The Dog Ate my Homework

What do dogs eat? If your dog is like Kelly, just about anything. Unfortunately, sometimes dogs get into things they shouldn't. Our year-old Dalmatian once got into an entire giant gift-sized Hershey's kiss. He was so sick afterwards, but recovered. We were lucky--even smaller amounts of chocolate are unhealthy for dogs.

My mom once baked a beautiful cake and, knowing her Black Lab could reach up onto the counter, she put the entire finished and frosted cake back inside the cold oven for safekeeping, and went out on an errand. When she returned, her dog was lying on the floor, belly bulging, with cake crumbs and the empty pan beside him. Somehow he'd figured out how to open the oven door.

It's not just food that tempts dogs either. A friend's German Shorthaired Pointer once ate a leather wallet, complete with cash and IDs. According to an article by Corky Siemaszko in the New York Daily News, a New York veterinarian has compiled a list of the top 10 items that dogs swallow (when they shouldn't):

1. socks
2. underwear
3. pantyhose
4. rocks
5. balls
6. chew toys
7. corn cobs
8. bones
9. hair ties
10. sticks

What has your dog swallowed?

Tail's End: My cooking isn't great, but it's got to taste better than a sock.

Last dog in costume photo, I promise!

(Until next year.)

Little, a Chihuahua dressed up to look like a three-headed dog, won "Best in Show" at a dog costume contest and parade in Boston's Faneuil Hall Marketplace held October 25, 2008.

—Photograph by Lisa Poole/AP

Poor dog

(via Go Fug Yourself)

Scientists Discover Vampire Moth

Scientists have found a previously unknown population of vampire moths that may have evolved from a fruit-eating species.

Only slight variations in wing patterns distinguish the Russian population from a widely distributed moth species, Calyptra thalictri, in Central and Southern Europe known to feed only on fruit.

Photograph by Sharon Hill

Source: National Geographic

There's a good reason for 'keep out' sign

A volunteer at a US animal sanctuary has died after he was savaged by a 1,000-pound liger - a rare cross between a lion and a tiger.

Peter Getz, 32, suffered fatal puncture wounds in his neck and back as Rocky, who weighs twice that of an ordinary lion and is 20 times more powerful than a human, pounced on him during feeding time.

An investigation was under way into why Mr Getz, an accomplished big cat keeper, broke with protocol and entered Rocky's enclosure at Safari's Animal Sanctuary in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

Bleeding heavily, he hauled himself out of the enclosure with help from two fellow keepers but collapsed outside and was airlifted to hospital, where he died.


If you start now, you might have this for next year!

(via Mental floss)

Arnold's Halloween

Thanks to Penny for this great photo!

Happy Howl-o-ween!

It is Halloween.
Small children ring our doorbell.
May I eat just one? *

* Dog-ku

This has to be the ultimate dog costume

This is Rina dressed as "Tails" of Mother Goose

(Thanks to an anonymous e-mailer)

There are many more Dogs in Costume here

I'll Be Meeting You it wasn't this bad. But we did have snow yesterday in upstate New York! Brrrrr.

Have you ever had one of those events that you really want to get to, but somehow all the forces seem to be against you? (You may already be surmising how the snow is going to play into all this.) Not something you just felt you should go to--like a class or a business meeting. But something you were looking forward to, more like a birthday party when you were a kid. That's the way it was for me last night. It was to be the first meeting of a newly-organized writer's group, and I was excited and anxious to meet with these women and learn all about their writing and goals. To say that I'm rather isolated, writing full time from my home office, is an understatement. I'm the one responsible for keeping the FedEx guy from timely completion of his route because I insist on chatting with him about the weather, finding out about his family, and if I didn't think it would look really suspicious I'd probably invite him in for coffee.

The group was supposed to meet at a local bread cafe at 6:30pm. The first glitch was that my husband needed the car to go to a meeting, and he had to be there an hour earlier. So I arranged to get a ride from my kind-hearted mother-in-law. At this point it's raining and frigid, with little flecks of white trying to make their way into the mix. About half way there, we hear a horrible grinding, only to discover that we have a flat tire. Well, it's dark, freezing rain out, and although we both knew the basic procedure for changing a tire, neither one of us felt we had the strength to crank off those nuts and secure the spare. So we called AAA, and awaited their arrival.

About this time I get a call from my husband, who says it's snowing a blizzard where he's located, and he was traveling in white-out conditions. Then some of the members call my cell phone and say they can't make it due to the weather either. One member, who was coming from the farthest away, however, was still able to make it, although she was lost in a strip mall.

In the end, it all worked out. The tire got changed, and we made it to the cafe. The other member waited, warming herself with a cup of hot chocolate, and we had a great opportunity for a one-on-one visit. My husband made it home safely, and my mother-in-law got a new tire the next day. Just one of life's little detours.

I look forward to meeting the rest of the group next month. Let's just hope mother nature is kind.

Tail's End: If you can't change the circumstances, you can at least change your attitude toward them.

Cute ads

A series of ads for Swedish Fish candy, "A friend you can eat," by advertising agency: JWT, New York, USA

Here's another one ...

And one more ...

(via Ads of the World)

Halloween Pet Safety Tips

These tips were sent to me from
Banfield, The Pet Hospital.

Enjoy a safe day!

Halloween Pet Safety Tips From Banfield, The Pet Hospital:

o No Tricks or Treats – Candy can make your Pet sick and the packaging can be dangerous to your Pet’s digestive tract

o Costume Faux Paws – Make sure the Pet's costume isn't constricting their movement or hearing, or impeding their ability to breathe or bark

o During Trick-or-Treat Hours – Keep your Pet in a separate room, or a safe hide-a-way so they don’t harm anyone or dash away. Always make sure your Pet has proper identification, which includes a collar with tags and a microchip.

o Let your pet sit this one out – Pets may find it very frightening to sit in a dark car while scary creatures of every size and shape walk by. For the safety of your Pets, leave them at home where they are safe.

o Candles and Jack-O’-Lanterns – Keep candles near Pet areas unlit to prevent your Pet from burns or starting a fire.

Haute Dog Howl'oween Parade

The annual Haute Dog Howl'oween Parade in Long Beach's Belmont Shore was held this past Sunday drawing more than 600 costumed dogs and thousands of onlookers.

Event organizers say it is the world's largest Halloween pet event, but whatever it is, one thing rings true: these dogs are cute.

Here are some of the cute dogs LAist photographer Tom Andrews saw...

Photography by Tom Andrews

(via LAist)

On the head of a pin

6th Place, 2008 Nikon Small World Photography Contest

Klaus Bolte

Stittsville, Ontario, Canada

Chrysolina fastuosa (Micro leaf beetle) on a pin head (40x)

(via bioephemera)

Rats in art

In old Japan, rats had it good because a white rat was a messenger of one of the seven gods of luck, Daikoku. Because of this connection, they were not killed.

The story goes that a rat couple wanted the strongest husband in the world for their daughter. They asked the sun who declined saying that clouds had more power because they could cover him up.

When they asked a cloud, he responded, "The wind is stronger than I because it can blow me away."

The wind could not make the grade either. " The wall stops me cold," he said.

And the wall, though honored by the offer wailed, "The rat is stronger. He can bore a hole right through me."

So the couple wisely gave their daughter in marriage to another rat who was indeed the strongest creature of them all.

More rat stories, rat photos and rat art at: Rats in Art

(via Information Junk)

Call the exterminator, quick!

There are 11 species of giant weta. The largest species of giant weta is the Little Barrier Island giant weta also known as the wetapunga. They are found primarily on New Zealand offshore islands, having been almost exterminated on the mainland islands by introduced mammalian pests.

Thanks goodness, the Giant weta prefers a vegetarian diet. Still, I wouldn't want to meet one.

(via Full Room)

Wonderful doggie poetry

Haiku is an ancient and revered art form.

What kind of haiku would be composed by a dog?

They say integrity is its own reward.
Wrong. I like pig ears.

They say old habits die hard. Wrong.
Bruce Willis dies hard. Old habits last forever.

Why no dog congress?
'Cuz we can't stop sniffing butts.
Oh wait! That's the same.

Dog-ku: Very Clever Haikus Cleverly Written by Very Clever Dogs, written by Steve D. Marsh is the most charmingly funny book I have read in ages. The haiku are clever and humorous. Many pages contain pictures of some very cute dogs.

I brought the book to work today. My coworkers and I spent way, way too much time reading the poems out loud to each other and laughing at them.

Here are some of our favorites :

I am not howling.
It is country music and
I'm singing along.

Accidental poop
Left by your bedside with love.
Why do you step there?

I don't shed that much.
Just enough to decorate
Your brand-new dress pants.

Pets behaving badly?

I once had a cat, Conrad, who loved to chew up my contact lens case, while my contacts were in there. He did this twice before I learned to put the case away in a drawer.

When I was a kid, our poodle Fluffy had a litter of puppies in my bed. Under the sheets, by my feet, while I was sleeping. I had a very rude awakening!

What’s the worst thing your bad-behaving pet has ever done — or destroyed? Randy at Mental Floss asked this question of his readers after his cat ate the wires from his bluetooth headset. - Reader's comments vary from dogs eating houses and furniture to cats who poop in purses. One of my favorites: "You haven’t lived until you have tugged a nylon stocking from your dogs rectum. She eats them and then cannot pass them completely, and is running around with a pantyhose foot dangling from her butt."

If you think your pet is the only one behaving badly, take a look at:
Funny photos of dogs chewing things and making a mess of the house at

and Photos of the Day at things my dog ate.

A Day at the Pet Expo

Whenever you see a vendor with food at a pet expo, you have to ask the obvious question – is that for pets or people? You see, the pet expo has been drawing all types of vendors, and not all are strictly pets.

The lady selling fudge was for people. The person giving out the wholesome food samples…those were for dogs. The tooth whitening booth – people; The boutique – pets; the home delivery newspapers – people…though I guess after the people are done, it could do well to serve the pets. Plus home improvements, new windows, a chiropractor and vacation destinations were all available. Though I thought the vacation people could have done better had they created pet friendly trips.

At the annaul pet expo in Hartford, CT, the usual assortment of pet vendors were there – food, health, vets, pet rescue, pet astrology, pocket pets (I really wanted the “sugar glider,” which is basically a rodent, but looked fun as heck) beds, toys, clothes and the like.

Maybe I’ve gone to too many of these, but it seemed like there were a lot of the same types of products. Plus, how do you distinguish one all natural home-made food vendor from the next one? The ones giving out the free samples tended to be the most popular. My dogs will let me know right away if they don’t like something. The event contained a good mix of local, weekend warrior type specialty vendors and the bigger store fronts. In talking to some vendors, it seemed things were slower this year. Partly the economy, partly because of other events going on in the area this time of year.

The petting zoo and the dog pool diving competition were both popular attractions. It's always good to have some distractions from the booths.

And if there is one thing I learned going to a pet expo, where animals are allowed, be sure you always look down when you walk! Don’t want to punt any little doggies, or step in something wet.

Just checking the trash

Photo by Julie Corsi

Stop squirrel indecency

Are you sick and tired of squirrels running naked in the trees around your house?

Have you had to hide your children's eyes when a tiny furry streaker crosses the sidewalk in front of you?

Here's the answer: Squirrel Underpants!

Each pair of tiny briefs has a 3" waist and is made of 100% cotton. The underpants squirrels prefer! Also good for hamsters, frogs and gerbils.

(via Linkfilter)

A walrus with bling

Akituusaq, the rare walrus calf billed as Brooklyn's biggest baby, is flaunting a fabulous new set of titanium crowns at Coney Island's New York Aquarium.

The 16-month-old baby, affectionately called Tuusaq, was fitted with the caps after his keepers noticed the tips of his tiny tusks were already wearing away.

"There were many jokes about putting a diamond in one, or having a laser etch his initials in the other," said David DeNardo, general curator at the New York Aquarium, "but we decided that was going a little bit too overboard.

Source: New York Daily News

A spider I hope never to meet

There's a series of photos from the Cairns Post, which show a giant Golden Orb Weaver spider who caught a chestnut-breasted mannikin bird in its web. The photos were snapped in a backyard in Cairns, Queensland, Australia.

Joel Shakespeare, the head spider keeper at NSW's Australian Reptile Park, said he had seen golden orb weaver spiders as big as a human hand but the northern species in tropical areas were known to grow larger.

(via Boing Boing)

Cute or not? Glow in the dark cat

This kitty, named Mr. Green Genes, looks like a six-month-old cat but, under ultraviolet light, his eyes, gums and tongue glow a vivid lime green.

Scientists at the Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species in New Orleans have genetically modified this cat as part of an experiment that could lead to treatments for conditions like cystic fibrosis.

Source: Telegraph



My sunflower garden on the side of my house boasts beautiful yellow flowers all summer. But when the flowers die and turn to seed, that's when they're my favorite. From early August through October, the huge heads attract a variety of little songbirds. Mostly little yellow finches and a few chickadees. I love watching these birds hang on the edges of the stems, or hang upside down on the top of the flowers, pecking at the seeds. Their beautiful chirps and calls fill the air. Sometimes there are more than a dozen little birds there at one time. This is a treat for a city gal. Unfortunately, these pictures were taken through my porch screen. Every time I tried to go outside and capture the birds on film, they flew away. I tried waiting inconspicuously, but they always outlasted me. Whenever I hear the cheerful chirps, I creep silently to the window so I can watch.

Tail's End: The beauty of one season gives way to the hidden beauty of the next.

SanDisk Film Festival Contest

This contest through SanDisk is still open....You can do more with your point and shoot camera then just take still shots. And now, using your digital camera to take short video clips could win you $10,000 and a trip to Vegas! This conteste goes until November 10th!

SanDisk has a new contest with YouTube where you can enter a two minute video clip, including clips of your pets. The video clip has to be taken with a digital point and shoot camera.

The official rules are on the site, and as many of my readers know, I wouldn't be posting this if there wasn't a pet related category. Check it out and let me know what you think of the contest. Grand prize is a trip to Vegas and $10,000, while 200 other people will win free disks for their cameras. Start filming!

Tight Belts in Tough Times

Mike and I are dissecting our bills, trying to determine where we can cut back. The reason for this is not necessarily today's economy, the falling stock market, the exorbitant price of gas. Although they all play into things, certainly. Our new budgetary strategies are due to that little slip of paper originating from the ominous Bursar's office. We're sadly all too familiar with tuition bills: our own, from Syracuse University--where Mike and I met. (go Orange!) Then, Kate's private school since 7th grade, and Andy's since 3rd grade. Then, Kate's tuition at Cornell University (go Red!) and now Andy's at RPI (aka Rensselaer) (go Engineers!) Way too much higher education!

So, now it's time to determine what we can do without. Would we miss reading the morning paper every day? Perhaps we can peruse our news on the internet instead. That's what Kate does, and she's pretty up to date on current events. What about losing our land line? I calculated that this move would save about $700/year. That seems like a lot of money for what I consider a fairly redundant service--we all have cells. But, is this concession enough to make a difference when we're talking about $52,000/year tuition bills?

I know there are many ways to reduce our utility bills. How much will we really save if we remember to turn off the lights when we're not in a room, or crank down our heat another couple degrees? And where do we stop? Is it worth freezing in our own home to save a couple dollars a month?

The answer is different for everyone. As we grapple with these tough questions, we're always trying to determine the difference between needs and wants, how we can wisely use our resources, where we should sacrifice, and what is right for our kids' futures. We're no strangers to tightening our belts. But it's time to take things in a couple more notches. Ouch!

Tail's End: Possessions are only things. We can get by without things. We can't do without you, all our friends and loved ones in our lives.

Should farm animals have rights?

On Nov. 4, California voters will be asked to decide on Proposition 2, an animal rights ballot measure that would grant the farm animals in California the opportunity to spread their hooves and claws, rather than being confined to restrictive cages, as many chickens, sows and veal cattle now are.

But because veal and pork are not major industries in California, the battle over Proposition 2 is focused almost exclusively on the state’s henhouses, which opponents say will be hard hit by higher production costs if the measure passes.

“This is a well-intended initiative for animals with some very negative unintended consequences for people,” said Julie Buckner, a spokeswoman for Californians for Safe Food, the leading anti-Proposition 2 group. “It’s going to wipe out the California egg farmers, and it’s going to raise the food costs for consumers. And this is at a time when our economy is hurting.”

Supporters of the proposition, the first of its kind in the nation, reject those arguments, casting the ballot measure as an act of kindness for animals whose bodies and byproducts usually end up on dining room tables.

“If animals are going to be killed for food,” said Wayne Pacelle, the president and chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States, “the least we can do is treat them with decency and give them a semblance of life.”

What do you think?

Source: NY Times

Heidie gets a bath

The wonderful folks at Jarden RapidBath sent me a RapidBath® Pet Bathing System to try out.

My friend's dog, Heidie, volunteered to be our model and to get a bath. Heidie needed a bath anyway, so it's not like she had much of a choice.

Well, Heidie loved it!

The RapidBath® was easy to use. The unit came with a hose and connection to attach to a water faucet. We removed our shower head and attached the hose to the shower pipe.

The RapidBath® system comes complete with packets of shampoo in different scents. We used the "Ultra Cleaning Shampoo." There was plenty of product in the package to get Heidie totally clean.

After her bath, Heidie smelled great and her hair was smooth and velvety!

The RapidBath® Pet Bathing System is an "all-in-one" wet, wash and rinse dog bathing solution. The dog will love the relaxing massage action - and you'll love the results. No more stressful, backbreaking, messy baths for either one of you!

Photos by Julie Corsi

Today's awwww

Dog Ear Cleaning Tips

Cleaning your dog's ears is an essential part of grooming. You should check your beloved pet's ears periodically to know if they have wax, fungus, and ear mites on them.

Like humans, dogs also need to have their ears cleaned. But before anything else, there are some precautionary measures that you need to do to prevent possible ear infections. Always make sure to use the right cleaning products.Bear in mind that the outer and inner parts of your dog's ears are very delicate. Be extra careful and ensure that you are doing the right procedure.

It is advisable to use an "ear wash solution" specifically created for dog ear cleaning. Soak a cotton ball in the formula and squeeze out excess liquid. Then, place the wet cotton ball in your dog's ears, starting at the base, and gently rub it.

Gently message the outsides of the ears for about a minute where you put the cotton ball. This will help the solutions to get down in the ear and your k9 will enjoy the ear rub. Allow your k9 to shake off excess moisture.

Never use a q-tip in your dog's ears for it could damage his eardrum!

Try to check your dog's ears at least once a week whenever you give him a pet bath. Infected dog ears can result to other serious health problems. If you dog's ears are dirty and infected, he may suffer from an ear hematoma by breaking blood vessels when shaking his head due to irritation and discomfort.

If you see any lumps in his ear or if his ear canal looks abnormal, better consult a veterinarian. It could be a sign of more serious ear infections or tumors.

This article courtesy of Pet Articles Blog

Would you sniff your kids?

Sniff Dogs rents drug-sniffing canines to parents for $200 an hour. It was started this year by Debra Stone, who says her five trained dogs can detect heroin, cocaine, crystal meth and ecstasy.

The dogs' noses are so sensitive that they can smell a marijuana seed from up to 15 feet away and marijuana residue on clothing from drugs smoked two nights before.

One of the selling points of this service? Avoiding the kind of confrontation that comes with a drug test.

Drug-sniffing dogs aren't the only measures parents are using to keep tabs on their children. There are now Global Positioning System devices that can be sewn into children's clothing to monitor how fast they're driving, and software that allows a parent to read text messages.

But some psychologists say these surveillance techniques can backfire.

"There are major repercussions for this type of intervention," said Dr. Neil Bernstein, a Washington, D.C.-based clinical psychologist and author of the book "How to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble and What to Do if You Can't ."

Source: abc