Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pretty Kitty Oscar

Are you looking for a black cat? I think we all should be. I love black cats. Had Ora not come to me, I definitely would have been in search of a black cat. Unfortunately, not everyone is as open-minded about black cats, as a result, little Oscar here has been waiting for a home for 18 months.

Oscar was one of about 25 to 30 cats living at a Sacramento trailer park that was slated to be bulldozed on January 15, 2010, and he's been at the Fat Kitty City sanctuary ever since.

The only reason he seems to get passed up is that he's another one of those all-black cats, but please don't call him nondescript. Oscar is a beautiful Bombay-type, very muscular and powerful, like a miniature panther. He would be an excellent mouser--when you play with him, that piece of string or feather toy gets thoroughly killed. He means business!

He seeks affection and is not afraid to speak up when you're not paying enough attention to him, but for all that talk he's perfectly happy to curl up quietly in your lap. He would love to help you keep your place critter free in exchange for some love and affection. If you are interested in bringing Oscar home, click here for information on how to adopt from Fat Kitty City.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Mobile Monday: Spoiled Puppy

I try to tell people Astrea isn't spoiled, but then she gets to go to Lake Tahoe without me and it's hard to argue. Look at how cute she is on a hike with her Grammiecakes and Grampa this weekend:

Also - check out Astrea in this weeks Smiling Dogs post on thebark.com

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Celebrity Sunday: Spart Lives First Class

Ice T and Coco's dog Spartacus definitely lives a first class life as a dog. Check him out flying to Arizona for vacation and then keeping cool (while staying safe) in the pool..

Friday, June 24, 2011

Absolutely Incredible...

Have you seen this article from the Huffington Post? It amazes me that our pets are still classified as property in this country when I see stories like this. It is absolutely incredible the lengths people will give an animal to let it have another chance. It's clear that they aren't just property to a lot of us.

World's First Dog With All Bionic Legs

You might remember Polo, the husky fitted with a prosthetic paw after being hit by a car, or Midnite, the miniature horse who took off running when first fitted with a prosthetic leg, but this red heeler pup takes being a bionic animal to a whole new level.

Naki'o is the world's first dog to be fitted with a complete set of four prosthetic paws, according to incrediblefeatures.com. Naki'o was barely 5 weeks old when he and his brothers and sisters were abandoned by a family fleeing their foreclosed home. Having barely survived the Nebraskan winter, all four of the dog's paws were deformed into rounded stumps after being stuck in an icy puddle.

Incrediblefeatures.com reports that Veterinary technician Christie Tomlinson "organized a fundraiser to pay for Naki’o to have his two back legs fitted with prosthetics."

From the site:

He took to these so enthusiastically, that Orthopets decided to complete the process free of charge. It was the first time they’d fitted an animal with a complete set of new legs.

Now, Naki'o is able to run, jump and play just like other dogs, thanks to the second chance his new set of legs have given him.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

We're almost there!!

to roll...

It's almost the end of June and we are well on our way to meeting our Walk & Wag goal. We're actually right on target, with 70 miles done!! I wasn't sure if I'd be able to get this far, but we've made up some miles on the weekends at my parents house and trips to day care. It's really hard some mornings to get ourselves out of bed (Astrea likes to sleep in more than I do!), but with this hot, hot weather we have to get our long walks early in the morning or late in the evening while it's cool. Our afternoon walks more often than not turn into rolling in the shade, as evidenced from the picture above. It's fine with me though, I'm super paranoid that Astrea is going to get over heated, and I hate the heat just as much as she does.

Anyway, in addition to trying to meet our Walk & Wag goal, we're both trying to get ourselves back to a healthy weight. Poor Astrea gained a couple pounds when Jameson moved in, I may have been giving her extra treats to make up for the invasion of her space. After the first two pound gain I took the advice of my Vet and put Astrea on a weight control dog food. The results were the complete opposite - she gained three pounds! Since then it's been an on going battle to keep gaining more weight, and a lot of experimenting to find a food that not only is lower on calories, but also meets my requirements and her dietary limitations. I think we FINALLY have found a good food. And through all of this at least she hasn't gained any more weight, but it's definitely been frustrating.

So to meet our weight loss and Walk & Wag goal, throughout this month I've been trying to find new ways to get active with Astrea. While walking gets the job done, we both need a little more fun and stimulation. One of the things I've been looking into for Astrea is agility classes. Right now, I send her to day care at least once a week. I know it sounds silly to send a dog to day care, but not only do I get the day to get stuff done, she can play with other doggies and have 6 hours of unrestrained fun. Since she was 6 months old her favorite thing to do at day care has always been running up and down the slide. I'm a little sad that I've never had the chance to see her do it, but they tell me she runs that slide so much that sometimes she stops at the top and takes a nap! Anyway, I thought based on her love of the slide, agility classes may be fun for her. Right now we're working on prepping her by focusing on her basic training again. Based on what I've read we need to be tight on our sit, stay, come before the agility classes will take us. So, we're working on it and hopefully this August we will be signed up for class at least once a week. If anyone has any advice on preparing for agility classes or participating, I will gladly take whatever you can give me!

And, if you're looking for new options on activities to do with your dog here's a few websites with ideas and more information:
Leash Your Fitness, San Diego CA
Top 10 Man-Dog Workouts
Dog Walk Workouts

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Heat Stroke in Pets

I'm hot...

I know there are a lot of warnings out there about keeping your pets safe in this heat, and one of the big focuses is not leaving your pets in the car, but keep in mind just walking your dog at the wrong time of day can be dangerous too. Unfortunately, I know two people who have almost lost their dogs just this weekend from heat stroke. Neither of them was doing anything that would be a red flag to me. With the rising heat however, the play time or walk your dog is use to could cause major organ damage or even be deadly. I personally did not know what the signs of heat stroke are, so I thought for my own education, and yours, I'd share with you.

Signs of Heat Stroke
Excessive panting;
Pale gums, bright red tongue;
Disorientation and your dog doesn't respond to his name;
Increased heart rate;
Thick saliva;
Breathing difficulties;

What to do if you think your dog may have heat stroke
Make sure your dog is out of the sun and has access to water but don't let him drink too much.

Cool him with cool/tepid water - either immerse him in a bath, gently hose him or apply cool towels to his body. Importantly do not leave wet towels on your dog and do not use very cold water - both prevent your dog form being able to cool himself.

Move your dog to an area where there is cool air circulating, such as an air conditioned room or stand him in front of a fan. The cool circulating air will help your dog to reduce his temperature.

Keep monitoring your dog's temperature with a rectal thermometer; once it returns to normal (approx 101F) stop the cooling process.

Whilst you are cooling your dog down phone your local emergency dog clinic, explain the situation and perform any additional treatment they suggest before taking him to the clinic.

Even if you manage to reduce your dog's temperature at home, take him to your vet for a thorough checkup - internal damage to your dog's organs might have taken place even though he recovered from heat stroke.

Preventing Heat Stroke

Be aware that the outside temperature can be a lot warmer than that shown on your thermometer -on humid days the relative temperature is much higher;

Dogs really don't know when to stop - try and keep your dog's activity to a minimum particularly on hot and humid days;

Exercise your dog early in the morning and/or later in the evening when the temperature is cooler;

If possible keep your dog indoors during the heat of the day in a well ventilated or air conditioned room; and

If your dog is outside during the day, make sure there is plenty of shady areas for him to lie in and he has access to cold water. If he likes water, put a paddling pool of water for him in a shady part of the garden so he can lie in that to keep cool, otherwise periodically spray him with cool water.

Please, please, please keep your pups safe! I would hate to think that there are dogs out there suffering simply because their owners don't know what to look for!

Source: dogtopics.com

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mobile Monday: This is what an embarassed dog looks like

Astrea fell into the pool over the weekend. I missed it, but according to everyone who saw, it was pretty funny. Astrea was not amused. In fact, she was totally embarrassed. She didn't want to let me dry her off and kept running away. Finally she went in the house and rolled on the carpet and sulked for a minute before she went back outside to play.

2011-06-17 18.20.00

Friday, June 17, 2011

Are you reading Dr. Cat?

Seriously, are you reading Dr.Cat? No? You should be.
I love comics. I always remember reading the comics in the newspaper as a kid.
I don't get a newspaper now. But I've found fabulous comics.
Dr. Cat is one of them. He's a cat who is also a doctor.
Pretty amazing. Read it. You won't be able to resist how cute he is...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Kitty Saved My Life!!

I have a professor that hates cats. Whenever we talk about animals he talks about how much he thinks cats are terrible creatures. I'd say a lot of people agree. I think this story could lead some people to change their minds about how they feel about cats...

Source: CNN

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Chasing Birds and Swimming Pools

We're still working hard on getting our miles in for the Greenies Walk & Wag4 Life Campaign. Be sure to check in on my original post and tell me how many miles you've pledged for an opportunity to win a suite of Greenie's products.

Astrea's favorite thing to do of all time is chase birds, sort of. See, she doesn't exactly chase the birds, she chases their shadows. And it's not just limited to birds. Anything that flies and leaves a shadow on the ground is opened to be chased. I try to point out butterflies or other flying bugs to her to chase, but she's so busy looking at the ground waiting for the next shadow to pass that she ignores whatever I'm telling her.

2011-06-12 14.15.32

In an effort to spend more time outside and get her moving a little more to meet our Walk & Wag pledge, our afternoon walks have turned into a walk paired with thirty minutes of shadow chasing. You can see in the background of that picture there is a patio in our neighborhood with a lot of bird feeders. As a result, there are a lot of birds. I swear, if I let her, Astrea would sit in this spot all day long chasing birds. The only disappointing part about it is, my community has a very strict leash policy. Luckily she doesn't want to chase the birds very far and her leash is long enough that she gets the satisfaction of chasing one bird just in time for another to fly by and take her in the opposite direction.

2011-06-09 17.14.44

We've also been doing a lot of dog parking to get moving. Astrea isn't always a huge fan of the dog park. Sometimes it's too overwhelming with the number of dogs or some days she just isn't into it. However, with summer comes the pools. Astrea LOVES to get her feet wet. She loves running and chasing the ball for a few minutes and then taking a break to stand in the pool. Lucky for me she isn't the type to roll and get soaking yet, just a little wading in the pool and she's a happy girl, as you can see.

So as you can see we're still working hard to get our miles in - we're not quite half way there yet but we're 35 miles in and we're still going!! Don't forget - tell me how many miles you've pledged so you can win Greenies!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Mobile Monday: What?!

Ora and Astrea hate the computer. I keep telling them that it's just a few more weeks of school and then I won't have to be on the thing so much. In the meantime, Ora has figured out the easiest way to make me stop studying to pet her...


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Celebrity Sunday: Denise Richards

Denise Richards tweeted photos yesterday of her hanging out with Tori Spelling's pig and goat. As I browsed through Denise's pictures I discovered that she has the sweetest little animal family AND they're all rescues. Check out this little bunch, anyone who thinks you can't get a perfect little kitty or pup by adopting has obviously never met this gang...

The newest addition, Sophie.

I'm in love with her sweet little nose.

Hank getting ready to model for Modern Dog Magazine.

I think Sophie loves her big brother Hank.

Denise with Sophie and Hank:

More of Denise's little rescued family...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Take Dobby Home!!

Ok San Diego, are you looking for a sweet little dog with a blue mohawk? Have I got the dog for you... Meet Dobby!!!

Dobby is a sweet little pup eager to find a new home. Dobby loves to snuggle and is happy and willing to learn from his owner. If you are looking for a pup to tote around, Dobby would be so happy to let you take him along for a ride. He loves to play with his foster brothers and has his curious playful puppy mentality. Dobby is working on his potty manners and about 90% complete.

He's still growing, but his foster mom doesn't think that he is going to get over 20lbs full grown. Dobby is about 4 months old, crate trained, UTD on shots and neutered. If you're interested in meeting Dobby or for more info please contact his foster mom at aaofus_volunteer@yahoo.com.

And if Dobby isn't the right back for you, check out any of the other available pets from Animal Advocates of the US, they're a small, but dedicated team of U.S. and Mexican volunteers providing humane treatment and care to abandoned dogs and cats in the poorest communities of Mexico and finding forever homes for the fortunate few dogs and cats they're are able to save, heal and adopt to loving homes. These adoptable dogs and cats will be spayed or neutered and up to date on their vaccinations. They need you.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Trying to think of new activities?

Astrea and I are still working on our miles for Greenies Walk and Wag for Life. Have you seen our first post and heard how you can win a suite of Greenies products by participating?

This has been a bizarre spring and beginning of summer here in California. Up until today I would have thought it was February. Tons of rain, overcast, cold. I couldn't believe Sunday night when I was wearing a winter coat, scarf and hat to take Astrea for a walk. As a result of the weather, our efforts to get out and get our miles in have been slightly hampered.

I've been trying to make up by finding indoor activities to do. Astrea's not a huge fan of fetch, but will humor me and play sometimes if we're at home. Too bad I don't have a pool table, I could have tried this one!!

In the mean time, the weather is fabulous today. Astrea had tons of fun playing with her doggy friends at day camp and tomorrow hopefully we'll be able to get out and do some good long walks and make up for lost time. Don't forget, you have until June 25 to pledge your miles and enter to win a suite of Greenies!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Be Smart, Ride Safe

After my post yesterday of Astrea in her new seat I started doing more research, and thought I should help my readers understand a little more the importance of safe car rides. People have asked me why I got Astrea a booster seat and my answer is two reasons, first, I don't want her to get hurt. Second, I don't want to be decapitated by my dog. I know that second reason sounds silly, but in my crazy mind I can just imagine the headline, "Woman Decapitated by Dog Flying Through Car During Crash." And did you know an unrestrained, 60-pound dog is capable of causing an impact of up to 2,700 pounds? 2,700 pounds! I'm no scientist, so I can't say for sure if that would decapitate you, but I'm sure 2,700 pounds flying at you can do some real damage to you and your dog.

Also, an unrestrained pet in the car can slow down the response of emergency workers. You dog may get in the way of emergency workers or even bite someone trying to provide help. First responders nationwide have said that, “any time lost in the caring of accident victims due to the need to deal with a frightened or injured animal can and should be avoided.”

An unrestrained pet can also cause another accident, be lost or subsequently injured/killed if they leave the car. A scared animal will more than likely take off running from an accident, not only will this cause you more stress, it can have terrible result. A few months ago I heard a story about a woman who rolled her car, both of her dogs climbed out an open window and took off running down the freeway. She was hoping for their safe return, but last I heard the dogs were never found.

And finally, an unrestrained pet in your car could cause you to get into an accident. If your dog is walking around the car, hopping in and out of your lap and just generally being distracting you can not focus on the road like you need to. Distracted driving doesn't just involve texting - it's anything in your car that causes you to divert your attention from the road. With so many other people driving distracted, you have to be as focused as possible to respond and keep you and your pet safe.

So what can you do to keep yourself and your pet safe? Check out Bark Buckle Up or petautosafetyblog.com for tips on traveling safely and the best products for your pet. Then pledge to keep your pet safe and educate others about properly restraining their pets in the car by taking the Be Smart, Ride Safe Pledge. And just remember, it's easy to keep yourself and your pets safe in the car - so why wouldn't you want to?

Thanks to Be Smart, Ride Safe and Bark Buckle Up for the information!!

Monday, June 06, 2011

Mobile Monday: Car Safety

Over the weekend I posted a picture on facebook of Astrea in her brand new car seat.

2011-06-04 11.55.42

Not surprising to me, one of my friends commented that I was crazy and it wouldn't be long before I was pushing Astrea in a stroller. Now normally I would brush that type of comment off. I know the person was joking and it does look silly to have a dog in a car seat, but I was a little offended and here's why.

Twelve years ago when I started driving I got a curse or some bad juju or whatever you want to call it. In addition to numerous minor fender benders, 10 years ago I was rear-ended and spun out on the freeway. I watched as a semi-truck desperately hit it's breaks, stopping just a few feet short of hitting me. Three years ago I had a drunk driver cut across four lanes of traffic and drive head on into me without stopping. Three weeks ago a driver, not paying attention, failed to stop on the freeway and drove right into the back of my car. Of the numerous accidents I've been in, I've never been at fault. I somehow attract these people. It amazes me some days that I can even drive without being a basket case of anxiety.

2011-06-04 11.56.18

Up until this accident a few weeks ago I never really had any concern about anyone else in my car getting hurt. I've always been alone when these accidents have happened. I've only had Astrea for 2 years, so this was the first car accident I've been in since I've had her. As I was sitting on the side of the freeway looking at my car, crying my face off all I could think was - what if Astrea had been with me. She goes with me a lot of places. Most weekends we take road trips to see friends and family. And here I was on the side of the freeway and my car was totaled. The trunk was essentially in my backseat. I don't even want to imagine what would have happened to Astrea had she been in that backseat. I wouldn't be able to deal if she got injured, especially knowing that I could have prevented it. So no matter how crazy I might look - I got her a car seat. And yes, I know I could have got her the harness that straps her into the seat belt, but I figured, if she's going to be strapped in, why not make being in the car enjoyable for her. So now, in addition to be safe, she can see out the windshield and enjoy having the windows rolled down. And I can rest easier. Now I know, that should anything happen with her in http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifthe car I don't have to worry about any of the scary things that could happen.

So in the end the point of this post is... please keep your pets safe in the car. Find some way to make sure they're strapped in, whether it be seat belting in the crate or buying a seat belt harness - don't let your pets ride in the car unrestrained, the consequences could be terrible.

If you want more information on traveling safely with your dog, check out the ASPCA Fact Sheet or VPI Safety Tips.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Celebrity Sunday: Ice Loves Coco (and Spartacus)!

You knew it would happen. Ice T, Coco and Spartacus are back. If you haven't heard, my life is complete, Ice T and Coco have a new show airing on E! called, "Ice Loves Coco." And of course the real star of the show will be their super cute dog, Spartacus. Check out this clip from the preview for the new show. How can you not love this dog??

For those of you here trying to find out what kind of dog Spartacus is - he's an English Bulldog.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Sacramento June Adoption Specials

If you're in the Sacramento area looking to adopt a cat, kitten or a dog that looks in anything like a chihuahua - June is your month!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Walk and Wag for Life - Pledge Your Miles and WIN!!

Remember in November when I posted about Greenies Walk and Wag for Life Campaign? Well, Astrea and I pledged 200 miles. I had no idea how long that would take, but I thought it seemed doable. I didn't always remember to log our time, so it took us a little longer than it should have, ok much longer than it should have, but I started getting real good recently and have been logging every day and so we're almost done!

When Walk and Wag started after the total miles pledged reached 25,000 miles — a walk around the world — Greenies would make a contribution to Freedom Service Dogs to train and place six dogs with disabled veterans. For each additional 25,000 miles pledged, Greenies would fund two more dogs and veterans — up to 12 dogs in total.

As of May 2011, the number of miles pledged was well over 75,000 and Greenies didn't stop at 12 dogs... Greenies was able to donate the funds necessary to cover the costs of the training camp for 18 Freedom Service Dogs. And they still aren't stopping - Greenies has decided to keep donating!

So here is where you come in - in order to train more dogs, we need to keep pledging miles with our dogs! The more miles pledged the more dogs that can be trained and the more veterans that can benefit. Astrea and I have decided that we are going to really amp up our participation and we are pledging 100 miles in June! That's just a little more than three miles a day.

In an effort to get you all moving with your pets and encourage more miles pledged, Greenies has generously offered a suite of Greenies products for me to give away to one of my readers! So here's what you need to do win:

1. Go to http://apps.facebook.com/wag-n-walk, add your dog and pledge some miles. If you are unsure about participating - you don't just have to walk with your dog to meet your goal. When it comes time to track you can enter the minutes you were playing, walking, running, etc. and the app will estimate and convert that time into miles toward your goal. The whole point is to get you and your dog moving and playing.

2. Come back here and comment to let me know how many miles you've pledged with your dog, be sure to include your email address in case you win. If you don't feel comfortable leaving your email address, still comment and then send me an email at inthedoghouseblog@gmail.com. Each entry will be assigned a number and July 1, 2011 I will pick a winner using random.org! You can comment on this post to enter up until midnight on June 25, 2011.

I'll be posting each week about our progress, and I encourage you to comment with yours. At the end of June I'll do a final check in with you all again and see how many miles we were able to pledge and complete. Good luck and let's get moving!!

No purchase necessary to participate. Void where prohibited. No shipping cost to winner.


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