Category Archives: holidays

Have a Safe and Happy 4th of July!

By Julia Williams

On Independence Day, most people don’t bat an eye when they hear the pop-pop-pop sound of firecrackers going off all day long, or the thunderous boom of fireworks at night. Not me. As a “parent” of three cats who are terrified of those loud noises, I cringe when I see the garishly decorated fireworks stands popping up on every corner.

I dread July 4th and especially nightfall, because I live right across the street from where my town sets off their fireworks display. Those loud booms are unsettling for me; I can only imagine how scary they are for my pets, who have no idea what those noises mean. Are we being invaded? Is the world ending? Where can I hide? At that first boom, my skittish kitties make a beeline for UTB (under the bed) and I usually don’t see them until morning.

It’s made me something of a curmudgeon, hating the Fourth of July when I should be joyously and noisily celebrating freedom and independence like everyone else. Yet, more pets go missing on July 4th than any other day of the year, says the popular adoption site, Petfinder. Emergency pet hospitals also see an upswing of visits.

So while it’s nice to enjoy the backyard barbecues, picnics in the park and fireworks that have become an American tradition on the Fourth, responsible pet owners also need to take precautions to keep their four-legged family members safe (and as stress-free as possible).

Don’t take Fido to the fireworks display. This noisy, crowded scene can create anxiety and aggression in even the calmest of canines.

If you plan to set off personal fireworks, be sure to keep your dog in a safe location away from the display. Too many dogs have already been burned and otherwise injured by fireworks; it’s just not worth the risk.

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Patriotic Dog Crafts for July 4th

By Tamara McRill

What could be more natural than pairing dogs with a day dedicated to independence, patriotism and love of our country? After all, our furry friends are the epitome of freedom, loyalty and love. At least that’s how my mind works, and so my patriotic canine crafting theme for the Fourth of July was born. These easy crafts range from dog-themed to actually for the dogs, with a little in between.

Uncle Sam Dog Hat

This was my favorite project, because it produced such adorable pictures and inspired the final craft. I started with one of those dollar store cloth hats, but you could easily make one from construction paper. Just be sure to have a camera and dog treats handy – I used CANIDAE Chicken and Rice TidNips™ to reward Wuppy for sitting pretty.

Supplies: Uncle Sam hat, white snow batting or cotton balls, glue gun, glue sticks, and 1 ½ foot of string or elastic.

1. Pull off enough batting to make two sections of pouf white “hair” to hang around your dog’s ears.

2. With the glue gun, glue each section to the inside brim of your hat, so it hangs down like hair, one section on the left and one on the right. Allow glue time to dry.

3. Pull off another section of batting, enough to make a goatee. Hot glue the goatee to the center of your string or elastic. Let the glue dry, then tie the goatee on your dog’s head.

4. OPTIONAL: You can also glue the string or elastic to the hat, like a chin strap, if you want your pet to wear the hat for more time than just picture taking. Loop it around from your dog’s head to chin, to measure the right length.

Firecracker Dog Treat Favors

Since I was handing out treats to get Dusty and Wuppy to pose for pictures, I decided they needed their own rocket favor containers. They were entirely too willing to pose with this craft!

Supplies: toilet paper or paper towel roll, small section each of red and blue poster board or scrapbook paper, white printer paper, scissors, tape, glue gun, 3 inches of string, and markers or paint.

1. Wrap the white paper around your toilet paper roll and tape it where the paper meets. Trim the excess paper off the top of the tube with scissors.

2. Decorate covered roll with markers or paint and write your dog’s name on it.

3. Take one of your poster boards or scrapbook paper and cut a half circle that is 3 ⅓ inches on the flat side. This is going to be the firecracker’s pointed cap.

4. Fold the half circle perfectly in half, tip-to-tip. Tape it where the flat bottom now meets in two sections.

5. Put a bead of glue along the top edge of your toilet paper roll and set the newly made point cap on top, with the point facing up.

6. For the feet: Cut out three or four identical feet from your poster board or scrapbook paper, for your firecracker or rocket to stand on. These should be an inch across at the top and taper where they will stand at the bottom.

7. Tape the string to the inside top corner of one of the legs, if you want a firecracker. You can skip this step if you want a rocket.

8. Cut 3 or 4 slits (depending on how many legs you made) evenly up the bottom of your tube.

9. Insert legs, with the narrowest point facing down.

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What Would Dogs Do If They Had Thumbs?

By Keikei Cole, Canine Guest Blogger

The other day the “Boss” was laughing about a holiday on March 3rd, If Pet’s Had Thumbs Day. Visions of high fives and thumbs up suddenly came to mind. After thinking about it for a minute, I knew this was something I could sink my teeth into, so I decided to bark out my own list of what I’d do if dogs had thumbs.

You Tube videos. Yep, I’d film and post funny hooman videos. It’s fun to watch those hoomans – such interesting creatures. I can see it now, Keikei, the internet sensation of the Doggiesphere, made possible with opposable thumbs. The boss is always cackling over videos of my canine cousins chasing their tail or doing a slow motion shake. I’d film hoomans in super slow motion trying to keep up with us at the dog park. Especially their face when we’re doing something they think we shouldn’t be doing. Hoomans can move pretty fast sometimes. BOL.

The remote control would be mine. I like to watch Animal Planet as much as any doggie, but it would be nice to surf for something else and change the channel without having to use my nose or teeth. I would go with an exciting canine action flick or maybe a canine thriller. And I’d have my own bowl full of CANIDAE TidNips™ and Snap-Bits™ to munch on. I might even sprinkle in some FELIDAE TidNips™ to kick it up a notch.

Texting looks sort of cool. I like the noise it makes. I’d text my doggie pals in the neighborhood to coordinate a specific time when we all howl. Oh wait, this is even better – we could stare at a wall and pretend like we see something the hoomans can’t see. That always gets them.

You know how some hoomans love to sit around playing cards for hours? I’d get my own card game going! We would play the doggie version of Go Fish. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. It’s called Go Cat. If we get the wild card, we have to chase a kitty up a tree.

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Dog Inspired Valentine’s Day Crafts

By Tamara McRill

I’m a dog person who likes to make special things for every holiday. So of course I had to make some Valentine’s Day crafts inspired by my canine loves! The three doggie Valentine’s Day crafts featured here offer a little something for everyone and are fairly easy to make. They even make excellent gifts for the dog lovers in your life.

Sweetheart Dog Book Page Art

Have you ever seen those framed book pages with an ink drawing or sketch of a dog on them and wished you could have one of your pet? I have and finally figured out just how simple it was to make. Especially after using some of the same techniques used in making a dog portrait pumpkin.

Supplies: Ruler, scissors, tape, pencil, black ink pen or fine point marker, red marker, book or newspaper page, frame, computer and photo of your dog.

1.  Measure the opening of your photo frame.

2.  Cut your book or newspaper page 1/2 inch wider than that measurement. (Bonus points if you can find a page about dogs.)

3.  Bring up your dog’s photograph on your computer screen. Blow it up just big enough to fit in the center of your book page.

4.  Tape your book page to your monitor and lightly trace the photograph. You don’t have to get too detailed, just get the general impression, but don’t forget to give the idea of your pet’s general markings.

5.  Untape your book page and go over what you have traced with a black pen or marker.

6.  Color the dog’s tongue and collar with red marker.

7.  Draw a red heart in the upper right or wherever you like best.

8.  Frame your book page art.

Of course, feel free to take any artistic license! Dusty was quite fascinated with his portrait.

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A Pet Version of "The Night Before Christmas"

By Linda Cole

It’s the night before Christmas, the house is all quiet. That fat man who falls down the chimney is near. He steals through the house, grabbing cookies and milk. But not this year – not while I’m here. A right jolly old man, as the story goes, who has reindeer as pets; one with a big red nose that shines through the night, showing Santa the way with an eerie (and unearthly!) magical glow.

He creeps through the house in the dark of the night. Dressed all in red, BOL, what a funny sight. I’m watching and ready this year when he comes. That plate full of cookies will be mine this night. You know who I mean, he’s a plump little fellow. Rosy cheeks, and belly shaking just like Jello. He swoops down the chimney with a bag full of loot, yelling Ho Ho Ho in a booming bellow.

I’m on the job, patrolling my home and guarding my humans as they dream in their beds. But just in case I get tired this night, I’ve enlisted some help from a cat friend named Fred. Oh Fred, stay on your toes, he’ll be coming soon. Fred! Stop playing, leave that poor mouse alone. I told you no playing, and you promised to be good. What did you say? You don’t like my tone?

And then it happened, as quick as can be. A noise on the roof – Fred, that fat man is here. Scoot to your post, as fast as you can. Now where did Fred go? He’s disappeared. I hear a noise from behind the couch, a muffled meow in the quiet old house. Well hello Fred. Why are you tied? What’s that you say, it was a ninja mouse!

Just then from the chimney came a noise up above. Forget that mouse, and hide over there. A cloud of soot suddenly appears, catching Fred by surprise who stops with a bewildered stare. My plan will fail if Santa sees Fred! I must spring to action; there’s no time for delay. I quickly grab Fred by the nap of his neck, but he doesn’t budge. Fred, how much do you weigh?

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Hilarious and Heartwarming Holiday Pet Stories

Kim’s cat Libby

By Tamara McRill

What pet owner doesn’t have at least a few sweet or silly holiday memories spun from the antics of our fur children? Whether it’s the loving holiday traditions we carry out with our pets through the years or singular events that warm our hearts and uplift our spirits, these all become cherished stories. The best tales are meant to be shared, so I thought I would ask my friends about their favorite holiday memories starring their cats and dogs. Here’s what they had to share:

Kitty and Kiddie Sneak Peek

What’s a mom to do when the cat and children are in collusion to catch a glimpse of the gifts? Kim Morgan shares how her adopted feral cat Liberty, aka Libby, “helps” her spread the joy of the season:

“My kids want me to wrap their presents and put them under the tree early, because they know there’s a good chance the cat will tear the wrapping to shreds and they’ll get to see what they’re getting,” said Kim. “This Christmas, it’s already happened twice.”

Reindeer…err…Puppy Games

Santa’s not the only one watching to see if all little puppies are being good for Christmas, but that didn’t stop Linda Wolke’s Dachshund mix, Puppy, from trying to get his mom to join in a little holiday play. Puppy would tug his mother Rusty’s chain and try to drag her into a fun scrap. But Puppy must have known who was handing out the stockings in his house, because every time Linda would look out the window, he would stop and act like a perfect angel.

O Christmas Tree…

Kerri’s former dog Cody

How tempting you can be. Especially when all those brightly colored packages are piled up underneath. That goes double when they are under someone else’s tree. Kerri Hollingsworth shared how her former dog Cody, (now mine), took all the surprise out of Christmas one year. The  Australian Shepherd and Blue Heeler mix had a grand time unwrapping all the gifts under her sister’s tree – including her sister’s new PlayStation.

They laughingly made a quick getaway, but it’s not like the tree is any safer at her home, thanks to her cat. Like most kitties, Nala considers the tree her private Christmas playhouse. It’s too bad it gets infested with garland, which she – of course –  does her best to “exterminate.”

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