soon as he took a good, long drink he’d stop panting.

These were typical behaviors for him, and I knew he was in good health, so I always knew to expect it.

But I noticed that when he was diagnosed with a very serious illness, he’d often pant–and since I didn’t want him to suffer for even a second, I watched it very closely.  Baxter had the type of personality where he’d never let on to any discomfort or complain in any way–so I always needed to be two steps ahead of him in finding out what was going on.

I called the vet about it who agreed he was most likely in pain.

Here’s the point:  All dogs will pant at times.  If you think yours is starting to pant excessively, please don’t panic–but do discuss it with your vet.  Here is a very good article from a newsletter I received today from PetMD/Fully Vetted.


Irene Ross, CHHC, AADP  is an animal lover, certified nutrition and wellness coach for the two-legged, and author of the forthcoming book, 25 Ways To Fire Up Your Day:  Increase Energy, Get More Done in Less Time, Balance Your Life.

An Ezine Expert Author, she writes a newsletter for the two-legged called “Power Wellness” which can be subscribed to from her website:


A Little Research and Advance Planning Make Pet Adoption Easier

A couple of years ago, a dog who frequently stayed with me when his “parents” traveled–and who loved my home–accidentally saw his parent’s suitcases.  Excited at the thought that he was going with them, he became agitated and upset once he saw them get in the car and drive away and, for several hours, he made it clear that he wasn’t at all interested in staying with me, despite toys, play, tummy rubs and treats.

The point is this:  He was probably even that much more reactive since he was once adopted–and then abandoned–by an elderly person who just couldn’t handle this dog’s (good-natured) mischief and high energy. Although it had been a few years since that abandonment–and although, for the most part, he adjusted to his new home, they just never forget.

So it’s important to remember that, when adopting, you’re quite sure the breed suits you and your family–and that you really want it and are committed to a 10+ year commitment.

It’s also never really a good idea to give someone a pet as a gift, unless you know for sure that they want one.  This may sound a little contradictory, since the holiday season is fraught with pleas to adopt animals.  But here’s the problem: A lot of times, well-intentioned people will give a dog or a cat to someone who doesn’t really want it at all, is allergic, or who wants one, but not that breed.  (I once knew someone who wanted to give my mother–who is severely allergic–a cat.  Luckily, I was able to stop it before it got too far.) When that happens, unfortunately, the animal often ends up back at the shelter.

A little research and some advance planning will ensure that you and your future pet have the best living situation possible.


Irene Ross, CHHC, AADP, is a nutrition and wellness coach–for the two-legged.  Author of the forthcoming book, 25 Ways To Fire Up Your Day:  Increase Energy, Get More Done in Less Time, Balance Your Life, her website (for humans) is:


Three Reasons Not To Cut Costs On Your Pet’s Health

In a down economy everyone tries to make cuts–but your pet’s health shouldn’t be one of them.

Just as with humans, early detection is best.  Regular pet checkups will monitor your animal’s overall health, focus on prevention and education—and, quite possibly, save you money in the long-term. Please remember also that your pet can’t tell you when it’s in pain; what you might think is just routine bad behavior can actually be an acting out for a tooth-ache, stomach-ache, or something else. Ever hear the story of the cat that urinated in the bathtub?  Turns out the cat only wanted to bring her urinary tract infection to the attention of the owner.

Here are three good reasons not to skip your pet’s checkup:

1. It’s easier to prevent the blaze rather than to extinguish the fire.  When a problem is still small, it can be less complicated and less expensive to manage. “I see this a lot with dental care,” says Michael Farber, DVM, of West Chelsea Veterinary in New York City.  “Sometimes people will wait until the tooth is abscessed before they come in, but if the problem was caught three or six months prior, that tooth probably could have been saved.”

2. You’ll learn how to keep your pet lean and fit:  If you think your pet’s extra pound or two isn’t a big-deal, think again:  A couple of extra pounds on an animal is comparable to 30-50 pounds on a human.

In the U.S., roughly half of dogs and cats are now considered to be overweight or obese, and that costs owners millions, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. When your pet is overweight it puts her at risk for chronic conditions, including diabetes, joint problems, and heart problems and more.. “The veterinary costs for these diseases can be sky-high,” said Farber. In fact, according to Healthy Pets at Mercola.Com, Veterinary Pet Insurance (VIP) said Americans paid $25 million in 2010 in veterinary bills for obesity-related problems, such as asthma, disc disease and ligament ruptures.

Here’s the problem, though. Many people just don’t know how a fit pet should look, but a veterinarian will teach you how to monitor your pet.   You’ll also most likely get advice and suggestions to help your pet lead the healthiest lifestyle possible.

3. It will focus on prevention: Routine pet check-ups detect serious underlying problems, such as heart or kidney disease and, as with humans, early detection can help prevent a major, sometimes fatal, problem.

If you have financial concerns, the best thing to do, advises Farber, is not to ignore it, but to have an honest discussion with your pet’s doctor.  “Discuss your financial concerns and see if you can make a plan to prioritize those things that should be done immediately, what can wait—and for how long it can wait.”


Irene Ross, CHHC, AADP is a certified nutrition and wellness coach—for the two-legged–who helps people alter unhealthy habits so they can bring their lives into balance. She is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition where she studied over 100 dietary theories, lifestyle management techniques and cutting-edge coaching methods with instructors such as Deepak Chopra, MD; Dr. David Katz: Dr. Mark Hyman; Geneen Roth; Dr. Andrew Weil and many others. She received her board certification from the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.

Author of the forthcoming book, 25 Ways To Fire Up Your Day: Increase Energy, Get More Done in Less Time, Balance Your Life, she is an Ezine Expert Author: and an Examiner.Com Manhattan Life Coach Examiner:

Her website is: