December 29, 2017

"Have​ ​some​ ​good​ ​food​ ​and​ ​drink​ ​lots​ ​of​ ​wine.​ ​I'm​ ​free."

Pamela Picard
February 12, 1946 - December 21, 2017

"Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there, I do not sleep. 

I am a thousand winds that blow. I am the diamond glint on snow. 

I am the sunlight on ripened grain. I am the gentle autumn rain. 

When you wake in the morning hush, I am the swift, uplifting rush 

Of quiet birds in circling flight. I am the soft starlight at night. 

Do not stand at my grave and weep. I am not there, I do not sleep. 

Do not stand at my grave and cry. I am not there, I did not die. 

~Mary Elizabeth Frye - 1932 

Pam​ ​was​ ​a​ ​gifted​ ​writer​ ​who​ ​pursued​ ​a​ ​professional​ ​career​ ​in​ ​communications​ ​that began​ ​in​ ​Chicago​ ​in​ ​1975​ ​and​ ​spanned​ ​direct​ ​marketing,​ ​advertising,​ ​a-v​ ​production, business​ ​television,​ ​​ ​PR-marketing​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​marketing​ ​communications​ ​strategy​ ​and development​ ​until​ ​her​ ​death on December 21, 2017 at the age of 71. ​Her​ ​clients​ ​included​ ​Fortune​ ​500​ ​companies, IT​ ​entrepreneurs​ ​and​ ​Main​ ​Street​ ​business​ ​owners.

She​ ​was​ ​a​ ​volunteer​ ​journalist,​ ​advocate​ ​and​ ​passionate​ ​activist​ ​on​ ​many​ ​social​ ​reform causes: 

● In​ ​1989-1990,​ ​Pam​ ​Picard​ ​established​ ​a​ ​501(c)3​ ​trust​ ​to​ ​produce​ ​the​ ​first interdisciplinary​ ​conference​ ​on​ ​homelessness​ ​in​ ​Illinois.​ ​The​ ​Homeless​ ​Trust​ ​was convened​ ​at​ ​Loyola​ ​University​ ​in​ ​the​ ​fall​ ​of​ ​1990​ ​and​ ​conducted​ ​as​ ​a​ ​Town​ ​Hall meeting​ ​in​ ​which​ ​actual​ ​homeless​ ​people​ ​spoke​ ​for​ ​themselves.

● Between​ ​1989​ ​and​ ​1999,​ ​while​ ​living​ ​in​ ​Galena,​ ​IL,​ ​Pam​ ​was​ ​an​ ​advocate​ ​for​ ​the Galena​ ​Arts​ ​&​ ​Recreation​ ​Center,​ ​attracting​ ​a​ ​benefactor​ ​to​ ​fund​ ​it.​ ​She​ ​was​ ​also an​ ​activist​ ​in​ ​blocking​ ​the​ ​location​ ​of​ ​a​ ​Superdump​ ​in​ ​Jo​ ​Daviess​ ​County.

● Pet​ ​health​ ​was​ ​the​ ​cause​ ​closest​ ​to​ ​her​ ​heart.​ ​In​ ​Austin,​ ​TX,​ ​in​ ​2007,​ ​after​ ​the loss​ ​of​ ​Aimee,​ ​her​ ​beloved​ ​calico​ ​cat,​ ​to​ ​chronic​ ​renal​ ​failure​ ​triggered​ ​by​ ​a redundant​ ​rabies​ ​“booster​ ​shot,”​ ​she​ ​launched​ ​a​ ​petition​ ​to​ ​Texas​ ​State​ ​Public Health​ ​Veterinarians​ ​to​ ​exempt​ ​sick​ ​and​ ​senior​ ​pets​ ​from​ ​rabies​ ​shots.​ ​In​ ​2009, “Aimee’s​ ​Rabies​ ​Law”​ ​Blog​ ​(​​)​ ​was​ ​named​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the top​ ​50​ ​animal​ ​health​ ​and​ ​law​ ​blogs​ ​in​ ​the​ ​United​ ​States.

But​ ​of​ ​all​ ​her​ ​accomplishments,​ ​she​ ​was​ ​proudest​ ​of​ ​being​ ​an​ ​artist,​ ​be​ ​it​ ​singing​ ​in​ ​a​ ​trio while​ ​attending​ ​W.​ ​W.​ ​Lewis​ ​Junior​ ​High​ ​School,​ ​editing​ ​the​ ​school​ ​yearbook,​ ​writing​ ​for the​ ​school​ ​newspaper,​ ​writing​ ​and​ ​copyrighting​ ​“Saving​ ​Grace,”​ ​a​ ​screenplay​ ​drawn​ ​from her​ ​life,​ ​gardening,​ ​restoring​ ​furniture​ ​with​ ​​faux  finishes,​ ​remodeling​ ​vintage​ ​houses, decorating​ ​homes,​ ​writing​ ​blogs​ ​on​ ​pet​ ​health,​ ​food,​ ​marketing​ ​and​ ​herself​ ​and​ ​stitching her​ ​own​ ​brand​ ​of​ ​quilted​ ​handbags,​ ​pillows​ ​and​ ​wall​ ​art​ ​under​ ​the​ ​label​ ​“That’s​ ​My​ ​Bag by​ ​Pam​ ​Picard.”

Pam is survived by her husband, Stuart (Skip) Spates, her sister, Cheree Ray Burnette and husband, Douglas G. Burnette of Lake Charles, LA, her brother, Robert (Bobby) Ray and Sandra (nee Daigle) of Choupique, LA, a nephew, Rob Ray and Candice and their children in Carlyss, LA as well as a niece, Erin Clark Fontenot, Allen and their children, Mason and Madison of Lake Charles, LA. She was predeceased by her parents, Fletcher and Bernadine Ray of Sulphur, LA.

A celebration of Pam’s life to be held in Lake Charles, LA will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hemopet Canine Blood Bank & Diagnostics 

(, Mobile Loaves and Fishes in Austin, TX and Ladies of Charity Lake Travis, Lakeway, TX. 

May 01, 2017

Dr. Jean Dodds Tells You How to Weather Flea Season Again


What keeps your dog flea free in the season? A healthy diet, a flea comb and neem-based shampoos. Dr Jean Dodds, renowned vaccinologist and veterinarian, agrees.

Many readers probably want to know what we recommend in the form of natural or chemical flea preventatives. As this blog is for general information only, it does not recommend specific brands or products, beyond a flea comb, and shampoos and supplements that are made from natural products, and are intended to help control fleas. 

However, if your companion pet has the MDR-1 Mutation, epilepsy or is prone to seizures this animal should avoid flea preventatives that contain the chemicals, spinosad, or any of the isoxazolines. [You can check on line for the product trade names that apply here.] 

Further, using flea preventatives should be reserved for situations where there is a highly likelihood of exposure or you know for certain your companion pet is prone to fleas or has fleas. Generally, you will have to go through a flea season or two to ascertain your pet’s vulnerability to fleas and to any side effects of using chemical flea preventives. 

Fleas on Dogs & Cats - Dr. Dodds

April 30, 2017

Rabies Challenge Fund Confirms Rabies Duration of Immunity

In February 2017, Rabies Challenge Fund announced the results of its seven year duration of immunity tests for the commonly administered rabies vaccine. It's good news for dogs.

Canine studies funded by the Rabies Challenge Fund and performed in collaboration with the University of Georgia have confirmed that dogs that have a detectable rabies antibody titer are resistant to disease caused by experimental challenge with virulent rabies virus for as long as 7 years after two doses of rabies vaccine.
What this means is that annual "booster" shots are potentially damaging and possibly unnecessary.

How do you know?

According to the report, rabies antibody titer testing is available from several veterinary diagnostic labs in the U.S. For example, Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory offers this test for about $40.

The most scientifically sound approach to rabies re-vaccination in adult pets is to first determine antibody status and risk of infection and only then administer re-vaccination.

In our opinion, pet owners should proceed with cautious optimism. The acceptance of titer testing in lieu of re-vaccination is not necessarily accepted by every local animal control. But it's a step in the right direction.

 Read the full report here.