Do Pets Make Us Happier?

happy cats niels kliimBy Julia Williams

If you’re a pet lover like me, you probably think that asking if pets make us happier is a pretty dumb question. You may have even uttered something sarcastic like “well duh.” I thought the same thing, until I happened upon a blog post where there was quite a debate going on about that very question.

“Debate? What’s to debate?” I naturally thought. My cats keep my Happy Meter so full, there’s simply no question their furry presence makes me not only happier, but healthier – body, mind and spirit.

The arguments against pets making us happier spoke of things like the hassle of caring for a pet (personally, I’ve never considered caring for my beloved cats a hassle, but whatever); the stress that can arise when they’re sick or injured; the agitation that occurs when your dog shreds your couch cushion or your cat deposits a hairball on the new carpet. I’ll give them points on the stress and agitation issues. No one likes those things. However, I still believe that all of the positives of having a pet far outweigh any negatives.

In my article, How Do You Keep Your Pet Happy?, my furiend Guido the Italian Kitty made an astute observation when he said “My Meowster self thinks your article should be titled How does your PET keep YOU Happy?” It was obvious that all of the things I do to keep my cats happy also make ME happy. I don’t do things that make my cats happy for the sole purpose of my own happiness, but it’s definitely a fringe benefit. I am reminded of that over-used saying: Happy wife, happy life. My version would be: Happy cats, happy me.

Read More »

EmailGoogle GmailBlogger PostTwitterFacebookGoogle+Share

When Couples Differ on Pet Training Techniques

dog training couples andreaBy Langley Cornwell

When two people who live together decide to add a four-legged family member to the mix, the household dynamics can change dramatically. The main thing that complicates the domestic flow is that the new family member speaks a different language from everyone else in the home. The family oftentimes expects this new member to fit in seamlessly, to be obedient, to know when and where to sit, where he’s supposed eat his CANIDAE dog food and other things. They expect him to immediately understand how to behave in his new set of circumstances without being properly trained.

Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything (cough, cough) but I’ve heard that some couples have different philosophies on how to interact with this new family member. They have a different set of ideas when it comes to training techniques and methods of establishing household rules and boundaries.

Any dog will be anxious when he first arrives in his new home, and he desperately wants to please his new family. Of course he won’t know how to communicate with these strangers at first, but if the people start out giving him muddled or conflicting instructions, his anxiety will be exacerbated. Differing approaches will confuse the dog and disrupt the progress or even derail any chance he has of learning how to cohabitate with his new family harmoniously.

Read More »

The First Dog to Fly Over the North Pole

Umberto_Nobile_NYWTSBy Linda Cole

In the early 1900s, the notion of flying an airplane over the North Pole was considered dangerous and an almost impossible task. Umberto Nobile’s dream was to fly a dirigible over the top of the world, and he wasn’t deterred by skeptics who scoffed at his insane idea. Nobile was a determined adventurer and with his loyal dog Titina by his side, he made a historic flight over the Arctic in an airship. This earned them recognition as the first man and dog to fly over the North Pole.

Titina was a stray Fox Terrier wandering the streets of Rome when she found Nobile one day in 1925. The two month old pup was lost, starving, and desperate for help. She approached him, stood up on her hind legs and pawed the air with her front feet. He bent down and petted her on the head. Unable to leave her behind, Nobile scooped her up and carried her home. From that moment on, Titina followed Nobile wherever he went.

She didn’t share her owner’s love of flying, but her desire to be with him was stronger than her fear. Nobile had intended to leave Titina at home during his 1926 flight over the Arctic, but the little dog wasn’t about to be left behind. As his airship the Norge rose from the ground, Nobile clutched Titina tight against his chest as thousands of well wishers cheered. A green, red and white Italian sash hung around the dog’s neck. The Norge headed north and began a journey that would make Titina and Nobile household names.

Read More »

Elle’s Tailwagging Blog – Hang Ten and Wipeouts

Elle_ready_to_surfPawabunga –  Hang Ten, Shredding and Wipeout! That’s surfing talk, and you know what? I’m a surfer girl. Well, maybe that’s not 100% correct, but then I’m a fun-loving yellow Labrador, what do I know about numbers other than I don’t think my human ever gives me enough of those yummy CANIDAE Bakery Snacks. I digress, so back to the topic. I’ve been surfing, and I wanted to tell you all about it. Yeah that’s right, dogs can surf, and we’re pretty good at it! Humans call it Hang Ten, but to us dogs it is called Hang Twenty. I don’t know why it is called Hang Twenty because when I look at my pretty little doggie toes I can only count four toes on each paw, but that’s just what they say.

I love the outdoors and I love doing fun things with my human every day. It’s my job to keep things fresh and exciting. CANIDAE has a motto: “Healthy People – Healthy Pets.” So when my human said, “Elle, you are a talented Labrador. I bet you would like surfing so let’s try it.” I replied, “It sounds like fun, but what is surfing?” Turns out surfing is done at the dog beach. I like the beach, what’s not to like? This sounds good so far.

Humans hold dog surfing competitions at several dog beaches in Southern California. We decided to go to the one at Huntington Beach California, Surf City USA. We entered the contest and a portion of the entry fee was to be donated to Save the Dog Beach Charity. I liked that idea. We packed up the car with beach stuff for humans and dogs, including plenty of fresh water because the water in the ocean is salty and from personal experience I can truly say it tastes yucky, but do you want to know a secret? Every dog has to try drinking the ocean water even though we know it will come right back up. I don’t know why, we just do it. BOL.
Read More »

Tips for Taking Your Dog to Live in Another Country

moving sharkBy Laurie Darroch

Whether you are moving to another country for work, school, a change of pace, or to retire, you will of course want to bring your beloved canine companion with you. Although your faithful family member will go wherever you lead, you do need to be prepared and consider their special requirements when making such a big change.

Vets and Emergencies

Vets are not always easily found in all places, and they may be long distance vets who only come into town on specific dates. For instance, spaying and neutering clinics may only be available on certain dates when the vet makes special trips to provide that service for the area.

Before you make the leap and move to a new country, be sure to research what sort of facilities are available. You will also need to know what type of emergency facility is available for pets.

It is a good idea to have all of the information, including the vet’s name and location, written down before you move. If there are groups of expats living in the area where you are moving, see if you can contact them online or via phone to get firsthand, up-to-date information. Websites sometimes do not get updated frequently and may be out of date. Firsthand information from those in the know is best.

Read More »

The Pet Selfie Craze

By Julia Williams

It’s funny how new words seem to burst upon the scene and suddenly they’re everywhere. Case in point: the one-handed self-portrait everyone now calls a “selfie.” It’s been used so often lately that the Oxford Dictionary named selfie as their 2013 Word of the Year. The selection was big news nationwide, and gave the late-night talk show hosts some fresh comedic material. Conan O’Brien joked that “The Oxford Dictionary has named selfie the word of the year, narrowly beating out twerk. In a related story, the funeral for the English language is this Saturday.”

Interestingly, there’s no clear evidence of the word’s origin. It was initially reported that an Australian named Nathan Hope was the first to use selfie, in a 2002 forum post, but he later refuted that. Regardless of where the word originated, it seems certain that selfie is here to stay. And it was only a matter of time before our pets embraced the trend. Don’t believe me? Just Google “pet selfies” and you’ll see.

Pet seflies are popping up by the thousands on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and such. There is even a Pet Selfies page on Facebook (well yeah…of course there is). There’s also a Cat Selfie app that purports to help your feline with their self-snapped portraits. You put your iPhone or Ipad on the floor and a bouncing “flaming laser” appears on the screen for your cat to chase. Cat Selfie takes a photo every time the cat touches the screen. Curiously, there is no corresponding Dog Selfie app. However, that doesn’t seem to be stopping canines from getting in on the pet selfie craze.

Below are just a few of my favorite pet selfies.

The “Is There Food on My Nose Again?” Selfie – by Misko
selfie misko

The “Budoir Photo” Selfie – by Noel Zia Lee
Unused by Noël Zia Lee OK

“Rocking the Cone of Shame” Selfie – by andersbknudsen
selfie  andersbknudsen

The “Hangin’ with My BFF” Selfie – by Kerem Tapani Gültekin
selfie kerem
The “I’m So Tie-Tie” Selfie – by David~O
selfie David O

“Extreme Close Up” Selfie – by Tina Sherwood Imaging
selfie tina sherwood
“Photobomber” Selfie – by Rocky Williams

???????????????????????????????

The “Say Cheese” Selfie – by Joshua Ganderson

selfie joshua ganderson

“High on Catnip” Selfie – by Umberto Salvagnin

selfie umberto

The “Don’t Mess with My Bone” Selfie – by Greg Westfall

selfie greg westfall

The “I Am Lion, Hear Me Roar” Selfie – by Steve Hardy

selfie steve hardy

Read more articles by Julia Williams