Top Dog- Chloe

Meet, Chloe, Top Dog of Catherine of Washington state.

Breed: Miniature Pinscher. Also called "Mini Pin" or "Min Pin
They come in black/tan, red, or chocolate/tan like Doberman Pinschers, but they are not actually related to Dobermans at all. This toy breed is a mix of Dachshund and Italian Greyhound.

Fun fact: The word "Pinscher" means "biter."
Q: Does Chloe like to bite?
A: Sure, sometimes! (They were bred to hunt vermin, after all!)

Age: "teenager" (I guess a lady never reveals her
exact age.)

Words that describe her: Sweet but naughty

Chloe's family thinks she looks adorable in her hoodie, but Chloe begs to differ. She's not a big fan.

Catherine says a Mini Pins are sweet and cuddly dogs, but not for everyone. Things you should know before considering this breed:
1. They need room to run
2. They need firm training and may be difficult to housebreak
3. You'll need to remain vigilant when they are off lead, because when they get on the trail of something, they're difficult to call off!
4. Do you like a tenacious, stubborn dog? A small dog with a big personality? Then this breed's for you!

But wait! They're also sweet, funny, affectionate and adorable!

Chloe's best trick: She plays soccer! She will chase the ball as it's kicked back and forth and try to bite it! Mini Pins love to play!

Most endearing trait:
When she is feeling snuggly, she will burrow into your armpit to sleep.

Paws for Reflection: Mini Pins make wonderful pets for the right family. Study the breeds to know which one is right for you, but also recognize that each dog within each breed is unique--just like we are!

Hide and Seek - FAIL

from Disapproving Rabbits

What's that in your pants?

Photo: emily

Agility Abilities

Have you ever thought that agility training might just be your dog’s thing? How do you tell if your dog has what it takes to succeed in agility competitions? The answer probably lies in your understanding of the dog. Those who are very athletic, eager to please and who have a wonderful relationship with you are the best candidates. 
History of Agility 
Agility training began in England not long ago and was fashioned after horse show jumping. After making its UK debut at Crufts in 1978, agility became the fastest growing dog sport. Not only is it popular among caretakers, its also very popular among spectators, the action is fast and it is always entertaining whether the dog does as the handler asks or not. It's fun for everyone. 
Does My Dog Have What It Takes?
The only way to find out if your dog has got what it takes to do agility is to try it out. Find a good agility club in your area where experienced instructors can teach you what you need to know. This will help you avoid injury to your pup. You will want to learn new tricks in a controlled environment that facilitates good training practice on agility equipment that meets safety criteria.
Pursuing the Sport
Once you establish that you and your dog love the sport, it’s worth it to purchase an agility course, or join a club who has the equipment available. You can find some inexpensive equipment online at Amazon, Ebay or even Craigslist, but if you are purchasing used equipment through these sources, ensure that you use a light solution of bleach and water to thoroughly clean the equipment prior to use. 
Purchasing Agility Equipment
There are many different types of agility equipment available. If you’re just starting out in the sport, you will want to stay on the conservative side of purchases. A complete agility course can be very pricey, so wait and see if it’s something you and your dog really want to pursue. 
Once you’re convinced that this is the sport for you, go ahead and purchase the basic pieces of equipment. These include a bar jump, a tire jump and a tunnel. 
Agility can be a very entertaining sport that’s exactly what your dog needs to release excess energy. It can create a strong bond between both you and your dog, not to mention, it’s great exercise for both of you. 
Additional Resources: 

Many bird populations in trouble, report says

Just as they were when Rachel Carson published 'Silent Spring' nearly 50 years ago, birds today are a bellwether of the health of land, water and ecosystems.

From shorebirds in New England to warblers in Michigan to songbirds in Hawaii, we are seeing disturbing downward population trends that should set off environmental alarm bells.

The declines can be traced to a variety of factors, depending on a bird's particular habitat. But the causes most frequently cited in the report are agriculture, climate change, development and energy, and invasive species.


Durham, CT Pet Fair

For anyone who isn't too far away, you may want to check this out.

The 1st Annual Durham Pet Fair will be held at The Durham Veterinary Hospital, located at 178 Parmalee Hill Road on Sunday, May 17th from 11:00am to 4:00pm (Rain Date May 24th). It is jointly organized by the Durham Veterinary Hospital and Help Willy's Friends.

This Durham Pet Fair will feature local merchants and adoptable pets from local shelters/ rescue organizations. There will be Live Music, a Wine Tasting and a Silent Auction. There will be food, beverages, and Free Kettle Korn. Children's activities will include a DJ, Face Painting, Touch-a-Truck, Fun House, a State Police K-9 Demonstration, and much more. For those attendees that bring their pets, The Durham Veterinary Hospital will provide microchipping at a nominal fee of $35.00. There will also be Free Nail Clipping, Free Pet Photos, Pet Reiki and a Pet Psychic!

10'x10' booth space is still available. A booth is $25 for shelters/rescue organizations and $50 for vendors. Visit for downloadable booth application forms or contact Mark at 203-988-1718 or

Help Willy's Friends is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to collecting food and supplies to distribute among local animal shelters/rescue organizations. This in turn assists shelter workers with providing proper, required, and additional care to animals in need. Ultimately, this results in additional time with hope of finding a new home for loving dogs and cats. For more information about Help Willy's Friends, visit

The cutest baby elephant

Take your insulin now,
there are 12 more pictures

(via My Modern Metropolis)

Just wanted a pizza and a beer

Three people in the central Arizona community of Cottonwood were exposed to rabies after being attacked by a wild bobcat.

It all began when the animal attacked and scratched a woman who had gotten out of her car after thinking she had hit it.

A short time later, Cottonwood police got a report of a bobcat acting aggressively toward a woman outside a Pizza Hut.

Then, about an hour later, the bobcat wandered into the Chapparal Bar on Main Street forcing patrons up on their barstools.

Two men who were bitten before police shot and killed the animal in the parking lot.

Test later confirmed it was rabid.


(via Perez Hilton)


I received the following story in today's email ... (Thanks, Lois)

In 2003, police in Warwickshire, England, opened a garden shed and found a whimpering, cowering dog. It had been locked in the shed and abandoned. It was dirty and malnourished and had clearly been abused.

In an act of kindness, the police took the dog, which was a Greyhound female, to the nearby Nuneaton Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary, run by a man named Geoff Grewcock and known as a willing haven for animals abandoned, orphaned or otherwise in need.

Geoff and the other sanctuary staff went to work with two restore the dog to full health and to win her trust. It took several weeks, but eventually both goals were achieved.

They named her Jasmine and they started to think about finding her an adoptive home.

But Jasmine had other ideas.. No-one remembers now how it began, but she started welcoming all animal arrivals at the sanctuary. It wouldn't matter if it was a puppy, a fox cub, a rabbit or any other lost or hurting animal, Jasmine would peer into the box or cage and, where possible, deliver a welcoming lick.

Geoff relates one of the early incidents. "We had two puppies that had been abandoned by a nearby railway line. One was a Lakeland Terrier Cross and another was a Jack Russell Doberman Cross. They were tiny when they arrived at the centre and Jasmine approached them and grabbed one by the scruff of the neck in her mouth and put him on the settee. Then she fetched the other one and sat down with them, cuddling them."

"But she is like that with all of our animals, even the rabbits. She takes all the stress out of them and it helps them to not only feel close to her, but to settle into their new surroundings.

"She has done the same with the fox and badger cubs. She licks the rabbits and guinea pigs and even lets the birds perch on the bridge of her nose."

Jasmine - the timid, abused, deserted waif, became the animal sanctuary's resident surrogate mother, a role for which she might have been born. The list of orphaned and abandoned youngsters she has cared for comprises five fox cubs, four badger cubs, 15 chicks, eight guinea pigs, two stray puppies and 15 rabbits.

And one roe deer fawn. Tiny Bramble, 11 weeks old, was found semi-conscious in a field. Upon arrival at the sanctuary, Jasmine cuddled up to her to keep her warm and then went into the full 'foster mom' role. Jasmine, the greyhound, showers Bramble, the Roe deer, with affection and makes sure nothing is matted.

"They are inseparable," says Geoff. "Bramble walks between her legs and they keep kissing each other. They walk together round the sanctuary.
It's a real treat to see them."

Jasmine will continue to care for Bramble until she is old enough to be returned to woodland life. When that happens, Jasmine will not be lonely. She will be too busy showering love and affection on the next orphan or victim of abuse.

From left - Toby, a stray Lakeland dog; Bramble, orphaned Roe deer; Buster, a stray Jack Russell; a dumped rabbit; Sky, an injured barn owl; and Jasmine, with a Mothers heart, doing best what a caring Mother would do.

Housebreaking Your Dog

Housebreaking a dog, no matter what their age is now one of the easiest things to do these days. There are a few things you need to have, there are the housebreaking supplies of course; but you should learn to use repetition, have patience and above all you should have a sense of humor. 
When Skye came to live with me, I had to teach her that going potty in the house was not an option. You see Skye grew up in a kennel and could let herself out into her dog run to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. She didn’t have to wait for some human to get up, go downstairs and open the door for her; so in the beginning we had a few accidents. I also found out early on in Skye’s training that if I rewarded her with a “potty biscuit” after she did what she needed to do outside; she got the idea a lot faster. She never got a whole cookie and often times she would be rewarded with a piece of cereal.
When I was growing up we had dogs and there never seemed to be much trouble to housebreaking them. I do remember one incident involving my grandparents’ Boston Terrier Peggy that had to do with the Sunday paper. You see, she was paper trained and when she was young to housebreak, my grandparents put newspapers down for her to go potty on in the spot they had chosen for her in the kitchen. Then when they couldn’t get her to go outside, they tried putting newspapers on the lawn to try and convince her that grass was OK, which finally helped to train her. The incident with the paper happened one Sunday morning when my grandpa was laying down on the couch enjoying his paper. Peggy walked over to a section on the floor that Grandpa was not reading and relieved herself there.
While you can still use the old method of housebreaking with newspapers, there are now many alternatives to that old standby. You can now purchase pheromone enhanced puppy pads that have a plastic backing. These are good because they keep the urine from soaking through the pads. You can get pheromone drops to use outside in the spot you want the dog to go. You can get artificial grass systems that can be used indoors (for rainy days) or outdoors to keep those burn spots down in your lawn. 
When you are housebreaking a dog, here are a few simple tips:
  • Taking the dog out should be the first thing you do in the morning.
  • After feeding your dog, wait about 20 minutes, and then take them out. 
  • Taking the dog out should be the last thing you do at night.
  • If you want to use a treat as a positive reinforcement, feel free to do so. It will help your dog learn faster. If you don’t want to use a treat, a pat, hug or words of praise will work just as well.
Watch your dog’s body language, if they start dancing around, pacing, or sniffing for a spot; take them outside. Usually this behavior means that they have to go outside. By following these simple tips it will be no time before you can sleep late on your weekend off.

Cute or not? Visored bat

Photo via Ugly Overload

How to piss off your neighbors

Terrible Tombstones are a good way to let your neighbors know that you do not enjoy their pets using your yard as their personal restroom.

You may not make many friends by putting this in your front lawn, but the point is well made.

$9.95 at Terrible Tombstones

(via Nerd Approved)

Sick stuffed animals

More at
by Jack Griffin


A man poses with the alleged largest egg in the world in central London. The egg was laid in the early 17th century by the now-extinct Great Elephant Bird of Madagascarto. It is priced at $7,340 and will be sold at The Chelsea Antiques Fair.

Photo Credit: Shaun Curry-AFP/Getty Images

"Koi Angelfish" Picture

This is a picture of a koi angelfish that I used to have. It is called a koi angel because its coloring resembles the popular Koi fish that are usually found in home-made ponds.

Smile, it's Friday!

Photo from the Four Musketeers

Crate Training and Its Advantages

When I was growing up we had dogs but they were never crate trained. Crates were sold back then; my folks just chose to go without one. At night the dog would spend the night behind gates in the kitchen. Of course there was one Boxer named Jayne, who didn’t realize she wasn’t supposed to jump the gate and did just about every night until they got a taller one. The family knew she could jump it if she really tried, but for some reason she stayed put.
I got my first crate when I got my first AmStaff Nimber, when he was a puppy. While you can buy a crate for the puppy’s size, the puppy will grow and you could be buying several sizes before you reach the size you need for an adult dog. I bought a crate that was 36 inches long, 24 inches wide and 30 inches high; which was the size suggested by the breeder at the time. I put a cardboard box in the back of the crate on its side, with its bottom facing the door. In this way I was able to cut down the size of the crate for the puppy. Dogs do not like to urinate or defecate where they sleep, this is their “den” and they will keep it clean; if you are housebreaking a puppy this is another plus for getting a crate. As my puppy grew, I would cut a bit of the box away, so he gained more space in the crate.
Whatever size crate you buy, it should be at least tall enough for the dog to stand up in. They don’t have to be able to hold up their head, but they do need to have enough room to walk in, turn around and lay down easily. I also suggest using something washable on the bottom for the dog to lie down on. I like to use old quilts, or go the local recycling center to look for old blankets. You can even use old cotton towels; just make sure whatever you use is machine washable because sometimes accidents happen. I have more than one blanket, so in case one needs to be washed there is a clean one ready to use. You can even put a blanket over it to darken it at night to help your dog sleep.
A puppy should never be in a crate for more than three to four hours at a time if you can help it, and six to hours is the limit I use for Skye, as an adult. I try not to leave Skye in her crate for more than about six hours at a time, though she has been crated overnight when I am home. When Skye came to live with me, she was crated when I could not watch her even though she was an adult, as she was into everything. I also started crating her overnight when she began living here because she had been a kennel dog and wasn’t housebroken yet. The crate was also helpful for feeding her in because she had to get medication in her food and I didn’t want the cats getting into it. Now that she is settled into the household routine and the cats are used to her, I don’t crate her to feed her unless I am adding something to her food that the cats might find interesting.
A crate should never be used for punishment, no matter how frustrated you may get. It can be used for a time out when you need a break. It can be used if you need to have the dog out of the way, but in a safe place temporarily; an example of this would be if you are hosting a party, or mopping the floors that the dog just ran across with their muddy paws.
If you follow these easy tips, crate training can be a rewarding experience for the whole family. It worked well for me and I know Skye is happier; now she gets to sleep at the foot of my bed.

Are cavers spreading lethal bat disease?

The white fungus that appears on bats' noses and wings — so-called white-nose syndrome — has killed more than a half-million bats over the past three winters, but scientists had not been able to figure out how the fungus got into the bat caves and why it spread.

Now, they have big clue: Humans, specifically cavers, who "may be spreading the causative agent."


Photo Credit: Nancy Heaslip, New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation
Little brown bats with white-nose syndrome, New York

"Max" and Mr. Brown update

Yesterday, a hospice volunteer and I took "Max" to the vet for an evaluation. When we came to pick him up, Mr. Brown did a good job of being brave until we were ready to leave. Then, gnarled hands reached for the old dog's head, rubbing it and petting it over and over as if to reassure them both. Max, who only weighs 32 pounds, came with us willingly on his leash, a bit confused about who we were, but glad to go for a ride in the car.
The clinic reception area was chaotic, with people dropping off animals for grooming and the staff in a rush to get patients seen before the doctor went into surgery. We ended up reluctantly dropping Max off to make it easier for them and to allow me to get back to work. They promised to call me after the exam, but it would be late in the day before I knew the results. Several of the staff members came to my office to inquire about Max. Did I know anything yet? No. not yet.
When the doctor finally called, we talked about several of Max's problems, but my heart leaped when she said she thought he was treatable and that we could make him more comfortable with medication. We came up with a formulation that Max would eat like a treat. We agreed that it might be a good idea to "put Max on hospice" with Mr. Brown, so we could all be involved in his care.
I wish I could describe the scene when we walked in the door with Max, clean and brushed. The old dog walked straight to his master of 15 years, wagging his bob tail. The look of relief on Mr. Brown's face was priceless as he petted his old friend. He couldn't thank us enough for taking care of his dog and for all the things that Hospice of Green Country had done for him. As I left his home, I realized how relieved I was, too.

Endangered and Dangerous

An Indonesian fisherman has been killed by Komodo dragons after he was attacked while trespassing on a remote island in search of fruit, officials said Tuesday.

Muhamad Anwar, 32, bled to death on his way to hospital after being mauled by the reptiles at Loh Sriaya, in eastern Indonesia's Komodo National Park.

Komodo dragons, the world's heaviest lizards, can grow up to 3 meters (10 feet) in length and have a toxic bite that they use to kill prey such as buffalo, returning to feast when the animal succumbs to the poison.

Despite their ungainly appearance, the carnivorous reptiles can run as fast as a dog in short bursts, jump up on their hind legs, and kill animals with a blow of their powerful tails.

Attacks on humans are rare, but Monday's incident is the latest in a series in which the monster lizards -- which have forked tongues and fearsome claws --have killed or injured people.

Last month a park ranger survived after a Komodo dragon climbed the ladder into his hut and savaged his hand and foot. In 2007 an eight-year-old boy died after being mauled.

In June last year, a group of divers who were stranded on an island in the national park -- the dragons' only natural habitat -- had to fend off several attacks from the reptiles before they were rescued.


Photo Credit: Dita Alangkara-AP

Endangered and Adorable

In the end, Hannibal did not administer the fatal bite to his mate's neck. And Jao Chu did not immediately kill their offspring, as is often the case.

And so, early yesterday, despite murderous tendencies in the captive species, two newborn clouded leopard cubs were found alive, well and squealing at the National Zoo's Conservation and Research Center in Front Royal, Va.

They were taken immediately from their gorgeous mother before she could do them harm, or do them in, placed in an incubator set at 88 degrees and fed salt water from baby bottles. Born with dappled, reptile-pattern fur, they were the first such births at the zoo in 16 years.

Their births were a coup, and the end of a complex reproduction saga involving an exotic, endangered and beautiful species of animal that experts call the ghost cat.

It was also a genetic home run: The zoo said the cubs' genes, which come from outside the captive population, make them among the most valuable clouded leopards in North America.


Photo credit: Tracy A Woodward-The Washington Post

Fursday Fun

from WebShots, by mbdaily

from Flickr, by loveisabeautifulthing

from Flickr, by Isa Costa

from Funny Pet Photos


What's in a name?

Woman called Nutt over-run by squirrels

The world's most persecuted parrot

Today, Monk (or Quaker) parakeets comprise the largest group of the nine species of parrots known to live in the wild in the United States. But their success in establishing an ecological niche for themselves didn't come easily.

The birds, Myiopsitta Monachus, originate from South America. A government-sponsored program in Argentina managed to kill more than 400,000 of them in the late 1950s and early 1960s. But in the mid 1960's, someone had a bright idea: instead of killing them, why not ship them to the U.S.A. and make a few extra dollars? More than 60,000 wild parrots were shipped from South America to the U.S.A. during the 1960s and early 1970s.

Brooklyn has a large population of these wild parrots and many theories as to how the birds first were released into the wild. In 1973, the Federal Government became aware of the parrots' existence in the New York area, and sent out SWAT-style eradication teams which captured many birds and shot those unwilling to surrender. One of the last remaining parrot strongholds, a nest complex on Rikers Island, Queens, managed to survive the eradication teams and are the probable ancestors of the parrots alive today all over Brooklyn.

These intelligent, non-aggressive birds, which no self-respecting scientist has ever claimed have caused any significant crop damage in the U.S., are regarded with extreme hostility in many states. In New Jersey and Connecticut, they are classified as a "potentially dangerous species." In Pennsylvania, they are reportedly euthanized on the spot whenever power companies find them nesting on transmission lines. In Florida, both the state Department of Transportation and the Florida Power & Light utility company do the same thing. Florida Power & Light has for years maintained secret gas chambers where captured parrots are killed en masse.

Stephen Carl Baldwin, at Brooklyn Parrots, writes, "The fact that North America has a new parrot on its shores is in my view a blessing, especially because our countrymen wiped out our only native parrot - the Carolina Parakeet - nearly a hundred years ago. Nature has given us the rarest of gifts: a second chance."


Yes - we do have Monk parakeets in Illinois!

There are monk parakeet colonies in nearly 20 Chicago suburbs.
I took the following photo in Alsip, Illinois, on December 6, 2006.

It was 8:30 am, temperature was 36 degrees. There were about a dozen of these gorgeous, vivid green birds at 116th and Springfield.


Some dogs love all people without discrimination. Others are cautious around men, skeptical of children, dislike people in uniform, or even certain family members such as Aunt Gertrude with her loud, high pitch voice and quick movements.

Since I'm home with her all day, Kelly definitely has a preference for me. If we've been out on an errand, it doesn't matter who else comes through the door with me, Kelly will push past everyone else to get to me first, and jump up on me wagging and shaking with happiness! I have to admit, it does feel good! But recently, when my son Andy came home from college for spring break, he was disappointed Kelly didn't make more of a fuss over him. Of course they connected later and Kelly was glad to see him, but Andy felt a bit dissed at first.

This weekend something unusual happened. Mike and I and my daughter Kate and her friend Derek were all coming home at the same time. Derek is someone Kelly had never met before, or if she had it had been more than 5 years ago and maybe only once or twice. But when we all walked in the door, she pushed past everyone and went right up to Derek instead of me! Derek hadn't called to her or made any advances to her in any way. Somehow Kelly was just attracted to him. And I could tell throughout the evening as Derek was here visiting, that Kelly bonded with him quietly. I wonder what it was about Derek that made her take to him instantly? I thought it was sweet. (And I made a mental note to tag Derek for dog sitting if we should need to go away!)

Have you noticed any unique people preferences in your dogs?

Paws for Reflection: Bond with the people who make you happy.

Do Pets Dream?

You’re quietly watching a scary movie late one night. It’s not too terribly scary because you have your faithful canine companion curled up on the sofa next to you, snoring contentedly. Suddenly, at the very spot in the movie that the “evil clown” attacks, your dog twitches and then falls off the couch. Popcorn flying, you’re convinced that the clown really is in the next room, but you’re too afraid to look because your pup is growling softly at, well, nothing....

If this has ever happened to you, I’m betting you know as well as I do that dogs dream. The fact is, this is true.

Dogs experience sleep patterns that are very similar to our own. The process begins when your dog walks around in a circle three times (we’ll get to that little phenomenon later), settles into a heap of fur, curls into a ball and tucks his nose under his tail.

So far, very similar to the way that we fall asleep. Of course, we probably don’t turn around three times, or tuck our noses under tails (I hope), but the rest of it fairly close.

Like us, our dogs will enter into rapid eye movement (REM) after a few minutes. This is known as the “active stage of sleep”. His eyes will roll under his closed lids (much as our own do when we enter REM), and he may bark or whine (just as my husband does). His legs will probably jerk a little, and all in all, the brain activity that would be seen if you were to hook him up to a monitor is similar to that seen during the dreaming sleep of humans.

In humans, there are five stages of sleep. The “Dreaming” stage occurs in the fifth stage, or REM stage of sleep. This is the most active state of sleep for pets and people, where kicking and running comes into play.

So, the short answer to this question is that yes, dogs do dream.

Incidentally, dogs spend between 10% and 12% of their lives sleeping. Unless you’re one of my dogs, then you’ll spend closer to 75-80% of your life asleep. And no, I never medicate my pets! They are just really, really tired....

And in case you need further proof of the dreaming capacity of dogs, take a gander at this “sleep walking dog” video. Then be very grateful that you don’t have to worry about this with your pet. If you do live with a dog like this, you might want to rethink watching those horror movies.

Stupid Animal Joke

It's been a while since I posted one of these, so here it goes...and yes, it is really stupid:

Some race horses staying in a stable. One of them starts to boast about his track record. "In the last 15 races, I've won 8 of them!"

Another horse breaks in, "Well in the last 27 races, I've won 19!!"

"Oh that's good, but in the last 36 races, I've won 28!", says another, flicking his tail.

At this point, they notice that a greyhound dog has been sitting there listening. "I don't mean to boast," says the greyhound, "but in my last 90 races, I've won 88 of them!"

The horses are clearly amazed. "Wow!" says one, after a hushed silence. "A talking dog."

Let's do breakfast

(via Funny Pets)

Cute little mini-moos

As adorable as they are, the little cows at the Memphis Zoo shouldn't be mistaken for calves. At more than a year old, miniature cows Cloudy and Darwinia are the newest residents at the zoo's Once Upon a Farm.

Cloudy is only about 25 inches tall at the shoulders and was bred from Hereford and American Lowline stock. Her companion, Darwinia, is 36 inches at the shoulders and was bred from American Lowline and Belted Galloway, a heritage breed with a recorded history some experts say dates back to the 16th century, when farms were smaller.


Photo credit: Lance Murphey/The Commercial Appeal

Today's awwww


The Very Hungry Caterpillar Cupcake Party Train by Lyndsay of Coco Cake Cupcakes.

(via The Daily What)

Smart Games to Play with Your Smart Pets

Whether you live in the northwest and are being pelted with rain, or in the Southwest where you’re plagued with heat and allergies, or even the Northeast where there’s still snow on the ground, we all have days when it’s just not too comfortable or safe to go outside.
So how do we keep our very smart pets entertained on days when we just can’t get outside to play? Play a game! Pets need quality time with their parents as much as children do, and these games will keep the entire family entertained!
Here are some “smart games” for you and your “Smart Pets” to play.
Hide A Treat: One of our personal favorites. This game consists of you hiding a treat someplace in your home, and then asking your dog to go find it. In essence, you’re training your dog to become a “tracking dog”. Keep in mind that you’ll need to show your pet how this game works the first few times, but it won’t be long before they take the challenge on themselves!
Hide and Seek: Do I sense a hiding theme here? Anyway – this is a fun game to play when you can sneak away from your pet. It’s even better when you learn to throw your voice and appear to be coming from another room! Either way, you’ll find this game to be entertaining.
Teach a Trick: Teach your pet a new trick! Yep, even old dogs and stubborn kitties can do this. Cats are wonderfully receptive to clicker training, and you can learn more about this method by clicking here or here.
A Day of Dexterity: Remember the great times we all had growing up making a “Front room Fort”? Why not try that with your pet. Be sure the area is safe. Then take a few minutes to set up a short agility course with blankets, chairs and maybe an old box, or a 2x6 plank that they can try walking on (under constant supervision, of course).  Try it out with your pet first by having them follow you through the course, then rearrange it and try something new.

Worst Things About Dog Ownership

What are the worst things about owning a dog? A recent pool by listed these responses:

Here are the Top 7 things on the "Worst" list:

1. Having to Board / Get a Pet Sitter When Traveling
2. Pet Hair
3. Cost of Medical Care
4. Inappropriate Urination
5. Barking or Whining
6. Aggression
7. Pet Odors

What gets you down about dog ownership?

A heroic bird

A parrot that alerted his owner about a baby who was choking was recognized as a hero by the Red Cross. Willie the parrot was given the Animal Lifesaver Award during the "Breakfast of Champions" event in Denver.

Willie received the award for his actions in November, when he and owner Megan Howard were baby-sitting a toddler. Willie repeatedly yelled "Mama, baby" when Howard went to the bathroom and the toddler started to choke on her breakfast.

Howard saved the baby by performing the Heimlich maneuver but she said Willie "is the real hero."


A strange bird

This is a great frigate bird. These birds can puff out their inflatable pouch to almost the full size of their body - a display used to attract the opposite sex.

Photo source