"Bark 'n' Scratch"

Volume III - Issue 24:  September 9, 2005
Published by:
Christopher Aust, Master Trainer

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In Today's Issue ...

=>  Just Visiting? Please Subscribe Here.  ->
=>  Christopher's Drool
=>  Disaster Preparedness for Pets
=>  Quote of the Week
=>  Recommended Stuff
=>  Only in America ...

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Christopher's Drool

Hey Everybody,

I am writing this issue with a sick feeling in my heart due to Hurricane Katrina. I had been following it for over a week before it hit land and have continued to do so since it did. Whether it was family or friends in the affected area, evacuees being brought to our communities, or volunteering to help, I think everyone has been affected in one way or another. My love, thoughts and prayers go out to everyone down there.

When I was in the service as a K-9 officer, I had my experiences with a couple of natural disasters. In 1989, I spent several days searching for bodies when a series of tornados hit San Antonio, Texas flattening nearly the entire warehouse district on one of the local bases. I was also deployed to assist with rescue and clean up efforts when a large monsoon hit South Korea.

Those storms combined don't even begin to compare with the destruction of Katrina. When I look at the images of New Orleans, I find it difficult to imagine what it must be like to have lived there and gone through what those people have.

As a result of this catastrophe, this week's article is dedicated to disaster preparedness. I am not just going to talk about what your dogs need in an emergency, but also what you will need as well. After all, if you don't have what you need, then you can't provide for your dog.

Over the last few days, I think everyone has tried to figure out what they can do to help and who they should donate too. When it comes to helping the animals affected, there is only one organization I would recommend at this time: Noah's Wish. Noah's Wish is a non-profit organization whose sole focus is keeping animals alive during disasters. They don't get involved in any type of animal rights issues.

I have thought about putting together a foster program for the animals but Noah's Wish has already done it. In fact, their disaster relief program is so complete, the best I can do is get their information out there and beg for people to donate to them and support their efforts.

They have an extensive wish list on their web site and of course they will need money. All their personnel are volunteers and the money donated, you can be sure will make it to the animals unlike other groups like HSUS whose finances I have found on many occasions to be questionable.

If you want to be sure your money is making it to the animals affected by Katrina, then go to:


Please donate everything you can. Write to them and become a foster home for one of the animals. Please do what ever it takes to help these animals.

For anyone who donates $250.00 or more to Noah's Wish, which is tax deductible, I will give two one-hour telephone consultations and training reports. Additionally, if you foster a dog from Noah's Wish, I will be at your disposal to assist with any behavioral issues and training. There is no excuse for all of us to not assist these desperate animals.

Keep those letters and suggestions coming. They are greatly appreciated.

Okay, that's it for now. I'm outta here!



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Disaster Preparedness for Pets

When I was a kid, my sisters and I all had a job we were responsible for in case of tornado warnings. To be honest, I really don't remember what our individual jobs were and I was so young, I am fairly certain mine was just to get my butt into the basement. When we moved to Southern California, the same was true only then we were dealing with earthquakes.

Regardless of where we were, we always seemed to have had a plan. This is something that continued into adulthood for me, probably because I went into the service as a law enforcement officer and we trained to respond to disasters. Admittedly though, I have lapsed in my vigilance over the last several years. I assure you, Katrina has remedied that.

In this article, I am going to provide you with some tip for surviving a natural disaster with your dog that will really apply to just about any pet. I will also put out what I would consider to be the “must haves” when it comes to survival supplies. Before I get to that though, we need to address one issue.


Katrina has shown us how our lives can be turned up side down very quickly. When planning to evacuate due to a natural disaster, we have to make good choices when we are deciding what to take with us. Everyone has things in their home that they treasure. Wedding pictures, heirlooms etc. While I know we cherish these things, they can't save our lives in a catastrophe. Leave them behind.

I bring up this next point because my oldest son made this mistake. Don't be complacent! He has been going to college in Alabama for the last couple of years and was in Mobile when Katrina hit. I spoke to him and other family members about four days before the storm hit to make sure they were planning appropriately. Of course, they weren't.

The night before the storm hit, I spoke to them again and they had the same blah, blah attitude. That was the last I heard from him for two days and it scared the crap out of me. Fortunately, he is safe. They have no power and a couple of families are holed up together sharing what resources they have.

I realize there were many people who didn't have the resources to escape this disaster and my heart aches for these people. In fact, it aches for everyone affected no matter what their circumstances were. However, if you have the resources don't hesitate to get to safety ASAP. Nothing is worth your life.


When we start to plan for disasters, we really need to make two sets of plans. One for staying put and one for evacuating to a safe place. For the most part, the supplies you will need will be the same but maybe utilized differently. Regardless, it's important to plan for a worst case scenario. Better to be over prepared than under prepared.

Staying Home

Often, disasters happen without warning and prevent us from evacuating. For this reason, it is critical to have your emergency supplies stored where they are readily available. You don't want to take the time to put together an emergency kit, only to store it behind all the Christmas decorations in the back of the attic. Keep them where they are accessible to all the family members. This will also make it easier to rotate out any perishable supplies. (A complete list of supplies is below.) When possible, shut off the gas and electricity to the house at the main switch. This will prevent an electrical surge from starting a fire and also help prevent a gas leak from causing the same. This should be done if you evacuate as well.

Have a contact person outside the affected area who will know to expect a call from you. This way, if you are unable to contact them, they can get a hold of rescue officials and get help on the way to you. It is also advisable to spray paint “Help” in fluorescent paint on the outside of your home if possible. This will also assist rescuers in finding you.

Make sure all the family members know what they are supposed to do and who to contact if possible.


Even if you plan to stick it out in your home, you still need to be prepared to get out of town. One of the biggest problems many evacuees experienced was the mad dash to get out of New Orleans at the last minute. As a result, many people on the highways were literally moving only one mile per hour. For this very reason, you need to establish at least two different destinations and two different routes to each. This way, if one route or location is clogged, you have an alternate.


We have all seen the news stories where store shelves are stripped bare of essential supplies when a community is faced with a storm or other disaster. For this very reason, it is imperative to have your supplies in place before an emergency is immanent. Some of these are self-explanatory but I will elaborate on others.

There are a couple of options when it comes to emergency food stores. Some people stockpile canned goods, which I personally discourage for a couple of reasons. First, it is heavy and takes up a lot of room. Second, you have to have a can opener, which is just one more thing to pack.

I personally recommend Meals Ready to Eat. These are the field rations given to our soldiers when they are in the field. One meal will provide you with enough calories to sustain a person for two days. They are compact, light and fairly inexpensive. You can buy them online or through many camping and survival stores.

You should figure for a minimum of two quarts a day per person for both drinking and hygiene. A gallon would be preferable but two quarts will work fine. You should also buy some sort of water purification system. These come in a variety of different forms and prices but are priceless when your drinking water runs out. These too can be found at camping and survival stores.

AM/FM Radio

Walkie Talkies with five-mile range

Cell Phone

Space Blanket
Also called survival blankets. These lightweight blankets are light, fold up to the size of a man's hand and will keep you amazingly warm.

Flashlight with Extra Bulbs

First Aid Kit
It should include several roles of gauze, 4x4 dressings, tweezers, band-aids, butterfly closures, snap ready cold packs and vetraps.

When buying the battery-operated equipment mentioned here, try to make sure they all operate off the same type battery. For instance, all AA etc. This makes it possible to interchange batteries between the equipment as needed. Also, it is ideal to have at least two fully charged cell phone batteries

Since you never know what will happen, this is a good addition to make sure you have a place to rest out of the elements.

Emergency Papers
I'm talking about birth certificates, insurance documents etc. - not high school yearbooks and letters from your sweetie. Once the essentials are packed, then you can load up with that sort of stuff if there is still room.

This is obvious but I have some tips for packing them. Place one pair of underwear, one pair of socks and a shirt in a ½ gallon resealable bags. Close them almost completely then squeeze the air out of the bag and close completely. This makes it compact which takes up less space.

For Your Dog

As we are seeing from Katrina, there are many animals that were separated from their families and have suffered injuries. Many of these dogs have been found with no identification making it difficult to find their owners. For this reason, I strongly suggest getting your dog a microchip.

Then, when it is registered, have them include a phone number to a family member or friend who doesn't live near you. This way, if you are seeking shelter somewhere, they can at least contact someone who can either claim the animal or help you to reunite with your pet.

You also want to have a picture and detailed description of your pet so if there are any ownership disputes you will have the necessary proof of ownership. It might be wise to have some fliers with the picture on it prepared so they can be given to various rescue organization that may encounter your dog.

The following is a list of supplies you will need for your dog. They should not be for day- to-day use. They should be packed away in a kit so they are ready to go in case of an emergency. The last thing you need to be doing is running around looking for a darn leash.

This will give your dog a place to be should you haveto leave them unattended while getting situated. It also makes an excellent place to store the gear until such time as it is needed. Many can be easily disassembled or are collapsible making them easy to transport.

One Weeks Supply of Food

Food and Water Bowl

Two Leashes

Two Collars

Body Harness

Stake Out Chain with Cork Screw Mount

Vet Records

Grooming Supplies

Waste Clean-Up Supplies

Additional Tag for Collar
This tag should have an emergency number on it to a friend or relative who doesn't live in the affected area. This way, until you are safe, the animal rescuers can make contact with someone and make arrangements to have the dog picked up.

We also have to keep in mind that our dogs are not going to understand what is going on around them. They are going to be scared, confused and disoriented. For this very reason, the next item is an absolute must for your pet supplies. "Chill Spray" by Spot Organics. It will help your dog work through the stress. It is a must in my doggie medicine chest and should be for yours as well. You can order it at:


It seems the last couple of years we have been plagued with horrific storms all over the world. Every time I see the suffering of the people and animals, it breaks my heart. No person or animal should have to endure such suffering and if any of us could prevent it from happening again, I'm sure we would. Unfortunately, that's not realistic.

Earlier in this issue I mentioned Noah's Wish. Please go to their site right now and donate all you can. Even a few bucks will help. There is going to come a point where officials are going to have no choice but to start putting these animals down due to a lack of funds and space. Those dogs are someone's pet. It could be yours. Please!


This article may be republished using the following attribution box:
Copyright ©2004 Christopher Aust, Master Dog Trainer & Creator:
The Natural Cooperative Training System (NCTS) for Dogs
The Instinctual Development System (IDS) for Puppies
Subscribe to the BARK 'n' SCRATCH Newsletter: subscribe@Master-Dog-Training.com
VISIT NOW: http://www.Master-Dog-Training.com

Quote of the Week

Near this spot are deposited the remains of one who possessed Beauty without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferocity, and all the Virtues of Man without his Vices. This praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery, if inscribed over human ashes, is but a just Tribute to the Memory of BOATSWAIN, a Dog.

~ Inscription on the monument raised for Lord Byron's dog, Boatswain ~

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Joke of the Week

Only in America ...

Only in America ... do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front.

Only in America ... do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries, and a diet coke.

Only in America ... do banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens to the counters.

Only in America ... do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our useless junk in the garage.

Only in America. ... do we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight.

Only in America ... do we use the word 'politics' to describe the process so well: 'Poli' in Latin meaning'many' and 'tics' meaning 'bloodsucking creatures'.

Only in America ... do they have drive-up ATM machines with Braille lettering.


Why the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin?

Why women can't put on mascara with their mouth closed?

Why don't you ever see the headline "Psychic Wins Lottery"?

Why is "abbreviated" such a long word?

Why is it that doctors call what they do "practice"?

Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, and dishwashing liquid made with real lemons?

Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?

Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?

Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food?

Why didn't Noah swat those two mosquitoes?

Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?

You know that indestructible black box that is used on airplanes? Why don't they make the whole plane out of that stuff?!

Why don't sheep shrink when it rains?

Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?

If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?

If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?

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Thank You For Reading!  Have a Terrific Week!

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The Legal Mumbo-Jumbo

The BARK 'n' SCRATCH Newsletter is published by Christopher Aust Copyright © 2005 All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without the express written consent of the publisher or contributors.

We accept no responsibility for your use of any contributed information contained herein. All of the information presented in BARK 'n' SCRATCH is published in good faith. Any comments stated in this newsletter are strictly the opinion of the writer or publisher.

We reserve the right to edit and make suitable for publication, if necessary, any articles published in this newsletter. We reserve the right to publish all reader comments, including the name of the writer.

Christopher Aust, Master Dog Trainer & Creator:
The Natural Cooperative Training System (NCTS) for Dogs
The Instinctual Development System (IDS) for Puppies

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