Monthly Archives: April 2014

5 Reasons for Your Dog to Use a Seat Belt

By Laurie Darroch

Seat belts are not usually required for a dog to ride in a car in most areas. However, you do need to check, as some areas do have regulations. Even if it’s not mandatory where you live, there are good reasons for your dog to wear a seat belt while traveling in your car, and it’s a responsible choice for a human companion to make for their loved dog.

Safety

In case of a sudden stop or accident, your dog will not be thrown off the seat into another passenger, the driver or against an object such as the window or seat. Dogs do not have the same gripping ability to stay in the seat as a human does. Being restrained by a seat belt designed specifically for a dog will protect them as well as you.

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Why is Rover a Common Generic Name for a Dog?

By Linda Cole

It’s not uncommon to use a generic name for a dog when you don’t know his name, or when talking about canines in general. The generic name Rover has been used for quite some time, but it’s never shown up on a list of popular dog names, which surprises a lot of people. So how did a name that has never been popular become a common name we use to mean any dog?

It began with a 6½ minute movie during the early years of filmmaking. In 1905, Cecil Milton Hepworth produced the first movie starring a dog, “Rescued By Rover.” It’s a simple film, especially when compared to today’s blockbusters, but the story line is believable. It’s considered to be a groundbreaking contribution to film history because the dog is the star, and the story unfolds in continuous frames that create a smooth transition from scene to scene, which is how it’s done today.

The star of the movie is Hepworth’s Collie named Blair, a handsome dog who looked like Lassie, playing the lead role of Rover. The scene opens with Blair and Hepworth’s infant daughter sitting next to a fireplace. The baby’s nanny enters the room to take her for a walk in her stroller. During the walk, the nanny runs across a soldier and stops to talk with him. While she’s distracted, a drunken beggar woman runs off with the baby. Distraught after finding the infant gone, the nanny rushes back home to inform the parents.

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Things Only a Cat Person Would Do

By Julia Williams

“Cat People” are a special breed. There’s really nothing too outlandish when it comes to the things a true cat person will do to keep their kitty content. Yes, we Cat People willingly suffer for the greater good of our feline friends. I mean…isn’t that Cat Commandment #1 in the adoption contract? I’m pretty sure it is, and I’m also positive cats know it’s mandatory that you cater to their every whim. They certainly act like it, and they didn’t just pull that “I’m the King of my Castle” attitude out of thin air, did they? No, your cat thinks you worship the ground he walks on…because you do.

I’ve recently discovered that there are some universal “Cat People” truths. I.E., there are things every diehard cat lover does at some point for their furry best friend’s happiness. Further, while these things might be seen as eccentric to the no-pet crowd, to Cat People they make perfect sense. I say that will full confidence, because I recently polled a large group of Cat People on this very subject, and certain “themes” emerged. Here are some:

We Don’t Wake Sleeping Felines

Cat People do many things to avoid waking the cat. We watch TV programs we don’t even like if there is a cat sleeping on our lap and the remote is out of reach. Forget about grabbing a snack, answering the phone or using the bathroom. Our food may get cold, our legs may go numb and we might nearly expire from thirst, but one look at the sleeping cat and everything else is forgotten.

When our kitty sleeps on the computer chair, Cat People sit on the edge to type. It’s not the least bit comfortable and sometimes makes sentences come out like this: I ki93te dkfill be te4 fjje. Yet the cat is blissfully unaware. My computer chair is one of Annabelle’s favorite sleeping spots. Even when she’s awake but lounging in the chair, she gives me such a pitiful “you’re not really gonna make me move?” look that I just can’t. So I suffer.

Cat People let their kitties sleep pretty much anywhere they want to, with few exceptions. When the cat chooses our favorite reading chair or the best TV viewing spot on the couch, we just find other places to sit. Moving the cat is unthinkable. Jennifer Niemi says “I have sat on the floor, as the couch in the family room was fully loaded.” Indeed!

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Home Remedy Flea Treatments: Fact or Myth?

By Suzanne Alicie

Our dog Bear is a big fluffy dog, and fleas love her. Every year around the start of spring we begin to notice her scratching and chewing a bit and immediately give her a bath. For some reason the fleas seem to thrive after that bath making her miserable. Julia Williams tackled a few of the myths about fleas that many folks believe. Now it’s time to see about some of the home remedy myths concerning fleas. While fleas can be a hassle, it is all part of responsible pet ownership.

We have tried all sorts of home remedies and over the counter topical treatments, and have found that there is some truth to nearly all the rumors about what works but that it really takes a combination of things to get rid of the fleas on our dog and the ones that invade our house each year around this time. After all, it does no good to get the fleas off of Bear if there are fleas in the house to jump back on her.  So, here is a brief recounting of my experience with home remedies for fleas.

Dawn original blue dish detergent is said to be quite effective on fleas and is gentle on a dog’s skin. We actually use Dawn to bathe the dog quite often and yes, it does kill the fleas that are alive on her at the time. I’m assuming that has more to do with drowning and less to do with any sort of chemical death because it doesn’t seem to affect the eggs and doesn’t repel fleas after the bath.

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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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