Assistance Dog Week (Aug 4-10)

Photo from Pet Partners websiteWe used to think of Seeing Eye dogs as the only service pets.  But over the years we have come to realize our pets unique abilities to serve us in so many other ways.

There are guide dogs (for the visually impaired), hearing dogs (for the deaf and hearing impaired) and service dogs (for medical issues such as diabetic alerts and seizure alerts, or for needs such as wheelchair assistance, autism and post-traumatic stress disorders).  “Service animal” is a legally defined term, referring to animals that are trained to meet the specific needs of their disabled handler and refers to all of the above.

Therapy pets are different from Assistance Dogs.  They are usually personal pets that are used by their owners to assist others, such as visiting nursing homes, hospitals, prisons or schools to name a few.

Although these pets do very important work, the federal government does not define it and therefore they do not have the legal access rights of assistance dogs.  They may also be referred to as Animal Assisted Activities, or Animal Assisted Therapy (when the handler is a trained health professional).  Programs such as Reading with Rover, Disaster Stress Relief dogs, Pet Partners program, Pets for Vets, and Hospice pets are just a few examples of the many therapy programs in existence today.

This week is specifically bringing attention to the role of service dogs.  The goal is to recognize the special benefits of these dogs, educate the public, honor the puppy raisers and trainers, and credit the heroic deeds performed by so many of the dogs in our communities.

If you would like to share your story or recognize a service (or therapy) pet, we encourage you to comment on our blog or Facebook!  We thank all of these amazing companions!


Events are going on across the country in honor of assistance dogs this week.  Today Julie Forbes interviewed Jeanne Hampl, founder and president of the Assistance Dog Club of Puget Sound on Seattle’s Alternative Talk 1150 KKNW radio.  This week her show was sponsored by Heeling Allies and will be aired again on Sunday from 1:00 – 2:00 pm, archived on her website,, and available on iTunes as a free audio podcast.

The Today Show is featuring a segment tomorrow (Thursday) featuring a Guiding Eyes instructor and dog.2013-IADW-logo


For more information:

Pet Partners (Bellevue, WA) website –

International Assistance Dog Week website –

To read about a few Assistance Dog heroes:

It’s National Puppy Day 2013!!!

Time to celebrate!!  Celebrate puppies everywhere! 

Big puppies, small puppies, happy puppies, cranky puppies… Blonde puppies, black puppies, multicolored and white puppies… Sleepy puppies, mischievous puppies, mellow and ADHD puppies!

They make us smile, laugh, shake our heads, sigh and say “AAAWWWHHHH, isn’t that cute?”   To celebrate, here are puppy photos we received from friends, fans and clients of Harmony Animal Wellness Center.  To celebrate, consider giving a little something today to your favorite animal rescue organization in honor of puppies everywhere.


— Harmony’s 2013 Puppy Day Celebrities —


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For 50 more ways to celebrate (and more puppy pictures)
go to the National Puppy Day website.

Reminder + Small Business Saturday

Amber Lynn – How can you resist?

Friday is not only a big shopping day, it’s also an extremely busy day for emergency vet visits.

In addition to what we talked about in our Thanksgiving Tip post last year, please be aware that some people foods can be very bad for your dogs and/or cats.  Onions (including onion powder) are extremely toxic to your pet and even small amounts of chocolate can be poisonous for your dog or cat, so save the chocolates for people only please.

Best rule of thumb – If you want to give your pets extra on Thanksgiving, treat your dog or cat with moderate amounts of their food or treats, not yours.  And ask your guests not to feed Emma, your Cavalier King Charles, from the appetizer tray, no matter how cute she begs!!
Two ideas to help:

  • Have a small bowl of pet treats handy to offer your guests to give little Emma or Amber Lynn instead of that piece of cheese, when a guest just can’t resist the cuteness.
  • Break every treat up in half or quarters.  That way, even if guests go a little overboard, you are less likely to be dealing with your pet’s stomach ache from too many treats on Friday.

One other very important thing today…

Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday sits Small Business Saturday®, a day dedicated to celebrating and supporting small businesses and all they do for our communities.

Look around your town or neighborhood…

Your BFF meditates, so you’d like to buy her a meditation CD this year.  Most local yoga studios sell meditation CDs, with the added benefit of knowledgeable staff if you know nothing about meditation.

You’d like to bring a unique Thank You gift to a holiday party.  You know the hostess LOVES tea… How about visiting that herbal shop in the middle of town and asking the owner for a relaxing blend for your hostess?

And of course, pet presents…  That independent pet store on the edge of town probably has a great raincoat for your sister’s Doberman and a nice selection of catnip toys for your uncle’s new kitten.  Have you been there recently?  Check it out!

Owners, managers and staff of independent small businesses are our neighbors and friends.  They help our communities thrive through participation in community leadership and projects.  They coach soccer and softball teams.  They sing in the local choir, and donate time and money to local organizations they believe in… animal rescue and foster care organizations – homeless shelters and food banks.

November 24, 2012
Small Business Saturday®

Remember, when you purchase products and services from an independent small business, you have a direct, positive impact on local families in countless ways.

We at Harmony Animal Wellness Center are proud to take part in Small Business Saturday and we want to encourage you to Shop Small® on November 24th.  Thank you for supporting Small Business Saturday 2012!

Demystifying Animal Communication

Big changes are part of life – a new baby… a move to a bigger or smaller home or apartment… a death in the family… a change in career or job that affects your stress level or your time at home.  When change happens in your life, have you wondered how it may affect your animals, and what, if anything, you can do to make the transition smoother or easier for your animal companion(s)? 

Is she here yet?

Many of our clients have consulted with Joan Ranquet at times like those.  Joan is a gifted animal communicator, author, teacher and speaker who has worked with thousands of individual pet owners, dog, cat and horse trainers, barn managers and vets.  

In addition to helping clients individually with their pets, Joan is a firm believer that animal communication is a skill that can be nurtured and honed.  She expertly demystifies animal communication for anyone who is interested by giving free classes such as the one we are hosting at the clinic next week.

JJ snuck into last year’s class.
He was sure no one would notice…

Joan will be at Harmony Animal Wellness Center on Thursday, Sept 20th, for private sessions and a fun, informative class.  
(click here for details)

Below are some questions our clients have asked Dr. Frank about Joan’s work.


Q: How long have you known Joan Ranquet?

Dr. Frank:  I have known Joan for approximately 4 years.

Q: What are your feelings regarding animal communication in general?

Dr. Frank:  I have seen Joan’s sessions help our clients in several ways.  I believe we all have the ability to communicate with animals at some level, but it means being aware and in tune with them.  Joan is excellent at “tuning in” as well as teaching us how to be more aware and listen.  This is invaluable to our relationship to our pets and deepens those relationships.

Q: Can you relate some personal or client experiences with Joan?

Dr. Frank:  Joan has done readings on my own pets and was very accurate in those readings.  In addition, I have seen the most beneficial results from clients with aging pets who have sought her advise regarding end of life issues.  Her insights in her readings were appropriate and very helpful for the clients in making those tough decisions such as end of life.  Several of our clients have repeatedly called Joan for assistance through various life changes and have found her guidance extremely helpful.   

Q: Do you consult with Joan regarding your patient’s medical issues?

Dr. Frank:  I am very comfortable with my clients who have consulted with Joan.  My expertise is in the medical field.  I do take her information into consideration as I develop my diagnostics and prepare my recommendations for the pet’s treatment plan.


To learn more about Joan and animal communication, come to her class and/or schedule a personal session on Sept 20th if you live in the Puget Sound area.  Click here for a flyer with more information.

Joan’s Guided Meditation CD

In addition, there is a wealth of information on Joan’s website including how to arrange phone consultations if you do not live in the area, and links to purchase her new ebook, Animal Communication 101, her CD and her hardcopy book.

National Pet Week

Did you know this week, May 6-12, is National Pet Week?  No?  Neither did we until recently. 

Search and Rescue Category

Buster, a “Bogie” hero

National Pet Week is celebrated throughout the United States and in many parts of the world.
How cool is that?

For you dog lovers — Check out and vote in the 2012 American Humane Association’s Hero Dog Awards.  Nominations were submitted earlier this year and  voting is now through June 30th

The winners and their charity partners will be honored in Hollywood in October. Dogs were entered in eight categories:

  • Law Enforcement and Arson Service
  • Therapy
  • Military
  • Guide
  • Search and Rescue
  • Hearing
  • Emerging Hero. Emerging Hero Dogs are ordinary dogs that do extraordinary things. Put simply, nominees say why their dog is important to them. Why is their dog not just another wet nose in the crowd?

There are many, many wonderful nominees and you can vote every day through June 30th.

Military Category

CWD Dunny

You can read about and vote for Dunny who is nominated in the Military category.  An 8 year old Weimaraner, Dunny served for 1½ years saving lives in Afghanistan as an Explosive Detection Dog (EDD).  As a result of his military service, it is believed that Dunny has PTSD, but has moved into civilian life with grace. 

Or vote for Icey, a little white cutie who helps his hearing-impaired person every day…  Or Buster, the “Bogie” (Beagle body, Boxer head) who is FEMA certified to do search and rescue in large-scale disasters.

Therapy Category


In the Therapy category, you can read about Colonel, a dog who helps our military in another way.  The Colonel is a therapy dog who provides comfort, inspiration, motivation, laughter and unconditional love for wounded warriors.

Perhaps the category closest to our hearts in many ways is the Emerging Hero Dogs, where you can read about “ordinary” dogs who are heroes in their families lives, and where you can vote for dogs like Lucas.  Lucas helped a little girl re-gain her self-confidence just by being there for her to rescue and love.

To celebrate the dogs and cats who touch our lives in special ways, Harmony invites you to tell us about a cat or dog hero you know on Harmony’s Facebook page.

Future Feline Heroes

Whether your dog did something considered heroic by the general public, or a beloved tabby cat went out of her way to comfort you during a period of grief or sickness in your life, we invite you to tell us a little about a pet hero close to you.

And a gentle reminder from all of us at Harmony Animal Wellness Center – one of the best ways to honor your pet is to make sure they are healthy with a wellness checkup with your vet. 

Dr. Frank and Tsunami

If your cat or dog hasn’t had his wellness appointment yet this year, National Pet Week is an excellent time to get that taken care of for a healthy, happy summer for you and your pet.

Harmony Animal Wellness Center finds a home in Monroe, WA

Check out our beautiful new location. We’re excited to be in this space and want to share what we’re doing with you. Keep checking back as we show you our construction progress.

We will be open part time in February 2009, Thurs-Sat 8am-6pm, for health exams, diagnostics, acupuncture, minor surgeries as well as prescriptions, herbal supplements and diet consultations.

We look forward to our grand opening and a menu of full services in April after our remodel is complete! 

Our beautiful new clinic

Our beautiful new clinic

Also visit for more details about Harmony Animal Wellness Center in Monroe, WA.