Friday, October 30, 2009


National Dog Show & Rufus the Colored Bull Terrier

Posted: 29 Oct 2009 11:41 AM PDT

BarkingNews So, who watches The National Dog Show on Thanksgiving Day? Come on, fess up. You know you do. Okay, maybe some of you don't. Maybe some of you are stuck watching grown men throw a fat, brown ball around a messy field, and pretend that jumping all over each other isn't being overly aggressive, because it's all part of the game. Nationa-Dog-Show-Purina

The rest of you should consider watching The National Dog Show, presented by our sponsor, Purina, of course. You know I'll be watching. (Tom will probably play remote control tag with me, but he'll be watching, too!) Here's some interesting news about the show: Rufus, the colored Bull Terrier, is appearing at the Ronald McDonald House of New York, on Tuesday, November 3rd... working as a therapy dog.

Oh yeah, that's next Tuesday. So, if you're in NY, you can be there to see Rufus! Rufus is the "National Dog Show Canine Ambassador for Kids" - which is why he's appearing at the Ronald McDonald House. We all know Ronald McDonald houses provide "temporary housing for pediatric cancer patients and their families" right? We have one here in Rochester. I'm pretty sure it does the same thing. This charity has been around for a long time. And, it's exciting to know Rufus is going to be part of the attention we give to the parents and kids of the Ronald McDonald House.

I love this paragraph in the press release the good folks who work on this campaign shared with me: "The greatest Colored Bull Terrier in dog show history, Rufus is a Canine Ambassador for "The National Dog Show by Purina," and the Kennel  Club of Philadelphia. He has retired from the show world to work as a therapy dog, interacting with kids and adults alike at schools, hospitals, nursing homes and animalRufus-the-Colored-Bull-Terrier rescue leagues. Rufus does therapy work for Angel on a Leash and is certified with Therapy Dog International."

Oh, yeah, they also note that Guideposts Magazine will be covering the event for an article they're doing on Rufus. The Guideposts Magazine has a great Animal Angels page. I recommend a visit, if you're looking for great inspiration.

We'll talk more about The National Dog Show, as it gets closer. I love The National Dog Show. I wish I could be there. a last announcement - did you see our new Facebook Fan Page? There's a badge on the homepage of this blog, and you can just click it and get right over to the actual page and become a fan! Oh please do - we have LOTS of exciting things planned for that page (think contests and sweepstakes and videos and stories and just a whole bushel barrel o'stuff!)


All the Creatures

All the Creatures

Black cat lore

Posted: 30 Oct 2009 04:34 PM PDT

Black cats and Halloween seem to be connected at the hip. How and when did black cats become associated with evil, witches and bad luck? Most of the folklore about black cats can be traced to the early settlers in the USA. Before that time any colored cat in Europe were suspected of being a [...]

Air bed

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Thursday, October 29, 2009


Petcentric Says Happy Howl-o-ween

Posted: 28 Oct 2009 06:10 AM PDT

Love this Facebook page celebration Purina's Petcentric site: Happy Howl-o-ween. Notice that the "o" isPetcentric-Happy-Howl-o-ween actually a pumpkin. And the dog and cat dressed up as a pirate and a diva
(I think) are adorable!

I'm sharing this because I suspect a whole bunch of you are going to dress your cat and dog up this Halloween and I'd love to know why. Why? Why?

Ok, I get it that Halloween is fun. Party-time. Sweet-tooth indulgence (as long as we're not sharing with the pets - remember, chocolate and dogs do not mix!), and crazy costumes. But, do you really think your dog and cat LIKE being dressed in those clothes? I mean, these are pets. They aren't dolls or toys or kids. They like their fur, I think...and, I have to wonder if they really like those human adornments?

I'm open to being proved wrong. Send me some stories or pics with happy, smiling dogs and cats all decked out for Halloween. And, on another note, I'd love to know if YOU make the costumes or buy them? If you buy them, do the costume stores stock pet costumes?

Halloween has never been a favorite holiday for me. Well, as a kid I think I liked it just fine. But, I got over that pretty quickly. Too much candy, too much noise, too cold to run around in those costumes. And today, we need jackets or coats. The weather here in Upstate NY does not cooperate. It's often very cold, rainy or snowy. How much fun is that?

Happy_Thanksgiving_from the pets I do know that many communities are holding Halloween block parties, or they take their kids to the mall, because the local mall hosts a party, complete with lots of that gooey stuff kids love, and contest for best costume, etc. Somehow, I don't think they invite our pets - but I think they should. Don't you? I'd understand dressing them up for a party at the mall. This picture is from a Thanksgiving celebration but...the costumes are good, aren't they? The dog looks happy enough, and the cat...hey, wait, I think it's a fake cat. Maybe not...well, maybe so. Hmmm....

At any rate, if you're doing this for the first time, here's an article on how to get your dog to "enjoy the costume"... Just make sure the dog or cat doesn't and can't actually eat any part of the costume. Let's not include an emergency visit to the vet this Halloween! Safety first!

All the Creatures

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

All the Creatures

Trail riding, horses and bicycles

Posted: 28 Oct 2009 08:43 AM PDT

Have you been out on the trails lately? Are you hiking with your dog, riding your horse or just going out for a bike ride? Do you know proper trail etiquette? Knowing what to do out on trails is not only common courtesy but a huge safety factor too. If you ride your horse or [...]



Can Hip Dysplasia be Prevented?

Posted: 28 Oct 2009 05:20 AM PDT

Good-dog-Miles-with-DrLarry There is no short answer to this question. The longer answer is maybe and depends on a number of factors.

Hip dysplasia is an inherited polygenic condition that is complicated by environmental factors. That's vet speak meaning this is a hereditary condition involving multiple genes and that external factors like how the puppy is raised can influence the development and severity of the condition.
We've discussed before how feeding large breed puppies can have an impact on hip dysplasia. Improper feeding can increase the likelihood that your pup will develop hip dysplasia and obesity really complicates the situation in a dog that has hip dysplasia. Conversely, proper feeding, especially during growth, can result in a normal dog with healthy joints even in a genetically predisposed dog.
In some dogs though, even the best laid plans can't trump genetics. Certain breeds are much more likely to be prone to hip dysplasia. Their genetic make up leads to conformational defects in the hip joint that create joint laxity and sub luxation. That means that their hip joints are loose and semi dislocated and that leads to trauma to the hip joint and eventual degenerative joint disease and arthritis. 
Some veterinarians recommend early screening for certain breeds. There are certain diagnostic tests that are highly predictive of future hip dysplasia. Screening can help identify young dogs that can be helped surgically.
Probably the best and most reliable test is called Penn Hip. Penn Hip testing involves three hip x rays and measurements of the hip joint that provide a numerical score called a distraction index that is highly predictive of future disease when performed on dogs that are at least four months old. Depending on that score some young dogs can be helped by a procedure called juvenile pubic symphysiodesis.
Repeat that three times fast. I'm still not sure I can even spell it correctly and I'll guarantee it's not in spell check. 
This surgery is done on young dogs and involves the growth center of the pubic symphysis. In young dogs these growth centers are where bones grow. As they mature and their bones reach adult proportions these growth centers close down. In pubic symphysiodesis this growth center is surgically ablated, stopping any further growth in this part of the pelvis.
The rest of the pelvis continues to grow at normal rates. As a result of stopping growth in one place and allowing it to continue in other parts of the pelvis the structure and function of the hip joint is changed for the better. In effect, the socket part of the hip joint is forced to rotate so that it better conforms to the ball part of the hip joint resulting in a much tighter fit, less joint laxity and less potential for future damage. Less laxity, less subluxation, less ongoing trauma, less degenerative joint disease, lessAnimal.-surgery-at-the-vet arthritis.
Most dogs suitable for surgery benefit from this procedure. In fact, according to what I've seen, almost 95% of surgical candidates benefit. Obviously timing is key as the dogs that really benefit are between four and five months of age.
If you have a large breed puppy you should discuss this with your veterinarian before the pup reaches four months of age. She might advise you to have the hips evaluated. The Penn Hip procedure can be done by trained veterinarians in most metro areas. Your own vet may be certified. I searched in my area and found a couple of nearby clinics offering Penn Hip testing. 
The surgery itself is not that invasive in a young puppy and can be done on an outpatient basis in most cases. It is certainly less invasive than the surgical procedures performed to treat existing cases of hip dysplasia on older dogs. We did a podcast over at the Purinacare site on a total hip replacement surgery you might want to check out.  

All the Creatures

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

All the Creatures

An Animal Ghost Book

Posted: 27 Oct 2009 04:13 PM PDT

I think it is fitting that I write about animal ghosts so close to Halloween. Many people do not believe that animals can have souls that could continue on after death. In their beliefs it is the presence of the human soul that separates humans from animals. I am a total believer in the fact [...]

Lots About Dogs

Lots About Dogs

What Dogs Do Not Shed?

Posted: 27 Oct 2009 06:00 AM PDT

Many people would love to own a pet dog, but are wary of the potential mess that shed dog hair can cause in their homes.  These people want a dog that doesn't shed to be their companion.  Unfortunately there is no such thing as a dog that doesn't shed at all.  All dogs will shed [...]

Lots About Cats

Lots About Cats

Feline Hash Cat Recipe

Posted: 26 Oct 2009 07:52 PM PDT

1 cup cooked ground beef 1/2 cup cooked brown rice 6 tablespoon. alfalfa sprouts 3/4 cup cream-style cottage cheese Mix together and serve.


Monday, October 26, 2009


Barking News: Doing CPR on your pets

Posted: 26 Oct 2009 08:05 AM PDT

BarkingNews Welcome to our newest pet category: Barking News! Bringing you the stories we find that deserve a good bark. Read on...

I landed on PawPrint Post over at USA Today, about an AP poll on how far we pet parents will go for our dogs, and it intrigued me so I thought I'd share. The big question is: would you do CPR on your dog?

According to the poll (conducted by the Associated Press and, "63% of dogs owners and 53% of cat owners would be at least somewhat likely to perform CPR on their pet." That's really pretty good, if you think about it. And, the poll also revealed that more women than men would do CPR. Ha! I always say women are more attached to our pets.

More than that, the article proves that we, as pet owners, are not prepared for emergencies. We have no fire disaster plan, and 62% of dog owners as well as 33% of cat owners, do not restrain our pets in the car! That's astonishing to me. Ruff_rider_white_dog

I sort of understand the dogs - not many people know there are doggie seatbelts, but for cats? I would never take my Wabby in the car without her carrier! Not only does it help protect her, it keeps her calm (well, more calm than being thrown about the back seat!). I suppose some people's cats like roaming around the car, but that's just an invitation to disaster! Imagine what can and will happen if you have to hit the brakes suddenly!

Further down the report, they link to the Hambone Award winners, which had me laughing out loud, despite the fact that the stories of pets "with the wakiest accident" also had me cringing! Ouch!

I was taken by the story and the report because as much as we all profess undying love for our pets, and as much as reports show how much we are willing to spend on pet food or pet accessories or pet care, in the end we are failing our pets by not protecting them. We need to be aware of the dangers out in the big, bad world, and we need to have a disaster plan. Much as we do for ourselves and our human family members.

So, what do you have in place for... a fire? A car accident? A dog or cat fight?

Lots About Dogs

Lots About Dogs

How to Prevent Your Dog from Biting Out of Fear – Part 2

Posted: 26 Oct 2009 06:00 AM PDT

What makes some dogs into fear-biters? All dogs undergo what’s called a fear-imprint stage when they’re about eight weeks old, and another one at about fourteen weeks. During this period of a dog’s formative puppyhood, he’s significantly more prone to ’spookiness’: being excessively startled by new experiences and situations. If a dog has a scare during [...]

All the Creatures

Sunday, October 25, 2009

All the Creatures

Disappearing animal blogs

Posted: 25 Oct 2009 10:42 AM PDT

As I have often mentioned here on the blog, I like to visit other animal blogs and see what is going on outside my small community. Lately I have noticed that many of the blogs I have visited have not been updated in months. These are blogs that had a track record of being posted [...]



Video Volunteers

Posted: 25 Oct 2009 03:00 AM PDT

I'm so disappointed that I did not find out about this earlier, but it's well worth a mention now. Ben Stein, yes, THAT Ben Stein, is working with the Humane Society to help stomp out puppy mills, and he's asked for pet parent help. Unfortunately, the deadline to submit a video was Oct 22nd!

Still, knowing about this is well worth our time. And, maybe we can feature the winners. In fact, the YouTube site says voting on the 3 finalists was yesterday. Here are the details from Ben Stein, himself:



The Days of Johann - an agility dog!

The Days of Johann - an agility dog!

The best hike yet!!!

Posted: 24 Oct 2009 06:41 AM PDT

This past week we had a couple of great weather days. Mum was thinking that they may just be some of the last nice days of the year. So, we were determined to get in some good hiking.

On Wednesday, we headed to the River Road Park and hiked along the White River. Have to tell ya there is some pawsome hiking there! We hiked for about 2 miles along the river, then headed back, so we got in about 4 miles total.

Here we are headin' out from the parking area! Gracie was just a blur throughout the entire hike.

We took a brief stop at the canoe launch to take in the river.

Then we were off!

Before we got on the path, we ventured into the dense to get another good look at the river.

Then we got on the path. It was gorgeous! The leaves were falling like snow, and the slightly muddy path was covered with leaves to keep us drier. The path was fairly steep and slopped since it was actually the river bank from years ago when the river was wider.

Mum had to walk with one leg shorter than the other the entire hike, while Gracie and I zigged and zagged, up and down, back and forth through the entire hike. Sometimes all three of us jogged on the steep ups and down. Fun stuff!

Have to say you get in some good body work going up and down, over logs and stuff. Mum is getting pretty amazed at my abs lately. None of us need any type of appetite suppressant to keep in shape lately, all the hiking and body work we've been doing is really strengthening my core.

Mum had to take a pic of this moss growing on the north side of the tree. She remembers from when she was younger that this is how you tell which direction is which, so you don't get lost :). The moss was pretty much right on every tree we saw.

We got into the dense area again, and the squirrels were everywhere! Mum really had to plant to keep us reigned in. And Gracie was screaming her fool head off. I, of course, was barking wildly.

After we calmed down, we took a little break and I rested my bum on an old rotten log...nice and cool.

During our break we just stayed still, listening to the leaves fall, if we could hear any critters, making sure we took it all in...

Then we headed down the path again. Gracie was wild on the entire hike. For some reason this time it seemed like a very new and overwhelming experience for her senses. A few times she got crazy manic and a bit on the frantic side.

She'd get spooked at the littlest thing. So Mum helped her work through it, helped her investigate whatever was spooking her, so she could gain some confidence. I was proud of her...Gracie learned a lot about the world on this hike.

After the hike in the woods, we got on the walking path and ventured down for about another half mile and back. Look what we found? A Wooly Worm!

A wooly worm is actually the larvae of the Isabella tiger moth. It's a fuzzy caterpillar with bronze and black stripes. Folklore says that the more black, or the longer the black ends, the more sever the winter is going to be. Looks like 50-50 to me. I think that means normal, which the Farmer's Almanac says too for our area is this coming Winter. Guess time will tell :)

Weather prediction tomorrow looks a little good for hiking again! Gotta get in as much as we can before deep winter sets in. Hope you are having a pawsome weekend!

New agility (flyball, herding and mutts) shirts!

Posted: 24 Oct 2009 05:42 AM PDT

This weekend we got busy again designing a few more new shirts. This time we did some for agility, flyball, herding and mutts. DOG! This is fun and addicting!

My favorite design is the new Agility Rocks, 'cause you know how much I love agility. Mum's buying this shirt for herself today - navy blue long sleeve tee.

There are three total Agility designs - Agility Rocks! Agility Rules! and I'd rather be playing Agility! All of the designs can be imprinted on a wide variety of items from sweatshirts, to short and long sleeve t-shirts and in lots of colors for women (and plus sizes too :) and men, totebags, water bottles and more. Pretty soon Mum will go crazy and start getting into pet supplies, BOL!!!

Here are the three agility designs:

The flyball design is kinda fun too! It says "I'd rather be playing Flyball!" 'Cause I know anyone who does flyball would rather be doing that than anything else!

There are two herding designs - "I'd rather be Herding!" and "Do you know what I Herd?"

And last but certainly not least! It's Mutts! We did two designs for the mutts out there - "Mutts Matter" ('cause you know they do!) and "Mutts are Mighty.'

Hope you like 'em! And if you have a special request for a shirt design, let us know, maybe we can put it all together fur ya!