Thursday, March 26, 2015

Bobo The Cat Loves Vacuum Cleaners (Compilation)

Meet Bobo the cat! As I watch Bobo get vacuumed, I had two thoughts: I wondered if that cat was just too lazy to groom himself by licking himself clean, and I wondered if I could teach my cat to like to be vacuumed (just because it looks kinda fun), without causing him too much anxiety.

On her YouTube channel, Krzysztof Smejlis said that she didn’t teach Bobo to get vacuumed. Kryzysztof said: "When he was a little kitten (about 2-3 months old) he liked to play with the brush. Now getting vacuumed is a ritual for him." She also cautions, “Because it's unusual behavior - please don't try this on your own cat (unless you're sure in 100% that he likes it like Bobo, otherwise, you could hurt him and he could hurt you).”

With her input, I believe I’ll just watch the Bobo videos and not try to vacuum a cat in my house because I believe my kitty would probably hate the noise and the sensation. Besides, if I do something that really upsets my kitty, she might quit bringing me those stellar gifts of dead mice and birds. I don’t know what I’d do without those sweet gifts at the foot of my bed on a cool morning!

Does your cat have some unusual behavior?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Munchkin the Teddy Bear gets her exercise ORIGINAL

Do you suffer from “Cuteness Overload Syndrome?”  Then you don’t want to watch this video! This Shih Tzu mommy took a stuffed teddy bear and made it into a costume for her dog by cutting out the face and fitting it to her Munchkin. She then taught Munchkin to walk on a treadmill.

Beyond the sheer cuteness of this video, I started to wonder how difficult it would be to teach a dog to walk on a treadmill.  I also thought about how convenient it would be to have a dog that would walk on a treadmill.  In fact, Tyler Muto Dogmanship created a video that teaches you just that! The most important things I learned from the video were to introduce the dog to a slow treadmill first, reward them for being interested in the treadmill, raise the speed to their natural gait as soon as possible, and to never leave a dog on a treadmill unattended! There were many other lessons to be learned and I’m eager to get started teaching my dog Buffy to walk on a treadmill.

In the meantime, I have to watch Munchkin again-- it just doesn’t get any cuter!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

On Co-sleeping with Pets

I’m at home sitting in my king sized bed with my dog and kitty cuddled up next to me.  It never fails—our dogs always lay vertically, taking up the whole bed, leaving me squished to the wall or falling off the edge!

It turns out that dogs and people have been co-sleeping for centuries!  Dating back to Pre-Aztec culture, dogs acted as bed warmers and companions to people. In the Australian Outback, the saying: “three-dog night” was related to how many Dingo’s it took to stay warm.

It seems this habit has stood the test of time and has scientists studying both the benefits and disadvantages of co-sleeping with your pet.  Hal Herzog, PHD, conducted a study in an article for Psychology Today.  He studied over 1,000 people that co-slept with their pets and over 1,000 people that didn’t sleep with pets.  He found people who co-slept with their pets may take longer to fall asleep than people who did not co-sleep with pets.  Other than taking longer to fall asleep, there was no difference in the quality of sleep between the two groups.  In measuring the quality of their daily lives, people that co-slept with their pets were equally as productive and awake as people that slept in a pet-empty bed.  The study seems to shatter the myth that sleeping with your pet is problematic for your quality of rest.

I personally would have continued to sleep with my pets even if the study said it was not in my best interest!  But it is reassuring to know that sleeping with a healthy pet is not only fine but may bring psychological benefits to the owner.  A recent study in the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine confirmed that my pets can lower my heart rate, promote regular breathing and relax my muscles. The study also found that my stress related hormones dropped even more quickly than if I had taken medication to lower them!

I find it exciting that the scientific evidence is clear, there are great benefits to sleeping with my pet, both because I just love snuggles and because it is just plain healthy. But what about the health of my pet?  Is it healthy for my pets to sleep with me? Behaviorist Dr. Marsha Reich of Maryland believes that under normal circumstances, co-sleeping is healthy for the pet as well.  Dr. Reich believes that if your pet exhibits grouchy behavior while in your bed that they may need to get off.  However, as long as they mind their manners, the pet can stay.  More good news for our fur family!

There is nothing better at night than being tucked in bed with all the folks in my home that I love.  I know I would not change that no matter what my research or professionals said.  I am so glad that the research matches my beliefs, being surrounded by the ones you love is just plain healthy for everyone!

Is there ever a reason you would not sleep with your pet?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Brody Brixton at Twelve Weeks

Brody Brixton is tiny little French bulldog that has already learned some big boy manners. He sits, shakes, and he can also ring a bell.  This mini boy stole my heart when I first saw him.

As I watched Brody, I couldn’t believe how well trained he was for such a young puppy. Then I remembered a dog show I attended where a trainer spoke of positive reinforcement training for puppies. The trainer shared how important it is to be consistent when training a puppy.  She emphasized the importance of consistency and that part of training is that the dog be needs to be able to predict the consequences for their behaviors, so it’s imperative that the owner establish consistent rewards for desired actions.  A dog should never be rewarded for a behavior that isn’t desired and remember, that giving attention does serve as a reward.  I remember thinking that I was going to have to be more conscious about what I was doing so that I didn’t encourage behavior I considered negative.

As I was listening to her explain how she taught her dog to do some mind-blowing tricks, I was struck by the patience that is required to work with a dog. She said that you can shape a dog’s behavior in just a few days and it is the owner’s responsibility to pay attention to their dog’s behaviors and then encourage the ones they would like to continue.  For example, if I want my dog to shake, I have to praise and reward him for just moving his paw. That will encourage him to lift his paw and that will encourage him to put his paw in my hand and ultimately to “shake”. I’ll be watching Brody again as he performs his magical little tricks, he is just irresistible.

What is the next trick you are going to teach your dog?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

10 Dogs Who Love Their Cats

This inseparable duo...

This Golden who always wanted a kitten...

This Lab who hopes you don't mind being his furry chin rest...

These beach bums...

This Beagle who likes to show his love with impromptu cleaning sessions...

Flower children Oliver and Arashi

These furever friends...

This Husky that just wants to play!

These lookalikes...

...and last but not least...this patient pup and his kitten!

Do you have a photo to share? Send it to us at for consideration.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Purina Beneful is Toxic?

On February 5th in Contra Costa County, California, a class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of dog owners.  The lawsuit alleges that the dry “kibble”  produced by Purina’s Beneful brand contains propylene glycol (a component in antifreeze) and mycotoxins (toxins produced by mold) , resulting in as many as 3,000 dogs' illness or death.

Frank Lucido, the pet parent of three dogs: a German Shepard, an English Bulldog, and a Labrador Retriever, purchased a bag of Beneful dog food in December 2014. He noticed after just two weeks that his German Shepard exhibited signs of poisoning.  After an examination by his vet, it was confirmed that the dog had internal bleeding, a compromised stomach and liver, which are symptoms consistent with poisoning.
In January Lucido’s wife found their beloved English Bulldog in the yard and he had sadly passed away.  The English Bulldog also tested positive for the same poisoning symptoms.  The Lucido’s took their Lab to the vet so that he could also been treated for the same poisoning symptoms—possibly saving his life.

Because of his experience and that of 3,000 other dog owners, Lucido filed a class action law-suit to try to compensate the owners for their vet expenses and to get the dog food removed from the market.  Testing by a third party lab confirmed the presence of mycotoxins, most likely from mold in the grain.  Other sources say that the propylene glycol, used to keep the food moist, is also a known toxin that was used to be in cat food until it was outlawed.

While we wait for the outcome of this case, dog experts are warning dog owners to check the Dog Food Advisor site and avoid food that has less than a 4 star rating.

Friday, February 20, 2015

ARF is Making Dreams Come True

Tony LaRussa has been a manager in major league baseball for over 33 years. Not only is he an influencer on the field, but he’s also managed to make a splash in the pet rescue community as well. In 1991 Tony and his wife Elaine cofounded the Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) is located in Walnut Creek, California. The inspiration for the project came after Tony saved a kitten only to find out that there were no no-kill shelters in the East Bay of California. Tony decided to change that and opened ARF.

It was exciting to learn that ARF homes about 2,000 animals yearly and provides spay/neuter services to over 3,000.  They also provide classes for people and animals, have an emergency fund to help animals when they are sick, and collect and distribute over 170,000 pounds of food to animals that would have otherwise gone hungry.

Everyone knows the tune "You Make My Dreams" by Daryl Hall & John Oates. To help raise awareness of shelter pets in need, ARF put together this catchy lip dub that’s been trending on the web since it’s debut in early December. You can see how happy both shelter pets and volunteers alike are to be part of this amazing community. Watch and share with your friends – this is sure to put a smile on your face!