Category Archives: canidae

What’s On Your Cat’s Bucket List?

By Rocky Williams, feline guest blogger

Hey there! It’s your favorite furry beast, Rocky! It’s been awhile since I’ve been allowed to put my paws to the keyboard for the purpose of entertaining you. The Warden said it’s because “A little Rocky goes a looooong way.” Harumph. I don’t know what she’s talking about. Most people say they can’t get enough of me! Well, technically I haven’t ever heard anyone say that, but I’m sure they MUST be thinking it.

Yesterday I was enjoying a fabulous sun-puddle siesta when I was jolted awake by that rude Suck Monster. After it noisily ate everything on the floor and went off to digest its meal, I couldn’t go back to sleep because my Bucket List kept running through my head.

I just had a birthday – I’m 11 now! – so I’ve been pondering that ginormous list and wondering how I’ll ever cross off all the impawtent things I want to do before… before…well, you know. The Warden assures me I’m in tip-top shape and will have plenty of time to get ‘er done…but I’d rather zip through that list now, just in case. Besides, it’s not like I have more pressing matters. Catnaps can wait.

I know you’re curious as a three-legged rhino to know what’s on my Bucket List, and I’m only too happy to share. Mind you, this is only a partial list, because I’ve been given a word limit here.

A Cat’s Bucket List

1. Go on a date with a cool famous cat, like the pleasingly plump Pusheen. Oh wait…she’s not a real cat! Scratch that.

venus2. Make out with Venus the split faced kitty. (Her two-toned face is amazing and yes, she IS a real cat, not photoshopped as some people believe!).

3. Eat a corn dog at the County Fair. (What cat wouldn’t love to eat a dog? MOL).

4. Defeat the evil Suck Monster once and for all. (This, I firmly believe, is every cat’s dream).

5. Sharpen my claws on every square inch of the Warden’s carpet. (DONE!).

6. Have a “Stinky Goodness” pawty with ALL 17 flavors of CANIDAE cat food lined up for me to sample one right after the other. (I predict a Stinky Goodness coma afterwards, but it’d be worth it).

7. See Luna the Fashion Kitty “in the fur” (i.e., she won’t be wearing one of her infamous tutus, wink wink).

8. Rub noses with “Tara the Hero Cat” who courageously went after a dog that was attacking her 4-year-old human brother. I’d like to think my strapping ManCat self would be as brave as Tara if someone attacked my Warden, but something tells me she’d be left to fend for herself while I hid under the bed.

9. Go 24 hours without having to endure the Warden’s sloppy kisses and groping hugs. Just one measly day without her fawning all over me – is that too much to ask?

10. Meet my crush, Meg Ryan. Now SHE could womanhandle me as much as she liked!

Some of my feline friends wanted to share their bucket list too.

Janiss Garza:  Sparkle wants to make the cover of Cat Fancy.

Dean McCaughan:  A hairball in every room. And catch the red dot.
bucket list alisha vargas
Lori J.: Cory wants access to the Tillamook Cheese Factory for a night. And free access to a whole roasted Costco chicken. No sharing!

Peggy McNamara: Laila would like to go to Costco to pick out her own box.

Debbie Glovatsky: Waffles hopes that someday KFC will sponsor our blog.

Julie Church Cat Mackenzie: Chopin would like to walk across piano keys. Tinker, since I call him my little teddy bear, would like to visit a human toy store; Anastasia says, “Bucket list, Schmucket list. I’m still waiting for my personalized tiara.”

Sue Grybel Doute: Mine have never had the opportunity to hunt a real live mouse… I know this would be on Wally and Ernie’s bucket list.

Rene Schweitzer: Having recently lost a cat, I compiled a bucket list for him. He only got to complete one item: eating raw corn on the cob. Other items were eating grass and pizza cheese.

Nora Peluso: Buddy would like to stay out all day in the horse field eating as much grass as he wants…then come inside for stinky goodness!

Cathy Keisha: I wanna walk on the ceiling or actually touch the ceiling which is 16 ft. high. All our furniture is too short.

Marjorie Dawson: I wanna fly and reach the birds! Sienna

Lori  J.: Figaro wants to be able to fly with the butterflies.

Top photo by Julia Williams
Middle photo courtesy of Venus the Amazing Chimera Cat
Bottom photo by Alisha Vargas

Read more articles by Rocky Williams

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How to Choose the Right Collar and Lead for Your Dog

collar maja dumatBy Langley Cornwell

Using the right dog collar and lead is important. It’s a tool you probably utilize every day when you take your pup out of the house; it’s required by law in most areas. And if your dogs are anything like mine, it’s the one thing (besides their CANIDAE dog food!) they have the biggest reaction to. When I pull out their leashes, it’s on. The house is filled with doggie happiness.

Choosing the right products are confusing, though. I remember a time when there weren’t so many options. Basic collars and leashes were the only things on the market, and the only choices you had were color and pattern. Times have changed and now there are so many options it can be overwhelming. Even more confusing—everyone has a strong opinion about what is “best.” With all the options and opinions out there, how do you decide?

Like most things, it depends on your purpose and your dog. Here are a few useful options on the market today.

Basic Collar and Leash

The basic collar fits comfortably around your dog’s neck and either buckles or snaps together. The basic leash is usually flat, 6-feet long and made of woven cotton or nylon. Regardless of the type of dog collar and lead you use on a daily basis, it’s good to have a basic set on hand. The basic leash is useful because of its versatility. Aside from the ability to walk your dog with it, in an emergency situation you can make a slip lead or a muzzle out of it.

This combination is best for calm, easygoing dogs without obedience problems. The basic collar and leash are not helpful for training purposes, so if that’s what you need, keep reading.

Snap-around Collar or Slip Lead

For dogs that require a few corrections along the walk, many experts recommend either a snap-around collar or a slip lead. These tools work great if your dog is easily distracted by joggers, bicyclers, squirrels, other dogs, etc., because the collar allows for quick corrections.

The snap-around collar can be fitted for your particular dog, while a slip lead is generic. Used correctly, a snap-around collar should fit high on your dog’s neck, just below her ears. It should be snug but not tight. On the other hand, slip leads are easy to put on and can be used for any size dog. Try both options and see which one you and your dog respond the best to.

With either a snap-around collar or slip lead, you must be cautious. These options should only be used for training purposes and not as your dog’s regular collar or lead.

collar kimberly gauthierHarness and Flat Lead

A harness and flat lead are the best option for brachycephalic dogs: Pugs, Boston Terriers, Pekingese, Boxers, Bulldogs, Shih Tzus and other breeds with pushed-in faces. They are also recommended for dog breeds that are likely to have throat or trachea problems like Pomeranians, and dogs with long, slender necks, like Greyhounds.

A standard harness that rubs between a dog’s front legs can stimulate her instinct to pull, which is good if you want your dog to pull you while you skate or ride your bike. If that’s not your goal, then look for a harness with a non-pull design which goes high around her chest and behind her front legs (instead of between her legs).

These are just some of the hundreds of the collar and lead options available today. You may have to try a few different types before you settle on what works best. In all cases, the leash and collar are important communication vehicles between you and your four-legged friend, and should be used with love and respect. For safety’s sake, when you are not training your dog make sure she has on a standard collar with ID tags attached.

What about you? Please tell us what’s your favorite dog collar and leash, and why?

Top photo by Maja Dumat
Bottom photo by Kimberly Gauthier

Read more articles by Langley Cornwell

Fala, a Presidential Dog That Helped Shape Our Country

fala sculptureBy Linda Cole

Beginning with George Washington up to our current president, dogs have lived in the White House with their elected leaders. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had his share of presidential pets, but his favorite canine and constant companion was Fala, a Scottish Terrier who in many ways helped to shape our country.

Fala was born April 7, 1940, and was destined to become one of the most beloved presidential pets of all time. The dog, whose name was Big Boy at the time, was given to Roosevelt by Mrs. Augustus Kellog, but it was Roosevelt’s cousin Margaret “Daisy” Suckley who socialized and trained the puppy before presenting him to the president as an early Christmas gift. By the time Fala entered the White House in November, he knew how to behave, roll over, sit up and jump.

Roosevelt wasn’t keen on the name Big Boy and promptly changed it to Murray the Outlaw of Falahill, after a Scottish ancestor from the 1400s who was apparently of questionable character. The name was soon shortened to Fala. Roosevelt was a huge dog lover, but was persuaded to leave his bigger dogs at home in Hyde Park, New York. Without a canine companion in the White House, people around Roosevelt thought he seemed distant at times and hoped the pup would provide comfort and cheer him up. Fala and Roosevelt quickly bonded and the two became inseparable, much to Eleanor’s dismay; she constantly had to contend with Roosevelt crossing her name off a list of people accompanying him on trips and replacing it with Fala’s.

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Beach Play Ideas for Dogs

beach steve stearnsBy Laurie Darroch

With all the open space, the beach is the perfect place to take your dog for an invigorating outing to get fresh air and exercise. Even in cooler months, the non-water activities at the beach can be a great way to burn off excess dog energy and provide refreshing outdoor play time. If you have kids in your home, this is a fun outing for the whole family and good bonding time with your dog.

During hot weather, pick cooler times of the day to go for a beach outing with your dog. Early mornings or evenings are best on excessively hot days. That’s when the sand is more tolerable for paws to walk on. Going at off times also makes it easier to play on the beach with fewer people there.

Some beaches allow dogs to roam freely. Others require all dogs to be on a leash. You can adapt any of the following activities for play on or off the leash. For play that involves running, if you are not physically able to run yourself, with the use of an extra-long lead instead of a standard shorter leash, your dog can still run and play.

Bring toys that are heavy enough to throw, even if the beach is windy. Include toys that can float if your dog goes in the water to play.

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Seven Small Dog Breeds Made for Laps

By Linda Cole

Small dog breeds in the AKC’s Toy Group are perfectly happy to curl up in your lap when you want to relax with a good book or watch TV. They were bred to be companion pets, but these seven small dogs also enjoy going outside to stretch their legs. Most also have the energy and ability to participate in dog sports or go hiking.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

cavalier Tadson BusseyThis dog may be small, but he still retains his spaniel traits and is a true sporting breed that enjoys getting outside for hikes and walks, or participating in dog sports like flyball, agility and rally. Some have been trained to hunt small prey like rabbits and birds. This is an intelligent breed that loves being with people. The Cavalier can easily steal your heart with his cheery and sweet disposition, large round bright eyes and a tail that never stops wagging.

Shih Tzu

A favorite companion pet of Chinese royalty, this dog’s name means “little lion.” The Shih Tzu is one of the 14 oldest dog breeds. Archaeological discoveries of dog bones in China date the breed back to at least 8,000 B.C. This happy, outgoing and affectionate breed gets along well with other dogs and is a good family pet. Unlike the Cavalier, a Shih Tzu has no interest in hunting anything, but he does enjoy getting rid of excess energy by doing agility, rally, obedience and other dog sports.

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Do Our Pets “Mirror” Aspects of Ourselves?

mirrors jennie faberBy Julia Williams

There is a popular metaphysical concept that goes something like this: every person in our life is a mirror, i.e., they reflect back to us some aspect of our “self” that will help us grow as human beings. The theory is that everyone we meet gives us the opportunity to see who we are with greater clarity, much like holding up a mirror and gazing at our reflection. Further, it’s said that the attributes in others that bug us the most are the areas within our own lives that need the most work.

Whether it’s true or not is anybody’s guess. The thing about a concept like this is that science can’t prove or disprove it, so we can either choose to believe…or not. Personally, I’m inclined to think there’s some truth to the concept.

It got me to thinking. If every person offers this learning experience, this opportunity to really understand who we are, then what about other living beings in our lives – our pets? Many of us are as close to our pets as we are to other humans. It stands to reason that every being we allow into our lives could offer this potential for personal growth. And as with humans, could it be that the pets who are particularly challenging are the ones who offer us the clearest mirror to our own flaws?

Take my cat Rocky, for example. I love him to the moon and back, but he has one habit that annoys me greatly. He is food obsessed, and he thinks nothing of making a grab for whatever is on my plate – while I am in the middle of eating it, no less – or jumping onto the kitchen counter to eat his CANIDAE food before I can finish dishing it into his bowl. (Trust me, it’s impossible to put cat food in a dish with his fluffy face in the way). It would seem that he has no control over these food-related urges.
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