Rocket Hoskins has the title of World Frisbee Champion and is a six time National Frisbee Champion (in people Frisbee), as well as being the original California State Frisbee Golf Champion, among his many credentials. He is the expert trainer of Rocket’s K-9 Comets Frisbee Dog Stars, and he has been the charismatic and dynamic human star of the show since 1982.
Rocket’s wife Ashley is the canine coordinator and commentator for the show. Together with their four legged family members and teammates, they travel the country doing performances at State and County Fairs, NFL and NBA halftime shows, and corporate and special events. They have been featured in countless newspaper articles as well as on TV shows including the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, Fox News, ESPN and Animal Planet.
Back in 1998, Rocket and Ashley met Scott Whipple, one of the owners of CANIDAE Natural Pet Food Company, when Scott was personally handing out free samples of their dog food at the Jurupa Rodeo not far from where the CANIDAE Corporate offices are today. Rocket’s K-9 Comets were doing the half time entertainment for the enthusiastic crowd at the Rodeo. Scott saw how amazing the Frisbee Dogs were, and how much the crowd loved the show. Soon after, CANIDAE became the Official Dog Food of the K-9 Comets, and has been their sponsor for over 14 years.
Did you know the Pentagon has two dozen highly trained K9 teams that are used to detect explosives, search vehicles, and patrol the premises to keep them safe? I didn’t until recently when Sarah Lagasse, K9 Sergeant at the Pentagon Police Department, contacted CANIDAE customer service. Sarah wrote to ask for some CANIDAE Pet Food banners or posters for their new kennel facility, because she said many of the Pentagon working dogs eat the food and not only that – they really thrive on it! I spoke with her recently to get more information on the Pentagon dogs and their very important jobs. Sarah’s current K9 partner is Aldo, a 4 year old Golden Retriever (soon to be 5) she’s been working with since 2008. Here’s what she had to say:
What is a typical day like for you and Aldo? Aldo’s duties are to detect explosives and be a deterrent. Our normal day usually begins with his exercise (playing ball), then he rides to work with me. We conduct roll call and give out the assignments for the other teams. We sometimes work at the Pentagon Remote Delivery Facility where all delivery vehicles are screened by K9 teams, and we do random patrols all over the Pentagon Reservation. We respond to calls for unattended items, bomb threats and many other types of calls. We also provide K9 support to visiting dignitaries, often searching their hotel suites and motorcades. We fit exercise, grooming and training in as often as possible.
What is Aldo’s temperament like? Aldo is a typical Golden Retriever – he is very sweet, playful and loves everyone.
What part of his job does Aldo like most and least? Aldo likes to search; when he is working, he is happy! When we work the receiving facility a lot, he doesn’t seem to care for it much since he is searching a lot of vehicles numerous times a day and I think he gets a little bored. I have to keep his mind in the game, so our trainers will secretly put training aids (explosives) on vehicles so he will find them, get his ball and get excited to work again. We do this with all of the dogs since even as handlers, we get tired of these searches after doing that specific job for many hours straight.
When it comes to their attitude towards food, dogs and cats typically fall into one of two categories – foodie or finicky. A foodie pet will wolf down their food every day like they haven’t eaten anything in weeks, while a finicky pet eats well today but may or may not eat well tomorrow, even when offered the same food they normally love. A foodie rarely presents a problem for a pet owner, but having a finicky pet can certainly be frustrating. After all, a responsible pet owner does a lot of research before deciding which food to buy, and they obviously want their pet to like the food.
I feel lucky that my cats have all been foodies. For one thing, I get to smile every day at their over-the-top antics when it’s time for their breakfast, dinner or TidNips treats. It’s always the same – copious leg rubbing, prancing, pacing, and meowing with a volume level that could wake the dead. There’s no question that they love their food. I’m happy that I can feed them a high quality cat food like FELIDAE and they will scarf up every last morsel day after day, year after year.
Another advantage of having a foodie pet is that it’s an immediate clue when they aren’t feeling well. This happened to me recently with Rocky, who I’m convinced loves food more than any cat on the planet. When he didn’t want to eat one day, I knew there was a problem, and off to the vet we went. Thanks to modern medicine he’s fine now, but if he wasn’t a foodie, it wouldn’t have been nearly as easy for me to know he had a problem. Cats are masters at hiding illness, but even a diehard foodie like Rocky will lose his appetite if he’s not feeling well.
Stories surface from time to time about unusual friendships between animals of different species. Last year in “True Stories of Interspecies Animal Friendships” I wrote about several such “animal odd couples” that play together, eat together and show affection for one another, including a dog and deer, giraffe and ostrich, and kitten and crow.
I recently learned of the unlikely yet strong bond between three animals that would be mortal enemies under any other circumstance. Although it might seem more like a Disney movie than real life, the tale of a lion, a tiger and a bear who became best friends is true, and very heartwarming.
Leo the lion, Shere Khan the tiger, and Baloo the bear live together at Noah’s Ark Animal Rehabilitation Center in Locust Grove, Georgia. Eight years ago, three tiny cubs barely two months old were rescued during a police drug raid in Atlanta, Georgia. It was thought that the three exotic animals were being kept as status symbol pets. The cubs were taken to Noah’s Ark, where the decision was made to keep the trio together because they came as a kind of family and seemed to have already formed a bond. Whether it would work long term or not was anybody’s guess, because this unlikely animal friendship was one of a kind. “To our knowledge, this is the only place where you’ll find this combination of animals together,” said Diane Smith, assistant director of Noah’s Ark.
Every day, many customer service conversations at CANIDAE revolve around dogs and cats: what to feed, how to feed, how much to feed, how to get a picky eater to eat, etc. A question I am frequently asked is “What formula of CANIDAE/FELIDAE do you feed your dogs/cats?” I currently share my home with three Labrador Retrievers and three cats. I have fed every formula that CANIDAE makes at one time or another to my pets, and they have all thrived on each variety. One of the great advantages the CANIDAE Natural Pet Food line offers is a wide range of formula choices to suit most dogs and cats. One formula isn’t necessarily better than another, but just a different choice. All products are made with the same high quality ingredients and balanced nutrition.
I thought I would share what works for me and my pet family. Anyone owned by cats knows that if a cat doesn’t like a particular food, no matter how much we want them to eat a certain brand or formula, you can’t make them eat it. That being said, most cats really like the taste of FELIDAE. I keep one bowl filled up with the FELIDAE Cat and Kitten formula, and one filled with the Grain Free pureSEA. The next month, I will offer the Chicken and Rice and the Grain Free pureELEMENTS.
Have you ever noticed that when someone sees a small white dog they typically say “Oh what a cute Poodle” or when they see a large white dog they think of a Husky or a Samoyed? I am a big fan of white dogs and I don’t expect people to always know exactly what breed a dog is – but there are a lot more white dogs than just Poodles and Huskies.
Small White Dogs
Some of the small white dogs you may confuse with a poodle are the Bichon Frise and the Bichon Bolognese. Both of these dogs have curly white hair, but their facial structure and compact body are quite different from a poodle.
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, firm, corporation or brand names, in this blog is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. All opinions in this blog are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company.