If Your Pet Could Talk....

Online Scam Targets Pet Lovers
Heather Dubose - wgrz.com

A warning for internet users: an online scam targeting pet-lovers is circulating the web, and it could cost you more than a new pet.

Eric and Amanda Potcovick fell victim to the scam earlier this month. The Angola couple had recently lost their 13-month-old boxer puppy, and in their search for a new pet, they stumbled across an online ad that caught their attention.

The ad was posted to a local online classified website by a man who claimed he was living in Florida. The seller said he had recently moved to Miami, and couldn't keep his dog due to his new living conditions. He was willing to give the Labrador Retriever puppy named Dely away for the cost of shipping, which was $220.

The Potcovick's emailed the man saying they were interested in dog. The man quickly wrote back, telling them about a pet carrier service he planned to use to ship the dog. The couple took a look at the website, and decided to seal the deal.

But before the couple had even sent out the money for shipping, they received an email stating the puppy was on its way.

"We thought that was kind of funny, said Eric Potcovick. "We didn't have any confirmation, like a phone call, saying they're sending the dog. But we thought well, if he sent the dog we don't have any other choice, the dog is coming now."

The couple sent the delivery service $220 by way of Western Union. That night, they began preparing for their new puppy to arrive. They went to the store and bought a cage, bed, and other items to help the dog feel comfortable. But on the morning the puppy was scheduled for delivery, the couple got a call from the pet carrier service.

"There was an issue. They would not release the dog to the delivery person to bring the dog down unless we had this paper."

The paper was a release stating the dog was in good health. The delivery service told the Potcovick's to send another $820 or risk losing the dog.

That's when the couple realized they'd been scammed. They told the person on the other end of the phone the deal was off. But the caller kept calling, becoming more aggressive each time.

"He kept calling me saying the dogs here," said Amanda Potcovick. "Making me feel like this poor dog is sitting somewhere unattended."

When the caller realized the couple wasn't sending the extra $820 he threatened to turn them into authorities and charge them with animal abandonment.

"We didn't know if something was really going to happen to us. We didn't know if we could get in trouble."

That's when they decided to call police. Authorities were at their home in less than an hour. They looked at the emails, the website, and tried to trace the phone calls. Officials determined the entire thing was a scam.

Officials told the Potcovicks this type of scam is getting more and more popular, however, very few people turn it in to authorities. Tonight they're urging anyone who thinks they've been scammed on the internet to contact police immediately. By doing so, officials can monitor the frequency and location of each incident.

The Potcovick's story does have a happy ending, though. The couple now has a new labrador puppy named Parker. They went to a breeder and picked him out themselves... and brought it home the very same day. They say they don't plan to make any online purchase anytime soon.

For more on internet scams and how to report them, click here.

from IHasAHotDog.com

Christmas Gift Ideas
for Scottie Lovers
by Free Dog Tips

As someone who is owned by a dear, stubborn little Scottie, I can assure you that, even if they started out with no intention of owning anything with a Scottie on it, your friends and family members who own one of these determined little dogs will appreciate a tasteful Scottish Terrier related gift.

I keep my collectibles strictly on one shelf. (The memo board and the purse don’t count. They just don’t. And if I were to get…say a vintage waste can with a darling little Scottie on it, it wouldn’t count either. I won’t be at all upset if there’s no room on the shelf for it. Honest.) The key to giving someone who loves one of these spunky terriers a gift he or she will love is to think about the practical use and the quality of the item. For example, coffee mugs are great, unless the handle is in the shape of a dog’s head and can’t be actually lifted by the handle. (I love it, but I can’t use it, so it sits on the display shelf.)

So, what are some good Christmas gift ideas for Scottie lovers? (Hey! Keep your hands off that waste basket. It is supposed to show up under MY tree.)

4.Useful mugs
8.Vintage finds
9.Memo board

from IHasAHotDog.com

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Dog Training Tips
For Overly Aggressive Dogs
Posted by dogwhisperer - HowtoTrainYourPuppy.org

If you have an overly aggressive dog, even one that usually acts shy, then you should know that it is extremely important that you begin training him in proper behavior. Don’t let his instincts run wild to the point where he might hurt another dog or a person. You want your family to feel safe around him. You don’t want to put your dog down some day because you didn’t train him. Here are four dog training tips that may help.

1. Training Sessions

Set up training sessions for your dog that are designed to build his confidence and sense of security. Most dogs have a fear of something. It might be meeting other people while out walking, loud children running around, or meeting up with other dogs. Because of this, you should create a controlled environment where you can ease these tensions. For example, you could arrange to have one of your friends come up to you while you are out walking your dog. Have your friend hand him a treat. This will give your dog a positive experience and help him become more comfortable.

2. Socialization

Your dog may act aggressive simply because he is not used to being around other dogs and he is unsure of himself. You can usually change this behavior fairly easily by slowly getting him more comfortable in the company of dogs. Begin by taking him where other dogs are but keep his leash on to help him stay in control and feel safe. If he shows signs of anger, firmly discipline him with a tug on the leash so he understands the behavior is not acceptable. Leave if he becomes overly excited. As he becomes more comfortable watching other dogs moving about and understands he is supposed to play nice, you can let him join in the fun. Don’t remove his leash until you are sure he is ready for it.

3. Avoid Aggressive Adult Dogs

Whatever you do, don’t let your dog hang around with older aggressive dogs and pick up their bad habits. This is one of the top dog training tips. It’s just the same as with people. You don’t want your kids to hang around with the bad crowd. You want them to be with positive, successful and confident people and you want your dog to be around calm, happy and playful dogs.

4. Muzzle

Also in the top dog training tips is to use a muzzle on your dog while he is in training. Be sure to get him used to wearing it while he is around the house so it will not be a big deal for him to put it on when it is time for a lesson. The muzzle is merely a precaution for the safety of your dog and other dogs or people. It can be removed once he has made some progress.

These dog training tips can help you manage your overly aggressive dog and begin to change his behavior so he is more at ease with other dogs and people. It doesn’t take a lot of work but it does take consistency.

An overly aggressive dog can be trained just as easily as any other dog, especially dogs that act aggressively because they feel afraid or unsure of their surroundings. You’ll be glad you took the time to do some dog training with your dog. It will make him a better pet and family member.

from IHasAHotDog.com

After Five Days,
Treed Cat is Rescued

ENDWELL -- After spending five days in a tree, Buddy the cat was rescued Sunday night.

Ron and Isabel Dwornik, who live in Pleasant Acres in Endwell, noticed five days ago their neutered male cat hadn't returned home. He had disappeared before, but as time passed they became worried.

About a mile away on Rosewood Terrace in Endwell, Laura Dillow was caring for boyfriend Steve Kupski, who was recovering from surgery, when she learned about a cat stuck in a tree behind the house.

Dillow, who has two cats of her own, contacted the Press & Sun-Bulletin and a story was posted Saturday night on pressconnects.com.

Ron said he regularly checks this newspaper's Web site and he knew Dillow had found his cat, but wasn't about to climb the tree that had no lower branches.

Dillow called her friend Vestal Fire Chief Charles Paffie who spent about four hours trying to rescue the cat. Matco Electric arrived Sunday morning, after Marc Newman put Dillow in touch with the company, and spent three hours using a bucket truck. Buddy climbed higher, out of reach of the truck.

Someone else who read the story on the Web site put Scott Cook, co-owner of Cook's Tree Service in Vestal, in touch with Dillow. Around 5:15 p.m. Sunday, Cook climbed about 65 feet up the tree, snatched the cat and climbed down with the cat in a sack.

"He was like Spiderman," said Isabel. "I was just holding my breath hoping the two wouldn't fall."

Back on the ground, Isabel held Buddy as he quickly wolfed down cat food Dillow provided and was put safely in a car. He appeared OK, noted Isabel.

"You're an angel," she told Dillow as she hugged her.

from IHasAHotDog.com

Dear Abby:
Readers Bark at Dog Advice

DEAR ABBY: You advised “Pooped Out in North Carolina” that as long as dog doo-doo is securely sealed in a bag, you saw no harm in putting it in a stranger’s garbage can.

While I agree in principle, as a homeowner who is a frequent recipient of foreign feces, there is a practical issue that you may not have foreseen. Our garbage collectors will not dispose of small bags of dog poop; they will only take trash bags of the larger size one would expect to contain household waste.

The result is that after our trash is taken, we’re left with several bags of strangers’ dog waste in the bottom of the can. My wife and I have to pull these bags out and add them to larger bags of garbage. Otherwise, they’ll remain at the bottom of the can indefinitely.

So while putting one’s dog droppings in a stranger’s trash may appear to be harmless, it may also have consequences you didn’t consider. I would suggest that pet owners err on the side of taking it home. And if you don’t want to carry it for 15 minutes, don’t walk your dog 15 minutes from your house. — Frequent Feces Finder

DEAR F.F.F.: I’m sorry to say my advice to “Pooped” landed me in the doghouse. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: You should have told “Pooped” to check the local laws first. In my community, if you’re caught putting your trash in someone else’s container, you are made to clean it out, fined and sometimes given jail time. — Tom in Reed City, Mich.

DEAR ABBY: A lot depends on how the trash is collected. My trash collector and the nearby city collectors just come and pull the bags out of the cans. That little baggie, if deposited in my trash can, would either be knocked out on the ground or fall to the bottom of my trash can. Neither is acceptable.

On the other hand, some of my neighbors use a trash service that utilizes a truck with a mechanical arm that turns the cans upside down and empties them into the truck. In a case like that, I don’t see what difference it makes whose can it’s “deposited” in. — Connie in Paris, Tenn.

DEAR ABBY: I walk my dogs through the neighborhood and, as a responsible pet owner, I clean up after them. Often, however, I wonder why I bother. Many dogs here run loose and leave their messes wherever they please with no one to clean up after them. I think that neighbors should thank pet owners who do clean up — no matter where they deposit the doo-doo. — Dog Walker in Layton, Utah

DEAR ABBY: When we walk our dog, we always carry a bag. I have seen others “scoop” up after their dog and then toss it under the bushes. Carry it home, folks! Or, as the gentleman did, place it in a trash container. If it is on the curb, it is public property. — Scooper in Florida

DEAR ABBY: We walk our dogs four times a day and place their carefully bagged “deposits” only in the trash at our house. We do this for two reasons: One, people can be territorial about their refuse containers and resent any “unauthorized” garbage placed there. Two, many homeowners hate finding animal waste on their property or in their trash.

Abby, please rethink your reply to “Pooped Out.” He sounds lazy. His wife, family and co-workers, on the other hand, appear to be responsible and considerate. — Picker-Upper in California

© Universal Uclick 12/1

Write Dear Abby at DearAbby .com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. Dear Abby runs Monday through Saturday.

from IHasAHotDog.com

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Obedience Dog Training You Want

I was thinking to myself, “Why would I need obedience training for my dog”? Then, I came to realize obedience training is just like potty training a toddler.

Like everyone, I had to decide on dog a name which was the fun part. I just had to say the heck with it.

I went to the kennel and picked out a Red male Doberman pinscher. I fell in love with that dog, but really the struggle was yet to come. People insisted that I send him to dog training classes. Different scenario’s just kept popping up like obedience training, dog training collars, dog behavior training and potty training. I realize that this is where money starts to add up. It’s like having a child!

I live in Manhattan, in other words, “dog heaven”. It looks like there are just as many dogs as there are people, with these dogs walking around with their masters. I was still adjusting to buying dog treats for the little guy while my girlfriend wanted to pick out some special dog collars, which can be “an arm and a leg” also. “Dobee” was a 5 months and growing fast so I opted for real positive dog training. I was shocked to see over 216,228 dog owners worldwide have been successful with their obedience training, and solved their dog’s behavior problems.

The best decision I could of made, honestly.

You do not want this to happen. “He steals food from the plae.” “he won’t come back when he is called.” “He destroyed the living room furniture.” “He barks all night.” “He’s a great dog, but I wish he wouldn’t . . . “

from IHasAHotDog.com

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Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?
By Amy W. B.

Cats sleep about twice as much as humans. Though their sleep hours may vary depending on their age, size and temperament, on average cats sleep about 13 - 16 hours per day. They spend about 2/3s of their lifetime snoozing.

Why Do Cats Need So Much Sleep?

Cats' penchant for sleep is still a mystery. However, one thing that can help us explain cats' sleeping patterns is to understand that most of felines are crepuscular animals which means active during dawn and dusk (Sand cats are nocturnal). Many people assume that their cats are active at night because they are often awaken very early in the morning. The truth is that cats actually spend most of their night time sleeping.

Cats' crepuscular nature comes from their hunting habit. Cats are natural predators that hunt for small animals such as rodents, birds or even bugs. Their prey is most active when the sun comes up in the morning and right before it goes down in the evening. When cats are not hunting, they take plenty of naps.

Cats Sleeping Patterns Nowadays

Nowadays most cats live indoors. Their sleeping patterns are often influenced by their owners. If their human parents are away most of the day, cats may take this time to sleep and replenish. However, in some cases, they sleep out of boredom because they do not have anyone or other animals to interact with.

If your cat tends to stay up at night, the best way to deal with this situation is to keep your cat up more during the day. You can do that by spending quality playtime with your cat or providing interactive toys such as the FroliCat Bolt that will get your cat to move around.

Every cat has a sleep schedule that they'd like to stick with. If you have discovered a change in your cat's sleeping habit such as sleeping excessively more or less, it may indicate a problem that needs to be checked out by a veterinarian.

If a cat is displaying signs such as lethargy or loss of appetite, the cat may be ill. In cases where a cat is getting far less sleep than usual, it can be a hyperthyroid problem. Cats with hyperthyroidism experience excessive thyroid hormone which shoots up the cat's metabolism and causes the cat to lose sleep.

The reason cats tend to wake up their owners at around 5a.m. in the morning has to do with their reaction to the sun. Cats are crepuscular animals that read time according to sunlight. If you want them to sleep more in the morning, one strategy is to cover all the windows with blinds. Another tip is that after you are up by your cats' morning meows, do not feed them right away. Because by doing so, you are reinforcing their behavior because they will learn that by waking you up early in the morning, they will be provided with a hearty breakfast.

Cats Really just Nap

Cats don't sleep 16 hours consecutively. Often you see cats take intervals to nap. The reason of that has to do with their predator instinct. Cats are very alert about their environment and will wake up to check their surroundings to ensure everything is OK.

Kittens require more sleep than adult cats. Partly due to the fact that kittens are developing and by staying in the nest most of the time, they are less exposed to potential predators. When a kitten grows into a young cat, he will start conforming to adult cat sleeping patterns.

Do Cats Dream During Sleep?

Cats are often seen to twitch their paws and whiskers, move their eyes as if they are running and pouncing on small critters in their dream. Cats also go through both Rapid Eye Movement (REM) and non-REM sleep where during non-REM sleep, they repair themselves and allow their body to grow.

Where do Cats Sleep?

Cats sleep in any places they feel fit. The criteria they are looking for in a perfect napping spot is usually a soft, warm, comfortable and safe place. However, if the temperature is high, they prefer sleeping all stretched out. If the weather is cold, they will curl up, cover their face with their paws or even lie nearby a heat source. That explains why my cats love leaning against my computer in winter time.

This article was originally published on LoveMeow

Love Meow is a website for ultimate cat lovers. It provides various cat stories, facts, information, photos, videos and much more. Readers are able to find all sorts of information they need for their beloved cats.

Love Meow periodically holds various photo or giveaway contests where cat lovers from all over the world can participate.

Love Meow's mascot cat is called Jackie, a mixed Turkish Van.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Amy_W._B.

from IHasAHotDog.com

How to Prevent Your Dog
from Barking at Roommates
by Staff Writer - ApartmentRatings.com

Living in an apartment-sized space with roommates can be stressful of its own accord. While some roommates may be mindful and courteous of your dog, others are less than pleased to be living with a dog. And to have your dog barking at roommates is a situation that can add stress to your relationship with your roommates. However, there are a few things that you can do to reduce the amount of barking your dog does at your roommates and hopefully create a better living situation.

Socializing Your Dog

If your dog is not adequately socialized with people, it can lead to them being fearful, defensive and annoying when other people are present. People like your roommates might fall into this category. If you have roommates that are willing to work with your dog through this process, your task will be that much easier. However, if you roommates respond unkindly to your dog, it could only escalate the problem.

In order to socialize your dog, try taking them to dog parks where they can have the opportunity to be around other dogs as well as other owners. This will show that there people are common and there is no reason to become hyperactive in their presence. You can also try taking your dog to family functions and pet stores. This will also give your dog the chance to become more comfortable around different types of people.

Work at Training Your Dog

There are several books on the market that can aid you in training your dog. These books are written by professionals who can pass on their good advice to you and help you to train your dog yourself. Before training your dog, remember that you will have to be patient. Your dog does not understand the English language, but he can pick up on tone of voice and irritation. Your response to your dog’s actions will determine how your dog reacts to you. So, patience is definitely a virtue when training your dog.

Keep in mind that when training your dog, you need to teach him the benefits of reward and the consequences of disobedience. When you reward your dog for good behavior, he will remember the behavior and associate it with a reward. Likewise, if you give your dog the cold shoulder when he barks or acts out, he will associate that behavior with the lack of your attention.

Consider Obedience School

Obedience school is a good way of treating behavioral problems. While most dogs can be trained from their master’s hand, some dogs require personal attention from a professional trainer. Professional trainers are experienced in teaching dogs basic commands, such as sit, come, lie down and roll over. They can also be effective at teaching your dog when it is appropriate to communicate, such as when they need to go outside to relieve themselves. Additionally, a personal trainer can teach your dog a different way of communicating, such as sitting at the front door when they need to relieve themselves rather than barking. Teaching your dog a new way of communicating will help him in his efforts to act appropriately around your roommates.

However, before you can start any training regime, you have to determine whether the problem is behavioral or incidental. Barking is a dog’s best means of communication. So, it is important to remember that your dog’s barking is meant to send a message to you. However, sometimes the message is not meaningful and therefore has no place. If your dog tends to bark at all people, including your roommates, there is likely a behavioral issue at hand that needs to be addressed. Likewise, if your dog only barks obnoxiously at your roommates, it could indicate a general disliking for your roommates.

from IHasAHotDog.com

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