iPhone Life magazine

My iPhones my dogs

My family just adopted a rescue dog from Friends of Homeless Animals, a Mini Schnauzer named Martha.  The group,  based in Rhode Island rescues primarily Boston Terriers, but was involved in her rescue from a horrible Missouri puppy mill - eventually placing her with a foster mother Hanna Sandström Barton a local tattoo artist and humanist who lives here in Portland, Maine.  Martha is a wonderful little dog, but clearly traumatized, one can only imagine the horror’s she lived through.  Well no more.

You can read Martha’s blog here on my web site.

So what can you, the average iPhone user do to help stem the tide of puppy mill abuses?  One, buy your dog from a breeder you can meet and speak with, or from a shelter not from a pet shop or online. Two find out if you're really commited to having pets.

But how do you know if your cut out to have a dog?   They take time and attention.

One of the sweetest little apps I’ve found is iPuppy Schnauzer (.99) by MASQ Interactive.  It’s one of the best virtual pet apps I’ve seen, a lot more interactive than you might think and as a result it can be taxing to figure out exactly what you need to do to keep your pup healthy, active and alive.  It took me some time to figure out how to pat my virtual Schnauzer, let alone exactly how much exercise, food, water, and toys to provide.  But what I like about this app is, if you find out that you really don’t have the patience to do all the things you need to do to keep your virtual pet alive…. You might not be ready for a real live pet which needs even more in terms of your time, money and love.  Is this app simplistic, yes but you’ll get the point – pets even virtual ones take a lot of time and attention.

But if you are ready for pets, what next?

Now that you’ve found you can handle the time and attention requirements to be a pet owner are there any apps which can help you to be the best you can be?  One of the best apps I’ve found which helps you keep track of everything you’re going to need to know is MiPets Pet info Organizer ($1.99) by Vurgood Applications.  This app does it all, it will help you to organize all your key pet information; veterinarian information, vaccine schedules, medications, your pets food type, photo identification, special needs, etc.  The layout of the app is logical and easy to follow and the photo ID is critical.  What I hope they build in for the future is an AVID “Friendchip” link, as soon as the "friendschip" the site (still under construction) is fully active.  AVID, an RF microchip is a rapidly growing technology and is one of the best ways to identify your pet if they should ever become lost thanks to a free microchip reader being distributed by the manufacturer to shelters and veterinary clinics.

All knowledge, the totality of all questions and all answers, is contained in the dog. ~ Franz Kafka

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