Mindy Norton

Host: Speaking of Pets

Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.

She grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and graduated from UAB. She got her first real pet at the age of 9 when her family adopted a mixed Boston Terrier pup they named “Scamp”. As an adult, a friend invited her to help with a humane society event, and that was the beginning of her involvement with group efforts to help animals. Since then, she has been on the boards of directors of three animal welfare organizations, serving as president of two of them.

For seven years, Mindy wrote and recorded a weekday spot called “Pet Patrol” for Birmingham’s WBHM Public Radio, for which she won an Obelisk Award in 1979. After she and her husband (and three cats) moved to Tuscaloosa, she talked the station manager at the time into giving her two minutes every Saturday morning to talk about pets and pet care.

Since 2006, “Speaking of Pets” has been available as a podcast, consistently one of APR’s most popular offerings. (In fact, staff members have referred to her as the “podcast queen”!) That’s no surprise to Mindy who believes the reason for its popularity is the subject matter. “After all,” she says, “I get to talk about our best friends every week!”

Her APR spot about the link between animal abuse and cruelty toward humans has been featured on the American Humane Association’s website.  As a volunteer, Mindy feels she is so blessed to have a soap box with a microphone in front of it – plus, she gets to help two causes at the same time, animal welfare and Alabama Public Radio.

A Cat's Age

Jun 25, 2016
Helena Jacoba [Flickr]

Unlike dogs that tend to turn gray around the face as they age, a cat's appearance may not change so much.  What you may notice is less muscle tone, drier skin and coat, maybe a little arthritis.   But even elderly cats still enjoy some play time and attention.


LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs [Facebook]
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs [Facebook]

Tim Hetzner, president of K-9 Comfort Dogs, says dogs are great counselors, because they are good listeners, they keep it confidential, and they offer affection to everyone unconditionally.   

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Cat Adventure Day

Jun 11, 2016
carolyn.will (Carolyn Williams) [Flickr]

If your cat is unaccustomed to walking on a leash, start by letting it explore in a limited area while you are holding the other end of the leash to keep it from scampering under the brush or up a tree.  As it becomes comfortable with the situation, you can broaden your range.

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Lessons from My Cats

Jun 4, 2016
Mindy Norton

Whether you're a dog person or a cat person, the truth is that cats now outnumber dogs as house pets in the US.   Part of the reason may be the valuable lessons you can learn from your feline friend!

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Ted Kerwin [Flickr]

Every year the American Humane Association's Hero Dog Awards includes a category for Military Dogs.  They truly are heroes.  Log on to the Hero Dog Awards website to read about this year's finalists and cast your vote for the one you think should be Military Hero Dog of the year.

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ASPCA

When  Henry Bergh founded the ASPCA on April 10, 1866, I wonder if he ever could have envisioned the effective force it has become for animal welfare not just in its home base of New York City but all across the country!

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Pet Transformation

May 14, 2016
eileen (outlier) [Flickr]

Great pets aren't so much born as they are made.  They become great pets because they have owners who love them, take care of them and spend time with them.  Almost any dog or cat can be a great pet, given the chance.

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Druid City Iron Dog

May 7, 2016
DruidCityIronDog.com

Next Saturday morning, May 14, 2016, make your way to Lake Lurleen State Park for the most unique dog competition in the area!

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Community Cats

Apr 30, 2016
On All Fours [Facebook]

By capturing stunning images of some of Tuscaloosa's most elusive residents - feral cats - students managed to put faces to many of them, highlighting both the scope of the problem and efforts to stem their population growth through TNR.

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The Dog's Nose Knows

Apr 23, 2016
Alberto .... [Flickr]

If dogs have a superpower, it's their nose.  Things that have no odor to us will have a unique scent your dog can detect.  Plus, the pattern on a dog's nose is as unique as a human's fingerprint and can be used for identification!

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doug_wertman [Flickr]

While you cannot claim your pet as a dependent on your income tax return, there are some legal pet-related deductions you can take - if you do it right and keep good records!

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Bark In The Park III

Apr 9, 2016
Tuscaloosa Association of Realtors

A dog park is a great place to enjoy spending time with your best friend!  At the Will May Dog Park in Tuscaloosa, there is a fenced area for small dogs and another for large dogs, where they can run and exercise and play in a safe, contained area leash-free.  

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Pet Health Insurance

Apr 2, 2016
IndysMom [Flickr]

A broken foot may seem like a small injury, but with x-rays, anesthesia (so the pet will be still for x-rays and treatment), medications and veterinary fees, it can be an expensive event for a pet owner.  When the unexpected happens, pet health insurance can make it possible to give your furry friend the care it needs.

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Alisha V (Alisha Vargas) [Flickr]

We like to share our holiday celebrations with our furry family members, but like so many other occasions this one poses serious risks for our pets.

  

Pollen Allergy in Pets

Mar 19, 2016
Tobias Klüpfel [Flickr]

When your pet scratches you might think it's just a flea.  But if you see a lot of scratching, or chewing the paws, check the skin for redness and inflammation.  Your furry friend just might be allergic to something!

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elsie esq. (Les Chatfield) / [Flickr]

Rain doesn't seem like a serious threat to your pet's safety, unless it is torrential or continues for days.  As drainage systems overload and the water backs up flooding can occur, putting you and your best friend at risk.  

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Service Dog Etiquette

Mar 5, 2016
American Humane Association

Jingles (part Lab, part Golden Retriever) is a Guide Dog that was a finalist in Service Dog category for the 2013 American Humane Association's Hero Dog Awards.  Her little friend, Maizie, is a diabetic alert dog.  Together they help their human deal with multiple disabilities.  What a great team!

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American Humane Association - Facebook

As the American Humane Association says, "Move over Oscars - it's time for the Pawscars!"  Since animal actors and performers are not eligible to receive Oscars, the "Pawscars" were created to recognize excellence in these talented animals who help to make movies so special!

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CJ is 2016 Top Dog

Feb 20, 2016
AKC - American Kennel Club

In his first six months as a show dog, CJ won 17 Best In Show titles - make that 18 BIS titles, after beating out more than 2,700 dogs representing almost 200 breeds to win the most prestigious dog show in the USA!  

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grwepr [Flickr]

If you're single and looking for romance your best friend might just be of assistance in that area, both in meeting people and in helping to determine who may be a good match - for both of you!

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American Humane Association - Facebook

Being a responsible pet owner means making good choices for both you and your furry friend.    Animals need more than just a roof over their heads.  They need proper care and attention from us to make them happy, healthy companions!

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Show Time!

Jan 30, 2016
Birmingham Feline Fanciers / Facebook

If you think all cats are pretty much alike except for the length and color of their fur, a visit  to a cat show just might change your mind!

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Testing Your Dog's DNA

Jan 23, 2016
Mindy Norton

Curiosity is not a bad thing when it comes to your pet's ancestry.  If you decide to test your dog's DNA, you can buy a testing kit from pet supply stores and chains, or online from websites like Amazon.  Discuss any concerns you may have with your veterinarian.

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Walking the Dog

Jan 16, 2016
www.buzzfarmers.com [Flickr]

Taking your dog for regular walks is good for both you and your pet.   It can help both of you live longer and healthier, so you will have more time to spend together enjoying each other's company.

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Concert for the Dogs

Jan 9, 2016
Laurie Anderson [Facebook]

New idea - a concert designed especially for the sensitive ears of our canine friends.  Dogs hear at much higher frequencies than we can. That's the secret of a dog whistle.  It is said the Beatles included a dog whistle in their recording of the song, "A Day in the Life".  If you play their Sgt. Pepper album, you won't notice it but you might see an unexpected reaction from your dog!


Charleston Animal Society [Facebook]

This beautiful chocolate American Stafforddshire Terrier mix survived having her muzzle wrapped with electrical tape, cutting off circulation.  After multiple surgeries to reconstruct her jaw and remove dead tissue from her mouth and tongue, she is now the picture of  health and happiness, a true portrait of victory over adversity.  

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Give a Lot, Get a Lot

Dec 26, 2015
JaseCurtis [Flickr]

In just a few days, this year will come to an end and we'll all be gathering our information for our tax returns.  Making a contribution to a charitable organization now will save you some taxes and help those who make our world a better place!

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Mindy Norton

Most Christmas manger scenes include animals, because the Christ child was born in a stable.  And besides Joseph and Mary, they were the only witnesses to the birth of Jesus.  So it seems only natural that we would want to include our pets in family celebrations, especially at Christmas!

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The Pug Father [Flickr]

So many pets are waiting in shelters for a home and an owner to love them; and they're ready to love you back, if you will just give them a chance.  What better gift can you give yourself for Christmas than a furry companion to share all your holidays and everydays?!

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Hanukkah and Pets

Dec 5, 2015
Lawrence Simon [Flickr]

Hanukkah, which begins December 6th this year, brings excitement, food, gifts and of course, the beautiful Menorah.  As you enjoy the traditions of this Festival of Lights, keep your pet's safety and well being in mind.

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