Yearly Archives: 2012

A Dog’s Take on New Year’s Resolutions

By Cody Yost, Canine Guest Blogger

Humans think they are the only ones who like to make New Year’s Resolutions, but the truth is us dogs don’t mind a little self improvement. As long as it’s tastily rewarded, that is. But I can’t help noticing that my humans, Mike and Tamara, aren’t usually very successful with theirs. Why? They’re going about it all wrong.

So I decided to take their New Year’s resolution list and improve upon it with canine logic. Maybe now their resolutions will last past spring.

Exercise is Good

Especially for me. But it’s silly to buy some expensive and scary thingamajig to walk on. That’s so boring and we can’t do it together. You’re just going to start throwing clothes on it anyways. So what’s the point?

Instead, grab a leash or a ball and we can go outside! We can play chase or catch and I can show you all of my favorite spots in the neighborhood, like the fascinating dumpster in the alley, or we can investigate that backyard where all the rabbits live. I can even teach you how to sniff out the best stuff and which leaf piles are optimum to roll around in. Plus, we can explore new places.

See how I just saved you money?

Budget the Right Way

Speaking of which, my humans are always trying to cut more expenses from their budget, yet they pick the silliest, counterproductive things to get rid of. For example, in the past they’ve cut movie channels and gotten rid of cable (that didn’t last). First of all, I like the talking picture box, so that was just rude. Secondly, when they do this they have to leave the house (sometimes without me!) and spend money. Silly people.

They’re also always talking about buying less food. Not my CANIDAE dog food – I will say they are super good about keeping that in stock – but the yummy stuff they make for themselves. So when they can’t find anything to eat, sometimes they go out and eat somewhere else. Without me. Again, rude! That just means I have to dig through the trash, and you can bet I don’t like to leave the bag intact. Otherwise, how would they learn?

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An Unforgettable “Citizen Ride Along” with K-9 Samson

By Julia Williams

Most cities have programs where civilians can spend a few hours riding shotgun with a police officer out on patrol. It’s a great way for ordinary citizens to get a behind-the-scenes look at law enforcement, whether for a future career or just to satisfy their curiosity. As a Journalism student in college, I was assigned to the “police beat” and took many such rides. For a young girl who’d never been in trouble with the law, these adventures were all quite fascinating, but one in particular was unforgettable. I was allowed to go on patrol with a K-9 cop and his four-legged partner, a German Shepherd named Samson. Decades later, I can still vividly recall this ride along.

It was a dark and stormy night. Just kidding! It was probably a night like any other for Officer Kaiser and Samson. As for me, I could feel the excitement in the air. I was ready for the “action” I hoped would ensue, because I wanted to write a story that would blow the socks off my Journalism teacher.

Prior to riding with Samson, I’d been forewarned by fellow officers that “the dog stunk to high heaven, paced back and forth all night, and barked at anything and everything.” Most of that was true, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

When I first saw Samson, he was inside the police car. Kaiser called Samson over, ordered him to “stay” and sauntered back to the car. I said something dumb like “Nice doggy” as I held my breath and waited for him to bite my leg. He didn’t bite, of course, and off we went on patrol. Samson rode in the back seat; a partition separated us, but this didn’t stop him from periodically sticking his furry face through a little window to lick mine.

We drove around for a long time, and just when I thought we’d never see any “action,” a call came over the radio about a fight at a liquor store. Kaiser spun the car around, flipped on the lights and accelerated. Samson went wild in the back seat, barking and pacing in a frenzy. When we arrived at the scene, three men were standing around a hippie sitting on a moped. Fighting? Not so much. I was disappointed.

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Handling Jealousy and Favoritism in Multi Pet Homes

By Linda Cole

Pets can and do show signs of being jealous of another family member, including other pets in the home. I have wondered, at times, if my pets understand the concept of having a favorite one among them. I love and treat them all equally, but will admit, I do have my favorites. I think that’s just human nature. However, our pets do have emotions, and there may be times when we have to contend with a dog or cat that may feel left out.

A jealous pet can make life difficult in a home with multiple pets, if you don’t establish yourself as the leader. Even cats need to know who makes the rules in the home. Dogs and cats in households with more than one pet do compete with each other for their owner’s attention. Being a multi pet home, I understand the need to make sure each pet receives attention throughout the day. And as individuals, some require more than others, which has nothing to do with jealousy.

Cats, by nature, are more reserved than most dogs. Some of my cats are more loving, and ask for more attention than others. Each one has their own personality and preference when it comes to whether or not they want to sit on my lap and cuddle. Some decide when I’m allowed to hold them, and for how long. Jabbers is a huge black cat who loves to sit and talk with me, but he’s not one that wants to be held or cuddled, unless he makes that decision. Still, he is one of my favorites because of his personality.

Because I’ve brought many cats into my home over the years after rescuing them off the street, my four legged family members takes newcomers in stride, and treat them like they’ve always been part of their family. This makes socializing easier for a new arrival who is just waiting for their forever home. None of my cats are jealous because they know I love them, and understand what I expect from them.

Jealousy becomes a problem when a pet feels he’s lost your love. The bond we share with a pet is as special and sacred as it gets, in their eyes. A strong bond requires trust, and when both are established, the pet will never break his end of the bargain. It’s our job to nurture that bond every day by making sure we are the ones who set rules we expect pets to follow, and be fair and positive when disciplining, if it’s needed.

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Four Furry Beneficiaries Worth Millions

By Langley Cornwell

There have been more pets with large bank accounts than you might imagine, and they didn’t all start out as pampered, pedigreed pups. Of course some of them did, but around this time last year a rescued alley cat named Tommaso became one of the wealthiest animals in the world, adding to the growing list of animal millionaires.

Stray Cat Strut

A lonely heiress, Maria Assunta, rescued a stray cat from the streets of Rome and cared for the cat as if he was her own son. When the wealthy lady died at the age of 94, having no children to leave her estate to, Tommaso the cat inherited her fortune: $13 million dollars in cash along with property in Milan, Rome and Calabria.      

Assunta, the widow of an Italian property tycoon, had a trusted nurse caring for her in her final years. When her health began to decline, the heiress began to put her affairs in order with a particular interest in securing a comfortable future for her precious cat. Her original plan was to bequeath her fortune to a suitable animal welfare organization that would commit to caring for Tommaso. When none of the animal associations met her standards, she left everything she owned to the cat, with the agreement that her nurse would agree to care for him.

German Financier

A German shepherd named Gunther IV is supposed to be the wealthiest dog in the world, but some say his story is a giant publicity stunt. Whatever the case, the dog is mega rich. His father, Gunther III, was the beloved companion of Karlotta Liebenstain, an eccentric German countess. Karlotta died in 1992 and left her dog, (Gunther III), an inheritance of $124 million dollars. Apparently that German shepherd was quite a good money manager. During the elder Gunther’s lifetime, he grew his fortune to $372 million dollars which was passed on to his son, Gunther IV at his death. It’s safe to say this family of German shepherds has plenty of nutritious CANIDAE dog food to go around.  

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A Pet Version of "The Night Before Christmas"

By Linda Cole

It’s the night before Christmas, the house is all quiet. That fat man who falls down the chimney is near. He steals through the house, grabbing cookies and milk. But not this year – not while I’m here. A right jolly old man, as the story goes, who has reindeer as pets; one with a big red nose that shines through the night, showing Santa the way with an eerie (and unearthly!) magical glow.

He creeps through the house in the dark of the night. Dressed all in red, BOL, what a funny sight. I’m watching and ready this year when he comes. That plate full of cookies will be mine this night. You know who I mean, he’s a plump little fellow. Rosy cheeks, and belly shaking just like Jello. He swoops down the chimney with a bag full of loot, yelling Ho Ho Ho in a booming bellow.

I’m on the job, patrolling my home and guarding my humans as they dream in their beds. But just in case I get tired this night, I’ve enlisted some help from a cat friend named Fred. Oh Fred, stay on your toes, he’ll be coming soon. Fred! Stop playing, leave that poor mouse alone. I told you no playing, and you promised to be good. What did you say? You don’t like my tone?

And then it happened, as quick as can be. A noise on the roof – Fred, that fat man is here. Scoot to your post, as fast as you can. Now where did Fred go? He’s disappeared. I hear a noise from behind the couch, a muffled meow in the quiet old house. Well hello Fred. Why are you tied? What’s that you say, it was a ninja mouse!

Just then from the chimney came a noise up above. Forget that mouse, and hide over there. A cloud of soot suddenly appears, catching Fred by surprise who stops with a bewildered stare. My plan will fail if Santa sees Fred! I must spring to action; there’s no time for delay. I quickly grab Fred by the nap of his neck, but he doesn’t budge. Fred, how much do you weigh?

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2012 AKC Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE) Winners

Keahi, Search & Rescue

By Langley Cornwell

The American Kennel Club has a deep respect for the canine-human bond and the extraordinary ways in which dogs contribute to people’s lives. Inspired to formalize their appreciation for this symbiotic relationship, in 1999 they started The AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE), and had their first presentation year in 2000.

For a dog to qualify, he must have done something that benefited an individual or a community. The dogs do not have to be AKC registered for this award; mixed breeds are given equal consideration. The AKC presents one award per year in these five categories: Search and Rescue, Law Enforcement, Service, Therapy, and Exemplary Companion Dog. The 2012 ACE winners each received an engraved silver collar medallion and a check for $1,000 at a presentation ceremony in Florida on December 15th. The winners for this year are:

Search and Rescue

A seven-year-old Belgian Tervuren named Keahi is one of Arizona Search Track and Rescue’s most valuable assets. Certified in air-scent, avalanche, cadaver, evidence and human-remains searches, this dog’s services have helped search and rescue efforts in nine states and Canada. Keahi and her owner/handler Kristi Smith conduct around 43 searches per year.

Smith and Keahi have led investigators to the bodies of murder victims and drowning victims (including one who was found 170 feet underwater), found wandering seniors and lost children, and discovered crucial evidence in criminal investigations.

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