Monthly Archives: March 2013

PURRfect Movies and TV Shows for Cats

By Rocky Williams, feline guest blogger

When a certain couch potato canine wrote recently of his preferred TV shows, I was naturally curious why he left out the ones we kitties enjoy. Well, more miffed really, because everyone knows cats do not like to be left out of anything. Ever! But my Warden said “Rocky, don’t get your fluffy tail in a twist. You can make your own list any time you feel like it.” Yes, but that involves work, something we cats avoid like the plague.

Ah well…I really needed a list of the movies and TV shows cats would dig, because I’m feeling all sloth-like lately, and what better way to be lazy than to watch TV all day? (They don’t call it the Boob Tube for nothing!) So I put paws to keyboard and came up with some cat-approved programs. When I ran out of my own ideas, I plagiarized other cats,  I mean, I asked my cat friends on Facebook for suggestions, and they were happy to share.

So kitties, send your Warden out for a big bag of those catabulous FELIDAE TidNips treats to munch on while you watch these shows, and you’ll be all set.

Animal Planet’s My Cat From Hell is a show every feline needs to watch. Just be sure to watch with your Warden, because I guarantee you that anything naughty YOU have ever done will pale in comparison to the Demon Katz on this show. Technically, these bad kitties are just misunderstood, and once they have their stupid hoomin trained, it all ends well. In any event, your Warden is bound to appreciate your angelic self after watching this show.

I like to watch The Little Mermaid movie, but for some reason it always makes me hungry. I think it’s because I can’t stop fantasizing about how many great seafood meals her ginormous tail would make. There would be enough stinky fishy goodness for every cat in town!

Finding Nemo is another obvious choice for seafood loving kitties. Alfred Hitchcock’s classic movie, The Birds, is also highly entertaining.

Read More »

EmailGoogle GmailBlogger PostTwitterFacebookGoogle+PinterestShare

3 Important Things to Know about Labrador Retrievers

By Linda Cole

Labrador Retrievers have claimed the top spot on the American Kennel Club’s list of most popular dogs for the last 22 years. They are also among the most intelligent breeds, coming in at number seven. If you’re looking for a great family pet that gets along well with other dogs and cats, the Lab is a good choice. However, there are three important things to know about sharing your home with a Lab.

Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC)

Labs love to play and run. Some become so wrapped up in what they’re doing they don’t slow down, even when they get tired. They can become so exhausted that they collapse. Overly excited or stressed out dogs are also at risk of collapsing. This is an inherited genetic disorder common in Labs with signs beginning to show up between the ages of five months to three years. Both sexes and all coat colors can be affected, but it seems to be more prominent in black Labs bred for field trials.

EIC was first detected in the 1990s, but this condition is on the rise and showing up in dogs that are otherwise perfectly healthy and fit for rigorous exercise. Collapse can happen within 5 to 20 minutes after beginning strenuous activities. High temperatures and humidity also play a role.

Symptoms can be mild to severe, and EIC can be life-threatening. Symptoms include: an unsteady/rocking gait, weak back legs, dragging the back legs, falling over while running, inability to move his head or legs after exercising, an abnormal movement of the feet while walking or running, front legs are stiff after collapsing, and high body temperature. Most dogs remain alert during a collapse and don’t experience any pain. Some dogs, however, may show confusion and appear disoriented. Recovery time is five to twenty-five minutes.

Read More »

Why Do My Dog’s Eyes Glow in the Dark?

By Tamara McRill

Ever spot a pair of demonically glowing green or red eyes in the dark, only to realize they belong to your cute and cuddly dog? What really gets to me is when I’m the one outside and I see the floating bright orbs peering out my window. You know, it’s that split second where you’re torn between wanting to turn and run or bust in to save your pets from…whatever “It” is.

But of course, “It” is your dog’s (or even cat’s) eyes glowing in the dark. It turns out there is even a very scientific – and reassuring – reason their eyes shine so eerily in the darkness.

Tapetum Lucidum

No, that’s not the starting phrase of an exorcism, although it is Latin. It means “bright tapestry.” The words are also the scientific term for the light-reflecting surface between a dog’s optic nerve and retina.

The tapetum lucidum is what makes dog’s eyes react to light exposure differently than human eyes, essentially reflecting the light back through their eyes like a mirror. The rods and cones make use of the multiplied light to see better in the dark. Dogs and other animals with the structure, like cats and deer, can use very low levels of light to see.

Different Colors

In addition to superior night vision, this reflected light is also what produces eyeshine in dogs…that surreal colored glow that comes out in their eyes at night. What I find fascinating is that not every dog’s eyeshine is the same color.

Read More »

Popular Pet Names

By Langley Cornwell

The names people give their pets fascinate me. Not just the names, but the reason behind the names. For instance, our all white dog is named Frosty and I believe the name is self-explanatory. My husband named our second dog Big Al because we like Alabama football (Roll Tide) and their elephant mascot is named Big Al. Not wildly original, but that’s the back story.

The list of popular pet names was recently updated and the top spot for dogs and cats was Bella, undoubtedly because of Twilight. On one list, Bella was the 3rd most popular name for birds and exotic pets. Another pet name that ranks high on the list is Max. Names like Max and Lucy are often used in children’s picture books, and kids help name the family pet so that stands to reason – Max is the hero’s name in Where the Wild Things Are. Live Science reports that humanlike names like Charlie or Lucy are popular for dogs, while unisex names like Shadow and Smokey, describing physical traits like color, currently rank high for cats.

These reports are all very interesting, but I decided to tap into my bevy of creative friends. I asked a simple question: what is your pet’s name and why?

Literary characters, musicians, and television or movie characters 

Starr’s boys named their dog Marley after Bob Marley, and Juniper named her attention-loving cat Ziggy Stardust because she’s a David Bowie fan. One of Cathy’s dogs carries the name Ozzy because her daughter was a big Ozzy Osbourne fan. She has another rescue dog with beautiful deep eyes that she fell in love with immediately so she named him Rudy, after Rudolph Valentino.

Read More »

Blind Sled Dog Continues to Run with the Team

By Linda Cole

Animals are such amazing creatures, and we can learn a lot from their attitude about a disability. Life continues, regardless of what happened to cause a disability. I grew up with someone who had a debilitating disability, and I’ve also dealt with a dog that was deaf and blind. I learned from my mom and my dog that the best way to live with a disability is to simply keep on living the best you can. So when I run across stories that exemplify courage and determination, in disabled humans or dogs, they catch my attention. Gonzo, an eight year old Alaskan Husky, is blind but he continues to run with his team pulling a dog sled, with a little help from his brother, Poncho.

What sled dog wouldn’t love to have the entire New Hampshire North country as their playground? Sled dogs are born to run, and pulling a sled isn’t work to them, it’s play. So what do you do with a sled dog that develops a disability? In the case of Gonzo, when it was discovered he was losing his sight, his vet recommended hooking him up to a sled and continuing to run him.

Gonzo’s life changed three years ago when kennel manager Ben Morehouse noticed the dog tripping over his food bowl. After a variety of failed treatments, everyone realized the dog would soon be blind, and there was nothing they could do to stop it. But Gonzo is a sled dog, and he couldn’t wait to get back on the trail with his team. He wasn’t going to let a little thing like no sight stop him from enjoying life.

He may be blind, but Gonzo knows when the team is being hooked up, and he isn’t about to be left behind. His desire to run is just as strong as it was when he could see. Gonzo and Poncho are harnessed side by side toward the back of the eight dog team. At first, Poncho wasn’t aware there was anything wrong with his brother, and treated him just like normal. When Gonzo began to lean on him when they came to turns, it bothered him at first and he’d get grumpy with his brother. But it wasn’t long before he realized Gonzo needed his help, and figured out he was leaning on him to get a feel of how fast they were running and where the turns were at.

Read More »

Pet Adoption Tales Contest – Win Free Pet Food!

By Julia Williams

Now that I have Facebook, Twitter and countless pet bloggers to “keep me company” in my home office, not a day goes by that I don’t read at least one adoption tale. In the last few years I have read so many wonderful adoption tales, and they all warm my heart. Sometimes we search for a certain pet and find them, and other times they just seem to fall into our lap. I wrote about that last year in Do We Find Our Pets, or Do They Find Us? It’s all good either way, right? No matter how or why these precious animals find their forever family, it’s just such a special thing.

In the pet blogging world, the day we decide to adopt an animal is called their “Gotcha Day.” This day is celebrated with much fanfare on the pet blogs, as it should be. A big deal is made of a pet’s Gotcha Day because it’s a life changing day… for both the pet and their new family. This momentous day deserves a pawty!

I must confess, though, that I don’t actually know the exact day I adopted my three cats. Mickey’s Gotcha Day was more than 13 long years ago, and back then I didn’t even know about such things. I do remember every detail of how he came to be in my family, but the exact day? Not so much.

Rocky and Annabelle were rescue babies, and when I took them in I only intended to help them get well and then find them a forever family. I have no idea what day I suddenly realized these two beautiful souls were right where they were meant to be.

It doesn’t really matter to me, though, whether I know their exact Gotcha Day or not. What matters most is that I have three sweet furry friends to share my life and home. Adopting them was the right choice. It always is; at least, that has been my experience.

Read More »