I would like to introduce you to Bella, or Bella Boo as she is sometimes called. Bella is a white American Bulldog who was found trying to survive in a field near the home of my friends, Diane and Alan. Her heart-warming rescue story is a testament to the true heart and persistence of real dog lovers.
Two years ago, Bella had somehow lost her previous family and was living in the field for about five months. Intent on saving this beautiful dog, Diane and Alan set up a metal coyote trap in the field to catch her. They wired the door to stay open to let her come and go as she pleased, in order to make it less threatening for the lost dog.
For five days they put food inside it to slowly win her over. Each day the dog waited until they moved away and then came in and ate the food. The process helped Bella learn to begin to trust these strangers and not frighten her away. On the last day, they put a plateful of roasted chicken in the trap to woo her in. As soon as they stepped away, the hesitant dog made a beeline for the tempting chicken. That day they dropped the cage door.
When we first adopted our now-senior dog, she was roughly 10 months old. I’ll never forget how high her energy level was; I’d never lived with a dog who had that much vim and vigor. This dog wanted to go mach-five for 20 hours a day. Most young puppies sleep between 15 to 20 hours a day, but she was past that sleepy-puppy stage and into the boisterous adolescent stage. She wore us out. In fact, at the ripe old age of 11 she is still full of puppyish energy but, thankfully, it’s not non-stop anymore.
You know the old saying, if I’d only known then what I know now? Well, I feel that way about this pup. Because she was so rambunctious, we tried every known trick to wear her out. We went to puppy kindergarten class and then reviewed and practiced our simple obedience skills over and over. We stuffed CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Chewy Treats into hard rubber toys for her to play with. We had supervised play dates with other puppies, and we took her on our daily jogs. Like I said, if I’d only known then what I know now. You see, it was a mistake to take her on jogs at that young age.
How a lost pet is able to find their way back home is still a mystery. What’s even more remarkable is how some pets can find their owner no matter where they are. Whether it’s a homing instinct or a determined desire to be with the person they love, some lost pets have traveled far to find their home or owner. For a lost pet, there’s danger around every corner, but these dogs and cats never gave up.
Howie, a three year old Persian cat, traveled 1,200 miles through the Australian Outback in 1978 to find his way home. When Kirsten Hicks and her family went on an overseas vacation, they left Howie with her grandparents. After returning to Australia, Kirsten was told Howie had disappeared, so the Hicks family returned to their home in Adelaide with heavy hearts. In the meantime, Howie was traveling through the inhospitable lands of the Outback heading towards home. No one knows what he encountered or went through, but a year later he finally made it back home, dirty, hungry, thirsty and with an injured paw. Howie had walked from the Gold Coast, Queensland to Adelaide.
Prince, an Irish Terrier, moved with his family during WW I from Ireland to England in 1914. His owner, Private Brown, was serving in the army and went home on leave every chance he got to visit his wife and Prince. Each time he returned to base, Prince grew sadder. Finally, Private Brown was shipped overseas to France. Prince grew more depressed and stopped eating. One day he disappeared and Mrs. Brown frantically searched for him. She knew she had to write her husband and let him know what had happened. Brown was holed up in the trenches of Armentieres, in Northern France, when he got her letter. What Mrs. Brown didn’t know was that Prince had found his way to the English Channel and somehow got on a boat or swam across the water. When he reached France, he searched the war torn land as bombs exploded and tear gas filled the air to find Private Brown in the trenches. What Prince accomplished was truly an amazing act of courage and love.
Nick, a German Shepherd, belonged to Doug Simpson. In 1979, Nick was lost while on a camping trip with Doug. Unable to find him, Doug had no choice but to return to his home in Selah, Washington. Nick was lost in the Arizona Desert some 2,000 miles away. The dog had to fend for herself in some of the most inhospitable land on earth. She had to cross deserts where water was nowhere to be found, swim freezing rivers, cross over 12,000 foot mountains and navigate the Grand Canyon on her way home. She arrived four months later, just a shell of the dog she was. Doug could see her difficult journey in her emaciated, bloody and battered body. It was obvious there was no obstacle tough enough to keep Nick from getting back home to the person she loved.
Sugar, a two year old Persian cat, didn’t like traveling in a car because of a hip deformity that made it uncomfortable for him to ride for long distances. In 1951, the Woods family decided to leave their home in Anderson, California and move to a farm in Gage, Oklahoma. They decided it would be better to let Sugar be adopted by a neighbor. Sugar apparently didn’t like his new digs and three weeks after his family moved, he headed out to find them. It’s one thing for a pet to find their way back to a home they’re familiar with, but Sugar traveled 1,500 miles in search of a home he had never been to. It took him fourteen months, but he was successful in his quest and when he saw his owner, he leaped up on her shoulder.
Sophie Tucker would have followed her heart to find her home, if there hadn’t been an ocean between her and her owner. A gray and black cattle dog, Sophie Tucker was with her family on their yacht when bad weather hit around the coastal town of Mackay, Queensland. She fell overboard and became lost in the ocean. She had to navigate through rough, shark infested waters, swimming six miles to St. Bees Island. After she got to the island, she survived by hunting wild goats. Wildlife rangers were called in to investigate when several carcasses were found, and there they discovered the lost dog. Sophie Tucker didn’t have to travel far to get home, but she did have to overcome great odds to make it to the island in the first place and then survive on her own.
Never underestimate the power of a strong bond, and the unconditional love of a pet!
Want to win some goodies for your cat or dog? CANIDAE has a fun caption contest on their Facebook page today. To enter, just come up with a great caption for the cat photo at right, and hop on over to their Facebook page! The caption with the most likes by Wednesday at 9 AM will win a voucher for a bag of CANIDAE pet food and a bag of treats.
Oh sure. The phrase “working cat” might seem to be the best example of an oxymoron, bar none. It’s true that cats are not generally known for their dedication to hard work. They probably think dogs already do enough work to benefit mankind and there’s really no need for them to have a job. Or maybe they just enjoy long catnaps in the sun. Who really knows? Suffice it to say, if you Google “cats with jobs” you won’t find a very long list.
That does not mean, however, that cats are not working at various times throughout their day. You may not realize it, but cats are on the job much more than it would appear to the casual observer. That’s because most of their “work” come naturally to cats. Here are 7 jobs that cats do admirably well.
How many times have you felt unwell and found yourself being nursed back to health by your feline friend? My cats always seem to know when I need the “healing power of the purr” and they stick to me like glue until I am feeling better. I am certain their purrs and loving presence hasten the healing process.
Look, we all need someone to tell our secrets to, and not just the deep dark ones either. The best thing about having a cat for a confidant is that you just know they won’t go running to every cat in the neighborhood saying “Guess what Julia just told me!” You don’t even have to preface telling them your secret with “Now, please don’t tell anyone, but…” Their lips are sealed, no matter how juicy your secret is.
Dogs love going for a walk with their human companions. Who is really walking who, though? We often delude ourselves into thinking we are in charge. It may be more a case of how dogs walk their humans than vice versa. No matter how well trained your dog is or how well they follow your lead, in the end they still get their way, whether by reward or the basic fact that they are on a walk with their human companion. The next time you head out for a walk, think about it from your dog’s point of view.
Say the word “walk” and chances are your dog has learned to associate that particular word with the very fun activity of going exploring outside. Their ears lift, their tail wags and they may jump around in anticipation, barely able to sit still long enough to get the leash put on. Their excitement inevitably makes you smile and be happy to go with them. See – they just rewarded you. Now who is training who, you say? “Very good!”
Not all canines can swim, even some that are considered to be “water dogs.” Some breeds aren’t suited for swimming, and dogs with health issues, puppies and older canines can be put at risk. Boaters are required by law to provide a life vest for each person on board. A pet life vest is equally important if you take your dog with you on a boat or spend an afternoon swimming and playing at the beach or pool.
Boating is a fun summertime activity as long as everyone on board stays safe, including pets. Swimming can also pose a danger to dogs if the body of water has strong currents, like rivers or the ocean. Life vests can save lives. Here are five good reasons why your dog should wear a life vest when enjoying water activities.
Dog breeds bred to work in water have water resistant coats, webbed feet, and a tail that works like a rudder. Even though these breeds are comfortable in water and considered strong swimmers, they can still run into trouble in some circumstances, especially if they become fatigued. Dogs that have a large chest and small hindquarters are top heavy and not strong swimmers. Bulldogs, Boxers and Dachshunds have a hard time trying to stay afloat and are more apt to sink like a rock. Dogs with pushed-in noses and short-legged breeds tire easily.
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.