Monthly Archives: June 2012

Fishing Safely with Your Dog

By Tamara McRill

Anyone with a high-energy dog knows there are few experiences more treasured than a shared adventure, and fishing together rates high up on that list. I can’t wait to get my chocolate Labrador, Wuppy Teddy Bear, out on the bank, but there are some precautions I need to take to ensure his safety during the trip. The list includes precautionary prep, some essential packing and an end-of-trip to-do list, but it is all totally worth it to share some quality bonding time. You can use this list yourself to make sure you and your dog have a safe fishing trip.

Nail Check

A dog’s nail length is important to how much they will enjoy the trip. Nails that are too short won’t have enough traction, and too long of a length will be painful to your pet. Medium length nails are best for outdoor excursions. Also check for cracked or sore foot pads. No one wants to run around for very long on painful feet.

Not Too Far

How far you can take your dog in search of the perfect fishing hole will depend mostly on their endurance. If your animal isn’t conditioned to walk across fields or other long distances, then leave them at home or pick a location with easier access. Be especially wary in heat or humidity, to prevent heatstroke.

Some dog breeds, such as Labrador Retrievers, are prone to Exercise Induced Collapse, since they are unaware that they have passed their endurance limit. So, even if you have a high-energy pooch, keep them walking by your side.

Know the Fish

It is a bad idea in general to let your dog eat raw fish, as they can contain bacteria that cause food poisoning. Not only that, but there are certain fish, such as salmon and rainbow trout, that can contain a parasite which can be fatal to dogs. Always check fishing guides to see if these fish are prevalent where you will be going. If so, you may want to reconsider letting any dog that is a fetcher go for a swim.

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Why Do People Adopt One Shelter Pet Over Another?

By Linda Cole

With millions of cats and dogs in animal shelters, there’s a lot to pick from. Different sizes, colors, mixed breeds, purebreds, personalities and ages. A study done by the ASPCA looked at reasons why people adopt the shelter pet they pick. This is important research because it can give shelters insight as to why certain pets may be overlooked by possible adopters.

Shelters are already aware of black dog syndrome, a bias against black dogs and black cats. For some reason, people looking at pets miss seeing the darker colored ones. It’s possible they are overlooked because some people are superstitious about black cats, in particular. The lighting in shelters isn’t always good and if a darker pet is hiding in the corner of his cage or sitting way in the back, they may not be seen as easily as the lighter colored pets.

According to the study, it may be the ‘cuteness factor’ that attracts people to certain pets. Last year, the ASPCA set out to try to figure out why people picked the specific pet they did. They asked 1,500 people who adopted a pet to fill out a questionnaire at five shelters across the country. Was it the pet’s age or physical appearance, or perhaps their behavior that caught the person’s eye? They discovered that when someone adopted an adult cat or dog, behavior was at the top of the list for consideration. The age of the pet made no difference. When it came to kittens, age was the deciding factor, and people chose a particular puppy based on physical appearance. For the cat loving adopter, what the kitten looked like didn’t matter, and a puppy’s behavior was ranked at the bottom for those who picked a puppy.

The purpose of the survey was to shed light on how a potential adopter’s thought process worked and what they looked for when making their decision. The results have given shelter workers insight as to how and why certain pets may be overlooked. It also points out the importance of talking with people looking to adopt to help them see the potential in all of the shelter pets. The study can help workers learn how to show off a pet’s ‘inner beauty’ for those animals that may be less likely to be adopted because they aren’t as cute as others. A pet may have the perfect personality and behavior for someone, and the survey suggests shelter workers may need to point out the benefits of another pet that might be a better match for the adopter’s lifestyle.

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Rocket’s K-9 Comets Frisbee Dog Stars

Rocket Hoskins has the title of World Frisbee Champion and is a six time National Frisbee Champion (in people Frisbee), as well as being the original California State Frisbee Golf Champion, among his many credentials. He is the expert trainer of Rocket’s K-9 Comets Frisbee Dog Stars, and he has been the charismatic and dynamic human star of the show since 1982.

Rocket’s wife Ashley is the canine coordinator and commentator for the show. Together with their four legged family members and teammates, they travel the country doing performances at State and County Fairs, NFL and NBA halftime shows, and corporate and special events. They have been featured in countless newspaper articles as well as on TV shows including the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, Fox News, ESPN and Animal Planet.

Back in 1998, Rocket and Ashley met Scott Whipple, one of the owners of CANIDAE Natural Pet Food Company, when Scott was personally handing out free samples of their dog food at the Jurupa Rodeo not far from where the CANIDAE Corporate offices are today. Rocket’s K-9 Comets were doing the half time entertainment for the enthusiastic crowd at the Rodeo. Scott saw how amazing the Frisbee Dogs were, and how much the crowd loved the show. Soon after, CANIDAE became the Official Dog Food of the K-9 Comets, and has been their sponsor for over 14 years.

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Two Piano Playing Dogs Paw Out a Tune!

By Linda Cole

When it comes to tickling those ivory keys, Nora the Piano Cat is still in a class all her own. Unfortunately for Nora, there’s always another prodigy waiting in the wings for their own crack at stardom. In this case, it’s two talented dogs that have woofed their way into the hearts of animal-loving YouTube viewers.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Nora and her piano playing antics. Her obvious enjoyment at tickling the ivory keys is unsurpassed by any other feline. And there are plenty of Nora wannabes on You Tube these days. However, now there’s a dog duet pawing out a tune on their own specially made piano, with a cuteness factor that’s through the roof!

The You Tube video of two piano playing Golden Retrievers has been delighting dog lovers ever since it was first posted. The dogs are playing “Waltz of the Fleas” on an oversized keyboard as their owner sits in front of them playing a small flute-like instrument called an ocarina. The piano playing pups watch their “conductor” and then step on the piano keys matching the note she’s playing. And they do a pretty good job getting the right note!

At first glance, one would say the dogs are just doing what they were trained to do. As you watch the video, though, the lighter colored dog seems to be anticipating the coming note. However, they may also be responding to the musical note they are hearing, according to Charles Snowdon, an animal psychologist and zoologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Snowdon theorizes that the dogs are following cues by their owner, which is not the same as them memorizing what’s next. He believes it is possible the dogs are able to understand the notes their owner is playing and know which key on the piano will duplicate the sound from the ocarina.

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If Cats Had Thumbs, Would They Conquer the World?

By Rocky Williams, feline guest blogger

Yesterday I was awakened from a catnap by a loud sound. Naturally curious about this cacophony that had so rudely interrupted my peaceful slumber – I went in search of it. I found the Warden sitting at her computer, cackling loud enough to wake the dead. She was watching a YouTube video of a commercial for Cravendale Milk which posed the question, “What if cats had thumbs?” The commercial features a polydactyl feline named Bertram, a social media ‘celebricat’ famous for plotting world domination with the help of his Facebook and Twitter minions. The ad also features the voice of Rocky Horror Picture Show star Tim Curry, who asks “Why do cats stare when you’re pouring milk?

Cats with opposable thumbs are shown bouncing a ball, filing their nails, doing needlepoint and reading a book. “Imagine that. Cats with thumbs. And what if they got together? Gangs of cats with thumbs! Organized crime, with one thing on their mind,” says the voiceover. The cat gang opens the door and stares at the man eating his cereal. Terrified, he grabs his carton of milk to make a run for it.

Yeah, okay…it was really funny, but I still wasn’t amused that the Warden interrupted my beauty sleep. It did, however, make me think about all the things I’d do if I had thumbs. Top of the list, of course, would be to end the rationing of my FELIDAE cat food. Yep. I would get that bag of kibble down from the cupboard straight away. Feeding frenzy for all! The TidNips treats would flow freely, too. But I wouldn’t stop there. I love all food, and if I had thumbs I would raid the fridge and pantry every day. The Warden uses her microwave oven as a bread drawer, to stop me from carbo loading in the dark of night…but if I had thumbs, the bread buffet would be open 24/7.

If I had thumbs, no more ‘indoor life’ for me! Out I would go, as I pleased, to snoopervise the neighborhood and visit that cute ladycat down the block. If I had thumbs, I would watch Animal Planet on the Telly all day long. And in the middle of the night, I’d give the Warden a fright – I’d crank up the volume so she wakes up thinking there’s an introoder in the house. Hee hee! No, tis’ only me, watching Jackson Galaxy whip unruly felines into shape on My Cat From Hell.

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The Benefits of Dogs in the Workplace

By Langley Cornwell

Many years ago I worked for an uptight company. At this particular organization, we outsourced most of our marketing communication duties to local firms. Luckily, I had the opportunity to spend a great deal of time in a variety of creative environments. As you might expect, most of these businesses had a relaxed atmosphere and an upbeat feeling, much different from the office where I worked. Visiting those creative firms was a nice break from the strict corporate structure I worked in. There was one specific advertising agency that I gravitated towards more than the rest, however, and they continued to earn our business. For some reason their campaigns were especially fresh, exciting and on target. Not only did I find myself granting them the majority of our business, I also found myself spending more and more time in their offices. I liked being there for many reasons but I have to confess, the main I wanted to hang out there is because I fell in love.

I fell in love with their office dog! As I said, the environment I worked in was tight, but when I walked into their workplace I was greeted by a big, goofy, sweet mutt. Being able to step out of the rigors of my job, being able to pet and love and smell a dog in the middle of the day was like drinking a tall glass of cold water on a scorching hot day. Suddenly I had a better perspective on things; suddenly things didn’t seem so difficult. It was wonderful.

The owner of the advertising agency believed that having a dog in the office improved his employees’ creative output. He was convinced that he had a brighter, happier, healthier organization because of their four-legged mascot. I agreed with him, and longed for a job where I could take my dog to work with me.

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