The 2014 Internet Cat Video Festival

catvidfest 1By Julia Williams

I’ve never been to Minnesota, but I’ve wanted to go ever since the shopping mecca known as the Mall of America opened. Now I have another reason, a much more compelling one actually, to add this fine state to my travel bucket list – Minneapolis, MN is where the annual Internet Cat Video Festival takes place!

The What??!

Yes, I heard you say that. This is likely what I also thought the first time I heard about the Internet Cat Video Festival, aka Catvidvest. Now I just say … what a great idea! That, and why didn’t someone think of this sooner?  I mean, we all love to watch funny cat videos, right? What could be better than sharing the experience with thousands of other cat people?

catvidfest 3Catvidvest is billed as an “offline celebration of online cat videos.” The live festival offers feline fanatics an opportunity to come together to watch a curated collection of cat clips in a social setting. In other words, the Internet Cat Video Festival provides people like me a much- desired way to “be among my people,” i.e., those who adore cats and aren’t afraid to tell it to the world.

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Urban Dog Etiquette: Living with Dogs in a Metropolitan Area

urban rodriguezBy Langley Cornwell

My cousin and her family live in New York City with a completely spoiled Lab; they are crazy about their dog and treat her like a third child. The dog gets the best of everything including her own bedroom, visits to the doggie spa and premium quality CANIDAE Grain Free PURE dog food. Having always lived in a more suburban area, I couldn’t imagine how they properly managed life with a large dog in the heart of the Big Apple. However, if you’ve ever spent time in congested urban areas, you know that tight living space does not lessen the desire for canine companionship. So my cousin, and many others, meets the challenges of living with dogs in highly populated areas with grace and smarts. Here are some basic etiquette rules they follow.

Reinforce Basic Commands

At a minimum, city dogs must follow a number of basic commands promptly and precisely in order to get around safely. Of special importance are the come, sit/stay, heel and leave it commands. In a bustling city, there are many distractions that can be hazardous to your dog’s safety if she’s not responsive to commands. Waiting for the stoplight to change is much easier and safer when your pooch is calmly in a sit/stay by your side.

Pets may get nervous when confronted with rambunctious children, loud noises, blaring car horns, etc. The heel and leave it commands are especially helpful in preventing your pet from chasing bicycles, in-line skaters or skateboarders. At any time, you may be thrust into situations that demand swift and thorough control of your dog to prevent problems. A firm grasp of basic commands is necessary for city-dwelling dogs.
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Can a Dog’s Tail Give You Clues About His Heritage?

dog tail  Jon-Eric MelsæterBy Linda Cole

From my perspective, I don’t care if a dog is purebred or mixed. I’ve had both over the years and cherished each for their unique personalities. Mixed breed dogs, however, can garner interesting debates about what breeds are in their makeup. You might be able to figure out a few by looking at the face and overall body type, but one of the best places to start is at the tail. The shape, size, length, how it sets and whether the tail is bushy, feathered or smooth can all give you clues about your mixed breed dog’s heritage.

A dog’s tail is an extension of the spine and consists of flexible vertebrae that give the tail movement up and down or side to side. Muscles located in the lower back are attached to the tail by tendons. The tail gives us information that can indicate a dog’s mood. Recently, scientists discovered a subtle movement to the right or left can mean your dog is feeling negative or positive.

Many of the breeds that are members of the Spitz family of dogs have a bushy tail that forms a sickle and curls up over the back. Some Spitz dogs, such as the Shiba Inu, Akita and Norwegian Buhund, have an extra curl at the tip of their tail. Spitz dogs closely resemble the original body type and look of the first domesticated dog, the Peat Dog from the late Stone Age era, and scientists believe the sickle tail held over the back helped people tell the difference between domesticated dogs and wolves. Chihuahuas are not part of the Spitz family, but they also have a sickle tail type.

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How to Stop Destructive Puppy Chewing

puppy chew mike spasoffBy Laurie Darroch

Puppies can be very oral and destructive with their incessant need to chew. They are exploring the world around them. By the process of elimination and training, they learn what is edible and what isn’t acceptable for chewing. It is a constant learning process that takes supervision from their human companions and behavior modification training to keep them from chewing and destroying things that are valuable to you or dangerous for them.

“Puppy Proof” Your Home

The easiest way to help keep your pup from chewing things you don’t want destroyed is to puppy proof your home. Look around the house, think like your puppy and move anything that might look tempting to them. Put it out of their reach. That way there is no issue to begin with instead of getting frustrated or angry when they damage something within their reach that looks intriguing to chew.

Not only are valuables important to move in order to prevent your puppy from destroying them, breakable things or potentially poisonous items can be a health hazard for your puppy. Puppies have no idea what is dangerous for them to chew. As a responsible pet owner, it is one of your responsibilities to make their environment safe for them.

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New CANIDAE Life Stages Cat Food is the Cat’s Meow!

Linda cats for review 2By Jabbers Cole, Feline Guest Blogger

Mew – Mew, Maauul, Meow. Pardon me, I had to get my voice warmed up so I can share my purrfectly good news with all my kitty friends. CANIDAE has some tasty new recipes in their Life Stages line of food for cats!  The Boss (aka my human) says I’m the one that loves to jabber all the time, so I could tell everyone about this meowvalous food.

My culinary adventure started awhile back when I was checking out what the neighbor dogs were yapping about. All of a sudden, this scary looking guy walked right by my window! He tossed something down and ran away. The Boss went to see what he left. She came back with a box and set it down in front of me. “Look what came for you, Jabbers.”

My first thought was “Nice box!” But it didn’t look at all big enough for me to fit inside. There were lots of small cans of cat food in the box. Now that got my attention, and I decided there was plenty of time to figure out how I was going to fit inside that tiny box.
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Dog Themed Museums

dog museums theilrBy Julia Williams

If you’re a dog lover and your summer travels take you to Missouri, Texas, Tennessee or Alaska, you might want to check out the following museums dedicated to our canine companions.  These woof-worthy dog museums feature original art, books, videos, historical information, dog collectibles, dog toys and a whole lot more.

American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog

The AKC’s Museum of the Dog claims to be “Home to the world’s finest collection of art devoted to the dog.” Now, I have not traveled the world in search of dog art nor have I been to this museum in person. However, if what they showcase on their website is indicative of the quality of dog art found in the museum, I’d have to agree. It looks doggone impressive!

Located in St. Louis, Missouri, the Museum of the Dog displays more than 700 original paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, bronzes and porcelain figurines as well as decorative art depicting man’s best friend through the ages. The All-Star Dogs Hall of Fame features colorful wall murals painted by the American artist Stephen Hubbell, and story boards created by the international design firm Hellmuth Obata Kassabaum. Also on permanent display is a Dogs of War exhibit with historical photographs, limited edition prints and memorabilia on the famous WWII Yorkshire Terrier mascot named Smoky.

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