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  • All About Dogs

    Product Reviews, Behavior, health, humor, quotations, facts, news and stories about dogs. Read More
  • All About Critters

    Take a look at what it means to have ferrets, rabbits, mice, rats, guinea pigs, and more. Read More
  • Walking on the Wild Side

    Check out our animal profiles, rescues, articles, news and profiles - all about wild animals Read More
  • Traveling with Pets

    Be sure to check this section out before you hit the road with your pet! We've got a look at pet-friendly hotels, the guidelines of air, train, bus and auto travel, and much more. Read More
  • All About Horses

    Learn about equine science, whether you're an aspiring rider or a long-time owner, we have the latest in products, breeds, and more. Read More
  • All About Cats

    Product Reviews, Behavior, health, humor, quotations, feline facts, news and stories. Read More
  • Behavior Problems? We have answers.

    Learn about behavior from our team of experts. Whether you have cats, dogs, reptiles, horses or birds, we can help you learn to live with them. Read More
  • All About Birds

    If the avian life is for you, we've got a look at the best products, interesting species, and how to select and care for birds. Read More
  • All About Reptiles

    A look at our cold-blooded friends and discovering how to care for these fun loving creatures! Read More
  • All About Fish and Ponds

    If you're a novice fish and pond enthusiast, join us as we discover the newest aquariums, beautiful backyards, and plenty of informative information about fish. Read More
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  • Feline Navidad

    The holiday season is upon us; surrounding us with good will, lots of chill, and neighbors in competition to see who can place the most strands of lights into one electrical outlet. We wear cheerful holiday colors of red and green, and place artificial reindeer antlers and Santa hats on the heads of our unhappy pets.

    I love the holiday season. I love the brisk, cool winter days of the desert and the happiness that seems to exude from my fellow drivers as they allow me to cut in front of them during rush hour. And I especially love the thousands of holiday lights that adorn my neighbors’ homes. But even more than that, I love to watch my “anti-Christmas” cats struggle to bring them to the ground.

    Yes, this is the time of year that we gently place delicate handmade baubles in our windows and fragile glass ornaments on our newly cut Christmas trees.

    Some of us do it more than once…

    Read More
  • 10 Weird Things We Have to Explain to Visitors

    We love our animals. We mostly tolerate humans. Out of about 7+ billion people on the planet (which, let’s face it, is WAY too many) - I enjoy the company of maybe, I don’t know, maybe 26 of them.

    Eventually, though, we all have to interact with our own species. The holidays are coming up and we’ll have to socialize and attend parties and do human stuff. And let’s face it - humans aren’t so bad when they love animals as much as you do.

    When we are feeling sociable enough to allow visitors, there are invariably things that we have to explain.

    If you have animals, you probably already know about these things. But if you don't, here's what we will probably need to help you understand...

    Read More
  • 10 Possible Reasons Your Cat Is Behaving Badly

    If your healthy cat is suddenly peeing on your bed or spraying in your office, if he's taken to running around at strange hours of the night, or mewing inconsolably all night, there are several possible explanations. Of course, you must always take them in for a vet check to eliminate any possible health conditions like blockages or disease. But health problems have been eliminated and your cat is still acting out inappropriately, here are some possible explanations.

    Room Deodorizers

    Everyone has probably used a room deodorizer in their home, particularly if they have cats. One of the most common places to put diffusers and other such items are near the litter-box. Avoid doing this! It can cause undue stress on  your cats and even make it difficult for them to use the litter box.

    Solve This: Instead of placing a deodorizer or diffuser near your cat's box, try one of the helpful Litter Box Deodorizers on the market. You can also tape live charcoal on the side or the bottom of the box or sprinkle the box with baking soda prior to putting cat litter inside.

    Read More
  • Winter Caretaking of Feral Cats

    We have long been supporters of feral cats and advocate the use of Trap, Neuter & Release (TNR) as a form of managing feral cat colonies. Caretakers who support these animals are a special breed as they are able to care for an animal that is unable to care back – as far as we’re concerned, that’s the truest type of love.

    It makes us very happy when we can introduce new products designed specifically to keep feral cats safe and warm, while making the caretakers job a little bit easier. Today I want to show off a specialty feral cat house and a feral cat feeder that is available for purchase. While it is entirely possible to make a feral cat shelter and feeding platform, we know that many people would prefer to buy one ready-made and Feline Furniture is our “go to” group for these products.

    Feral Cat Feeding Station : This station keeps food off the ground, offers shelter from rain and snow, and protects animals while they eat. The curved design allows for easy feeding and cleaning. On Sale Now for Only $58 thru Amazon.

    Read More
  • Animals and Their Souls

    I was talking with a co-worker the other day and he informed me that animals do not have emotions. This occurred just after he told me (the day that I put my dog of 17 yrs down) that animals do not have souls and therefore will never enjoy the concept of heaven.

    Now, this co-worker has the disadvantage of being, what I refer to, as a "bible-thumper." He is, in fact, a born-again Christian. Please bear in mind that I have nothing against Christians, nor do I have anything against religion in general. I do, however, have a problem with this co-worker passing along faulty information. Animals do have emotions and they also have souls, and I'll tell you how I know that... In over twenty years of working with animals, I have never seen a kitten duct-tape a live human baby to a freeway. I also have never seen a cat find enjoyment from setting a human on fire.

    Read More
  • My Dogs Ate Your Elf on a Shelf

    I’m sure this post will strike fear into the hearts of Elf on the Shelf fans everywhere. It will probably give little kids nightmares and send shelf elves scurrying home to the North Pole forever. But you know I had to write it… If you’re not familiar with the concept of Elf on a Shelf, (and as an animal lover who doesn’t allow impish elves to lie idly around the house, you may not), allow me to enlighten you.  Elf on a Shelf was invented as a way to make human kids behave during the holiday season. All it does for animal lovers is create another mess to clean up, but that’s another story. As the story goes, the Elf on the Shelf is a family’s “personal elf” sent by Santa himself to keep an eye on the family’s behavior during the holiday season. Each night from Thanksgiving to Christmas, the elf reports back to Santa with either a good or a bad progress report. He does this through magic. If you touch the elf, it loses its magic and therefore can’t report to Santa, which is very bad. If you don’t touch the elf, and he successfully reports back to the toy man, you get a good stash of holiday goodies. The Elf on the Shelf also determines whether you make it onto the “naughty” or the “nice” list. If you’re nice, you’re in the clear. If you’re naughty, no gifts for you. And Elf sees everything..... When I was growing up, we had something similar - but we called it “coal in the stocking” and in cases of severe trouble, we had “wait until your dad gets home.” I guess kids don’t have that anymore. Instead they have magical elves silently judging them.

    Read More
  • Dog Etiquette: Leashes

    Recently, we posted on Facebook that we were out walking our dogs and experienced two small, off-leash dogs aggressively running to our much larger, leashed dogs. My dogs were both on-leash and controlled, but I was still annoyed. After posting my experience, I received a lot of responses - some of which were a bit negative due to the fact that one of my dogs looks like a pit bull (apparently I shouldn't be walking him?). Here’s the thing: It doesn’t matter if my dogs are pit bulls or chihuahuas or golden retrievers. In fact, I could have been walking alone, or riding a horse, or walking my cat. The fact is, dogs of any size should never run up on another person or animal without being invited to do so. It’s a common courtesy that could save your dog’s life.

    Here are just a few reasons why...

    Read More
  • Our Holiday Tradition: Footed Pajamas

    Growing up, Christmas was a special time in our house. We spent days decorating our home, we baked delectable goods for weeks prior to the event, and on Christmas Eve, we were all allowed to open one gift. The gift was always pajamas because my parents were big fans of making sure we always looked our best for Christmas day photos.

    Usually these were footed pajamas, which made us look extra cute. We called them bunnies but I'm not sure why we called them that. All I know is that they made excellent slip-n-slide wear when we slid down the stairs and they were super warm in winter. It’s a tradition that we have continued in our adult years. So, when FootedPajamas asked us if we would take a look at their matching footed pajamas for pets and people, we jumped at the chance. This is a fun way to begin the holidays - even if your kids have four legs instead of two.

    Read More
  • Preparing Pets for Holiday Visitors

    Holidays are stressful for everyone, including your pets. If you’re into the whole “impression management” thing (and I admit that we tried for years, but have long since quit caring), you know that there's not much you can do about the chewed up couch (other than a well-placed blanket) or those pet beds scattered throughout the home, but there are things you can do to make visits from neighbors and friends less stressful for you and your pets. This article is devoted to the introvert in all of us!

    In this article, we focus on trying to keep our pets from jumping on visitors (easier than you may think), properly introducing our pets to company, training children on how to approach and work with animals, and keeping everyone (as well as your home) smelling fresh.

    Post your Priorities

    Hang your favorite sign at the door so that everyone knows not only that you have pets, but also the right of way. It's also good to remind people that the cats should never be let out (no matter what they tell you) and that your pets live with you, but visitors are temporary. These are a few of the signs we like.

    Read More
  • Keeping You and Your Pets Safe Without Power in Winter

    The weather is moody as a wild cat and these days, no one really knows what to expect. When a cold front moves in, it can easily cause road delays making you late for dinner or freeze power lines and take out heaters.

    That means dangerous conditions for our pets, as well ourselves.

    You already know the basics: Keep your pets indoors, make sure any outdoor animals (horses, cattle, even feral cats) have access to extra calories and warm blankets, as well as covered shelter. I"m sure you also remember that you cold-weather and aquatic pets are going to require extra care until power is restored.

    But, once you get past the basics, there are a few other things to consider, particularly when it comes to birds, aquariums, reptiles and stray animals or livestock. You'll also want to look at some alternative ways to keep you and your pets entertained - and we've got plenty of suggestions for you.

    Read More
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Fun Projects with #BLUESantaSnacks

The holidays are the best time of the year for me and my family. The weather has finally cooled down Read More

The Hatch Allows You to Comfort Your Dog Safely During Travel

It’s not too often we cover Kickstarter products, but this is one that has to be seen to believed and Read More

5 Travel Tips to Keep Pets Safe On the Road with SolvIt

Traveling with your pet is a lot like traveling with a 2-year-old child. If it’s time to take your pets Read More

Tipping Guide for Pet Professionals

Gratuities can be a bone of contention among many pet parents. They shouldn't be, though. We entrust others with the Read More

Swiffer and BarkBox Remind New Pet Parents that #ShedHappens

Everyone remembers their first pet. Whether it was a guinea pig, hamster, dog or a cat - nothing beats that feeling Read More

Police Dog Killed in Anti-Terrorist Raids #RIPDiesel

Photo Credit: CNNPhoto Credit: CNNThe Paris attacks have had a profound effect on everyone in the world. The animal world Read More
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A few years ago, my husband and I got a new dog. We obtained this puppy, whom we christened “Cheiss,” through a series of serendipitous events – more specifically when Sam, my husband, accidentally ran over the little guy with his car. Now, it’s not that we make a habit of running puppies down with our car. We generally obtain our pets through traditional methods, namely through adoption or rescue (but not a rescue that was caused by us).

This event was unusual to say the least, and occurred when the puppy bolted across six lanes of traffic, moving at roughly 45 mph,and darted directly under Sam’s vehicle. So, the running over part was a bit inevitable.

(There is an argument that Cheiss threw himself under the car because on some level, he knew his situation couldn’t get much worse and in the process won the equivalent of the doggy lottery, but we’ll never know for sure…)

Needless to say, my husband was devastated. And so, he frantically called me from his cell phone after the young pup miraculously scampered off from his 45-mph collision and disappeared into the nearby desert.

"I can’t find him anywhere," Sam frantically reported. "Come help me look for him!"

As the accident had occurred on a six-lane road, near the freeway off-ramp, in the wild deserts of Arizona, we had a fairly large search area. But luck was with us that day, and we located not only the puppy, but also his homeless owners and two doggie brothers who were all living out of shopping carts on the Indian reservation.

Cheiss had fallen into a nearby canal as his homeless owners passively sat nearby, watching him struggle to get out of the water with countless injuries. "My husband just ran over your dog." I shouted in their direction as I ran towards the struggling pup, being the first to arrive on the scene. "We need to get him to a vet." They simply nodded and replied rather coldly. "We know – we saw him get hit." In disbelief, I shook my head and told them that we were taking their pup to the veterinarian. But they were in no hurry to help and instead stood by passively watching as Sam wrestled their frightened pup out of the canal.

Finally, in desperation I yelled at the passive group. "Either you can help us catch him, or I can call the cops and they can help us."  Cops apparently got their attention, and they finally assisted my husband in fishing the injured pup from the canal. The young dog was in shock, that much was obvious. I mean, he had just been struck by a vehicle and drug fifty feet, which is enough to throw anyone into shock. So we rushed him to the nearest veterinarian’s office that, by good fortune, was the same veterinarian who cared for all of our animals. The good-natured doc shook his head, figuring that we had just found the dog lying on the side of the road and spent a few minutes chastising the irresponsible driver who had left a young animal in such pain. Finally, he looked up and asked if we had seen the accident.

I glanced at Sam who was by now feeling wretched and mumbled, “I was the accident." Dr. Florez hastily mumbled an apology, and proceeded to tell us that he saw a precious few people who brought in a dog they had run over, then remained willing to pay for it’s care – a statement that saddened us even more. He continued the examination a bit more consoled that there was indeed good in the world, and identified the dog as a “chow mix,” estimating his age to be about 4 months. We spent the afternoon anxiously awaiting the x-rays, blood-work, and exam results. When the call came finally came in, the diagnosis was poor, but our veterinarian remained optimistic.

“He has a crushed femur, which will need to be removed,” he said with his heavy South American accent. “He’s anemic from tick infestation, has fleas, possibly tick fever, and worms. He’s severely undernourished and only weighs 12 lbs.”

Sam and I just stared at the vet, asking what he recommended, while dreading the answer. Dr. Florez just smiled. “Let’s get him fixed up.” After a quick discussion on the formidable charges involved with "fixing" the little guy up, and that was even after our good vet’s deep discounts and offer to waive several major costs if we would agree to offer the dog a lifelong home, Sam and I added a neuter, vaccinations, and flea/tick dip to the long list of services and left him in the veterinarian’s capable hands as we arrived home trying to figure out how to pay for the expensive event. Three days later we took Cheiss (short for "Cochise") home as our newest addition to the family. And that’s when the games began… Dr. Florez had told us he believed the dog to be a chow mix. But, we soon took issue with that when he began herding both my husband and I. When our kids came over, he began nipping at their heals to get them into a position that he thought they needed to be in, and even the other dogs found themselves in separate corners of the yard with our nipping little "chow" mix at their heals. Our legs became peppered with tiny little bruises, and we were mostly afraid to enter the room where Cheiss resided. But it wasn’t until the cats curiously poked their heads out from hiding that our real problems began. As it turns out, cats don’t like to be herded. The problem escalated when Cheiss decided that our coyote should be herded as well – away from the food.

Tristan, the coyote, took immediate offense to being moved around by a 4-month old puppy, and he began educating the pup on life in our very hierarchical pack. Beagles don’t appreciate being herded either, nor do people, and for a good month, our household was in an uproar over the new addition. The cats hissed their malcontent, the coyote set out to train the newcomer, and as Cheiss’ leg healed, and he doubled in size, our pup’s arrogance increased as well. He was obviously an intelligent dog, despite the concussion and possible brain damage that he had sustained in the accident. But we found that our other pets had taken on the responsibility of training the little one.

Cheiss learned that "to herd" was to be forced into submission by the coyote, or be scratched across the nose by a cat; and he learned that no matter how hungry he is, the coyote always eats first. The pecking order had to be clearly established, but we can now walk freely through the kitchen area without fear of being nibbled. His shattered leg, and the empty socket that once blanketed a crushed femur, is nearly healed. We have all learned a valuable lesson in the last couple of months, and that is: there is a big difference between pack animals and herd animals. Cows, sheep, and horses live in herds. Dogs, coyotes and cats live in packs (okay, or “prides”). You cannot mix the behaviors, they are sole and separate. After several years, Cheiss is now playing peacefully with the Beagle, being respectful towards the cats, and acting very much the gentleman towards the Alphas, which consist of myself and my husband. While there have been ongoing attempts at takeovers of the pack from Tristan, we have seen new hope spring forth from the eyes of this puppy. We continue our hope for a long, quiet and peaceful life together. As new rescues come and go, we have learned that anyone can become an integral part of the pack. We are thinking, for Cheiss’ sake, our next adoptions should be a herd animal. While he is currently ruled by his favorite red ball that he prefers for fetch, we can see in this Chow-Aussie mix the heart of a herd dog.

Herding cats is a tough business - but someone's gotta do it...

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Author: stacymantle
About the Author

Stacy Mantle is a freelance writer who currently resides in the southwestern deserts of Arizona with a few dogs, several cats, and a very understanding husband. She is a regular contributor to Pet Age Magazine, Catster, Animal Behavior College, and of course, PetsWeekly. Many of her stories and articles have been translated into several languages, and now reach an international audience. She is also the author of a bestselling urban fantasy/thriller, Shepherd's Moon; a humor book entitled, Conquering the Food Chain: Living Amongst Animals (Without Becoming One), and a line of Educational Activity Books for children.

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