small animal massage therapy & wellness at your location in Los Angeles

BUDDHA DOG Holiday 2008 Newsletter

Photo of Santa Jeffrey by Laura Cochrane, DVM


Please take advantage of my New Year's half-off special!

Book an appointment and mention the "New Year's Special" by April 1st and receive half-off an animal massage session.

This offer is good once per animal, and can't be combined with other offers.

Photo by Jonathan Tobin

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Do you know this handsome fella?

I found this sweet, unneutered boy on Friday, December 5, 2008 in front of Ralph’s on the sidewalk at 16940 Devonshire St. in Granada Hills, 91344 with no collar, tags or microchip.

If anyone knows him, please contact pam@buddhadog.com
or 818-300-4478.

If this sweet boy’s family can’t be found, and you are interested in adopting him, please call or email me (Pam) at contact info above.  We are calling him Bogey, and he is now neutered and microchipped, and has always been housebroken.  He is great with other dogs (very playful), and is getting better every day with cats (he's great if they don't run!).


Please also see these adoptable dogs that are in greater need.

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Holiday safety- The Best Holiday Gift for Pets:
Keep ‘Em Safe from Accidental Poisoning

Tips from the ASPCA:

We’re all for keeping holiday spirits high with fancy decor and bow-topped presents galore, but the best gift you can offer your pets this season is to steer them clear of unhealthy foods, dangerous decorations and holiday plants that can be toxic.

Dr. Louise Murray, Director of Medicine at the ASPCA'S Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital and author of Vet Confidential: An Insider's Guide to Protecting Your Pet's Health reports, "Over the holidays, veterinary hospitals often see an influx of pets affected by a variety of seasonal hazards, from cats vomiting after swallowing ribbons to dogs who’ve indulged in pilfered chocolates. It's important to keep our animal companions safe when celebrating."

The following tips will help keep everyone—furry and two-legged—in good cheer:

O Christmas Tree
Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn’t tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water—which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset—from spilling.

Tinsel-less Town
Kitties love this sparkly, light-catching “toy” that’s easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. It’s best to brighten your boughs with something other than tinsel.

Toy Joy
Stuff your pet’s stockings with gifts that are safe:

  • Many a dog has been known to tear her toys apart and swallow the pieces, which can become lodged in the esophagus, stomach or intestines. Stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible, digestible chew treats or Kongs that can be stuffed with healthy foods.
  • Ribbon, yarn and loose little parts that can get stuck in a cat’s intestines often necessitate surgery. Surprise kitty with a new ball that’s too big to swallow, a stuffed catnip toy or the interactive cat dancer—and tons of play time together.

Forget the Mistletoe & Holly
When ingested by pets,
mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. Holly can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, and many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats. Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet.

Leave the Leftovers
Fatty, spicy and
no-no human foods, as well as bones, should not be fed to your furry friends. Pets can join the festivities in other fun ways that won’t lead to costly medical bills.

That Holiday Glow
Don’t leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. And if you leave the room, put the candle out!

Wired Up
Keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws’ reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus, while shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet’s mouth.

House Rules
If your animal-loving guests would like to give your pets a little extra attention and exercise while you’re busy tending to the party, ask them to feel free to start a nice play or petting session.

Put the Meds Away
Make sure all of your
medications are locked behind secure doors, and be sure to tell your guests to keep their meds zipped up and packed away, too.

Careful with Cocktails
If your celebration includes adult holiday beverages, be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot get to them. If ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.

A Room of Their Own
Give your pet his own quiet space to retreat to—complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups and cats might want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their carrying case or in a separate room away from the hubbub.

New Year’s Noise
As you count down to the new year, please keep in mind that strings of thrown confetti can get lodged in a cat’s intestines, if ingested, perhaps necessitating surgery. Noisy poppers can terrify pets and cause possible damage to sensitive ears.

For more poison prevention tips, please visit ASPCA online.

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Neglected "Evidence" Bemis Dogs Continue to Languish Behind Bars
After 3 Years in County Shelters

Many of you have probably heard about the disturbing case of habitual (and current) hoarder Cindy Bemis, who continues to succeed in delaying her trial, resulting in her victims being held prisoner in county shelters since April 2006. 

Please take a moment to get to know these forgotten dogs in case there is any way you can help at all.  Some dogs can be adopted now, and the rest are in desperate need of foster homes.  Please open your heart and home to them, or spread the word to help find people that can. 

If you can provide any kind of help for these dogs, please contact one of these angels:

Stella Lee- stellalee9@yahoo.com  (818) 349-4100
Helen Storey- helen.storey@verizon.net  (310) 488-1098
Lenora Higgins- lhiggins@coh.org  (626) 233-7387 

For updates from Helen Storey, please see:



Tom can be adopted:

Katie can be adopted:

Frankie can be adopted:

Charlie can be adopted:

These dogs are in desperate need of foster homes:



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Check Out Operation Blankets of Love's New Website!

Non-surgical Sterilization gets some much-needed help!

The Michelson Prize in Reproductive Biology, an international competition that will award $25 million for a safe, permanent, non-surgical sterilization method, is welcome news for animal advocates everywhere anxious for easier methods for spaying and neutering.  Spinal surgeon, inventor and entrepreneur Dr. Gary Michelson and his Found Animals Foundation are also offering an additional $50 million in grants to support promising research in non-surgical sterilization.

Dr. Michelson’s foundation has teamed up with The Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs (ACC&D), a non-profit that has led the pursuit of non-surgical sterilization since 2000.  ACC&D has brought together hundreds of representatives from animal welfare organizations, government agencies, and the veterinary and pharmaceutical industries to exchange ideas and research results at three international symposia they have held since 2002.  According to ACC&D, researchers have been on the brink of discovering pet contraceptives for years, but development has been hindered by a lack of funding.  The Michelson Prize can potentially motivate researchers to allow “for ground-breaking approaches in pet sterilization to emerge” says Joyce Briggs, President of ACC&D.

Please see the full article that is expected to be published in the next issue of The Pet Press.

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Throw a Party for Your Best Friend!

They are a treasured part of your family,
and it'll be fun for everyone!

Quinn and Timber at a doggie massage party
photo courtesy of Daniel Guss

My massage services are available for parties at my regular rate of $50 for an hour, and that is usually enough time to give mini-massages to all the guests.  If full sessions are desired, I offer a group discount:  $10 off per additional animal at the same location (the first massage will be regular price, and discounts apply to each additional session in the same visit).

Three Dog Bakery, Sherman Oaks can provide all the party favors, party prizes, party treats, and the all-important cake (advance orders are appreciated)!

Three Dog Bakery
14545 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA  91403

My Shirley and Bronco chowing down on a cake from Three Dog Bakery, Sherman Oaks at Shirley's birthday party. Grace is anxiously, but patiently waiting for her turn in the back.

You can even have your party at Three Dog Bakery, and I'd love to join you there! 

You can invite an animal communicator like Kathy Paradise

and a pet photographer like Pam Marks from Paw Prince Studios to the party to make it even more festive.

What the world needs right now is a dog party!

 Dog Party painting is by Karen Humphrey.

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Forte Animal Rescue Pampered Pooch Event on February 8th

Groomer Artist's Way

Some of you had the pleasure of meeting Artist Knox, the winner of Animal Planet's "Groomer Has It", on the set of his new show debuting in the Spring on Animal Planet.  For those of you that didn't, I recommend Artist as an incredible person and an extraordinary groomer.  He has a fantastic mobile grooming truck and can come to you.

I was disappointed that the "massage class" idea didn't work out, but was glad so many of you had fun filming at different locations. I did get to show Artist and his brother Desmond some massage tricks when we filmed an episode with his dog Bumpy, and my Shirley and Shug at WagVille earlier this month.

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Healthcare Outside The Box by Pam Holt, RVT

Originally published in The Pet Press earlier this year:

Also called “holistic” or “integrative”, Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine (CAVM) is the accepted term that encompasses many modalities. These unorthodox methods have grown in popularity as our beloved companions are living longer, resulting in more age-related afflictions such as arthritis and cancer. The appeal may be because CAVM is thought of as more intuitive, perhaps “kinder”, but definitely a safer alternative to drugs. 


The foundation of much of CAVM is rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which has been around for over 3500 years, withstanding the true test of time in safety and efficacy. TCM is all about balance, harmony, and wholeness of the mind, body, and spirit to create wellness.


A (w)holistic vet treats the “whole” animal, taking into account all aspects of that animal’s life, like their diet, environment, stressors, etc. Instead of fighting disease and treating symptoms, permanent cures are sought out and prevention is emphasized.


Acupressure (with fingertip/thumb) and Acupuncture (with thin needles) have the same principle, in that they both stimulate or sedate points lying along energy pathways called meridians. Qi or Chi (Life Energy) flows through these interconnected channels, transporting healing properties throughout the body. Treating the correct acupoints balances Chi, allowing the body to heal itself by relieving or preventing blockages and excesses that can cause pain and dis-ease. Acupoints can also be treated with Lasers, Light/Photonic Therapy, with injection of solutions such as B-12 or homeopathic remedies (Aquapuncture), with high or low frequency pulsations known as Electro-Acupuncture, with precision calibrated tuning forks (Acutonics), or with burning sticks made of a pulverized and aged form of the herb mugwort called moxa (Moxibustion). There is even a form of permanent acupuncture where tiny gold beads are implanted on acupoints, giving long-term stimulation. This implantation has been successful in treating epilepsy and other conditions, but is contraindicated if cancer is present, as the gold is believed to stimulate the cancer (but does not cause it). 

TuiNa is the TCM term used for hands-on therapy, such as massage and acupressure. There are many different types of massage, both Eastern (Ayurvedic, Shiatsu, and Reflexology), and Western (Myofascial Release, Rolfing, Craniosacral Therapy, Lymph Drainage, Bowen technique, and TTouch), and a blend of both with Stone Massage. Massage is all about facilitating natural pain relief through endorphin release and improving circulation of blood, lymph, nutrients, and oxygen to the tissues. Where there’s tension, there’s not enough circulation of these things in that area, which causes toxin buildup that will create inflammation and trigger points (build-up of a metabolic waste product called lactic acid in the muscle), among other painful problems.

On a personal note, my arthritic dog Grace, now 17+, began jumping up on the couch after a few regular acupuncture treatments, along with massage and acupressure, when she hadn’t been able to do that when I adopted her at age 14.  Her gimpy gait hasn’t changed, but the jumping was a sure sign of improvement.


Studies show that while almost half the population with companion animals has sought out CAVM, most don’t share this with their conventional vet.  If you don’t discuss your desire to try alternatives with your vet, they’ll have no idea that you’re interested in complementing traditional treatments.  Whether they are able to provide you with a referral or not, they should be open and supportive.


Just because a vet practices a CAVM modality does not necessarily mean they are a holistic vet. I worked with a vet that used acupuncture, but was quick to correct anyone calling her holistic. Other vets will use acupuncture in emergency situations only, such as with respiratory distress, but do not practice it on a regular basis.


Many savvy guardians and holistic veterinarians believe conventional Western medicine used in conjunction with CAVM is best, recognizing that they are just two of the many branches of medicine that we are lucky enough to have access to. 

Here’s a brief rundown on more CAVM therapies, but it is not a complete list:

Aromatherapy uses essential oils extracted and distilled from the roots, flowers, and leaves of plants to promote health.  It can be administered through skin, or by inhalation.


A Chiropractic adjustment consists of a short, sharp thrust to correct subluxations, relieving pain and spasms, and improving range of motion, which allows restoration of natural balance and harmony.


Flower Essences are high-frequency electrical dilutions of flower material discovered by Dr. Edward Bach in the 1930’s. They are mainly used for emotional and spiritual conditions. The most well-known remedy is the Rescue Remedy combination that treats stress and anxiety, especially in emergencies.


Herbal Medicine uses the whole plant or plant part and has been shown to be as effective as, and safer than, use of synthetics. Most commonly used as preventatives, herbs can also be useful for symptom relief.


Homeopathy, “like cures like”, was developed in the late 1700s by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. The idea is that substances causing certain symptoms in a healthy person can cure those same symptoms in someone who is ill. Remedies are derived from a variety of plant, animal, and mineral sources, including some considered toxic, such as arsenic, poison ivy, and venom. Serial dilution, with shaking between each dilution, removes the toxic effects, while the essence of the material is retained by the diluent.


Hydrotherapy can’t be beat for rehabilitation and arthritis cases since the limbs can be worked without putting stress on the joints. The water should be heated and a dog life jacket worn when in a pool. Underwater treadmills are also great for a more controlled environment.


Magnet Therapy uses magnetic fields to affect the body’s own magnetic field, helping with pain relief and more.


Reiki is gentle energy healing that originated in Japan, and yields powerful results for the body, mind and spirit. The energy is channeled through the practitioner’s hands, either directly or from a distance. It is ideal to use with animals because they control the treatment, accepting only what they need, and it can do no harm.


These websites provide names of vets associated with or certified by organizations specializing in CAVM:


Find a Holistic Vet –


Find a Veterinary Acupuncturist –

www.ivas.org OR www.aava.org  

Find an Animal Chiropractor –


Find a Homeopathic Vet –



(Pam Holt of Buddha Dog Animal Massage is a Registered Veterinary Technician and Certified Animal Massage Therapist that offers Acupressure, Reiki, TTouch, and education.  Visit her website at www.buddhadog.com.)

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Save the Date for The 23rd Genesis Awards - March 28, 2009


The Genesis Awards, presented by The Hollywood Office of The HSUS, pays tribute to the major news and entertainment media for producing outstanding works in television, film, print and the arts which raise public understanding of animal issues. The nation's premiere consciousness-raiser, the Genesis Awards are presented annually at a star-studded ceremony drawing representatives from the media, entertainment, social, business and humane communities. 

The awards are bestowed by a host of celebrity presenters, and the event is taped for broadcast to expose millions of viewers to animal wrongs—and animal rights.

Corporate Sponsorship-  email Sarah Comis, or call 301-548-7724.

Tickets, Tables and Invitations- contact Leigh O'Bryan by email or call 818-501-2275.

Become a Part of the Executive Committee- Each member is charged with raising $20,000 to underwrite the Genesis Awards and participate in meetings or conference calls to update us and each other. Please email Monica Tiller, or call 818-501-2275 for more information about this prestigious group.

Silent Auction- If you or your business would like to donate to the auction, please contact Monica Tiller by email.

Volunteer- If you're interested in volunteering, please contact Monica Tiller by email or call 818-501-2275.

Provide Products for Gift Bags- If your company would like to provide vegan and cruelty-free items for the gift bags, please email Monica Tiller. (No advertisements or brochures please, but gift certificates are OK.) They are always looking for new and wonderful products to offer the 800+ guests.

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Please make plans to join us for the largest celebration ever of National Pet First-Aid Awareness Month:


A joint venture between Sunny-dog Ink & The Burbank Animal Shelter
The Volunteers of The Burbank Animal Shelter

Saturday, April 18th, 2009 from 10 AM-12 PM (tentative)

Many more details to come on sunnydogink.com, buddhadog.com, and in the Buddha Dog Spring 2009 Newsletter!

 Helping YOU to Help YOUR Pet.


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Danny & Debbie Trejo's K9 Compassion Celebrity Gala was a success!

I helped plan the very first fundraiser for Danny & Debbie Trejo's foundation, K9 CompassionThe K9 Compassion Foundation,  a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, was created to educate, bring awareness, and provide money to the smaller worthy rescue groups so badly in need of financial help.  Canyon Creek Farm Horse Rescue, Angels in Fur Rescue, and Villalobos Rescue Center are just a few groups that benefited from the event.

 I want to thank so many people that were extremely helpful with their donations and attendance.  Ronnie from Robano's provided a perfect location on their patio and delicious food for the guests.  We had so many great raffle and auction prizes so generously donated by many businesses and individualsCelia Chavez graced us with her beautiful music on her birthday, and we were also lucky to have the talented Kris Bradley and Julianna Raye play for us.  Robin Danar was kind enough to be our sound engineer, and the equipment was supplied by Thomas of No Feedback Productions.  Lisa Whitaker and Animal Advocates Alliance provided the beautiful adoptable dogs for our Paw Parade, and luckily some were rescued!  Melodie offered Clairvoyant Spiritual Counseling for our guests that benefitted K9 CompassionDr. Daniel Slaton of Westlake Village Animal Hospital may have been the most generous guest, winning multiple auctions for the animals! 


photo by Art Guevara

Scrappy was a big hit in our Paw Parade, but is still in need of a loving home.

photo by Art Guevara

VERY gentle and friendly!
Please contact

 Dave Shelton and Rufus from Animal Advocates Alliance in our Paw Parade
photo courtesy of Elle Wittelsbach of Strangest Angels Animal Rescue

Danny Trejo and Dr. Daniel Slaton of Westlake Village Animal Hospital
photo courtesy of Daniel Slaton, DVM 

Art Guevara, Danny, and Steve Moreno- Art & Steve created this incredible custom painting for K9 Compassion, and it was auctioned off.  Dr. Slaton was the lucky and generous winner.  Hopefully he'll put it up at Westlake Village Animal Hospital so all his clients can enjoy it too.
photo courtesy of Stephen Moreno

I had to pose with this gorgeous piece of art too!
photo courtesy of Stephen Moreno

Danny and Debbie thanking our many generous donors
photo courtesy of Daniel Slaton, DVM

The K9 Compassion crew: Misuk, Pam, Debbie & Whitney with Lacey Conner of New Dawn Pet Rescue and VH-1's "Rock of Love" and "Charm School"
photo courtesy of Elle Wittelsbach of Strangest Angels Animal Rescue

We hope to have lots more pictures up on the http://k9compassiongala.com site, as soon as we get them back from our generous photographers Alan Mercer and Bill Orozco.

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Shelter Stories by Patrick McDonnell

THANKS FOR READING and for all you do!

May 2009 be your BEST year ever!

Kisses to all the furry kids out there.

Sincerely, Pam  xo

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Questions or comments?  E-mail pam@buddhadog.com or call 818-300-4478.
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