Monthly Archives: September 2013

Cat Breed Profile: the Wild-at-Heart Chausie

By Julia Williams

People who like cats with a wild look are naturally drawn to the Chausie, an exotic feline with Jungle Cat ancestry. With their long legs, long, lean body and statuesque appearance, Chausie cats are exquisitely beautiful creatures.

However, the Chausie (pronounced chow-see) is not for everyone. This unusual cat breed requires an experienced owner who can meet the demands of a very active, assertive and athletic feline that needs a lot of interactive play and attention.

Chausie Personality

This high energy feline is rarely idle; they prefer physical and mental stimulation to lazy catnaps on your lap. The Chausie is sociable, affectionate, good natured and intelligent. They have a very curious nature and can be fearless, so keeping them indoors at all times is essential. The Chausie is highly trainable and can be taught to fetch. Their exceptionally playful demeanor lasts well into adulthood.

Despite their wild ancestry, Chausies can develop deep bonds with their owner and do not like to be left home alone for long hours. Their movements are very “cougar-like” and they are excellent jumpers with the ability to reach high places with ease (such as the tops of doors).

Chausie Physical Appearance

Bred to retain the look of the Jungle Cat, this medium to large domestic feline is tall, sleek and elegant. The short haired cat has large tufted ears, slanted cheekbones, a long sloping forehead and a slightly shortened tail. Their muscular body is built for running and jumping, which they do very gracefully. The Chausie’s deep chest enables them to breathe deeply which adds to their impressive endurance level. The males are usually larger than the females, and can weigh up to 25 pounds!

Chausie History

This rare breed is the result of breeding domestic cats with the Jungle Cat, a wild species that dwells primarily from the Nile Valley to the Caspian Sea. The breed’s name is derived from the Latin name for the Jungle Cat, felis chaus. The Jungle Cat dates back to ancient Egypt, where they were apparently held in high regard – mummified Jungle Cats have been found in Egyptian tombs. Some cat fancier’s believe that the statues of the Goddess Bastet were modeled after the svelte Jungle Cat.

The Chausie breed is not recognized by the Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA) but was granted foundation registry status by The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1995. Due to the effort of breeders and their work, the Chausie was given Championship status earlier this year.

Though certainly not the right pet for everyone – especially those who want a laid-back cat who demands little attention – the Chausie can be a wonderful pet for someone who understands this wild-at-heart feline’s needs and can meet them.

Top and bottom photo by PiBeseth
Middle photo by GorillazFanAdam

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What is Impulse Control in Dogs?

Keikei

By Linda Cole

I didn’t really understand what impulse control was until our dog Keikei came to live with us. She was an adorable and happy 8 week old puppy who quickly adjusted to us and the other dogs. But as she grew, she became overly excited to go outside. By the time she was 4 months old, her excitement escalated to a point of no return, and she was easily agitated. She was the perfect example of a dog that needed to learn impulse control.

In our world, impulse control is delayed gratification, resisting an impulse for immediate satisfaction of a desire or temptation. Instead of spending your entire paycheck on an expensive vacation package, you spread the cost out over time to lessen the financial impact on your wallet. Your budget for this month is tight, so you skip the Friday nights out so you can pay the bills. We learn as children that no matter how much we might want something right now, whether it’s a new toy, going to a concert or staying overnight with a friend – immediate desires or wants don’t always happen. So (hopefully) we learn early on the need for impulse control.

Controlling a puppy’s impulse isn’t difficult because of their smaller size, and most pups can be picked up to stop an unwanted reaction to something they want. If your terrier puppy finds a chipmunk hole in your prized flower bed, you can pick him up to stop him from digging, and then figure out how to humanely relocate the chipmunk without ruining your flowers. But depending on a pup’s age, not all puppies can be picked up to control an impulse. That’s one reason why it’s important to start puppy training as soon as you bring him home. Unfortunately, as a pup grows up, he becomes more independent and if you didn’t teach him at a young age how to control his impulses, his unwanted behavior will remind you of the importance of dog training. A dog that obeys basic commands is easier to control, and that is one way you can keep him safe.

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Carl Spitz and the Hollywood Dog Training School

By Langley Cornwell

The Hollywood Dog Training School, currently owned and operated by Richard Karl, was once a hotel and training ground for the Hollywood elite. The fancy four pawed “actors and actresses” were brought in to learn to hit their acting cues. The Hollywood superstars also brought their canines to set up house in their own little personal hotel of sorts. The rich and famous regularly lavished their canines with a visit to the hottest spot in the doggie world at that time. Carl Spitz, the owner and trainer at this Hollywood hotspot, knew how to make dogs feel like a million dollars.

Carl Spitz, Sr. was the original owner and brains behind the initial Hollywood Dog Training School. Originally from Germany, Spitz got his start working with dogs for movie roles. He learned about dog training from the man that many consider the greatest dog trainer of all time…Colonel Konrad Most. Clearly he learned his lessons well, because he went on to be among the greatest in his own right.

Most everyone knows the dog Toto from the movie The Wizard of Oz. Toto was actually Carl’s family dog and was trained under his watchful eye. Toto’s real name was Terry, and the dog became one of Spitz’s most famous clients. Starring alongside Judy Garland, that cute little canine actor was so much fun to watch. Although he was one of Spitz’s most popular clients, he was far from the only one.

Back when Spitz first started the school in 1927, the Hollywood elite would bring him their dogs to be pampered and trained. The accommodations were right out of a Hollywood fantasy, with extravagant playgrounds and beautiful views. The dogs would also have private baths and dryers, and custom menu items made by special cooks. How many dogs do you know that are bathed in porcelain bathtubs? Spitz made sure they had the best of everything for his visitors.

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A Microchip Can Bring Your Pet Home

By Eliza Wynn

Uh-oh. Little Bootsie went out the doggie door, and you had no idea someone had left the gate open. Now you can’t find her. If someone else does, will that person be able to find you?

As a loving and responsible pet owner, you want your pet to be safe at all times. In the event that your pet gets loose and starts roaming the streets, getting her back home is essential. Home escapes aren’t the only potential dangers, though; pets can also find themselves alone and vulnerable after accidents and natural disasters. Pets with microchips are much more likely than those without them to be reunited with their owners. This means that if your dog or cat doesn’t have a registered microchip, you’re taking a huge risk.

In early August, a Pomeranian named Koda was reunited with his family in Arkansas after somehow making his way to a shelter in California. Shortly before that, Wobbles the Shih Tzu went home after being missing for about a year. Not to be outdone, a Massachusetts cat named Charlie was recently found 25 miles from home after just 1 day. What do these pets have in common? They all experienced the joy of a happy reunion simply because they had registered microchips.

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Is There a “Right” Way to Pet a Dog?

By Linda Cole

It may not seem that important, but how you pet a dog does matter… to the dog. Because canines are individuals, the “sweet spot” one dog enjoys may be an area you need to avoid with another, especially if you don’t know the dog. It’s important to teach children how to touch a dog to keep interactions between them safe and pleasant. Petting seems like a simple concept, but there are some things to keep in mind.

Wait for an invitation

Our first impulse is to reach down to pet a friendly looking dog, but in his eyes that’s not a proper greeting. How you greet a dog matters. Ignore him while he takes a few minutes to check you out, and remember to ask the dog’s owner for permission to pet him. If the dog doesn’t appear interested in you or is holding back and hiding behind his owner, he may not be in the mood to have someone he doesn’t know petting him. He’ll let you know when he’s ready for you to scratch his head.

Our own pets are comfortable with us because of the trust and bond we’ve built. We can pet them in ways they wouldn’t allow someone else to do, and are much more likely to accept things from us they wouldn’t from someone they aren’t familiar with. Never try to pet an unfamiliar dog who is trying to move away from you, is cornered, eating or lying down.

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Fun Places for Dog Lovers to Visit

By Julia Williams

If you love to take your dog along when you travel or just get out for a day of fun, there’s no shortage of Fido-friendly places you can go. Here are some ideas to consider.

Dog Days Baseball Games

Yes, you can take your four-legged BFF with you to the ball park, on specific dog-allowed days. This year, 18 major league baseball teams hosted Dog Days (some stadiums call them Bark in the Parks), with many holding multiple events. This dog-friendly event began in 1996 when the White Sox offered the first Dog Day which was a huge success. Some even have festivities such as parades, competitions, dog-related vendors and fundraisers for animal charities. Each stadium has its own requirements for vaccinations, weight limits and such, so be sure to visit their website or call before you go to get all the details.

National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, D.C.

This historical site in the heart of our nation’s capital includes a host of iconic monuments including the Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt Memorials as well as the World War II, Korean War Veteran’s and Vietnam Veteran’s Memorials. The National Mall also includes Constitution Gardens, Washington Monument, Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site and Park, Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site, and a clock tower built in 1899. According to the National Park Service, dogs are permitted up to the monuments except in indoor or covered areas. In-between monument viewing, there are lots of places to walk, picnic, sight-see, enjoy the views and play a game of Frisbee with your dog.

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