On September 6, 2006, Drs. Foster and Smith and PetSafe partnered to present "My Pet Idea" invention contest!

For further information click on the following links: 



Personalized Dog Trainer, Martha Windisch, won second place in the contest!!!  See the article below for details ...



Blue and Levee - victims of tick-born disease


No matter how deep my sleep I shall hear you, and not all the power of death can keep my spirit from wagging a grateful tail -

The Last Will and Testament of an Extremely DISTINGUISHED DOG

by Eugene O'Neill,

illustrated by Adrienne Yorinks.

Local Dog Trainer Wins 2nd Place in National Pet Invention Contest with "The Tick Scanner"


Martha Windisch, Certified Pet Dog Trainer and owner of Personalized Dog Training, LLC recently won second place in the My Pet Idea Contest sponsored by PetSafe and Doctors Foster and Smith.  She came up with the idea for The Tick Scanner after having lost two of her beloved Golden Retrievers to complications of tick-borne disease.  Blue, a beautiful dark red male who Martha trained to many AKC titles died from complications resulting from ehrlichiosis in August 2006, and Levee, the best duck retriever Martha has ever owned died of complications resulting from Rocky Mountain spotted fever in September 2000.   


In January 2007, the top four contestants were invited to Knoxville, TN to visit PetSafe's headquarters and meet with company officials.  On February 23rd, the top three placements were announced in Orlando, FL at the American Pet Product Manufacturers Association (APPMA) and the Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA) Global Pet Expo.   Martha will use the second place prize of $5000 to help pet owners mold their canine companions into well-behaved family members by further publicizing her "dog- and family-friendly" in-home dog training service (http://www.PersonalizedDogTraining.com).


The Tick Scanner is an important invention for the South Jersey area since many people and dogs come in contact with ticks and contract tick-borne disease.  Martha states that tick-borne disease is so heart-breaking because it can take dogs from their owners in the dog's prime.  Dog owners experience great grief when losing a young dog in this manner. 


The Tick Scanner is designed to help dog owners find ticks on their dogs so that they can remove them prior to the transmission of a possible fatal disease.  The Tick Scanner works by pin-pointing the location of a tick via various proposed methods.  When the scanner detects a tick it will beep, thus helping owners keep dogs tick free, preventing dogs from contracting tick-borne disease and saving dog owners the heartbreak of losing dogs to complications of tick-borne disease. 


In order to ascertain the dog-owning publics' interest in The Tick Scanner, a tick-borne disease survey was sent to various dog clubs and dog email lists.  The survey results indicate that The Tick Scanner is a welcome invention.  The pet owners who completed the survey are very aware and concerned about tick-borne disease.   94% of those surveyed use a tick control product of some sort.  Of those who use a tick control product, 67% have found at least one engorged tick on their dog even though the dog was up-to-date on his tick control treatment.  Of those surveyed, 59% have had a dog contract a tick-borne disease, with lyme disease the most common followed by ehrlichiosis.   Of those who have had a dog contract a tick-borne disease, 18% have had a dog die from suspected complications of tick-borne disease.  Finally, of those surveyed, 88% feel the need to physically check their dog even though they use some type of tick control treatment.   An additional 6% physically check their dog because they do not use tick control treatment.  The final 6% either do not check their dog because they forget or because it is too time consuming or because they do not feel the need to.   The conclusion of the survey was that pet owners would highly welcome a device that makes it easier to physically check their dogs for ticks.  The Tick Scanner will do just that. 


With Martha Windisch's second place in the My Pet Idea Contest sponsored by PetSafe and Doctors Foster and Smith, she hopes that The Tick Scanner can soon be designed and placed on the market. 









Linda Sperco:

In Memory of Maggie,

ARCH SR Trifecta's Jersey Girl UD JH WC RN RL3 CDX-H


Martha Windisch:

In Memory of Blue,

Windischs Turbulent Indigo UDX TDX MH WCX AX AXJ


The Maggie & Blue Project


Creating Awareness About Tick-Borne Diseases

Spring will be here soon and with it will arrive ticks and the diseases they cause; Lyme, Ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.  A canine health survey done by the Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA) through the Golden Retriever Foundation discovered a correlation between the tick-borne disease ehrlichia and certain cancers.  The GRCA Breed Health survey (Glickman et al., 1998-1999), determined that the use of flea and tick drops, flea and tick shampoos, or flea and tick sprays was associated with a statistically significant reduced risk for lymphoma.  In addition, the use of flea and tick drops was associated with a statistically significant reduced risk for hemangiosarcoma.  These results are exactly opposite of what was originally expected.  A study funded by the Golden Retriever Foundation is titled "Molecular Epidemiology of Ehrlichia and Bartonella spp. Infection in Golden Retrievers with Lymphoma; Edward Breitschwerdt, DVM, North Carolina State University".  This study was completed in December 2006 and the researchers are currently compiling the results and hope to publish in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 


While you may not have a Golden Retriever, all dogs can contract tick-borne disease and can be at risk for complications from tick-borne disease.  These complications may include failure of the kidneys and other organs, arthritis of the joints, neurological effects, a correlation to the development of cancer, and others.


Ehrlichiosis is of special concern.  This disease is caused by a rickettsia.  Rickettsias penetrate the white blood cells and mutate and incapacitate them.  They cripple the immune system by inhibiting the basic function of the bone marrow - that of making new cells to replace old and dying cells.  Symptoms can be dramatic or can be so subtle that the pet owner does not realize the dog is sick until the disease has advanced to a point of no return, often causing other diseases along the way.


Please talk with your veterinarian about the best way to prevent tick-borne diseases.  Ask about signs of tick-borne diseases, appropriate tests to determine if your dog has a tick-borne disease and appropriate treatment.  Be proactive rather than reactive.  Besides using tick control products recommended by your veterinarian, it is important to hand-check your dog for ticks.  Every tick found on your dog has the potential to carry with it a life-threatening disease.


One of the best science based yet easily understood articles on Ehrlichiosis can be found at http://www.chien-noir.com/ehrlichiosis.html.   For further information on tick-borne disease visit http://www.grca.org/health/flea_tick.html.


The information in this flier is readily available in the public domain.  The authors make no representation to scientific training or active participation in the cited studies.