Yearly Archives: 2014

How to Get Your Dog to Respond Quicker to Commands

By Langley Cornwell

Training your dog to follow your commands promptly and accurately can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a very daunting task. It takes loads of patience and love, but it’s worth it. Responding to commands quickly helps strengthen a good relationship between you and your pet because you can take your dog more places and do more with her. Furthermore, this ability helps to keep your pet safer because you can direct her behavior and help keep her out of trouble.

This also means that she can be allowed to have a little more freedom because you can trust that she will obey you promptly when you give her a command. The problem is that sometimes, dogs can be very stubborn and not follow your commands as fast as you would like. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help get your dog to respond quicker to your commands.

When teaching your dog commands, you want to keep it as simple as possible. For example, instead of saying “come here” just say “come.” You should also remember that dogs don’t hear words the way we do, so your body language is very important. If you’re not giving her your full attention and expressing your commands with your body language as well as your words, she won’t give you her full attention.

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Working Cats Program – Putting Feral Cats to Work

By Linda Cole

Feral cat colonies are made up of cats that were born in the wild as well as lost or stray felines who find their way into a colony. Some of the cats are friendly, some are semi-feral, and some are feral with a distrust of humans. These kitties are accustomed to life on the streets, but it’s a challenge for them to find adequate food, water and shelter. Kindhearted humans who tend to colonies try to provide the necessities of life to a population of cats that lives in the shadows. An animal rescue and advocacy group has found a way to help feral cats and give them a chance for a home with The Working Cats Program.

The Voice for the Animals Foundation (VFTA) is a non-profit 501c3 organization in the San Francisco, California area. Their mission is to “create respect and empathy for animals through education, rescue, legislation and advocacy.” Melya Kaplan founded the VFTA in 1999 after witnessing far too many homeless cats and dogs wandering the streets of Venice. It motivated her to create a different kind of animal protection organization, one that helps feral cats find safe surroundings while also providing an important service to the community.
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How to Pick a Good Boarding Kennel for your Dog

By Laurie Darroch

If you need to leave your dog in a boarding kennel while you’re away on vacation or a business trip, it’s important to do your research to find the one that best suits your needs. Not every kennel provides all services. Some facilities are very basic and others have all the extras. Be aware that costs may be all inclusive, or the kennel may charge extra fees for each special service. The additional costs can be considerable if they tack on all the extras above the basic lodging and feeding costs. Here are some tips on finding a good boarding kennel.

Resources

One of the best places to start when you are looking for a boarding kennel is word of mouth from people you know and trust. Our dogs are family members. Finding a kennel that fits your specific parameters and is also appropriate for your dog is similar to finding the perfect daycare for your child.  It may take a while to locate the right one.

It is a good idea to research potential boarding kennels as soon as you get a dog, just in case of an emergency or sudden leave from home. Who better to ask than people you know who’ve used kennels for their own pets?

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Can Dogs and Cats Be Best Friends?

By Julia Williams

I read a lot of pet blogs and online pet magazines, and whenever I see a photo of a dog and cat snuggling, I have mixed emotions. One the one hand, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I just love seeing these photos because they seem to support what many pet owners have said – that dogs and cats can be best friends.

On the other hand, seeing these heartwarming examples of interspecies friendships often makes me feel a little wistful. You see, I am a diehard cat fan but I also like dogs and have wanted to add a woofie to my furry family for some time. One of the things that stops me – not the only thing, mind you – is my fear that it will upset my three cats and damage the extremely close relationship I have with each of them.

I say this because I know that while many cats and dogs can be great friends, not all dogs and cats will get along, and some may even be arch enemies. It really depends on several factors, including the individual dog, the individual cat, their interaction, and your household dynamics.
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5 Famous Songs About Dogs

By Laurie Darroch

With dogs being a loved part of millions of lives, it is inevitable that our loyal companion appears in song tributes or references in one musical genre or another. Although there are many such songs, these five famous dog-related songs reach across rock, folk, blues, novelty and family friendly genres of music.

Me and My Arrow  

Produced as an album, a staged musical and an animated film made for television in 1971, Harry Nilsson’s The Point told the story of a boy named Oblio, born as the round headed oddball in a world of pointy headed people. His dog Arrow is his faithful companion.

Little Oblio was ostracized by the citizens of the town after the spoiled son of the count is beaten in a game of Triangle Toss by Oblio and Arrow. The sweet natured boy is thrown out of town.

Oblio and Arrow go on a long coming of age journey where they meet odd characters and run into strange situations, each teaching Oblio and Arrow a lesson.  The journey gives Oblio the self-realization that even though he was born physically different than the rest of the people in his close minded community, he has a valid point in life. Through it all, his dog Arrow remains loyally by his side, eager to be a part of every step of the colorful journey.

The song “Me and My Arrow” is a lighthearted song about the loyal companionship of a boy and his dog. The song was later used as part of a 1970s advertising campaign for the Plymouth Arrow playing on the symbolic closeness of man and dog, making it man and car. “Me and my Arrow, taking the high road, wherever we go, everyone knows, it’s me and my Arrow.”

Dog and Butterfly

Released in 1978 by the rock band Heart, Dog and Butterfly was both the album title name and the title of the second song released as a single from the album of the same name in 1979.

One of the most poignant and beautiful songs sung by the Wilson sisters, Ann and Nancy, “Dog and Butterfly” was reportedly inspired by Ann’s sheepdog while she watched her dog chase a butterfly around the yard.

The heart touching and somewhat spiritual song speaks to the wish that a dog (or man), could fly like a butterfly. It is a tribute to our constant attempts as human beings to reach for something higher and better in our lives, and the indomitable spirit to never give up the attempt, in spite of failures to reach the highest heights.

The song “Dog and Butterfly” is performed with a definite leaning toward the ballad and folk influence side of Heart’s rock music.

Hound Dog

Written by Mike Stoller and Jerry Weiber, and released for the first time in 1953, “Hound Dog” has been recorded in many different versions by various recording artists. The version recorded by Elvis Presley in 1956 crossed musical genre barriers and made its way to the top 10 of the rhythm and blues, pop and country charts.

Elvis Presley introduced “Hound Dog” to the viewing public on The Milton Berle Show in 1956, with his instantly popular and often viewed as shocking hip swiveling style. The rebellious recording told the world that rock and roll was not a passing fad.

The original recorded version was by Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton. Making the number one spot on the R&B charts, Thornton’s earthy and gritty original version of “Hound Dog” was her one-hit wonder.

Rolling Stone magazine listed “Hound Dog” in its 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, giving it the number 19 berth, just behind number 18, Maybellene by Chuck Berry.

Who Let the Dogs Out

In 2000, “Who Let the Dogs Out” by the group Baha Men, was the title track of the album. Despite making lists of worst ever songs, the song title and line in the song that said, “Who let the dogs out? who?” took off in popularity, becoming a catch phrase.

“Who Let the Dogs Out” did reach number 40 on the song charts in the United States, but never reached the top in spite of the fact that the catch phrase was and is still used. Originally titled “Doggie,” the song was written and recorded first by Anslem Douglas in 1998.

The Baha Men’s later cover version was recorded for Rugrats in Paris: The Movie. It has been used in other movies or movie trailers including The Hangover and Open Season 2.

Although the song lyrics referred to something different, the catch phrase took on a life of its own with various meanings. In the world of sports it became synonymous with achieving an eventful play during a game.

“Who Let the Dogs Out” won a Grammy Award in 2001 as the Best Dance Recording.

Doggie in the Window  

Categorized as a novelty song, the 1953 released sweet rendition of “Doggie in the Window”  (in later releases titled “How Much is That Doggie in the Window”), ran to the top dog spot on the U.S. music charts. It was written by Bob Merrill and recorded by Patti Page.

The simple cheery song is about a woman going on a trip far from her sweetheart. She looks in a shop window for a canine companion to adopt so her sweetie will have some company while she is away. The recording sold more than two million copies.

“Doggie in the Window,” loved by all ages and demographics, is an easy sing along song for children. The original recording included dog barks in the song. Often sung and imitated by children, the song was credited with inspiring an increased number of American Kennel Club dog registrations that year.

Grab a snack for yourself and some CANIDAE Pure Heaven treats for your dog, sit down and listen to some dog themed music, or get up and dance with your dog. Dogs have long earned their place in the lyrics of popular music.

Read more articles by Laurie Darroch

The Benefits of Doggles for Dogs

By Linda Cole

You don’t have to look far to see a dog wearing their own shades. Doggles have been around since the early 2000s, and have a function besides making a dog look cool. When these doggie goggles were first invented, they were number six on a list of the most useless inventions. But since then, veterinarians, the military, police departments, search and rescue, hunters and other dog owners have discovered a variety of reasons for putting a pair of Doggles on their dog.

How Doggles Came to Be

The idea for dog goggles wasn’t on the mind of Roni and Ken Di Lullo until one day in 1997 when their Border Collie, Midnight, kept missing the Frisbee they were playing fetch with. He was squinting a lot, and Roni thought it was because his eyes were sensitive to the sunlight. With nothing available on the market, she decided to try to customize a pair of sports goggles to fit Midnight, and it worked. His Frisbee catching improved, and other dog owners at the dog park were amused when they saw him wearing his goggles.

People began to stop and ask about the specialized goggles, mainly because they looked so cute on Midnight. Roni started to get requests from other dog owners asking if she could customize sports goggles for their dogs. The big problem with using the sports goggles was that they didn’t fit right. So Roni and Ken consulted with eyewear manufacturers to find one that could develop the goggles into glasses that would fit canines correctly.

Do Doggles Help Dogs?

Doggles are much more than just a fashion statement, although they do make dogs look pretty hip. The shades are actual eyewear protection, and can help dogs with eye conditions that make them sensitive to sunlight. Pannus is a progressive eye inflammation that affects the cornea. It’s mainly seen in middle aged German Shepherds, but Border Collies, Labrador Retrievers, Greyhounds and long haired Dachshunds can also be affected by this condition. It is found in other breeds as well, but it’s not as common.

This eye condition is seen more in the Rocky Mountain states and the desert southwest. The cause isn’t known, but exposure to ultraviolet light increases the severity. Because Doggles have tinted lens, they can reduce UV light and offer sun protection to dogs affected by Pannus, dry eyes, light sensitivity and other eye conditions. Prescription lenses can be customized for dogs that have undergone cataract surgery or have failing eyesight.

Doggles Design

The dog goggles are flexible and foam padded to fit snuggly against the dog’s face. The lenses are shatterproof and anti-fog, and adjustable head and chin straps keep the Doggles in place. Dogs who love to play on the beach can have relief from blowing sand along with protection from the sun’s rays, and the goggles provide eye protection for dogs riding in cars with the windows down.

The U.S. military uses Doggles to protect the eyes of their four legged K9 bomb sniffing units. The goggles protect the dogs’ eyes from flying debris, shrapnel, wind, sand, small rocks, bugs and dust. Navy Seals train dogs to jump from helicopters and airplanes; they fit their canines with Doggles for eye protection during jumps.

You may not know who Cairo is, but he is the dog that went on the mission with the famous Navy Seal Team Six. This Belgian Malinois helped secure the perimeter of Osama bin Laden’s house, and made sure there were no bombs inside the Pakistan compound. He wore specialized Doggles equipped with night vision and infrared capability that would make it possible for him to see human body heat through concrete walls.

Search and rescue dogs and police dogs are also fitted with Doggles for eye protection. The dog goggles can help protect the eyes of hunting dogs from twigs and other debris, too.

There’s no question that Doggles have evolved since their inception. When military dog handlers in Iraq and Afghanistan were asked to name things they wanted or needed, Doggles were one of the most requested items.

The goggles are sold worldwide, and millions of dogs are getting eye protection from the sun and wind while looking stylish at the same time.

Top photo by Spc. Daniel Bear
Middle photo by Sgt. Jason Brace
Bottom photo by Kathleen Tyler Conklin

Read more articles by Linda Cole