Monthly Archives: November 2011

Why It’s Important to Be Your Dog’s Leader

By Linda Cole

A strong pack leader knows who their dog is and understands that in order to have a stable and happy dog, it’s the human who needs to take control of the pack. Even one dog makes up a pack with his family. Being the pack leader involves understanding how dogs view their world. Because we domesticated dogs, it’s our job to provide stability and a safe environment for them. Taking the lead role is what dogs expect us to do. If we don’t take the lead they will, and that’s when behavior problems begin.

It’s up to us to teach our dogs how we expect them to act around the home, both with other people and other family pets. According to local and state laws concerning dogs, it’s our role as owners to make sure we are capable of keeping them under control to keep the public safe as well as the pet. Dog owners have their pet’s best interest at heart, but too many people have problems taking the lead role. Dogs are individual creatures and some definitely have a mind of their own. Each one has their own personality, and few dogs are shy about trying to move into the lead spot if they believe their owner hasn’t filled that spot.

Like the wolf pack, dogs also have a hierarchy in their family and one member of their family must be the leader. It’s a simple concept for the dog, but dogs aren’t wolves and our interactions with our pet are different than how wolves interact in their packs. Dogs are considered to be juvenile wolves that are dependent on us for their safety and needs. If we want our pet to be calm and stable, we have to be their leader.

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Isn’t It Time to Retire the Crazy Cat Lady Stereotype?

By Julia Williams

I read an article recently that described cat ladies as “quitters” and lonely sad sacks who never leave the house. By contrast, dog ladies were said to be outgoing, athletic, adventurous and full of life. Stereotype much? The article went on to claim that while dog memoirs (aka dogoirs) are inspiring, life-changing things of beauty, no comparable thing could exist for cat memoirs because “cat ladies only get to be one thing: lonely.” Seriously? Excuse me while I hack up a hairball on that article. cough. gag. urk.

Ah, I feel so much better now! =^..^=

I wish I could say this article was satirical, that this stereotypical characterization of the sad sack cat ladies was a joke. But I can’t…because it wasn’t. And this, I must admit, did peeve me just a bit. It doesn’t surprise me though, given that Crazy Cat Ladies are perhaps the last group we – and by “we” I mean society – are still allowed to make fun of. In fact, many people get a big kick out of ridiculing women who love cats, as though there is something wrong with it, something so “abnormal” about it that these women couldn’t possibly be functioning, happy, friendly people who engage in life and with others. Again… cough. gag. urk.

I watched a dumb show once where one of the characters said “Women with candles replaces women with cats as the new sad thing.” Claiming that loving any animal can be sad just seems so idiotic to me. Dogs, cats, horses, hamsters, gerbils or bunnies – why should it matter to anyone else who or what we choose to love? Newsflash! I’m a woman, I love cats, and I am definitely not a sad sack. I’m not lonely either, not one teeny tiny bit. I even leave the house on occasion to interact with society! And guess what? I’m not an anomaly either. I happen to know many women who love cats, and none of them are lonely old spinsters hiding away in a house full of felines.

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Puppy Rescue Mission: Bringing War Dogs Home

By Linda Cole

Military rules are clear when it comes to troops in a war zone and pets. They are not supposed to keep or care for pets at all. Thankfully, this rule is bent when men and women in the armed forces overseas adopt homeless pets. Puppy Rescue Mission is an organization that’s helping to bring these war zone pets home.

On the Puppy Rescue Mission’s Facebook page, a poster shows a soldier crouching down and petting a kitten. The poster reads: “It is man’s sympathy with all creatures that first makes him truly a man.” I thought about the poster – the image and the words, and how true it is for anyone who loves animals. Soldiers have always befriended pets in foreign lands where they were stationed. Rescued dogs have tagged along on patrols, and have been credited with saving the lives of soldiers. Anna Cannan created the nonprofit Puppy Rescue Mission after her fiancé Chris befriended a group of dogs living at the outpost where he was stationed while serving in Afghanistan.

A few weeks before Chris arrived at the outpost to begin his tour of duty, a suicide bomber had snuck into the outpost during the night. Three stray dogs living at the camp rushed to defend the outpost and attacked the bomber. The dogs stopped what could have been a devastating attack when they kept the suicide bomber away from where the soldiers were sleeping. Unfortunately, one of the dogs was killed and the other two were injured but recovered. When Chris arrived, he and his fellow soldiers embraced the dogs, including a litter of puppies belonging to one of the injured dogs. Chris knew he would eventually return home, and he and Anna began to brainstorm how they could rescue some of these brave dogs and send them back to the States for adoption. Anna began a Facebook page to try and raise the $3,000 per dog it would cost at the time they began their mission to rescue Afghanistan dogs needing homes. You can read their entire story on the Puppy Rescue Mission website.

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Ways to Save on Pet Food and Treats

By Julia Williams

Finding ways to save money is on a lot of people’s minds nowadays. Tough economic times call for figuring out how to stretch the budget. We all need to eat though, and so do our pets. With that in mind, here are a few ways to save on dog food, cat food, pet treats and even horse feed!

Coupons

Until recently, I wasn’t much of a couponer because it didn’t seem worth the trouble. TLC’s Extreme Couponing show sparked my desire to begin using coupons, and once I saw how much I could actually save, couponing has become a way of life. Some people think you can only buy junk with coupons, but it’s not true. You can find coupons for just about anything – including healthy pet food.

Many pet food companies have coupons for dog food, cat food and pet treats on their website and/or their Facebook page. CANIDAE Natural Pet Food Company has several different high value coupons on their website that anyone can request. You can save up to $4 off FELIDAE pureELEMENTS or pureSEA dry cat food, and up to $5 off CANIDAE pureSKY or pureLAND dry dog food.

The CANIDAE website also has coupons for TidNips™ treats for both dogs and cats. These coupons are even better because they are BOGO (in couponing lingo, that means buy one get one). So, you buy one package of Tidnips treats (which my cats ecstatically endorse) and you get one free! If you happen to have a horse, CANIDAE even has a BOGO coupon for its line of horse feed called EQUIDAE. In a couponer’s world, free is the magic word. Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t get something good for free, because it’s simply not true!

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The Purpose of a Dog’s Tail

By Langley Cornwell

We all know what a dog’s tail looks like. We know the tail starts at the end of a dog’s vertebral column and extends beyond his body. We know a dog wags his tail when he’s happy. Other than that, we’ve probably never thought much about it.

There are some types of dogs that are born without a prolonged tail, and there are dogs whose tails have been altered. Some herding and working dog breeds have their tails docked short when they are young; a long tail can be a disadvantage to a working dog because it can interfere with his specific responsibilities and duties. But we’re talking here about the tails of dogs that are long and unaltered, and the many purposes these tails serve.

Communication 

I can tell what my dog is feeling by the way she holds or moves her tail. Her ears speak volumes as well, but that’s a story for another day. Her tail tells me if she is happy, stressed, aggravated or scared. When she holds her tail high and wags it back and forth, she’s happy. A CANIDAE dog treat never fails to elicit that happy tail wag! When she’s both happy and excited, her tail is high and she moves it in a circular manner which always makes me smile. When something captures her attention, her tail is parallel to the ground.

When my dog is aggravated or feels challenged, she holds her tail a bit higher than her attentive position but not as high as her happy position. I know she feels especially provoked when her tail is held upright and it’s puffed up and rigid.

Too often, our shy girl tucks her tail between her legs, which lets me know she is scared or feeling submissive. And when she keeps her tail low and wags it quickly, she’s nervous or insecure.

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Dog Commandments

By Keikei Cole, Canine Guest Blogger

I’m happy to follow my “dear leader” everywhere, even into the scary places if she’s stupid enough to go there. Well, someone has to keep an eye on her! There is no other critter that will stand by their “boss” as steadfast and loyal as the magnificent, charming creature you call a dog. Case in point: you’ve never seen a movie about a cat named Lassie racing home to get help for Timmy. Right? I rest my case. BOL!

OK, listen up humans – I’m here to give you some important dog commandments that will make our lives much better. If you break these commandments, the great dog star in the sky will rain on your head.

Dog Commandments:

You shall understand from day one, I will always be the QUEEN of your home. I give my trust and loyalty to those who have earned it, and I expect to be treated with respect at all times. My unconditional love is your reward.

You shall not blame me for what I can’t control. I am not a cat, and I need to go outside on a regular schedule. If you don’t get me outside in time, don’t get mad at me when accidents happen. Walks are preferable because I need some excitement, too. Plus, it keeps me from wanting to eat the couch.

You shall not be critical of my “handshake.” Sniffing from behind is polite dog etiquette. Your eye rolling or red face won’t change how we say “HI.”

You shall always reward me with quality treats. When I’m good, praise is great along with my favorite CANIDAE treat because it shows me how much you care. And the QUEEN always gets what she wants from adoring subjects.

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