Friday, October 29, 2010

The Best Pet Costumes Ever

Happy Halloween!
For your Halloween gift from Kelly and I, check out these great costumed pet pix from "Hello Kitty, Teen Wolf & More: The Funniest Costumes for Pets ," The Huffington Post.











Does wearing Halloween costumes embarrass pets? Experts disagree, according to this Houston Chronicle report.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday Pet Roundup

Hi and welcome to Wednesday Pet Roundup!

* From the AP, a proposition on Missouri ballots would create stricter laws for commercial dog breeders, calling for restricting numbers of breeding pairs, enlarging living quarters, requiring veterinary care and creating a misdemeanor crime for "puppy mill cruelty." A good start? Or not hardly enough?

* How long is the world's longest cat? According to Fox-11 online--and the Guiness Book of World Records-- 48 and 1/2 inches from nose to tail. The record-holder is Stewie, a five-year old Maine Coon Cat.

* The Washington Post tells us about a Maryland company, Dogs Finding Drugs, which is renting their drug-sniffing dogs to parents who want to locate their teens' stashes.

* Ever felt the need to thoroughly analyze the rate at which a wet dog must shake in order to shed droplets of water from its coat? Want to hear a scientist thoroughly discuss this phenomenon on NPR? Or would you just like to see cute video of the wet dog shake?

* Cute pig alert! Check out the piggie in wellies from Life magazine!

* More cute. Cute puppy alert!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Howling Halloween Tips for Pets

Sunday is Halloween. Here's Kelly in her lovely red wig (dressing up like her sister, who is a redhead.) You may be preparing costumes for the kids, stocking up on the good candy to hand out, or just planning on just hiding in a dark room and avoiding the whole thing. Either way, the candy, the knocks on the door, and all that excitement is sure to take a toll on the dog.

From Christy Howard for boston.com, here are some Safety Tips for Pets on Halloween.

1. If your dog is staying home to "help" you hand out treats, keep your dog in another room during trick-or-treating hours. If I let ours greet every kid for three hours, they would be so tired they probably wouldn't get up the next morning.

2. Give your dogs a new treat or toy to occupy their time; you don't want the dog to feel like they are being punished.

3. If you are dressing up your dog in a costume, they should be able to walk without any interference to their gait. This also means you need to be able to put a leash on the dog. You have to watch that the costume doesn't interfere with the collar or leash area.

4. Make sure the dog's vision is not impaired while wearing the costume.

5. If you are taking your dog out trick or treating, make sure you watch your dog so they don't ingest any dropped candy or that people don't feed your dog candy. Aside from the fact that chocolate is toxic to dogs, the wrappers of even candy without chocolate can be harmful if ingested by your dog.

Thank you Christy for your great article. Check out the complete article for more.

And here's a tip of my own:
Before trick or treaters arrive, we take the screen out of our screen door. That way we can just hand out the candy through the open part, and the bottom half of the door is solid so Kelly won't accidentally slip out an open door.

What are your Halloween tricks and treats for your pets?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Where can you see the Pandas?

...At the National Zoo in Washington DC!

I'm straying a bit from dogs and cats to share with you a few animals a bit more exotic. Last weekend we took a trip to the National Zoo. (I'm sorry to say Kelly was not invited.)

The zoo is pretty, clean and nicely landscaped. The habitats looked pretty decent, for the most part. Most were landscaped outdoor areas with trees, and things to do. Some had an inside house, with free access to the outside areas. These were, obviously, less natural in appearance, and also more difficult to view the animals. I think zoos today are more conscious than in years before to give the animals healthy conditions, and provide them with activities and stimulation.










The National Zoo is one of the few zoos in the US where you can see Pandas.














I liked the lions too. The mothers kept telling their kids "Look! It's Simba's mom and dad!"















One of the most interesting aspects of the zoo was the orangutan crossing. The orangutans climbed high towers and traversed on these ropes across to other towers, ending in a habitat across the park. Where pedestrian paths crossed underneath, you were warned you might be in a "splash zone," and we did get to witness this phenomenon first hand. I'll not soon forget the sound of orangutan droppings splattering on the pavement.











































Trust me, there's a head in this furry mass somewhere. And check out the toes!















If you get the chance, you really "otter" go visit the National Zoo. Admission is free (parking is $20).

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wednesday Pet Roundup

Hi and Welcome to Wednesday Pet Roundup! This is Pepe, my friend's wonderful Vermont kitty.

* Looking for a good dog book? Go to the always-fascinating Life With Dogs blog and enter to win a copy of The Lost Dogs by Jim Gorant.

* More contests! Got a great Halloween costume for your pet? Enter Petsmart's Halloween Costume photo contest by October 23rd. Also, The Daily Kibble Halloween pet photo contest.

* Sad that this even has to be a consideration: The Miami Herald reports that the Palm Beach FL animal shelter is one of many across the country halting adoption of black cats until after Halloween. Read more about black cats and Halloween in this Minneapolis Star Tribune article.

* The Peninsula Humane Society& SPCA in California is offering a discount on adoption fees for black and/or orange cats, however. These cats, of which there are about 50 currently, may be adopted for only $9. Why? To honor the San Francisco Giants National League Division Series victory. The team colors are orange and black. Time for Giants football fans to adopt a mascot cat!

* Let's end with a smile. Does your pet smile? A picture is worth a thousand words. Healthy & Green Living compiled these smiling pet photos.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Happy Puggerfest

Pugs, pugs and more pugs!

Stephanie Thompson, contributing editor for Guideposts and Angels on Earth magazines, recently attended Puggerfest with her 7-year-old daughter Micah, and their pug Princess. Was it fun? Did anything go wrong? Find out here!

Q- What is Puggerfest? Where is it held?

Puggerfest is a big pug party, if you ask my daughter Micah. According to the organizers, it’s a fund-raising event for Homeward Bound Pug Rescue. It's held in Oklahoma City, about 30 minutes from our home.

Q- What activities are held at Puggerfest?

Micah’s intuition was right and it was a big party. When we walked through the gate it was overwhelming! Pug dogs EVERYWHERE—more than a hundred (and more than 400 pugs attended in all!) and they were all off leash! (in a safely enclosed area). Micah, Princess and I hesitated at the entrance as we watched the parade of pugs sniffing and romping about.

I nervously asked, “Are all these dogs nice? Is it okay that they’re wandering around like this?”

The man laughed. “Of course! All pugs are friendly!”

They had contests: Longest tongue, pug races, tallest pug, best costume, best trick, best kisser, curliest tail and coronation of king and queen. They were also cooking hamburgers and hot dogs, had a photographer, a dog interpreter, and naturally, several pugs up for adoption.

Q- Did Princess participate?

God made Princess pretty, not talented. But she is a really good kisser. She and Micah are practicing for next year.

Q- What were the qualifications for the King and Queen contest? Did Princess enter, or was she content to remain a Princess?

The dogs who received the most votes were crowned King and Queen. And the way one voted was to buy a ticket. So literally, the title of king and queen pug dogs went to the highest bidder. But it’s all for a worthy cause, pug rescue efforts. Next year, I’ll be ready and maybe Princess will sit on that throne.

Q- What was the funniest thing that happened at Puggerfest?

Pugs have several traits in common: they snore, they love to sleep and they are all obsessed with eating! When some human sat down at a picnic table with a hamburger, hot dog, or bag of chips, pugs came from all across the yard, crowding in anxiously awaiting a crumb to drop.

Q- What, if anything, went wrong?

Micah loved playing with the dogs up for adoption, and really wanted to bring home another dog. After begging me for a couple hours and presenting Princess and me with several potential four-legged family members, I wavered. “Find out how much it costs to adopt a dog,” I told her.

There were no signs, so Micah went to the nearest worker, who was in the food area. She came back and said, “They’re three-fifty.”

I understood the need for charging a fee for adopting a dog, but that was more than I was prepared to pay. I had to break it to Micah that we just couldn’t pay $350 for a dog at that moment. She was so sad.

That night, I got on the website to try and figure out why they charged so much to adopt a dog. Finally I realized. Micah had asked at the food table, “How much are the dogs?” The price she got was $3.50 for a hot dog, not 350 dollars for a rescue dog!

Q- So, is another Pug in your future?

Homeward Bound Pug Rescue
is always in need of foster homes and we do have a big back yard. My husband and I are considering applying for a foster match to try and see how life is with two pugs. It’s uncharted territory since Micah is an only child and Princess and only dog.

Q- Tell me about Princess.

Nothing compares to life with a pug. Because of their comical faces, you can’t help but feel happy. And that curly tail! We sometimes uncurl her tail and she immediately turns and tries to catch the tip of it. Princess likes to go outside and wait with Micah for the school bus in the mornings and starts wheezing and whining about five minutes before we leave the house. That’s how we know the bus is coming!

Princess snores so loudly that I had to move her crate because I could hear it through the wall and she awakened me a couple times in the night!

Q- What are some of the reasons that you love pugs?

The cocking of the head when they try to understand what we’re saying. That smashed in face and those big round eyes. The outstretched curled tongue and the way they race on a body that is too stout for their petite legs. There is never a bad day with a pug. My brother-in-law says Princess is the ugliest dog he’s ever seen every time he comes over, but to us she’s a pretty princess!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Blog the Change- Petfinder

Blog the Change Be the Change for Animals is celebrating another Blog the Change Day! This is a great day to blog about a cause near and dear to our hearts, inspire involvement, and share that vision with the BtC community! This event positively impacts animals and advocates one-one one.

The cause I'm choosing today is Petfinder. Although most of you are probably already familiar with Petfinder, I think it's important to keep spreading the word. And since October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, it seems quite fitting.

Of course, I have another great reason for promoting Petfinder. They are how I found Kelly!


Here are some things we can all do to help spread the word about Petfinder's adoptable cats and dogs waiting to find their furever homes. From the Petfinder website:

1. Donate your Facebook status. Just paste this message into the "What's on your mind?" box at the top of your page: "October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month. Save a life: Adopt a dog! http://www.petfinder.com"

2. Tweet, retweet and repeat the following (or your own brilliant message): "October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month. Save a life: Adopt a dog! http://www.petfinder.com #savedogs"

3. Share an adoptable dog or a Petfinder dog-adoption Happy Tail on your blog, Facebook or Twitter (hashtag #savedogs) page each day of the month.

4. Add a Petfinder widget or banner to your Web site or blog.

5. Pass on an understanding of the importance of pet adoption to the next generation. Talk to your kids, nieces, nephews, grandchildren and other up-and-comers about animal shelters and why Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month, and pet adoption in general, is important.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wednesday Pet Roundup

Hi and welcome to Wednesday Pet Roundup (formerly Monday Pet Roundup!) Here's Kelly relaxing on one of our fall walks.

* Are these animal and pet photos adorable or ugly? Decide for yourself in this Huffington Post article. (me: Pygmy hippo--adorable. Naked mole rat--ugly)

* October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. When visiting a shelter, you will surely have many questions about a perspective dog. When it comes to adopting, however, remember that a good shelter may ask YOU many more questions than you ask them. CBSnews.com offers this tip and more.

* When adopting a dog, you will likely look for a pup with a sunny disposition. Can you predict a puppy's optimism or pessimism? If so, according to an article on msnbc.com, researchers say it may help determine potential for separation anxiety. This may be helpful information when selecting a dog to adopt.

* Pet beds made from recycled water bottles, cat litter trays made from old hangers...The Baltimore Sun tells us that these are some great new products Wal-Mart is offering as a result of the store's sustainability initiative.

* Here's a Halloween contest for you and your pet. Just send Petango Pet Stores a photo of your pet in a great Halloween Costume and you might win a brand new iphone4, loaded with Petango's "Find a Pet" iphone app. Good luck!

What about you? Which animals did you find adorable or ugly? Is your pup a pessimist or an optimist? And paws up and be counted, all you shelter dogs and pound puppies--give us a woof and let us know you're here! (Happy adopt a shelter dog month!)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Book: You Had Me at Woof

Just look at this book. Is that not the cutest cover ever?!

Combining dogs and reading is one of my favorite thing: reading about dogs...reading with a dog on my lap...reading while walking a dog (difficult, but achievable). That's why I'm excited to recommend You Had Me at Woof , a new memoir by Julie Klam (author of Please Excuse My Daughter). Julie writes with honesty and humor. I learned a little about her Boston Terrier Otto in her first book, and can't wait to meet up with Otto again. What's more, in this new book there are other dogs to love: Beatrice, Hank, Moses and Sherlock and more.

From Amazon:
The hilarious and heartfelt chronicle of a woman learning the secrets of love, health, and happiness from some very surprising teachers: her dogs.

Julie Klam was thirty, single, and working as a part-time clerk in an insurance company, wondering if she would ever meet the man she could spend the rest of her life with. And then it happened. She met the irresistible Otto, her first in a long line of Boston terriers, and fell instantly in love.

You Had Me at Woof is the often hilarious and always sincere story of how one woman discovered life's most important lessons from her relationships with her canine companions... Riotously funny and unexpectedly poignant, You Had Me at Woof recounts the hidden surprises, pleasures, and revelations of letting any mutt, beagle, terrier, or bulldog go charging through your world.

Check out this hysterical book trailer. And then I hope you run out to the book store to get this book!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Kelly Goes to the World's Largest Garage Sale

Every fall, the little town of Warrensburg NY plays host to a big event--in fact, they bill it as the biggest sale of toys, crafts, used clothes, antiques and doohickies in the whole world! I Googled it, and dozens of other towns make the same claim (Duncan, Loveland, Evanston, Flagstaff...) but no matter, we love Warrensburg and The World's Largest Garage Sale.

Kelly helped us do our shopping. Here she is checking out a row of stools. Or perhaps she is posing as a stool. As you can see, they come in all colors. You really can find anything at The World's Largest Garage Sale.



Kelly thought she needed some bling, so she stopped at the vintage jewelry booth.
















The World's Largest Garage Sale is an event where you can take your dog, and believe me, people do! We saw breeds from Bernese Mountain Dogs to Basset Hounds, German Shepherds, English Bulldogs and Chihuahuas. Most of the dogs walked on leashes but a few rode in wagons and baby strollers. Kelly met a new friend. What? You don't speak penguin?















We attended the sale from noon-4:30 on Friday, and then again from 8am-5pm on Saturday and never covered all the territory. Kelly joined us only on Friday, and she was so pooped out she napped at home with her Grandmom and Grandpop all the next day. Here she is resting near the end of the day Friday. She had about enough garage saling for one day.















This event is held the first weekend in October every year. It's a fun way to get out in the beautiful, crisp autumn weather and explore, snag a few bargains, and spend time with your dog too. And don't worry, treats abound for the pets. There were personalized dog tags, hand made cat houses (looked like little pup tents) and homemade organic cookies. yum!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesday Pet Roundup

Hi and Welcome to Wednesday Pet Roundup! (formerly Monday Pet Roundup!) Here is Kelly wishing you all Welcome too!

*Would you buy this product: Puppy Tweets, and electronic tag that attaches to your dog's collar. The Associated Press explains that this dog tag sends Twitter messages based on your dog's activities throughout the day.

* What exactly does "pet friendly" mean when it comes to hotels? Is it enough that the hotel simply allows pets, or should it go beyond? How about: a luxury pet bed, two silver bowls, bottled water, complimentary dog walking, and a room service menu featuring German Shepherd's Pie, Dachshund's Delight and Mastiff Munchies." Omidog reveals these details of the new "Fido Friendly Package" at NYC's Waldorf Towers.

* And is this a good idea? Lorrie Shaw, a professional pet sitter and pet blogger, makes some good points regarding a new dog nutritional bar, Grrr-Nola Dog Food Bar for "dogs on the go". (Dogs on the go?)

* I like this. You might go to the YMCA for swimming, basketball, youth programs...and now, USA Today reports on the Y's Power of Pets dog-and-human fitness program.

*Love cats and art? The Daily Vitamin Sea posts some pictures of unique painted cat statues. The different designs represent aspects of the Catskill Mountain communities in New York.

What are your thoughts?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Thankful Monday

Awards...awards! I am so honored to receive this adorable Doggie Bloggie award. Thank you to 24 Paws of Love for passing it my way! :)

The instructions say to post 10 things about myself, but instead, I want to mention 10 amazing dog and pet blogs that have helped me, made me laugh, made me care, and inspired me to try to be a better doggie blogger.

Okay, I might have gone on beyond my goal of 10 blogs. I read a lot of blogs and every day one or another or several speak to me. I had to stop somewhere though. So if I missed your name on this list, please know that I appreciate your work and share your love of our furry friends. And if you are on the list, thank you thank you thank you for all you do!

Thank you:

1. 24 Paws of Love- not only for giving me this award, but because I'm learning a lot about Siberian Huskies and the rest of the pack, and what lovable dogs they are.

2. Take Paws/Go Pet Friendly- for showing me that it is possible to travel with pets, and love it!

3. Be the Change for Animals-- for helping me become aware and involved in important animal advocacy programs.

4. This One Wild Life - for great Wordless Wednesdays, dog and kitty antics too.

5. k9Chronicles - for educating and encouraging about pet food and more.

6. Maggie Mae Says- for making me smile. and laugh. and smile. Every time.

7. Grouchy Puppy - for providing a community of dog lovers.

8. Will My Dog Hate Me - for thoughtful and funny reflections.

9. Doggy Days- for making it easier to get through a day because of Benny and Lilly's cute faces.

10. Dancing Dog Blog- for making me think harder, sometimes about tough subjects.

11. Doggie Stylish - for sharing fun and quirky dog news.

12. I Still want More Puppies - for making me want more puppies too.

13. Critter Alley- for sharing a love of writing about animals.

14. Oh My Dog - for fun and helpful posts.

15. Fido and Wino - for ROAR Squad (and for making me a member!)

16. Champion of my Heart- for teaching me what helps contribute to a dog's behaviors.

17. The Teachers Pets - for new friends and blog hops.

18. The Life and Times of Eva Sheltie - for extraordinarily beautiful pictures.

19. My Brown Newfies- for sharing a love of our pets--including big furry drooly ones!

20. Frankly Speaking -for making me laugh, even if I don't always understand what Frankie's up to.

21. Pip Gets Back in the Game- for making me go "awwww!"

Post the award, share 10 things about yourself, pass the award along to 10 others, or 15, or 2, or 20... or just revel in the glory. It's your award.. do what you want!

A special thank you goes out to all the other blogs I just couldn't mention here because of space and time...I hope to show you my continued appreciation by visiting your blogs, leaving comments and telling others to come and visit you too.

Happy Thankful Monday!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Riding in Cars with Dogs

This week Be the Change for Animals is promoting Be Smart, Ride Safe, to inform pet owners about the dangers of unrestrained pets in vehicles.

Kelly loves to ride in the car. Note: This is NOT how Kelly travels (picture taken for a photo op moment.) But I've been thinking a lot about this issue during the week.

Kelly has been riding comfortably on the back seat of the SUV. Yes, unrestrained.















She doesn't jump around, she doesn't bother the driver. She doesn't stick her head out the window like this:















(Note: Again, Kelly doesn't ride like this. But I must admit, she did enjoy posing for this shot!)

But I started thinking about what could happen in the event of an accident:

* This sounds awful, but she could become a projectile in an accident.
* If she was injured or frightened, she could distract rescue workers from getting to humans who needed help.
* During rescue attempts, she could escape out a window or open door and become lost.
* If she escaped post-accident, she might run into the road and get hit and/or cause another accident.

So I'm looking into getting a harness, which would still allow her to ride in her favorite seat in the back.
What about you? Where does your pet travel in the car? Does your pet balk at being restrained?
Have you taken the Be Smart Ride Safe pledge?

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