Friday, June 15, 2012

FUN Friday

Let's bring the weekend in with some smiles, shall we? This seemed mean at first...and then he got his in the end. ;-)

Meredith's new favorite commercial.

Does your pet steal food? Are they this clever about it?

Happy Friday! Wishing you a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Homemade Treats

With the recall of treats recently, we've been getting requests for homemade treat recipes. We have some up the website for many different pets. I thought that I would share the links here.

Simply click on the one you are interested in and it will take you to the page!

Dog Treats

Kong Recipes





Jenn's Holistic Vet has her make Lily small meatball treats.

 Her recipe is:

1/2 pound Grass-fed ground beef egg (for binding)
1/2 pound bread crumbs

Mix all items together. Cook at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

You could add cheese if your dog likes it. A few tablespoons would be enough to give it a little gooey goodness!

She also grills steak and cuts it into bite size pieces to use for training treats as well (again, grass-fed).

Rachael Ray did an episode for Food Network - Rachael Ray Feeds Your Pets.  Though the video isn't available, the recipes used are!  Simply click here and it will take you to the links page.

Do you make treats for your pet? Do you have any favorite recipes?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Learning From a Dog Bite

We teach dog safety to children, but I often think we need to teach adults as well. It's particularly frustrating when a bite is avoidable. My dad's friend got a nasty bite over the weekend that wasn't entirely his fault. There were three contributors to the dog bite: the owner, the dog, and the Good Samaritan. 

The dog's owner took his dog to a busy park, tied him up, and walked off out of sight of his dog. The dog, in his panic, got himself completely wrapped around the tree with his leash. He couldn't move. There was little shade and it was a hot day.

Enter the good samaritan who wanted to help the poor dog. He stood with the dog for ten minutes waiting for the owner to return. When the owner didn't show up, he decided to help the distressed dog as the whining, panting and drooling were too much for him to witness any longer.

Let's look at this from the dog's perspective for a moment - you're panicked because your owner isn't around but a bunch of screaming, rowdy kids are, you're hot, you're exhausted, you're thirsty, you're tangled up in cord next to a tree, and suddenly a very large man that you don't know is reaching for you. You have no way to get away from him. What do you do?

The dog bit, which isn't surprising of any dog in this situation. The bite was quite severe as it was a large breed dog. It was severe enough to land him in the emergency room for 35 stitches. Before you guess at breed - it was a purebred lab. The man said that he helped the lab because it wasn't a "dangerous breed." Which is why labeling a dog based on breed is so dangerous. Thirty some stitches later and he has learned the painful lesson that the breed doesn't matter.

We need to look at situations and read body language. Nothing is more disturbing than reading an article about a dog attack and then skimming the comments that say things like "This is unusual for Boxers", "This is out of character for a Lab," etc. It is NOT out of character for ANY breed. All dogs bite. We shouldn't have to get bit to learn that lesson. Instead of looking at the breed, we need to pay attention to body language.  Any breed of dog that is incredibly stressed out and scared, as this dog was, will bite.  It's a natural reaction.

The man at the park had his heart in the right place. He saw a dog in distress and wanted to help despite knowing the dog was upset. Unfortunately, he had a false sense of security thinking a dog's breed made him safe even in an unsafe situation. A safer option would have been calling animal control, and letting professionals handle a potentially aggressive animal. The dog's owner likely thought he was doing a nice thing for his dog bringing him to the park. But when in public, it's our responsibility to keep our dogs under our supervision at all times. It's scary to think what might have happened if it was a young child who wandered up to the unattended dog to pet him. Dogs have done such an amazing job at adjusting to life with humans, that we often take their patience for granted. While tolerating stress is a spectrum, every dog has their limits. We're reminded the hard way when we ignore or test those limits

Friday, June 8, 2012

FUN Friday

Let's usher in the weekend with some fun animal videos!

Cat Vs Dog - Whose corner are you in?

This is an old video, but it's still funny every time I watch it!

Does your cat ever do this when you're trying to sleep?

Hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Just a Dog

As a "pit bull" type dog owner, I strive to have my dog viewed as any other medium/large breed dog. My husband and I are responsible owners, both college educated, and this is our dog breed choice. We love the breed - from their gushing affection toward humans to their goofy make you laugh personaltiy. This is our kind of dog.

Lily is well trained and well socialized, as any dog we own will always be. She doesn't bark and makes a horrible "watch dog" (which is okay because that isn't why we have a dog). She's never met a stranger. We're currently on our third mailman in the five years that we've had her. Each one has loved her.

When I was walking Lily on Monday, we ran into our mailman. As I stopped to chat with him, Lily automatically sat at my side. She looked around, but continiously glanced up at me to "check in."

"She's the best dog on my route," the mailman said. "All the other dogs bark at me, but not Lily. She's such a good girl."

Best "dog" on his route.

Exactly what I want to hear. I don't want her to be the nicest "pit bull." I want her to be the nicest/best behaved/whatever words you want to plug in dog.

Teaching first grade Dog Safety this week, I was able to hear the following conversation among the kids.

Armando, "I love pit bulls!"

Sara, "What's a pit bull?"

He shrugged and said, "Just a dog."

The wisdom of children.

Just a dog. That's what we all strive to have our dogs seen as - what they are. Just a dog like any other medium/large breed dog. We still have a long way to go, but we are getting there. Slowly, owners have seen steps forward for our dogs.

For more information on the breed, click any of the following links:

Monday, June 4, 2012

Crazy for Cats

I grew up a dog person. A big part of the reason was that I am allergic to cats. They're second only to bees in my life. So, naturally, my parents would never allow us to have one.

I got my first cat by accident in my early 20s. My boyfriend's downstair neighbor's kid (confused yet?) found a kitten on his way home from school. No collar. But the dad didn't like cats so they were keeping it hidden in a box under the bathroom sink. It got out one night and pooped on the bedroom floor. Angry, the dad tossed the kitten out in the rain. He crawled upstairs and curled up on my boyfriend's welcome mat for the night. In the morning, I had a kitten.

This is Junior Me-ow (named after Junior Seau, or Say-Ow as he was known when we were growing up in Daygo). My heart cat. He changed my life. I won't say it was easy on my body. It took me a few months to adjust. Benedryl became a regular part of my life. So did air filters. Junior got a bath once a month. The carpets also got steamed once a month. He was totally worth it. Having that little face greet me at the door every evening - well, words can't describe it. He was a snuggler and never met a stranger. He would greet everyone. My neighbor's chihuahua taught him how to bark. That's right, my cat could bark. He was amazing. Unfortunately, I lost him when he was only 4 years old to a heart defect. I still miss him.

This is Mama. Mama was part of a feral colony that I took care of for almost a decade. I trapped, neutered and released, but it took me 8 years to get her in a trap. She would give me two litters a year like clockwork. She was a great mom - teaching them to hunt, keeping them out of the street, and then depositing them on my doorstep at 8 weeks. It's was as though she was saying, "I've done all I can - now it's YOUR turn." And I would find them homes.

Pip came from her last litter. She was very, very sick as a kitten. The Upper Respiratory got into her eye. A herpe formed, popped and lacerated her cornea. They had to take the eye. She's our one-eyed cat. She is such a GREAT cat. So even keeled. She can roll with the punches - any punches. She has put up with a constant influx of animals - from dogs that I had to take on the evening news to dogs that were staying temporarily to a new puppy that liked to chase and just never left. She has tolerated her sisters as well. This is the cat that makes my non-cat friends say, "Pip makes me want a cat." She's just THAT cool. And she talks. I have to get video of it because you can have an entire conversation with her. She will answer every question you ask. In cat.

Eowyn is the only cat that I've ever actually picked out. At the shelter, her name was Nora. She was thrown over the fence in a box with the lid taped shut. No air holes. When the kennel manager's dogs found the box in the morning, they didn't know if she would survive. She has thrived. Here we are over 9 years later and she's still going strong. She's my Princess. She takes over every dog bed we put down, but sometimes she will let Lily lay next to her. Eowyn is still terrified of leaving the house. If she has to go to the vet, she will wet herself in the crate. I think those days of being abandoned are still fresh all these years later. When we moved, she didn't come out of the closet in the bedroom for two months. Poor thing. But she's a beauty and she loves to be on my lap. There's just something about her.

Wednesday was the last cat thrown into the mix. She was the kitten of a really ill feral mom that showed up one night when I was feeding. A week later, the mom had disappeared entirely. I came home from work to find Wednesday collapsed in my parking space. She was 12 weeks old and weighed under a pound. With a flea treatment and some IV fluids, she started to bounce back. She would sleep so soundly that Erik and I would think that we had crushed her. We were constantly shaking her in the middle of the night (she slept between our heads), worried that she wasn't alive. When she finally roused from that deep sleep, she would look very annoyed. She's a sweet cat to us, but a terror to the dog and a pain in the butt to her sisters. She greets us every morning at the bedroom door and ushers us throughout the house. When we're home, she will follow from room to room. She's as loyal as any dog. But she's a bit off. She does odd things sometimes that make us think that she might have brain damage from the flea anemia.

Every cat is different and I think we're better people for having them in our lives. They taught us patience. And the importance of naps.

Are you a cat person? Or a dog person? Or both?

Friday, June 1, 2012

FUN Friday

Here's a few videos to make you smile on a Friday (as if FRIDAY isn't reason enough!).

The kids said this week that they wanted more "cats". So I bring everyone a plethora (look it up if you don't know the definition!) of kitten and cat videos!

Is there anything more adorable than sleeping kitties?

This cat looks a little suspicious of the camera, but the hug is adorable!

And who says that cats can't do tricks? I chose this video because you can hear the clicker in it. This is what Ms. Jennifer was talking about with clicker training:

Can your cat do tricks? Do you think cats are smarter than dogs? We'll find out next week with a cat and dog trick competition on video!