Monday, July 30, 2007

Pet Dander Lingering in the Home

A friend of ours is cursed with severe pet allergies. Although I consider it a cruel joke to have pet allergies (and I can relate), it is a big issue and something he needs to deal with on a daily basis.

It’s become a bigger concern since he’s in the market for a new home and has visited several where there are pets. His main concern of course is how long does it take for the pet dander to completely leave the home?

A call to the doctor gave him some approximations, but of course, a doctor won’t guarantee anything. He was told that in general pet dander can take up to 6 months to fully leave the home. It can be in the vents, ducts, walls and carpets. A new carpet and newly painted walls may get rid of the dander faster, but there is no telling if there will be anything in the walls, frames, or baseboards.

There are some things that he can do to help make it a smooth transition if he does buy a place that used to have animals. Those include having the vents cleaned, rugs shampooed and investing in an air purifier. But again, there is no sure fire way to know if all of the dander is out of the home.

If anyone has any experience in this area, please let me know. You can email me at with any experiences or tips.

Friday, July 27, 2007

I Want a Gecko!

Why is it that every time I go to the pet store, I’m drawn to the reptile section? Geckos, snakes and the like always draw my attention…followed by a sigh of disgust from my wife. Naturally, when I suggest to her that I want a gecko, her first reaction is “no way.”

“Why not? “

“Because you’re too much of a klutz and those live crickets you have to feed them will end up all over the house. Crickets aren’t good for dogs, you know.”

So that reality check brings me back to earth with the thought that crickets are hard to catch if they get loose. But what is it about those reptiles? A reptile is defined as any of a class (Reptilia) of air-breathing vertebrates that include the alligators and crocodiles, lizards, snakes, turtles, and extinct related forms. In includes pythons, toads, iguanas, tortoises and more – you know, all those animals you see on the Animal Planet specials.

There are, however, many reasons to own a gecko, according to lizard fans. They can be an ideal pet that takes up little space, has simple food requirements, comes in designer colors and patterns and can withstand the life dealt out by even the most absent-minded of keepers. They are harmless creatures and become very tame as adults, taking food from your fingers.

Another fascinating thing about geckos is that before giving them crickets, it is important to "power feed" the insects for 24-48 hours prior to giving them to your pet. This is done simply by using a one-gallon plastic milk jug that is filled with chicken and a piece of potato or carrot. The idea is to fill the insect with nutritious food itself so that your pet can then fill itself with a balanced diet. If you merely feed them insects that aren’t fed well, then your lizard will suffer from poor health.

Now if I could just figure out how not to be such a klutz, maybe I can convince my wife that adding a lizard to our growing home of pets is not such a bad idea. That whole feeding the crickets before giving them to the lizard thing might not go over too well. She already tolerates the tropical fish food in the freezer and the ready made snails for the fish I had in the fridge…so I might be pushing my luck a bit!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Oscar the cat predicts patients' deaths

......great article from I really believe this cat has the ability to sense when the end is nearing. Decide for yourself in the article below...........

By RAY HENRY, Associated Press Writer
Wed Jul 25, 7:25 PM ET

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Oscar the cat seems to have an uncanny knack for predicting when nursing home patients are going to die, by curling up next to them during their final hours. His accuracy, observed in 25 cases, has led the staff to call family members once he has chosen someone. It usually means they have less than four hours to live.

"He doesn't make too many mistakes. He seems to understand when patients are about to die," said Dr. David Dosa in an interview. He describes the phenomenon in a poignant essay in Thursday's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

"Many family members take some solace from it. They appreciate the companionship that the cat provides for their dying loved one," said Dosa, a geriatrician and assistant professor of medicine at Brown University.

The 2-year-old feline was adopted as a kitten and grew up in a third-floor dementia unit at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. The facility treats people with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and other illnesses.

After about six months, the staff noticed Oscar would make his own rounds, just like the doctors and nurses. He'd sniff and observe patients, then sit beside people who would wind up dying in a few hours.

Dosa said Oscar seems to take his work seriously and is generally aloof. "This is not a cat that's friendly to people," he said.

Oscar is better at predicting death than the people who work there, said Dr. Joan Teno of Brown University, who treats patients at the nursing home and is an expert on care for the terminally ill

She was convinced of Oscar's talent when he made his 13th correct call. While observing one patient, Teno said she noticed the woman wasn't eating, was breathing with difficulty and that her legs had a bluish tinge, signs that often mean death is near.

Oscar wouldn't stay inside the room though, so Teno thought his streak was broken. Instead, it turned out the doctor's prediction was roughly 10 hours too early. Sure enough, during the patient's final two hours, nurses told Teno that Oscar joined the woman at her bedside.

Doctors say most of the people who get a visit from the sweet-faced, gray-and-white cat are so ill they probably don't know he's there, so patients aren't aware he's a harbinger of death. Most families are grateful for the advanced warning, although one wanted Oscar out of the room while a family member died. When Oscar is put outside, he paces and meows his displeasure.

No one's certain if Oscar's behavior is scientifically significant or points to a cause. Teno wonders if the cat notices telltale scents or reads something into the behavior of the nurses who raised him.

Nicholas Dodman, who directs an animal behavioral clinic at the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and has read Dosa's article, said the only way to know is to carefully document how Oscar divides his time between the living and dying.

If Oscar really is a furry grim reaper, it's also possible his behavior could be driven by self-centered pleasures like a heated blanket placed on a dying person, Dodman said.

Nursing home staffers aren't concerned with explaining Oscar, so long as he gives families a better chance at saying goodbye to the dying.

Oscar recently received a wall plaque publicly commending his "compassionate hospice care."

Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, Leaning Straight Up, The Random Yak, guerrilla radio, Big Dog's Weblog, and Public Eye, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Why I envy my dog’s life

We’ve all heard the expression a dog’s life. And some days, I wouldn’t mind living that way.

Now that I have two dogs in the mix, my first dog is starting to look less to the humans for interaction, instead focusing all his time and energy on his new roommate. And what a time they are having together. Here is why I sometimes envy a dog’s life --they have the best daily schedule.

Morning –
Wake up: go to the bathroom…enjoy a treat. Go for a walk around the neighborhood. Play together, take a nap, play some more, go in their personal little “homes.”

Day – time: Sleep.

Early evening: Wake up, go to the bathroom, enjoy some treats. Play, then nap, then eat, then nap, then play….maybe try to hump something along the way.

Evening: continue to play, go for a walk, then play, then nap, then play, then nap, then play, then nap and finally go to sleep for the night.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Pet Prepping 101

Many of us have had a pet for some now. But for those of you looking to get a pet for the first time, here are the basics.

- New puppies or kittens can get into all sorts of trouble, so take steps to keep their environment safe. Keep all cleaning products and other household chemicals locked up in a cabinet and keep an eye out for any small items your new pet might choke on. Also, be sure to bundle up and hide any wires that are hanging out from TV's, radios and other appliances.

- Consider investing in a few pet or baby gates that you can use to keep your new arrival from wandering. Doing so can make it easier to housebreak and train new puppies, help protect furniture and keep young children and new pets separated.

-Accidents will happen so you may want to invest in plenty of cleaning supplies (but don't forget the first tip of keeping chemicals away from the pets), including stain removers and some cheap throw-away towels or rags. Even an old t-shirt cut up will work as a rag.

-Your new pet may appreciate a place of his own to sleep. Purchase a comfy bed or some soft, warm blankets. Even an old comforter will do the trick.

-And as always, keep plenty of food and water nearby.

Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, Pirate's Cove, Diary of the Mad Pigeon, The Bullwinkle Blog, Big Dog's Weblog, and Gone Hollywood, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Meat Recall Expanded - Includes Human & Dog Foods

******Great...more cans of food to worry about, both for me and the pups.....***

WASHINGTON - A Georgia meat processor expanded its recall of canned meat products that may be connected to a botulism outbreak.

Castleberry's Food Co. of Augusta recalled more than 80 types of canned chili, beef stew, corned beef hash and other meat products over the weekend, in addition to the 10 brands it recalled Thursday.

Cans of chili sauce made at the Castleberry's plant were found in the homes of an Indiana couple and two children in Texas who had been hospitalized with botulism — a muscle-paralyzing illness caused by a toxin made by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, commonly found in soil. All four are expected to survive.

The Agriculture Department's Food Safety and Inspection Service said Thursday that an equipment malfunction may have been responsible for the contamination.

On Saturday, FSIS said the malfunctions at the Augusta processing plant may have existed longer than initially estimated.

Castleberry's, which is owned by Bumble Bee Seafoods LLC and based in San Diego, voluntarily expanded the recall.

Castleberry's senior vice president Steve Mavity said: "We believe we have isolated the issue to a situation of under-processing on one line of our production facility. As an extra precaution to the recall we announced on Wednesday, we have shut down this line altogether and are recalling all products produced on it."

Brand names of the recalled products include Austex, Best Yet, Big Y, Black Rock, Bloom, Bryan, Bunker Hill, Castleberry's, Cattle Drive, Firefighters, Food Club, Food Lion, Goldstar, Great Value, Kroger, Lowes, Meijer, Morton House, Paramount, Piggly Wiggly, Prudence, Southern Home, Steak N Shake, Thrifty Maid, Triple Bar and Value Time. The recall also includes four varieties of Natural Balance dog food.

Consumers with questions about the recall may contact Castleberry's at 1-888-203-8446.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Chihuahua saves boy from rattlesnake

Dog takes bites meant for 1-year-old, survives to prance with pride

MASONVILLE, Colo. - Zoey is a Chihuahua, but when a rattlesnake lunged at her owners’ 1-year-old grandson, she was a real bulldog.

Booker West was splashing his hands in a birdbath in his grandparents’ northern Colorado back yard when the snake slithered up to the toddler, rattled and struck. Five-pound Zoey jumped in the way and took the bites.

“She got in between Booker and the snake, and that’s when I heard her yipe,” Monty Long, the boy’s grandfather, said Thursday.

The dog required treatment and for a time it appeared she might not survive. Now she prances about.

“These little bitty dogs, they just don’t really get credit,” Booker’s grandma Denise Long told the Loveland Daily Reporter-Herald.

A New Addition

I've been writing about the pet industry recently and the number of homes with multiple pets. I am now part of that statistic. Introducing Kelso!

We weren't planning on getting another dog, in fact we said we have our hands full with a dog and a fish tank. But when my wife's co-worker needed to give a way a 7 month old Lhasa Apso puppy, my wife couldn't refuse.

When my wife presented the idea to me, she said the dog needed a home, or he might be going to the pound (playing to my emotional side). Then told me the dog was free (playing to my practical side). Of course, getting a dog for free is sort of like getting a free cell phone- you'll pay for it somehow. But, there is no price tag on the joy a dog brings.

Before we took Kelso home, we set up some play dates at nuetral locations so we can see how he played with our current dog, Rocco. They were great together.

Now they are both here and all the playing is keeping them both tired....which in some ways has been great for Rocco since he hasn't been looking to his human roommates as much for play games. It's like he's forgotten about us....until it is time for food.

So now I am a multi-dog house, with fish tank and lots more to blog about.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Pet Stats - Multiple Pet Homes

According to another story on pet ownership, 63% of American Households have a pet. And it seems many of these homes are multi-pet. There's an average of 1.7 pups per dog household. And multi-cat homes, as mentioned in my previous post, are the norm, with an average of 2.3 cats per cat household.

The old adage of 'fighting like cats and dogs' is starting to become a misnomer. Nearly half of people who consider themselves dog owners and nearly half of self-proclaimed cat owners actually have both species.

In some ways, it can be helpful to the pets to have a companion. Pets can get lonely - and bored. A bored pet can lead to disaster. A dog may occupy his time destroying the sofa while a bored cat might climb the curtains. Having a playmate may help stave off the boredom. Then again, if you have a dog that is already destroying the furniture and decide to add another dog to the household, you could have double trouble. Dogs are pack animals and tend to learn from each that destructive behavior may be passed on from one dog to the other if you're not careful.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

"Happy Community"

My fishy inmates in their community aquarium. Includes pink 'kissing' gouramis, angelfish, silver dollar fish, tetras, a pleco and panda corys.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Pet Ownership Statistics

It's no secret that the pet industry has exploded in recent years. A study by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA) shows just how much the industry has grown.

According to the 2007-2008 National Pet Owners Survey, 63% of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 71.1 millions homes.

In 1988, the first year the survey was conducted, 56% of U.S. households owned a pet as compared to 63% in 2006.

Breakdown of pet ownership in the U.S. according to the 2007-2008 National Pet Owners Survey:

Number of U.S. Households that Own a Pet (millions)

Bird 6.4

Cat 38.4

Dog 44.8

Equine 4.3

Freshwater Fish 14.2

Saltwater Fish .8

Reptile 4.8

Small Animal 6.0

Total Number of Pets Owned in the U.S. (millions)

Bird 16

Cat 88.3

Dog 74.8

Equine 13.8

Freshwater Fish 142.0

Saltwater Fish 9.6

Reptile 13.4

Small Animal 24.3

* Ownership statistics are gathered from APPMA’s 2007/2008 National Pet Owners

What is interesting is that there are more homes that own dogs, but overall more cats are owned. So, for a majority of people who own a cat, they have more then one. Another interesting study would be the average and median of how many pets are owned per household that has at least one.

Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, Blog @, Cao's Blog, The Amboy Times, Leaning Straight Up, and The World According to Carl, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Mickey the Miracle Dog

This is another animal abuse story. This one is in Connecticut and hopefully will have a happy ending for the dog...and a justified one for the person who did it!

From News Channel 8 (

(Meriden-WTNH) _ The Meriden Humane Society is offering a reward to anyone who has information about the neglect of a Schnauzer named Mickey.

Shaven and bathed but still covered in scabs, Mickey recovers at the Meriden Animal Hospital. The dog was abandoned in the overnight hours on Monday at the Meriden Humane Society. The animal's carrier was covered in filth according to Humane Society worker Jillian Cheney.

"It was literally the smell of rotting flesh and feces. It was horrible," said Cheney. "It looked like it had been attacked by something."

It turns out, maggots had embedded themselves into the dog's skin and were literally eating away at the dog.

"The pain he must have been going through and the smell must have been horrible," said Cheney.

The Humane Society it hoping reward money might entice someone to come forward with clues as to how the dog wound up in such a deplorable condition.

Veterinarian Dr. James St. Clair says Mickey is one of the worst neglect cases he's seen.

"We got the wounds cleaned out. They will heal up with antibiotics and he's going to be an amazing dog," said Dr. St. Clair.

Dr. Clair says that Mickey is expected to make a full recovery. If you have any information about Mickey or you are interested in adopting him, please call 203-238-3650.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Aquariums – Biological Filtration

In the aquarium fish world, there are three types of filtration for your tank -- Mechanical, chemical, and biological. A mechanical filter deals with removing particles from the water, while chemical involves exactly what you’d think, using chemicals like carbon to clean, polish, and filter the water.

The third type of filtration, biological, is a bit more complex. Biological filtration essentially makes toxic ammonia non-toxic in what is referred to as the nitrogen cycle. In your enclosed aquarium environment, waste materials, including decaying uneaten food and fish excretions, build up and turn into ammonia. This ammonia is harmful and potentially lethal to your fish.

In order for the ammonia to be removed from the aquarium, the nitrogen cycle must take place. When the ammonia levels in your aquarium reach a certain level, “good” bacteria from the air settles in the water and starts to form colonies in your filter or rocks. These bacteria convert the ammonia to nitrite. At this time the ammonia levels drop to low levels and the nitrite levels starts to increase. The nitrites in the water are also toxic to fish. When the nitrite level in the water has reached suitable levels another type of “good” bacteria starts to establish colonies in your aquarium. These bacteria convert the nitrites to nitrates, which are less harmful in small quantities and is absorbed by plants or algae.

Since the “good” bacteria occur naturally, in order for their growth to occur, all that is required is ammonia and oxygenated water. This is the beginning of the nitrogen process and the growth of bacterial colonies.

A biological filter, therefore, usually contains some type of surface area which promotes the growth of these “good” bacteria. Since you need oxygen and a lot of surface area for bacterial colonies, wet/dry filters, sponge filters, ceramic media, and loosely packed upper layers of gravel are all sources for bacterial accumulation. If there is not adequate surface area in oxygen areas of the filter media or gravel, the nitrogen cycle may not occur fast enough to convert the ammonia.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Product Review Republished

People blog for different reasons, but as most bloggers can attest, it's always nice to know that there are other people in the world reading your hard work. When you're a relatively new blog, there is still that thrill when someone thinks your work is worth reading.

I recently had one of those moments when the makers of Old Mother Hubbard pet food stumbled across my blog in a search. They asked if they could post on their website a product review I had written in this blog. They have a testimonial section on their site, and although they are looking for good PR in the midst of a pet food crisis, the section appears to be written by real pet owners, not "made up" people fluffing a site.

Here is the link to the testimonial site, and they pretty much took my write-up verbatim from the review I wrote on this blog.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Vet accused of punching dog indicted

The full article is below, but basically the dog wasn't cooperating with the vet, and he decided to punch the dog in the head 3 times, dislodging the dog's eye. In another incident, he was supposed to vaccinate the dog, but instead shot the vacine in the air and charged the owner 80 bucks.

Don't people become vets because they love animals?? How could you hit a dog so much that his eye pops out and call yourself a vet? That's like a human patient being beaten up by his doctor because he was a difficult patient.

Becky Bartkowski and Michael Kiefer
The Arizona Republic
Jul. 10, 2007 12:52 PM

A Sun City West veterinarian accused of animal abuse and theft has been indicted.

A grand jury issued Dr. Joshua Winston's criminal indictment on June 29. Winston was charged with one count of animal abuse, a felony, and one count of misdemeanor theft.

"These allegations are very disturbing, especially against a veterinarian," said Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas. "People who entrust their pets to veterinarians have every right to expect good medical care, not vicious abuse."

Winston was arrested June 11 after being accused of punching Bella, a five-pound Chihuahua five times in the head. Winston allegedly struck the Chihuahua's head three to five times and dislodged the dog's eye on June 4.

Winston was unable to repair the eye damage and sewed it shut, Thomas said. Bella needed corrective surgery after the incident.

Two veterinary technicians witnessed the abuse and said that the uncooperative dog angered Winston. One of the witnesses reported that Winston struck Bella three times, Thomas said.

Winston had a history with the Chihuahua, named Bella, since he performed a cesarean section for Bella's birth last year.

The theft charges come from a separate incident in earlier this year, when Winston was to vaccinate a Neapolitan Mastiff and instead of vaccinating the dog, Winston shot the vaccination into the air and charged the dog's owner, Jeff Orth, $80.

"We will aggressively prosecute this case," Thomas said at the conference.

Jean Steenbock, a customer of Winston's, said, "I'm very disappointed."

"I had hoped that if he could tell his side of the story things would have turned out differently," Steenbock said.

Steenbock has a 14-year-old Bichon she needs euthanized and said she was planning to have Winston perform the procedure.

“As long as Joshua Winston is a vet practicing out here, I will continue to use him,” Steenbock said.

Winston is the owner of Sun City West Animal Hospital and is the sole doctor at the hospital.

The Arizona State Veterinary Examining Board and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office investigated the case. The County Attorney's Office filed a complaint with the Arizona State Veterinary Examining Board, and Thomas thanked Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his officials for their continued fight against animal abuse.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Why cats hiss

Animal behaviour has been studied for years, yet there isn't always a consensus on why animals do certain things. There are many thoughts about why cats hiss, something that their owners have tried to explain time and again.

Most cats growl or hiss when angered or in danger, which serves to warn the offending party. If the warning is not heeded, a more or less serious attack may follow. Some may engage in nipping behavior or batting with their paws, either with claws extended or retracted. With cats who are improperly socialised and do not know their own strength, this can result in inadvertent damage to human skin. Like any injury, cat scratches can become infected.

Cats are also known to make chirping or chattering noises when observing prey, or as a means of expressing interest in an object to nearby humans. When directed at out-of-reach prey, it is unknown whether this is a threatening sound, an expression of frustration, or an attempt to replicate a bird-call (or replicate the call of a bird's prey).

Whereas this conduct was originally viewed as the feline equivalent of song, recent animal behaviorists have come to believe this noise is a "rehearsal behavior" in which it anticipates or practices the killing of prey, because the sound usually accompanies a biting movement similar to the one they use to kill their prey (the "killing bite" which saws through the victim's neck vertebrae).

Cats in close contact with humans use vocalization more frequently than cats who live in the wild. Adult cats in the wild rarely vocalize; they use mostly body language and scent to communicate.

Although research continues, like humans, different cats with different personalities do things for different reason.


Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, Pirate's Cove, The Amboy Times, The Random Yak, Big Dog's Weblog, and High Desert Wanderer, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

M&M's Bad for Fish

As many of us pet owners know, chocolate is never good for your dog. As fellow blogger Pet Campbell, found out the hard way, they're not very good for fish either. Thanks to Pet for sharing this story with me via email.....

We had a 500 gallon salt water tank when our kids were small..
Our Daughter who must have been 6 or 7 used to hand feed our amazon parrot m
and m's
Curly.. the parrot loved them.. he would coo and plead with her.. she always
shared..I think she is the only person he liked.. well she shared cookies
and sunflower seeds also..
(She was killed 7 yrs ago by a drunk driver)

one day, coming in from the feedlot ( we were ranchers in Montana then) she
had dragged a stool over to the tank and had fed the salt tank fish m&m's...
several hundred dollars of fish died.. and our babysitter got fired..
I can laugh now.. but I remember sitting on the floor bawling...
Jesse our son now has the tank and was smarter than his mama
he has a hood that latches, and small fingers cannot open..
And Curly has adopted his daughter as best friend/ supplier of good

oh those clowns (fish) and anemones...

Monday, July 9, 2007

Betta Picture

Here is a pic of my betta fish in the community tank. Bettas can live with other fish (as mentioned in some of my other articles) without any problems.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Cat Survives 3 Weeks Across Pacific

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - A cat that spent nearly three weeks crossing the Pacific inside a shipping container with no food or water appears to be just fine.

Pamela Escamilla lost sight of her 3-year-old calico, Spice, while packing a large container with household goods in Waikoloa Village, Hawaii. The container was shipped June 15 to Southern California.

Escamilla, 39, and her husband could not find the cat before taking their flight and asked neighbors in Hawaii to call if Spice returned.

As it turns out, Spice spent 18 days in the pitch-black container without food or water before arriving at the San Bernardino home of Escamilla’s parents on Tuesday.

“We really thought that cat was going to be dead,” said Edward Gardner, Escamilla’s father.

When Escamilla opened the container, she and family members noticed fluffs of cat hair on the floor. They started removing items, and Escamilla climbed into the container to search.

She said she saw Spice poke her head out from behind some bicycles.

“I started to scream,” she said.

Escamilla gently picked up the cat and took her to a veterinarian who said the feline’s prognosis was good. Spice’s kidneys had shrunk and her bowels were backed up, but she managed to get some food and water down at the vet, Escamilla said.

Escamilla said the veterinarian told her that calicos have a strong survival instinct.

“It’s always a good day when the cat’s alive,” said Escamilla. “We didn’t know what we would find.”

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Mini Bulldog

With all the "designer" dogs being bred, I'm never amazed when I learn of a new type of cross breed. I was recently introduced to an "exotic" breed referred to as a mini bulldog. In actuality, the dog is a cross between a Pug an an English Bulldog.

Generally, the dog looks mostly like a bulldog, but grows only to the size of a pug. In fact, mini Bulldogs offer all of the great features and attitude as its larger friends.

Although this is the first time I've seen this dog, and while most people I spoke to haven't seen one, according to some google searches, Miniature Bulldogs were developed in the 1980's. The goal was to improve the health and reduce the size of the full sized English Bulldog.

According to some of the sites, Miniature Bulldogs are an improved dog whose behavior, looks, and health are ideal for the Bulldog lover. They have the features of full size English Bulldogs. As in the full size, there are variations in Miniature features.

The Miniatures are very active and are loving, obedient, protective companions. They are loyal, people oriented and like to do things with you. Grooming is necessary once a week and they will do fine in a small yard.

However, this breed is not without controversy. According to , there is confusion in the industry whether the breed "is it just a smaller Bulldog, or is a “mix” English Bulldog/Pug, English Bulldog/French Bulldog. There is not a real answer to this question. Many breeders do both. But any breeder that says they will not tell what they are is not very reputable."

Add this to the list of dogs I'd like to own someday.

Trackposted to
Blue Star Chronicles, Outside the Beltway, Webloggin, Diary of the Mad Pigeon, The Amboy Times, and Big Dog's Weblog, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Happy 4th!

Happy 4th of July.

Monday, July 2, 2007

More Pet Quotes

"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~ Immanual Kant

"A cat is a puzzle for which there is no solution." ~ Hazel Nicholson

"The purity of a person's heart can be quickly measured by how they regard animals" ~ Anonymous

"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." ~ Roger Caras

"A dog is the only thing on earth that will love you more than you love yourself." ~ Josh Billings

"Dogs have owners, cats have staff." ~ Anonymous

"If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans" ~ James Herriot

"There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face." ~ Ben Williams

"You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, 'My God, you're right! I never would've thought of that!'" ~ Dave Barry

"There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before." ~ Robert Lynd

"The Trouble with a kitten is that eventually it becomes a Cat"~ Ogden Nash

Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, Webloggin, Planck's Constant, The Amboy Times, The Random Yak, and Big Dog's Weblog, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Bindi Irwin Following in Dad's Footsteps

((I was always a huge fan of the croc hunter and was saddened like everyone else about his passsing. This article is about how his daughter is following her dad's passion for wildlife.))

LOS ANGELES - At an age when many girls are still playing with their Barbie dolls, Bindi Irwin has moved on to something a bit more challenging.

"I have Blackie my black-headed python. I also have Corny the corn snake. He sleeps with me at night," the 8-year-old-daughter of the late crocodile hunter, Steve Irwin, says proudly as she rattles off the names of the menagerie she keeps back home in Queensland, Australia.

It's a group she hopes to introduce to the rest of the world through her new television show, "Bindi the Jungle Girl," airing Saturdays on the Discovery Kids Channel (5 p.m. ET).

"I also have Jaffa my koala and Ocker, my favorite cockatoo. And I have other birds that stay with me. And Candy, my pet rat, sometimes stays with me," the blonde-haired, pigtailed bundle of energy continues until her enthusiasm gets the better of her and her words begin to run together, finally tripping over one another in a heap.

"Sorry," she offers with a giggle as she comes up for air.

Then, a moment later, she's on a roll again, passionately recounting the horror stories her father would come home with about the way he saw exotic animals mistreated in shows around the world. He witnessed cobras in India, he told her, that had their teeth yanked out before they were put in baskets for snake charmers with flutes to coax them out of. He saw monkeys that had their young taken away as an incentive to perform.

"They take their babies away until the monkey does the trick, and then they give the baby back," he told her.

"It's terrible what people are doing," she says, her voice rising. "And they're just doing it for a living because they don't know any better. They've just grown up like that. I think we really need to teach all people, big or little, they should all know the message of conservation."

Her effort to teach them is "Bindi The Jungle Girl," which takes viewers around the world to see animals in their natural habitat while Bindi discusses things like the status of those in danger of extinction.

"There are only a few thousand left in the wild and they could all be gone by the time I'm old enough to drive," she says of tigers and cheetahs.

As her father did, she also frequently makes pitches not to use products that result in the needless deaths of animals.

Each show also returns home to Bindi's two-story tree house in Queensland, Australia, where the little girl with the soft Aussie accent interacts naturally with her exotic animals and where, Bindi says, she is always happiest.

"I love it in my tree house. It's the best place to be, pretty much," she says by phone. "I just go there to sleep over sometimes. My brother comes to visit me for a little sleepover as well. He has his own little snake, Basil. Basil is actually a girl. I know, that's a strange name for a girl," she says, letting loose with another giggle.

She also keeps a supply of videos of her father there.

"I'm ever so lucky because I have so much footage of my dad in the tree house with me," she says. Then she adds softly, "Which is very nice to have because some people only have like one or two pictures of their father or the one who died."

She was barely 8 when her father was killed by a stingray while filming an underwater documentary at Australia's Great Barrier Reef last September.

The two already had begun working together on what would become "Bindi The Jungle Girl," and Irwin is featured prominently in early episodes doing things like climbing trees to visit the nests of endangered orangutans. In one comical moment, a nest's startled resident briefly shakes a fist in Irwin's face before deciding he's all right.

Almost from the day Bindi was born, says her mother, Terri Irwin, she has embraced exotic animals with the same passion her father had.

"Steve was so excited," she recalls. "He kept saying, `I'm really looking forward to the day when Bindi takes over for me and I can just kick back.'"

Still, in many ways, she adds, her daughter is just a typical kid, one who keeps busy with school and pesters her family from time to time for a pony to go with Peru the iguana and the other exotic animals.

As for taking up her famous father's legacy at such a tender age, Bindi doesn't see it as a big deal. She began accompanying him on film shoots when she was just 6 days old and learned early on, she says, what her life's work would be.

"I've always wanted to teach people about animal conservation," she said. "I want to follow in my father's footsteps. I loved him so very, very much."