The loyal Kira
By Laurie Darroch
Poetry is an art form dear to my heart. I was inspired from a very young age by my mother and maternal grandfather. I write my poems in every style and on every subject that touches or inspires me.
I have had poetry published on the web and in numerous books in print. With a few awards and prizes under my belt, and the title of featured poet in two anthology books, I continue to write and strive for more learning and achievement in poetry. I hope to eventually publish a full book of my poems.
I dedicate this poem to the three dogs who have given me unfaltering love and loyalty: Kusje and Kira who have reached the other side and are greatly missed, and Neela, the newest loved family member, who daily keeps me on my toes with her puppy antics.
By Linda Cole
One nice thing about cats is that no matter how insistent they meow for their supper, it usually won’t annoy the neighbors. A barking dog can, on the other hand. Some breeds use their voice more than others, and others will bark just for attention. Thankfully, there are some dogs that typically don’t bark a lot.
Chinese Shar-Pei – Bred in southern China as an all purpose farm dog, the wrinkly Shar-Pei dates back to at least the 1200s. The breed was highly prized as a herder, hunter, tracker, and guard dog for property and livestock. He shares his distinct blue-black tongue with only one other dog breed, the ancient Chow Chow, also from China. Shar-Pei means “sand skin” in Chinese. This breed is intelligent, devoted to his family, an independent thinker with a stubborn streak, wary of people and dogs he doesn’t know, and a good watchdog. As a general rule, the Shar-Pei only barks when he’s worried about something or during play.
Rhodesian Ridgeback – This is an ancient breed native to South Africa, developed by farmers who needed an intelligent, athletic and courageous dog for hunting, herding, and guarding livestock and the home from large predators. Also known as the African Lion Hound, the Ridgeback was used to hunt lions and leopards, holding them at bay until a hunter came. A distinctive ridge of hair along the spine, growing in the opposite direction from the rest of the coat, is how the breed got its name. The Ridgeback is extremely devoted to his family and will do what’s necessary to defend them.
By Julia Williams
Love is definitely in the air today. (Or maybe it’s in the water?). In any event, a lot of women get all goo-goo eyed on Valentine’s Day, with thoughts of love, a romantic dinner, a box of chocolates, maybe some beautiful red roses. Me? I’m usually thinking “Ugh. It’s Valentine’s Day…again? When will the madness end?” Now, I’m all in favor of romance and fine dining, but the commercialization of this Hallmark Holiday has really gotten extreme. And talk about pressure!
Who needs the stress – and the expense – of trying to pull off the mother of all dates? I have a much better solution. A date with your cat! According to Yahoo News, one in five people would prefer to spend Valentine’s Day with their pet over their human partner. Now, some might not have the courage to actually make that preference known, but I say just go for it. Feel free to use this list of 8 reasons why a cat makes a better Valentine’s Day date if you need backup. Just please don’t mention my name.
Actually, make that no expectations. No need to worry about planning the most over-the-top date ever, because a cat won’t stare at you mournfully when you don’t whisk them off to Paris, or procure an entire fancy restaurant for the two of you, or hire a famous band for a private serenade (you know… all that fake stuff the Bachelor does on TV). Cats have no concept of romance, hence, no Valentine’s Day expectations.
Your moolah goes a whole lot farther when you’re buying a Valentine’s Day gift for a cat instead of a human. Forget the bling and the overpriced red roses. Just buy a couple of catnip mice, and call it a day!
By Linda Cole
My dogs don’t lose sleep worrying about what to get me for Valentine’s Day. They snooze through TV commercials for flowers and candy, and their idea of a night out on the town would involve me chasing them after they’ve escaped from their dog pen. Fact is, dogs have no concept of Valentine’s Day…but they are capable of showing love. It might not be the same way we express our fondness for one another, but dogs do indeed have feelings of love.
We know dogs share some of the same emotions we have. They can become jealous, angry or depressed. Dogs show joy and express their happiness with a wiggling body when they see their favorite person. Research has also shown that dogs are capable of showing empathy to us and other animals. Many people claim their dogs can also express love, and now there is research to back up their claims.
The debate over which emotions dogs can feel has been going on for years. However, as scientists continue digging into the canine mind, they are learning that the bond we share with our dogs is more than just providing them with security or their favorite CANIDAE food. It’s deeper and perhaps even more complex than we know.
Researchers at Emory University in Atlanta trained 12 dogs to remain calm and relaxed inside an MRI machine so clear images of the brain could be seen without having to sedate the canines. They focused on the area of the brain associated with positive emotions, and found that dogs and humans share the same brain structure that controls emotions. We share the same hormones, and have the same chemical changes that take place in the brain.
By Langley Cornwell
When you first see a dog with cherry eye it can be disconcerting, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking at. Clinically speaking, cherry eye is when a dog’s third eyelid develops a prolapsed gland; the condition is also known as prolapse nictitans gland. The prolapsed gland usually swells and turns bright red – which looks like a cherry perched in the inner corner of the dog’s eye, hence the name Cherry Eye.
We’ve discussed cherry eye here on the CANIDAE RPO blog before. Linda Cole’s article, What Causes Cherry Eye in Dogs, and How to Correct It, is filled with important information about this condition. While it’s possible for any dog to develop cherry eye, some breeds are more disposed than others. It seems that the shape and contour of a dog’s face is a contributing factor, and dog breeds with a short muzzle are more likely to develop this condition.
Cherry Eye in Dogs with a Short Muzzle
Because breeds with a short muzzle are predisposed to cherry eye, the condition seems to be common in young English Bulldogs, Boxers, Shar-Peis, Shih Tzus, Pugs, Boston Terriers, Bull Terriers, French Bulldogs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Pekingese and Lhasa Apso, to name a few. While the condition can happen at any age, it usually occurs in dogs before the age of two years, and can be in a single eye or both eyes when initially presented.
By Laurie Darroch
Like any baby, puppies are curious about the new world around them. They are very oral and want to test everything out that seems like it might be tasty. Chewing also feels good to a puppy and keeps them entertained. You can prevent some of the negative issues by starting off right and puppy proofing your home.
Puppies are drawn to everything that isn’t nailed down, and even to some things that are immovable, like edges of furniture for example. They learn what is edible (or not) by the process of elimination and by you training them. Not all dogs are as oral or prone to getting into trouble as others, but it is better to avoid the issues by removing or adjusting items that might tempt them. Puppies do outgrow the extreme oral stage eventually.
Besides the possible damage they can cause in your home, a puppy can also get hurt ingesting poisonous or dangerous things. They don’t know what is safe and what isn’t. They can chew everything apart with their razor sharp little teeth. The last thing you want is an emergency vet trip for illness, choking or injury caused by something that could have been prevented.
Look around each room to determine what needs to be moved, removed or protected. To really get an idea of what a dog sees, get down on your hands and knees in each room. From a human standing position, you may not see things that are in their visual field. It is sometimes surprising to view the world from the puppy point of view. Remember, they can also easily see under things and behind objects that we can’t. They get under and into everything.
Remove any plants that are poisonous for a dog. Even if a particular house plant is considered pet safe, a puppy might be tempted to go after it if it’s at floor level, because it moves with drafts, has dirt and looks enticing.