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Dogs Mourning Dogs

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Dogs Mourning Dogs

 

By Shawna Kenney

How do dogs experience the death of fellow dogs? Corey Kooken, the human companion of Lobo and Wrigley, two border collies adopted from separate rescue shelters, says she’s witnessed this first-hand.sad-dog3

“They got to know one another and tolerate each other,” she told us. “I always said Lobo was the brains and Wrigley was the brawn.” Lobo passed away from cancer at the age of twelve, and when Corey and her husband returned from the vet without him, Wrigley searched the house, looking confused. She said this happened for weeks and they wondered whether Wrigley was going to be able to function without his alpha dog.

Dog lover Karen Mandall recalls a similar story from her childhood. After their mini-dachshund Punkin escaped the yard and was hit by a car, Blue, their Great Dane, stood over her in the middle of the street until the family found them.

“Blue had never jumped the fence before and never did it again, but somehow he managed to check on her.” Karen recalls comforting the big dog through days of whimpering after his canine companion passed away.

Susie Dvorak says her long-haired Chihuahua Annie was different after Clyde, the Labradoodle she loved, died. “She used to play with him all the time but since then she doesn’t play with other dogs, no matter who, what, (or) where they are.”

Many people have such painful anecdotes, and scientists and animal behaviorists agree that dogs feel emotion. One US News & World Report story suggests dogs may mourn as deeply as humans do. In it, Barbara King, a professor of anthropology at the College of William and Mary, says her research shows that the above behavior of a “surviving dog looking for his companion” shows that dogs “are thinking and feeling creatures, and that sets the stage for grief.”

Grief is a pack issue. It requires us to be the pack leaders, more than ever — even while grieving our own losses. Books like Jon Katz’s “Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die examine the human aspect of grief and mourning, but little has been written on how the animals themselves react and recover.

In the case of Lobo and Wrigley, Corey shares that, at first, Wrigley “didn’t eat with voraciousness and didn’t seem confident of things he’d normally done without a problem.” They tried introducing him to new dogs, taking him to his favorite places, giving him new toys, offering new food and showering him with all the attention he could handle.

But he needed time, she says. She is happy to share that after a while, Wrigley gained the confidence of a dog higher up in the pecking order and today self-assuredly leads his younger ‘brother’ Quincy around. “Thankfully he came through it and may be a stronger dog for it.”

Source: Ceaser Millan

Bob’s Journals…

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Last night I wiped my first full fledged snot from a cat. Wow! How exciting. Brought Bob to the vet, and of course I could not get him in his carrier, because he is on all paws spread attack, so I maneuvered Bob into his kennel. Bob loves his kennel, at least he did before I forced him into it to carry him to the vet. The kennel is a little awkward to carry, but manageable. While traveling to the vet, during the visit, and until we get home Bob hides under the pillow bed in his kennel. Bob does not realize that his tail-less butt is hanging out from under it. Oh, such a character. The vet said that Bob has rhinitis caused by something in the air. Bob is like a child running around with a snotty nose. He is congested and often tries to clear out his nose and throat, he wipes his nose with his paw, and sneezes (sometimes three times in a row). Other than that…Bob’s appetite is good and he is playing continually. No green stuff, thank goodness. Katie, Town & Country Animal Hospital, helped me out with the kennel. I mentioned to Katie how Bob liked his kennel and Katie responded with what I was thinking ‘Well maybe not after this visit’. When Bob and I arrived back home I placed the kennel in its corner and opened the door. Bob came out and ran to hide. However, to my surprise, a little while later I looked over at the kennel and there was Bob sleeping in it. Bob never ceases to amaze me. Whenever we have a tussle; i.e. brushing, putting him in a kennel or carrier, or telling him ‘no’ when he is doing something that I do not like, he seems to become even more attached and submissive. Well, he allowed me to pick him up by the scruff and wipe his nose with little fight. (Yes, I used a tissue.) Now, that is a mile stone! I will take a picture with him in his kennel when my reaction is fast enough to do so before Bob is aware of my presence. That… might… take… a… while….

–Sondra

Breed in the Spotlight: Rottweiler

Monday, May 5th, 2014

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Meet the Rottweiler

​No one likes to be misunderstood. And because he’s large and strong, with an instinctive desire to guard and protect the people he loves, the Rottie can be intimidating, so his reputation often gets a bad rap. They say that “knowledge is power” (a perfect word to use here), so let’s peel away the wrapper and see what the Rottie is really all about. Like a candy bar, the Rottweiler can have a hard exterior but a sweet, gooey center.

What’s Their Story?

​What do many of the really big, powerful breeds have in common (other than being able to splatter the walls with slobber)? They are descended from the Mastiff-type dogs that first appeared in Asia. The Rottweiler’s ancestors were thought to have originated with the Ancient Romans, who brought the dogs with them when they traveled across Europe, using them to guide cattle—the Romans’ food supply on the road—and guard encampments.

What are they Like?

​No one told him that he’s not a toy breed, so at some point he’s going to plop onto your lap for a cuddle. Because of his original job as a super-smart and confident guardian, though, you’ll need to put in the time to train him and teach him solid social skills and harness his natural territorial instincts in a positive way. He has to know that you’re in charge, even if he is twice your size. Your hard work will be rewarded with a loyal, loving best friend.

(Watch video below for more information on Rottweilers)

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SOURCE: Woofipedia

Bob’s Journals continued…

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

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In my last e-mail I stated that Bob “intently supervises his litter box cleaning.” Well, his litter box needs cleaning daily and sometimes I forget a day. I was sitting at my computer and glanced over at the litter box and was surprised to see something besides Bob in there. I went over to look and found that I was looking at an open plastic bag inside his hooded litter box. I had placed some bags on the cot that is next to his litter box. The bags were still on the cot except for that one. I think that Bob was trying to let me know that I was doing a poor job of tending to his litter box and he decided that he would try to clean it out himself. Well…I cleaned the litter box. I think that he is happy now. He is in there taking care of business.

That’s my Bob.

-Sondra

NOT SUCH A WONDERFUL LIFE

Monday, April 7th, 2014

NOT SUCH A WONDERFUL LIFE

Elizabeth Oreck
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PUPPY MILLS WILL CEASE TO EXIST IF PEOPLE STOP BUYING WHAT THEY’RE SELLING

Every year at this time, families across the country look forward to the tradition of enjoying that timeless holiday classic, Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life. And while we revel in this heartwarming tale of human compassion and salvation, we are likely not thinking about the plight of the hundreds of thousands of dogs in puppy mills. But at no other time of year should these dogs be more top of mind. After all, ’tis the season of the often-requested Christmas gift of a puppy.

And yet, for that puppy under the tree to materialize, we must consider the countless dogs at any given moment living in cramped and often filthy cages, breeding continuously in order to produce as many puppies as possible for the retail pet trade. While Americans dig deep into their pockets to purchase new toys, treats, sweaters or cozy pet beds as holiday gifts for their beloved furry companions, dogs living in mills receive no such gifts. Not even the opportunity to go for a walk or experience a kind human touch.

Puppy mills are in business to supply pet stores and online retailers, and, as is the case with most retail, the holidays are the most profitable time of year. Puppy sellers capitalize on parents’ anticipation of the joy on their child’s face when he or she receives that adorable puppy wrapped in a big red bow on Christmas morning. But that gift comes at a cost that far exceeds the dollar amount on the price tag, and it is a price paid every day by breeder dogs on the puppy production line.

WHAT IS A PUPPY MILL, ANYWAY?mills2
A puppy mill is a high-volume commercial dog-breeding operation in which profit and maximum production take priority over the health and welfare of the animals. Puppies bred in these factory-like settings are regarded as nothing more than a cash crop commodity, and despite the poor conditions in which the breeder dogs are forced to live, puppy mills are still legal in every state.

Although commercial dog breeders who sell puppies wholesale to pet stores and distributors are licensed and regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the minimum required standards of care do little to protect dogs and nothing to ensure responsible, quality breeding. The dogs can be confined for years at a time, reduced to lives of constant breeding in dirty, stacked, wirebottomed cages that are required to be only six inches larger than the dog on all sides, and with few, if any, opportunities to play, be walked, or receive basic grooming or veterinary care. There is no requirement that the dogs ever be let out of those cages, even for a moment, to stand on solid ground or experience the sun on their backs. When they are no longer able to produce, they are usually discarded or destroyed.

These are the parents of the puppies who are sold online or shipped to pet stores, where unsuspecting buyers are not informed of the backgrounds of these animals, nor the conditions under which they were bred. There are frequent reports of these puppies having congenital or communicable diseases, which cause heartache and expense for those who purchased them with the mistaken belief that they were buying a healthy pet from the best source possible. So, this is not just an animal welfare issue; it’s a consumer protection issue, too.

Tragically, when the cost of caring for a sick puppy becomes more than the buyer can manage, it is not uncommon for that puppy to be surrendered to an overcrowded, taxpayer-subsidized shelter. Not all communities have puppy mills, but nearly every community has some byproduct of puppy mills — either a pet store that imports puppies from out-of-state mills or a shelter that takes in more dogs than they can adopt out. In short, the puppy mill problem impacts all of us.

It is believed that there are approximately 10,000 licensed and unlicensed puppy mills in the U.S., mostly concentrated in the Midwest, which combined produce an estimated two million puppies per year. It’s profoundly ironic that the number of puppies born in mills is roughly equal to the number of dogs being killed in U.S. shelters each year. And it begs the question: Why do we continue to manufacture dogs in mills when so many dogs who already exist are being destroyed every day, simply because there aren’t enough people adopting them? The answer, of course, is profit. And those who typically make the largest profit are the retailers, who buy puppies at a low cost and then resell them at a high markup.

Pet stores purchase puppies from mills and wholesale brokers because no responsible breeder would ever sell to a pet store. This basic tenet can be found in every reputable breeder’s code of ethics, including those of the parent breed clubs of the American Kennel Club. And even if they were inclined to sell to pet stores, the high cost of breeding responsibly means that a pet store could never afford to buy puppies from a reputable breeder, because the profit margin would be significantly less than it is when they buy from mills or brokers. The retail reality is that the less it costs to manufacture a product, the greater the opportunity for markup — and profit.

mills3WHY PUPPY MILLS CONTINUE TO EXIST
With all that we know about the terrible conditions of these facilities and the unethical breeding that occurs to produce a substandard quality of dog purely for profit, why do we still have puppy mills in this country? Because people are buying what the mills are producing. It is the most fundamental of economic principles: supply and demand. As long as there is a market for a product, that product will continue to be produced, no matter how oversaturated the market becomes.

There is, however, reason to be optimistic. When Best Friends launched its puppy mill initiatives in 2008, there were more than 6,000 USDA-licensed commercial dog breeders. Today, that number is closer to 2,000. One of the reasons for the decline is that the traditional puppy mill industry is becoming more prohibitive and less profitable, due to increased state and local regulations, greater media exposure and public awareness, and a struggling national economy that makes it more difficult for consumers to pay top dollar for a new puppy.

This doesn’t mean, however, that substandard breeding is necessarily in decline. Backyard breeding is still a prevailing problem, dogs are being imported into the U.S. legally and illegally, many breeders are simply continuing to breed without a USDA license, and a lot of selling is now being conducted online.

PUP E-COMMERCE
Internet puppy buying and selling is a relatively recent phenomenon. And despite the obvious risks that come with purchasing anything online — let alone a living, sentient being — there is no denying that we’ve evolved into a point-and-click culture. Unfortunately, that form of convenient consumerism is how more and more people are bringing pets into their homes.

Unscrupulous puppy sellers exploit the opportunity to hide behind attractive websites and slick catalogs that feature stock photos of adorable puppies frolicking in fields or napping in wicker baskets. Consumers who receive these puppies shipped directly to their door never see the true conditions of the breeding facilities. They also have no way of knowing whether the puppy they purchase will be healthy, or anything like what they thought they were buying, thus elevating the risk of consumer fraud. It’s a game of retail Russian roulette, in which the odds favor the seller.

WHAT ABOUT REPUTABLE BREEDERS?
As an organization committed to reaching a day when every pet will have a loving home, it goes without saying that Best Friends encourages everyone who is looking to bring a pet into the family to choose adoption over purchase. Although we recognize that there are caring and reputable private breeders who breed responsibly and ethically, it’s difficult for us to endorse any kind of breeding while so many animals are dying in shelters.

There are adoptable dogs of every breed, age, size and personality available throughout the U.S. Breed-specific rescue groups and online adoption databases like Petfinder.com make it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for. Adopting may require a little more effort, but what it lacks in convenience it makes up for in the knowledge that you’ve saved a life. And for parents set on the idea of giving a puppy as a gift, why not consider the gift of a promise to adopt? Making the adoption of a new pet a family decision gives every family member a part in the process and ensures that it will be the best match for all.

SOLVING THE PROBLEM
We’ve made a lot of progress in the fight against puppy mills, but we still have more work to do, as puppies continue to be mass-produced in a manner that most animal-loving, compassionate individuals find abhorrent. The solution to the problem is simple: If we stop buying what the mills are producing, there will be no reason for them to continue producing, and eventually they will cease to exist. We need to stop supporting pet retailers that sell commercially bred puppies, because any money spent in those stores contributes to perpetuating the cycle of puppy mill cruelty.

Fortunately, there is a more humane alternative. Pet stores that offer animals for adoption relieve the burden on shelters and rescue groups by getting homeless pets into retail settings, where they have a greater chance of being seen by the public. It’s an increasingly popular model and a win-win for both the community and the animals. Several commercial property-management companies have recently embraced this concept by implementing policies to lease space only to pet stores that operate under the adoption model.
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Cities throughout North Amer ica (e.g., Los Angeles, San Diego and Toronto) are also getting on board by passing ordinances to ban the sale of commercially bred dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores, unless they come from shelters or rescue groups. By cutting off the supply of milled puppies being imported into the community, they are addressing the puppy mill problem from the retail end, while increasing adoption opportunities for pets in local shelters. And, since many dogs in shelters are cast-offs from people who purchased them in pet stores or online, banning retail sales helps reduce the number of animals who enter shelters and, consequently, the number being killed (currently more than 9,000 per day) in our nation’s shelters.

So, we’re heading in the right direction. We are witnessing a cultural shift in the way that we think about companion animals and how we choose to bring them into our homes. Adoption is becoming much more common, legislators are recognizing the need to pass better regulations for dog breeders and retailers, and there is more awareness than ever about the harsh realities of puppy mills. As people share their knowledge and take action in their own communities, we are steadily moving the needle in a more compassionate direction.

What it comes down to is this: The puppy mill problem belongs to all of us, and so does the solution. The ability to put this cruel industry in the past is in our collective hands. We have the power to set positive examples through our consumer decisions. We have the power to teach our kids — and each other — compassion for animals. We have the power to create changes for the better. We have the power to save lives. Working together, we can reach a time when puppies will no longer be mass-produced, adoption will be the first choice for those looking to bring a pet into the family, and there will be no more homeless pets. We’re on the right track. We can save them all. After all, every dog deserves a wonderful life.

 

SOURCE

Who’s really saving who?

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014
Returning the favor Who’s really saving who?
Kelli Harmon

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When Barbara Bowman went to the Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center in Los Angeles last year, she thought she knew what she was going to leave with. “I was looking for a black cat, and I already had a name picked out: Jack,” she says. Who she found, however, was Leo. And, looking back a little over a year after she first met Leo, she couldn’t be happier that Jack the black cat ultimately didn’t materialize on that fateful day.

After all, Leo saved her life.

While Barbara and her daughter, Chakiyah, initially set out to locate and adopt a black cat who would be named Jack, Chakiyah was drawn to a large, long-haired white cat instead.

“I was walking by his cage and felt him grab at my sweater,” she recalls. She liked his playfulness and his aquamarine eyes, and knew right away that this was to be their cat. Barbara says, “I have a soft heart. I couldn’t say no.” When she held the white cat, Barbara fell for him, too. They decided to take him home, naming him Leo for his lion-like hair.

Barbara, who lives with her husband, children, two other cats and two dogs, admits it’s a busy household. “Leo didn’t know what to do in the beginning,” she says. “But by the second week, he started to come around.” It turns out he’s a lap cat, and Barbara’s was his favorite lap. As he began to sit with her more often, Barbara noticed that Leo would start kneading her lap and then moved up toward her chest. She says, “At first, I felt special because I was the only one he was doing this with. He did this every day for a week.” But then he started doing it with greater frequency. He continued to gravitate to the same area of one of her breasts — so much so that his strange behavior prompted her to do a self-exam. She felt a lump. She called her doctor and, after a mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy, it was confirmed: She had an aggressive form of stagethree breast cancer.

In February of last year, Barbara had a partial mastectomy. Not only did doctors remove the cancerous growth, but 14 lymph nodes — eight of them cancerous — as well. She began a treatment of eight rounds of chemotherapy, which will be followed by radiation. Despite all this, Barbara is incredibly positive. She explains, “I feel good. Sometimes tired, but what makes it worth living (through) is my children. It really helps knowing how much you are loved.” She credits Leo with saving her life, saying, “I never would have noticed the lump if it weren’t for Leo.”
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THE NOSE KNOWS

At first blush, it could seem that Leo finding Barbara’s cancer was a fluke, a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. Even a coincidence. But as it turns out, there are numerous stories similar to theirs. Many people have reported anecdotally that their pets alerted them to the fact that something was not quite right. Like Ricky Hatfield of Williamson County, Illinois, whose normally well-behaved retriever head-butted his groin. Or the U.K.’s Sharon Rawlinson, who is grateful to her Cavalier King Charles spaniel for pawing at and standing on her chest. In both cases, tests confirmed what the pets already knew: cancer.

In 1989, the possibility that an animal’s nose knows gained global attention when a letter to the editor from two dermatologists was published in the medical journal The Lancet. The letter stated that their patient’s dog wouldn’t leave alone a small mole on the patient’s leg. The dog continued to fuss at the mole until, one day, she pounced and bit at it. The dog ignored other moles on the patient’s arms and legs and had never bitten her before, so the behavior was strange enough that the woman insisted on having the mole biopsied. It turned out to be malignant melanoma. The untrained, mixed-breed dog sensed something. In the years since, the media has been peppered with stories just like this one.

And all the stories have certain similarities; the pets are acutely interested in a small, targeted area of their human’s body. They tend to sniff and paw or dig at an area, sometimes relentlessly, returning to the same place again and again over time. Dina Zaphiris, a dog trainer and medical scent detection expert based in Los Angeles, has seen this behavior thousands of times in the 20-plus years of her professional life, which includes training search and rescue dogs. This phenomenon is not surprising to her at all. She knows that dogs can smell cancer. In fact, she has trained them to do it.

NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK

Enthusiastic about her work, Dina can talk at length about dogs’ abilities, especially their unique connection to helping people. “Dogs and humans co-evolved, and very few other species have done that,” she says. “Our survival depended on each other.” For centuries, humans have relied on dogs’ extraordinary scenting capabilities to do things we can’t. Dina says, “Dogs can smell things in parts per trillion. An example of that would be (smelling) one drop of blood diluted into 20 Olympic-size swimming pools.” It’s the equivalent of finding the proverbial needle in a haystack.

Training dogs to find people, drugs and bombs has been going on successfully for decades. But training dogs to sniff for medical purposes is relatively new. Dina says, “Medical sensitivity is very, very different (from) what most scent detection trainers have been trained to do.”

In 2003, Dina participated in her first study with the Pine Street Foundation, a California nonprofit dedicated to cancer research and education. The purpose of the study was to determine how accurately dogs could detect lung and breast cancer in human breath samples. Evidence already existed that there were biochemical markers in exhaled breath from lung and breast cancer patients, but no technology was able to analyze chemicals in the breath to accurately detect cancer’s presence.

Dina tapped her many dog trainer contacts, including police officers and search and rescue dog handlers, to gather enough dogs to try out for the study. Since 2003, she has helped select and train dogs for multiple medical studies. “Each time we do a study, we pick a team of five to nine dogs,” Dina says. “We have hundreds of dogs trying out; it’s super competitive because everybody wants their dog to learn how to do it, but not every dog is right.”
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TOP OF THE CLASS

Dogs who do make the cut, Dina says, “have tremendous drive for their work and for their reward.” A dog’s reward is based on what he or she likes best — a ball for a ballcrazy dog or a treat for a food-driven dog — as recognition for finding the target odor. Dogs of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds are welcome. Dina says, “Mutts can be great, small dogs can be great. In the last study audition, we had a dog from death row named Schatzi; she made the team. It doesn’t really matter where the dog comes from.” All that matters is that they’re able to sniff out whether a breath sample comes from a person who has cancer, or one who doesn’t.

The dogs have shown that they excel at it. In the initial study Dina participated in, dogs were able to detect with 99 percent accuracy if a breath sample came from a patient with lung or breast cancer. Dina says, “There’s nothing in medicine that even approaches those numbers.” They also tested how accurate the dogs were at indicating that a breath sample was not indicative of cancer. Dina explains, “So of course we have to give them healthy samples and we track their ability to ignore, or not alert, on a healthy sample.” The dogs were 88 percent accurate in detecting cancerfree samples for lung and breast cancer.

While Dina was initially interested in medical scent detection as another form of dog training, in 2010 it became personal, when she lost her mother to breast cancer. That year, she started InSitu Foundation, which is dedicated to training dogs to detect cancer in humans. In their most recent study, Dina says, “We trained nine dogs to detect early-stage ovarian cancer. We haven’t published the results yet, but during training, the dogs’ accuracy levels were up in the high nineties — and that’s for ovarian cancer, for which there are (currently) no detection methods.”

Dina’s goal is to see a day when dogs’ scent abilities are accepted and used for routine cancer screening. She hopes that someday it will be standard procedure for doctors to take breath samples from patients and send them to a lab to be tested — by dogs. Dina says, “(This method) provides a noninvasive, low-cost, really accurate method of finding cancer early. We need more studies and we need to get this standardized. We could be saving lives. Within five years, we’re going to have a breath-screening kit for cancer. We will do it.”
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YOUR PET AS A MEDICAL SCENT DETECTOR?

It has been a year of doctors, tests, surgeries and treatments for Barbara, but she’s grateful for Leo and what he knew that she didn’t. Doctors still aren’t sure exactly what trained scent dogs or pet dogs and cats smell that indicates cancer, and there’s still no answer to the question of why some pets alert us to cancer and others don’t. While Dina works with well-trained dogs in cancer detection studies, she agrees that untrained household pets may sense cancer in their people. She says, “If your dog has a moment when he sniffs your breast once, I wouldn’t worry. But if day after day he’s coming up to the same spot and really kind of pushing, almost as if he’s trying to find something, you don’t need to be alarmed, but you definitely need to investigate.”

So far, no cancer detection studies have used cats as scent detectors. And there are fewer anecdotal stories in the media about cats detecting cancer. That’s another reason that Barbara feels certain that when she got Leo, she adopted a very special cat. She says, “He follows me everywhere I go; I’m so happy to have him. To me, he’s almost human.” She admits that she still wants a black cat someday, but for now, Leo is her constant companion. “I wouldn’t trade Leo for anything,” she says. Not even a black cat called Jack.

 

The Adventures of Bob continued…

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

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Yes! I am back home with Bob(ette). I was away for three weeks and missed Bob immensley. Will and Joanne took great care of him for me. Joanne made sure to keep me advised of Bob’s attentive manner towards her. However, there was a streak of jealousy galloping around in my head . I was wondering if Bob would still know me when I got home.

 While I was away Will mentioned that tornado Bob was destroying the house. Will described what he saw and I explained that Bob is trying to expel his pent-up energy, and the fact that he is alone also contributes to why this is happening. Yes, I have thoughts of looking for a cat friendly yip, yip to keep him company, but I do not think that I want to give Bob a permanent co-conspirator at this time.  Fostering sounds a little interesting…but…..OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 When I arrived home Bob met me at the front door.  Yes! He remembered me. I inventoried the house and found paw prints on my counter tops, tables and stove (glass top). No breakage; mainly due to the fact that Will moved the breakables off of the tables out of Bob’s reach (and mine).

 I was relaxing in my chair and happened to look over at the dining table and there Bob was very comfortably laying on the edge of the dining table looking at me.  Zip  zip zip ….there he goes again.

 Now Bob will not jump up on things when I am looking. He is enticed to do so though, and I can see him fighting the temptation. He is a cat looking for height to view the world. In the meantime I am trying to remember how I stopped Precious from jumping up on my tables. Maybe it happened with maturity. Maybe he stopped because he satisfied his curiosity  . One day I will be able to invest in a cat tree, or two, with hopes that it will quench at least a portion of his need for height. I have come to the conclusion that I may as well turn my house over to Bob because with all of his toys and stuff there is little room left for me.

 Along with Bob’s physical abnormalities I think that he suffers from Schizophrenia with moments of paranoia. How is that for an evaluation of Bob’s mental state….   or is that mine? Hmmmm.

 Well, it is too quiet in the house. I must see what Bob has gotten into.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 Oh! I am always looking for a way to make money.   I will let everyone know when I decide to hire Bob out as a paper shredder. He does a great job at the task.

     Until next time.

–Sondra

 

 

 

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The most loyal dog

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Loyal Dog, Capitán, Sits By Owner’s Grave For Six Years

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One loyal dog hasn’t moved from his master’s side for the last six years — refusing to let even death part them.

German shepherd, Capitán, ran away from home after his owner and best friend, Manuel Guzman, died in 2006. A week later Guzman’s family, who live in Cordoba, Argentina, found the heartbroken dog grieving at the gravesite, reported Dog Heirs.

“We had never taken him to the cemetery so it is a mystery how he managed to find the place,” Veronica Guzman, Manuel’s widow, told the Sun.

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Every Sunday, for the past six years, the Guzman family has gone to the cemetery to visit both Manuel and Capitán. Although the dog often leaves the cemetery to spend a short period of time with his family, he always returns to the gravesite before dark.

“I don’t think he wanted to leave Manuel on his own at night,” Veronica told the Sun.

Cemetery director, Hector Baccega, said that staff at the cemetery in central Argentina are now feeding and taking care of the dog.

“During the day he sometimes has a walk around the cemetery, but always rushes back to the grave. And every day, at six o’clock sharp, he lies down on top of the grave and stays there all night,” Baccega told La Voz.

Although the Guzman family would like to take Capitán home with them, they understand the dog’s immense loyalty to his best friend.

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Breed in the Spotlight – Kooikerhondje

Monday, February 24th, 2014

 

Breed in the Spotlight

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Kooikerhondje

The Kooikerhondje is a small, flashy red and white spaniel like-sporting dog. Originally bred in Holland as a duck decoy dog, it’s heavily white plumed tail waves Jauntily to entice and lure the ducks to follow into the Endenkooi (traps). When not working the traps, Kooikers were expected to work on the farm to catch vermin. The preferred height at the withers is 15 to 17 inches for males and 14 to 16 inches for females. The proportion of the Kooiker is off-square. The bone and substance of the Kooiker is moderate. The head should be in proportion to the dog. The expression is gentle and alert. Ears should be red in color and well feathered and ideally adorned with earrings. The color for the Kooiker should be predominately orange-red and may be patched or solid on pure white although a few small spors on the legs are acceptable. A black tail ring where the color changes from orange-red to white is permitted.

Temperament

Cheerful, good natured, friendly, quiet, well-behaved, and alert; those are terms that are used to describe the Kooikerhondje. Depending on its domestic environment,[1]it is kind, happy and lively. They are also intelligent, attentive and more than willing to please their owner. The Kooikerhondje adapts to situations rather quickly, changing his behavior from quiet to lively when the situation allows him to be. He will not always immediately like strangers, instead choosing to retreat. But once he warms up to someone, the trust will be there for the rest of his life.[2] The Kooikerhondje can make a fine apartment dog if exercised regularly, but a fenced yard will be more ideal. He has a medium energy level, yet is usually quiet when indoors.

Kooiker dogs 101

Breed in the Spotlight – Scottish Fold –

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Scottish-Fold-Cat-1623_l_556aac61379f8940

Scottish Fold Cat Personality

Scottish Folds are intelligent, sweet-tempered, soft-spoken, and easily adaptable to new people and situations. They are very loyal and tend to bond with one person in the household. While they will usually allow others to cuddle and pet them, their primary attachment becomes quickly clear as they single out their chosen humans. They thrive on attention, but it must be on their own terms.

Despite their devotion, they are not clingy, demanding cats and usually prefer to be near you rather than on your lap. They enjoy a good game of fetch now and then as well, and keep their playful side well into adulthood. Despite the breeding and health difficulties, Folds have certainly earned their standing in the cat fancy.

misa_kitten_scottish_foldScottish Fold Cat Breed Traits

The Scottish Fold’s folded ears are produced by a dominant gene that affects the cartilage of the ears, causing the ears to fold forward and downward, giving the head a rounded appearance. Since the gene is dominant, all Scottish Fold cats must have at least one folded ear parent to have folded ears themselves. When a Fold is bred to a straight-eared cat, approximately 50 percent of the kittens will have folded ears, although the number of Folds in any given litter can vary greatly.

Breeding Fold to Fold increases the number of Fold kittens, but also greatly increases the chances of skeletal deformities. Homozygous Folds (Folds that inherit the folded ear gene from both parents) are much more likely to develop congenital osteodystrophy, a genetic condition that causes crippling distortion and enlargement of the bones. Avoiding Fold-to-Fold breeding reduces the problem; however, controversy surrounds the breed because of this defect. Thickness or lack of mobility of the legs or tail are sure signs of trouble. You can determine tail flexibility by moving your hand down the tail in a very gentle, slightly upward-arching movement.

All Folds are born with straight ears. At around three weeks the ears begin to fold, if they are going to. Since it’s not readily apparent how many Folds one has, breeders must play a waiting game until the ears develop their final folds. Even then it’s difficult to tell if the folds will be the tight folds preferred in the show ring or the looser, pet-quality folds.

Despite being folded, the ears are still expressive and swivel to listen, lay back in anger, and prick up when the can opener whirrs. The fold in the ear can become less pronounced when the cat is in heat, upset, or ill. Although some Fold owners report an increased production of wax buildup in their cats’ ears, apparently the folded ears do not make the cat more susceptible to mites or infections. The previously reported susceptibility to deafness may be related to the fact that many early Scottish Folds were white, and white cats can be prone to deafness unrelated to the fold gene.

Interested in the history of the Scottish Fold cat breed?12467295-funny-curious-scottish-fold-kitten-in-play

In 1961 Scottish shepherd William Ross noticed a white cat with strange, folded ears at a neighbor’s farm near Coupar Angus in the Tayside Region of Scotland. Realizing the uniqueness of this cat’s ‘lop’ ears, he asked around and found that the feline was a barn cat of no particular pedigree. Named Suzie, the cat belonged to Ross’s neighbors, the McRaes.

Ross learned that Susie’s mother was a straight-eared white cat. Her father was unknown, so it was unclear whether Susie was the first of her kind, or whether the folded ears had simply never been noticed before. Susie’s brother was also a Fold, but he wandered away, never to be seen again.

Ross and his wife, Mary, were enchanted by the feline and when Susie produced two folded ear kittens a year later, they acquired one, a white beauty like her mother whom they named Snooks.

The Rosses started a breeding program and proceeded to investigate establishing a new breed by attending cat shows and talking with breeders. At this time, they called the breed ‘lop-eared’, after the rabbit variety.

In 1966 the Rosses began registering their cats with the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy and, along with other enthusiasts, began the long process of achieving acceptance for their folded friends. By the end of the decade the breed was renamed the Scottish Fold.

In the early 1970s, however, the GCCF stopped registering Folds because of concerns about ear disorders such as infections, mites, and hearing problems. To continue in the show ring, the Scottish Fold had to give up its kilts and bagpipes and move to America.

CATS-PICTURES.ORG_-_4458-5184x3456-scottish+fold-erics67-solo-miotic+pupil-whiskers-highresFolds were first introduced to the United States in 1970 when three of Snook’s kittens were sent to Dr. Neil Todd at the Carnivore Genetics Research Center in Massachusetts, who was researching spontaneous mutations. He eventually abandoned his research, but located homes for his Folds. One of his cats found his way to Salle Wolfe Peters in Pennsylvania, who is chiefly responsible for developing the breed in the United States. Other Folds were later imported to the United States. All genuine Scottish Folds can be traced back to Susie’s line.

The Scottish Fold was accepted for CFA registration in 1973; in 1978 it received Championship status. In an amazingly short period, the Fold earned acceptance in all the cat associations and a place in the U.S. cat fancy’s top ten most popular breeds.

The long haired version of the breed was not officially recognized until the mid-1980s, although longhair kittens have been cropping up in the Scottish Fold litters since the genesis of the breed. Susie may have carried the long hair gene, being a barn cat of uncertain origin. The use of Persians in early crosses also helped to establish the longhair gene. CFA, CCA, ACFA, NCFA, ACA, CFF, AACE, UFO, and TICA have accepted the Scottish Fold Longhair for Championship.

The Scottish Fold Longhair is known by four different monikers, depending on the association and area you live in. ACFA, AACE, and UFO refer to the breed as the Highland Fold. TICA, NCFA, ACA, CCA, and CFA call the breed the Scottish Fold Longhair, and CFF refers to the breed as the Longhair Fold. Canadian breeders also call them the Coupari.

Copyright © 1998 by Barron’s Educational Series, Inc. based on
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CAT BREEDS by J. Anne Helgren.

Source: Petfinder

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