By Rocky Williams
I would be the first to admit that I’m a bad, bad cat. Apparently when I was made, they were all out of the “good” attributes like self-control, willpower and obedience. All attempts by the Warden to train me have been futile, and I pretty much do what I want, with WHATEVER I want. I just can’t help it. Yeah, that’s my defense and I’m sticking to it.
When I see something I covet, I go after it with no thought to the consequences. Usually, what I want is the Warden’s food. It perplexes her, and she says things like “Rocky, I feed you two square meals a day, plus a handful of those scrumptious TidNips™ treats at bedtime – why do you always act like you’re starving?” Well…allow me to explain.
You see, I absolutely love my FELIDAE cat food, and those TidNips are the tastiest treats I’ve eaten in all my 8 years of cathood. But those things are for CATS, and I want what the Warden is having because it’s for people and thus, it’s forbidden. We all know that when something is forbidden, it becomes infinitely more desirable. It doesn’t matter what the Warden is eating, really; I stop at nothing to get my paws on it.
And that, my friends, is what led to the fateful day the Warden screamed the most awful sentence at me. “Rocky!! I don’t want to EVER see your face again!” she yelled. Oh my. I was in big trouble.
Editor’s note: Emma Zen is the newest canine to be welcomed into the CANIDAE Special Achievers, a sponsorship program created to support exemplary pets and their responsible owners.
How does a dog become a fundraiser? Well, this dog seems to have been born with what it takes. She has a story, a unique trait, and a dream! Emma Zen is a fire survivor; the Labrador Retriever was found running out of the hills near Santiago Canyon in October of 2007. Fire fighters turned the lost old soul into the Orange County Animal Shelter. Three days later, she met her human! Together and inseparable, Emma Zen and Debra Jo Chiapuzio began a long list of training regimens.
Obedience, Agility, Trick, Tracking, CGC, Therapy, Stage & Film, and Service… Emma Zen seemed to be a dog capable of doing it all. Yet it was when she sat in her Harley Davidson Sidecar that she shined! She personally doesn’t act as if this is a unique trait – if you ever saw her you would just think it’s her thing. Trademarked as “the Canine Ambassador for Biker Dogs,” Emma Zen now hosts a yearly Biker Dog Rally in, of all places, South Dakota during Sturgis Rally Week. And with her “why think small” attitude, the biker dog turned all the attention she was receiving into a full size fundraising adventure. Her dream is now a reality; what started as personal social and media attention is now used as a tool for bringing public awareness to household animals and their safety!
By Suzanne Alicie
If you’re a pet lover, you’ve more than likely heard of Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS). This fantastic organization provides for the needs of companion animals to low income people with HIV/AIDS, other disabling illnesses and senior citizens. Volunteers provide essential support, educate the community and advocate for disabled individuals to have the right to keep service animals. PAWS is not just support for the health and well being of animals though; the organization also contributes to improving the quality of life for disabled individuals and their furry companions.
Thanks to the wonderful mom of Guido the Italian Kitty, we were able to get the inside scoop on some exciting news from the PAWS camp. Guido is a certified “Animal Assisted Therapy Meowster,” and PAWS is one of his very favorite organizations. Before I share their big news, I want to tell you a bit about the PAWS program and the work they do. I was lucky enough to be able to discuss PAWS with the President of the San Francisco organization, John Lipp, who filled me in on the details of PAWS and its presence across the country.
By Julia Williams
Since this is National Dog Bite Prevention Week, we thought this would be a good time to discuss why dogs bite and offer some tips to avoid getting bitten. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year, and one in five dog bite injuries require medical attention.
One very important part of responsible pet ownership is doing everything you can to make sure that you, your family, visitors to your home and strangers on the street are all safe in the presence of your dog. Although there is no way to guarantee that your dog will never bite someone, there are things you can do to lessen the probability. First and foremost, it’s vital to arm yourself with knowledge about dog behavior.
Learn to “Speak Dog”
A good place to start is the educational website Doggone Safe, which has a wealth of information about dog bite prevention, including recognizing signs of anxiety, arousal, aggression, signs that a bite is imminent, and signs that a dog is happy. The site also has photos and a slideshow of different canine body language signals, which can be a very useful teaching tool for parents. Since dogs can’t verbalize how they feel, they use their body language to tell us whether they want attention or to be left alone. Learning to recognize signs of aggression will help prevent dog bites.
By Linda Cole
The APDT is an organization made up of professional trainers who are dedicated to educating dog trainers on how they can be better trainers. Most of us who own dogs understand the importance of training them. For those of us who take on the job of teaching our dogs basic commands, a good supply of CANIDAE TidNips™ treats, positive reinforcement and plenty of love can help our dogs learn what we want them to know. Sometimes, however, a dog owner may not have the time or knowhow to teach a dog, and that’s where the Association of Pet Dog Trainers can be of service. If you are looking for a qualified dog trainer, the APDT is a good organization to start your search with.
The Association of Pet Dog Trainers is the brainchild of Ian Dunbar, a well known veterinarian, animal behaviorist, dog trainer and writer. The Association of Pet Dog Trainers was founded in 1993 with a goal of helping dog trainers learn how to do their job better with continual education. If you are a dog trainer, APDT can help you build contacts and improve your dog training business by associating with other professional dog trainers you can network with. They also conduct seminars and conferences where trainers can share ideas and learn from each other. Membership in the organization is worldwide, and their mission statement is: “To represent and advance the dog training profession through education and advocacy.”
By Julia Williams
When Jean Chu and Jim Coleman visited their local animal shelter five years ago, they were just hoping to find a friendly feline that would fit nicely into their family. Little did they know that the handsome kitty they chose would eventually become one of the most famous cats in America!
Dusty’s penchant for prowling the neighborhood and carting home his prey led to him being featured on the popular Animal Planet series Must Love Cats, which catapulted him to fame. What’s so unusual about a cat bringing home his kill? Unlike most feline hunters, Dusty doesn’t catch mice or rats – he goes after towels, gloves, shoes, socks, children’s toys, swimsuits, bras, and anything else he can find! He then carries his loot home and deposits it proudly on the lawn or driveway.
Dusty’s thieving ways were captured on tape for the show. The sight of a cat waddling up the driveway with a bra in his grasp was hilarious. Millions of people fell in love with the quirky cat burglar from San Mateo, California and “Klepto Kitty” became the talk of the town. News stations clamored to interview Dusty, and he even appeared on David Letterman.