Monthly Archives: July 2011

Of Mice and Cats (an American Classic)

By Rocky Williams

I’m currently serving time at the Fleabag Prison with two other feline felons, so I thought it might be fun to tell you a story from my ‘Verminator’ days. They’re just a memory for me now, because I’m under house arrest for ankle biting, toe nibbling, counter surfing and other unmentionable crimes. Hence, I have nothing but time to tell a little cat-and-mouse tale. Steinbeck, eat your heart out!

Once upon a time, I had a job as Chief Verminator of Rodent Valley, California. It was a wonderful place for felines, but not so much for humans since the mice, rats and gophers outnumbered them by the thousands. Catching a rodent was a daily event for me, but not because I took my job seriously. I mean really…what else did I have to do all day?

So one day I caught a rat and promptly took him inside so the Warden could see what a good job I was doing as Chief Verminator. I hoped she would reward me with some of that yummy FELIDAE kibble I’m crazy for, but when I dropped him at her feet she screamed “Rocky, get that THING out of here!” Her lack of appreciation for my wonderful gift was appalling. I proceeded to play two-paw soccer with my rat, which I’d named Ben, but after awhile I lost interest in this little game and looked away.

Unfortunately, Ben seized the opportunity to make a run for it, and he got away from me! The Warden saw Ben scamper behind the stove. I pretended that I didn’t see anything. Rat? What rat? Hmmm…I didn’t see a rat, did you?  I nonchalantly licked my paws and sauntered away.

The warden, mouth agape, stared at my backside as I ambled out of the room. I think I heard her calling after me. She might have said something like, “Rocky, come back here and get that THING out from behind the stove.” But if she had said that, what did she expect me to do? The space Ben crawled under is one inch at best, and I’m a big lad. I couldn’t fit under there even I’d wanted to go after him, which I didn’t.

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Dog Health: Preventing and Treating Calluses

By Linda Cole

If your dog is anything like mine, he probably prefers snoozing on the couch or on a comfy chair rather than on the floor. I don’t mind sharing the couch with my dogs, because the softer padding helps protect them from developing calluses. Dogs can get calluses on their elbows and other areas of the body, just like we get them on our feet or hands. They aren’t life threatening and usually don’t bother the dog, but they can become a problem if they turn into sores. If you see gray, bare spots on your dog’s elbow, those are calluses. These can be prevented and treated.

Calluses form on a dog’s elbows, hips, and other areas of the body when the dog sleeps on hard surfaces – basically any place on their body where they are resting on a bony area. Calluses are sometimes called pressure sores and can turn into an abscess or an ulcer. Larger dogs are more susceptible to developing calluses, but any dog that spends too much time sleeping or laying on a hard surface can get them.

Summer is a prime time for dogs to develop calluses because they seek out the coolest area they can find to take a snooze. Cement located under a shade tree is a favorite resting spot because the cool surface feels good to them. Shaded decks and tile blocks are also great places to lie on during the summer. Dogs that pick hard surfaces to sleep on should have their elbows, hips and legs inspected regularly.

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Ten Important Phone Numbers for Pet Parents

By Julia Williams

When it comes to responsible pet ownership, there’s no such thing as being too prepared, or having too much information. We all know how important it is to keep the telephone number for our pet’s veterinarian close at hand. We also need to have the number and location of the nearest emergency vet hospital in case our pet gets sick or injured on weekends or after hours. In addition to those two essential telephone numbers, there are many others a pet owner might need at one time or another.

In an emergency, it’s much better to be prepared and know who to call than to be frantically searching for a phone number. The one thing you do NOT want to do in an emergency is search the internet for phone numbers. This is likely a waste of time because, as I discovered while doing research for this article, much of the information is outdated and the numbers are disconnected. I’ve only included numbers here that I could verify. Some are toll free numbers, but others may incur long distance charges depending upon your phone service. Also note that some may only be staffed Monday through Friday during regular business.

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center: 1 888 426 4435
If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, you can call this poison control center 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The cost for a poison-related emergency consultation with a veterinarian or toxicologist is $65, which can be billed to your credit card.

Pet Poison Helpline: 1 800 213 6680
This 24-hour animal poison control service for the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean charges a $35 per incident fee, payable by credit card. This fee covers the initial consultation as well as all follow-up calls associated with the management of the case.

Spay/USA Helpline: 1 800 248 7729
This national spay/neuter referral service can help you find a low cost clinic in your area. Their mission is to reduce pet overpopulation by making spay/neuter services affordable to everyone who has a cat or a dog. Phone counselors are available M-F from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST.

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World Record Pets

By Suzanne Alicie

Do you believe your pet has what it takes to break a world record? Oh sure, we all think our pets are award winners, because we love them. But people and their pets have set world records for many years, and these records aren’t easily broken. Take a gander at these incredible animals and how they found their way into the books.

Got a big dog or cat on your hands? To break the record, your dog needs to outsize Hercules, a friendly English Mastiff, weighing in at 282 pounds. A gentle dog with a 38-inch neck, Hercules barreled into the record books after the passing of yet another English Mastiff who weighed 296 pounds.

There have been some pretty big kitties too! The longest cat award is currently held by Stewie of Nevada, a 48.5 inch long Maine Coon. The largest cat on record weighed in at over 46 pounds: dearly departed Himmey, with a 15 inch neck, a 33 inch waist, and 38 inches from nose to tail.

If you have a tiny pet, they have big shoes to fill to break a world record too. Lengthwise, the tiniest dog on record is a Chihuahua named Heaven Sent Brandy who measures a staggering 6 inches from the tip of her nose to the tip of her tail tip. The lightest dog record is yet another Chihuahua named Ducky, weighing in at 1.4 pounds.

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How to Turn an Empty Dog Food Bag into a Tote

By Karen P., CANIDAE Customer

Editor’s Note: CANIDAE recently posted the photo for these cool repurposed dog food bags on their Facebook page. Many people asked for instructions on how to make them, so we asked Karen to share that here on the blog.

Supplies:

  • CANIDAE dog food bag (dimensions are from a 30 lb bag)
  • Duct tape
  • Clear packing tape
  • Scissors
  • Tissue or newspaper (for making a template)
  • Permanent marker

Instructions:

1. Cut dog food bag open, lay it flat, and wipe the inside with a damp cloth. See the image at left to know where to cut. (Click here for a larger version.)

2. Using tissue or newspaper, measure and cut out a template, much like making a pattern for a dress. You’re basically making a rectangle, but with notched-out corners. Your rectangle should be 19 1/2″ wide, by 17 1/2″ tall. Then, notch out a 3″ by 3″ corner on the bottom left and bottom right, like in the drawing.

3. Place your new template over the clean food bag. You need to make two identical cut-outs with your template. One will become the front of your repurposed bag, the other the back. Draw lines at edge of template with your marker. Then move the template and trace the second cut-out.

4. Use your scissors to cut the bag to match the templates you traced. You should have identically sized pieces after cutting.

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Handicapped Kitty “Willow” Gets a Miracle

By Julia Williams

Facebook has done it again. I’m all teary-eyed because of an incredibly heartwarming story I happened upon. I won’t say “by accident” because I believe there are no such things. I’m convinced that everything and everyone has a purpose, and that every pet was put here on earth for a reason. Sometimes we don’t know what that reason is; other times, it’s crystal clear. In the case of a special kitten named Willow, I think her purpose is to help people see that every pet is precious – even those who some might call “imperfect.” Willow’s motto could be summed up as, “Play the hand that life dealt you, but never stop hoping for a miracle.”

Willow’s touching story began with her birth last December. Her back legs were badly deformed, and her people said she was born that way. They didn’t even bother to name her – they just called her “Cripple.” Although her siblings all found homes, no one wanted the tiny kitten with a deformity.

That is, until fate intervened and a kindhearted woman named Wendy answered an ad for a free crippled kitten. Wendy felt an immediate bond with the little kitty. She didn’t see a kitten whose deformed legs made it extremely difficult for her to walk. She saw a sweet, cute and loving soul who deserved a chance to have a wonderful life despite her handicap. Wendy took her home and named her Willow, because “a beautiful girl deserves a beautiful name.” As the days turned to months, Wendy’s love for Willow grew, and she came to see her as “the most perfect angel in all the earth.”

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