A Kittens Bucket List and a Heartwarming Dog Rescue

S.F. Zoo Pulls Tony the Tiger from Moat
Jill Tucker, SF Chronicle Staff Writer

Tony the tiger was feeling grrrreat, albeit a bit groggy Tuesday, one day after firefighters and San Francisco Zoo officials hit him with tranquilizer darts and pulled him out of a moat where he spent four nights.

The 360-pound Siberian tiger, who is 18 years old, or 90 in cat years, had climbed down Thursday into the dry moat in the tiger enclosure.

The spot is one of his favorite places in the outdoor enclosure, but this time, he refused to leave.

Given his age, zoo officials didn't want to try to starve him out. So they tossed his daily dose of medicine-laced meatballs, other food and buckets of water into the moat. Tony played with the buckets and looked healthy and content in the moat, with no sign he wanted to leave.

"He just was not motivated to climb the steps or rocks to return to his exhibit," said mammal curator Ingrid Russell-White said in a statement.

No wonder.

"He was getting room service," zoo spokeswoman Lora LaMarca said.

On Monday, zoo officials decided enough was enough. The tiger poop in the moat was getting out of control and with rain forecast, they worried the water mixing with his food would draw flies and create a health hazard, LaMarca said.

That's when San Francisco firefighters got the call to help rescue a cat - albeit not one stuck in a tree.

"It's a very unusual call," said Fire Department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge.

The firefighters set up the kind of rescue used to pull someone up from a cliff.

"The setup is all the same, the equipment is all the same," Talmadge said. "The subject just happened to be a tiger."

Anesthetized and intubated, Tony was loaded onto a board, strapped down and hauled out with a pulley about 8:30 a.m.

It took a little more than two hours to complete the mission, zoo officials said.

Tony the tiger is rescued by SF firefighters and zoo officials after refusing to leave the moat of his enclosure.

On Tuesday, Tony was resting comfortably in his night enclosure and was on exhibit later in the day.

He won't be allowed outside until the curators can figure out how to keep him from getting into the moat again, LaMarca said.

Tony's most recent veterinary review showed him in good health, although showing signs of senility, zoo officials said.

Siberian tigers have a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years in the wild and 14 to 20 years in captivity. The zoo has two other tigers, Leanne, a 7-year-old female Sumatran tiger, and 21-year-old Padang. Tony, at the zoo since 1993, likes to be alone.

"Why he went down and stayed down, who knows," LaMarca said. He is, after all, a cat.

"They've got minds of their own."

E-mail Jill Tucker at jtucker@sfchronicle.com.

Pet Talk: Seer Farms Keeps Pets
Temporarily for Owners in Crisis
By Sharon L. Peters, Special for USA TODAY

Zeus landed at Seer Farms in Jackson, N.J., after his owners' landlord decided the dog was too big. The family set about finding new accomodations. And after Zeus spent four months at the non-profit, the family picked him up and drove off for their new home in the Midwest.

Star was one of four cats that a family left with Seer Farms when their home was foreclosed. The family visits the cats regularly, and recently found a place that allows one cat, so they've reclaimed one. They are working toward a living situation that will allow all four so they can reclaim Star and her two sisters.

Sometimes a pet owner just needs a little short-term help.

Like the young New Jersey couple who were expecting a baby and had made arrangements to move soon to living arrangements that would accept both their pit bull and a baby. They'd done everything right. Then the woman went into labor weeks early.

"We literally got the call about whether we could accept the dog for a six-week stay as the couple was on the way to the hospital to deliver," says Laura Pople, founder of the non-profit Seer Farms in Jackson, N.J., a new-wave kind of facility — one that keeps people's pets temporarily so they can wade through a crisis and then reclaim their pets.

"We were able to accommodate Angela (the dog) and they got to the hospital in time, though it was our most stressful intake, trying to move them along," Pople says. A few weeks later, the couple collected Angela and moved into their new home.

Scores of unhappy circumstances in this awful economy — an unexpected job layoff, a foreclosure, a hospital stay — can suck savings dry or upset stability so severely that many people find that providing for the pets is nigh on impossible.

These folks need some time to get things righted, but they have no one willing to take care of their animals, and they can't afford boarding fees.

Some people live in their cars to avoid turning their pets over to the pound; sometimes they sleep in tents to keep their animals.

Pople kept hearing these stories and decided in 2008 to create a safety net for the pets of people in crisis so that eventually people's lives and pets can be reclaimed.

In January 2009, Seer Farms opened.

"I knew there was a need to be met, but I never expected we'd be fielding, at times, upwards of a dozen calls for assistance daily," Pople says. "Even before we opened our doors … and well before the sanctuary was renovated to entirely meet our needs, we already had three families' cats — our first 11 residents — in temporary residence."

Seer Farms charges zero to $50 per month per animal, depending on ability to pay. The organizers were warned that "we'd be taken advantage of," says the board president, Rabbi Robin Nafshi. But that hasn't proven to be the case.

In 14 months, Seer Farms has taken in the pets of 65 families. That's 130 cats, 44 dogs and one rabbit. Right now, the director, two part-time staff people and a volunteer corps are caring for 119 animals, most of which have been in residence for several months. Their owners visit regularly, and many are nearly ready to reclaim their animals.

Among the temporary residents are eight cats accepted several months ago from a couple who lost their jobs, their home and their car, and were living in a tent with the cats. They couldn't find affordable housing that would permit the cats and they didn't want to relinquish them, but prospective employers weren't excited about hiring tent-dwellers.

"I could hear the rain beating on the tent as I talked to them on the phone," Pople says.

The couple have now found jobs and temporary housing, and they're saving for a long-awaited reunion with the felines.

Some people who place their pets at Seer Farms aren't able to get back on their feet, and they ask that the pets be re-homed. That has happened a few times. But the vast majority do everything in their power to reunite with their animals.

It's hard not to love this kind of assistance.

Too bad it's so rare.

There's a similar program in the Chicago area, but more than that I couldn't find. Moreover, even if you live in New Jersey, "we're filled to capacity all the time and the waiting list is very long," Nafshi says.

And let's face it: People in crisis rarely have the luxury of being able to wait.

The organizers would love to expand to serve more people and pets, but like every non-profit, they're not exactly rolling in dough. Maybe some day.

It sure would be great to see this concept catch on all over the country.

10 Questions to Ask Your Vet
About Medication for Your Pet

Prepared by the US FDA for US pet owners, the following advice is useful for all dog owners.

To prevent or treat an illness in your pet, your veterinarian may prescribe a medication.

Understanding important information about the medication and how to treat your pet can help your animal’s recovery or continued good health.

“Just as you would talk to your doctor about a medicine prescribed for you or your children, you should talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s medications,” says Bernadette Dunham, D.V.M., Ph.D., director of the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). “And if you have any questions after you leave the animal clinic, don’t be afraid to contact and follow-up with your veterinarian.”

Here are 10 questions you should ask your vet when medication is prescribed.

1. Why has my pet been prescribed this medication and how long do I need to give it?

Your veterinarian can tell you what the medication is expected to do for your pet and how many days to give it.

2. How do I give the medication to my pet? Should it be given with food?

Your pet may have fewer side effects, like an upset stomach, from some drugs if they are taken with food. Other medications are best to give on an empty stomach.

3. How often should the medication be given and how much should I give each time? If it is a liquid, should I shake it first?

Giving the right dose at the right time of the day will help your pet get better more quickly.

4. How do I store the medication?

Some medications should be stored in a cool, dry place. Others may require refrigeration.

5. What should I do if my pet vomits or spits out the medication?

Your veterinarian may want to hear from you if your pet vomits. You may be told to stop giving the drug or to switch your pet to another drug.

6. If I forget to give the medication, should I give it as soon as I remember or wait until the next scheduled dose? What if I accidentally give too much?

Giving your pet too much of certain medications can cause serious side effects. You’ll want to know if giving too much is a cause for concern and a trip to the animal emergency room.

7. Should I finish giving all of the medication, even if my pet seems to be back to normal?

Some medications, such as antibiotics, should be given for a certain length of time, even if your pet is feeling better.

8. Could this medication interact with other medications my pet is taking?

Always tell your veterinarian what other medications your pet is taking, including prescription medications, over-the-counter medicines, and herbs or other dietary supplements. You may want to write these down and take the list with you to the vet’s office.

9. What reactions should I watch for, and what should I do if I see any side effects?

Your veterinarian can tell you if a reaction is normal or if it signals a serious problem. You may be asked to call your vet immediately if certain side effects occur.

FDA encourages veterinarians and animal owners to report serious side effects from medications to FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine at 1-800-FDA-VETS. For a copy of the reporting form and more information on how to report problems, visit the Web site, How to Report An Adverse Drug Experience4.

10. When should I bring my pet back for a recheck? Will you be calling me to check on my pet’s progress, or should I call you?

Your vet may want to examine your pet or perform laboratory tests to make sure the medication is working as it should.

Pets Poo Presents Present Problems in Downtown Tampa
Noah Pransky - wtsp.com

TAMPA - It's a problem some communities would be happy to have, but that doesn't mean the City of Tampa doesn't want to fix it.

As the population of Downtown Tampa booms, so do the number of pets in the urban area. And, right now, too many of them are leaving presents behind.

"Landmines everywhere," said downtown resident Aaron Evans. "If you have a pet, you need to be responsible and pick up after him."

Paul Ayres, Director of Marketing for the Tampa Downtown Partnership, says the neighborhood's population has surged from basically nothing to 3,000 in the last couple of years.

He credits the collapse of the housing market for very affordable condo and rental prices. But many of the people moving to Downtown Tampa are coming from suburban or rural areas, where they may not have had to pick up after their pets.

"We're handing out postcards... it's educational," Ayres said of the partnership's new initiative to inform dog-owners of their duty to clean up.

The postcards remind recipients that, "When your pet has finished its business... Do yours by cleaning it up! It's the LAW."

Hundreds of the postcards are being handed out, and the partnership has worked with the city to add new "Pooch Stations." The stations are trash bins where people can pick up clean plastic bags for dog waste and dispose of used ones.

The postcards also remind owners the city can fine them $150 for not picking up dog waste. And while the city tells us they're focusing efforts on cleaning up the problem, one ranger said it's gotten better since the campaign started and not a single ticket has been issuesd yet.

"We're excited to have people living in downtown Tampa, and this is just part of the growing process," Ayres chuckled.

Underwood: My Pet Dog
Will Be in My Wedding

Country star Carrie Underwood is planning to have a very special guest of honour at her wedding this summer - her pet dog, Ace.

The singer, who won American Idol several years ago, told USA Weekly that she is hoping to involve the Chihuahua in her nuptials somehow, although she didn't know how her hockey star fiance Mike Fisher would react.

Underwood joked she was hoping to make Ace the ring-bearer, although she changed when she realised that he would "probably run away with it or eat it or something".

The Before He Cheats chanteuse said her pup was like her kid.

"It would be like if I was getting married and I had a child - of course my child would be in the wedding," she added.

The songbird was previously in a relationship with Jessica Simpson's ex-boyfriend, American football star Tony Romo.

She become betrothed to Fisher last year, USA Weekly reports.

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This is the kind of stuff that helps
keep faith in the human race.

Thanks to Al in BHC, AZ

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Dog Owners Get Activities,
Quality Time with Pets at Camp
By Sharon L. Peters, Special for USA TODAY

Dave Eisendrath puts his Shiba Inu Shazaam through his paces on the agility A frame during summer camp last year. Eisendrath is director of Camp Dogwood, which is held at an overnight kids' camp in Ingleside, Ill. By Renny Mills Photography

Whitney Rupp encourages her Labrador retriever, Alex, to go for distance off the dock at Camp Dogwood as Alex's sister, Abby, prepares to follow.


"Camp isn't for everyone," says Camp Winnaribbun's Lory Kohlmoos.

Sessions are usually rustic and communal, something not every human enjoys.

And dogs? Most camps impose a rigorous registration screening to help owners know whether potential canine participants are appropriate (especially relating to aggression).

Sometimes, though, a canine guest is found after arrival to be "reactive" to other dogs, says Camp Dogwood's Alysa Slay. The dog remains leashed at all times, and a trainer works with the owner to modify participation in some activities safely.

Summer camp is veering in a new direction — toward grown-ups and their dogs.
Nature walks, swimming and memory-making campfires (all dog-focused) are being augmented with agility training, cooking-for-canines instruction, bury-the-bone competitions and dozens of other activities for pooch-loving participants.

"It's a great way to have 100% together time with your dog, enjoying nature and activities, instead of just feeding them and walking them," says Margaret Rapp of Arlington Heights, Ill. She attended Camp Dogwood in Ingleside, Ill., last year with Danny, her spaniel mix, and Ollie, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel who was a recent puppy mill rescue.

"Camp also gives you a chance to try many different things — without paying for eight sessions, as is the case at home," she says. She was surprised to learn at camp that Danny wasn't interested in flyball, though he did embrace other active-dog stuff. Ollie, on the other hand, preferred laze-about activities like massage (but he did work hard to pass his Canine Good Citizenship certification while there).

Camp Dogwood ($420 to $700 for three nights and four days, depending on the accommodations), held three times a year at an overnight camp for kids (when kid camp's not in session), is among a growing number of canine-and-owner retreats for active and inactive dogs and their people.

Join in — or not

"We keep some things the same every session," says Alysa Slay, a clinical psychologist who co-founded the Camp Dogwood sessions in 2001, "but we're always adding new things."

The scores of activities and lectures include water sports, herding, dog fur spinning and ask-the-vet sessions.

Most canine camps are held at waterfront facilities — rustic cabins and/or tent or RV sites — that serve as kid camps, music workshops or couples-counseling retreats most of the time but that occasionally go to the dogs.

Most limit participants to 20 to 100 humans plus their dogs (some allow two dogs per person), and many exclude kids younger than 18 on the grounds that a person keeping track of children isn't as able to bond with a dog in the ideal way.

Some campers partake of every offering they can cram in. But if the two- and four-legged clients just want to chill, that's fine. "If someone wants to sit under a tree with her dog or go for a stroll, just the two of them, that's just fine," says Lory Kohlmoos, director of Camp Winnaribbun, a three-times-a-year week-long camp in Stateline, Nev., on the shores of Lake Tahoe ($1,300 for lodging, meals and activities).

"Everyone learns a lot about themselves and about their dogs," Kohlmoos says, even if the humans skip some of the dozens of activities, which range from tracking to crafts to homeopathy sessions.

Happy campers keep coming back

As interest in the concept grows, so, too, do the kinds of venues. Minneapolis dog trainer Lisa Sellman organized her first three-night, four-day dog lovers' retreat at the upscale Gunflint Lodge in Grand Marais, Minn., in October, and response was sufficiently strong that seven have been scheduled for 2010 ($399 a person, which includes cushy accommodations, most meals and scads of dog activities).

The lodge has been dog-friendly since 1928 out of necessity, because dog sled teams were used to haul supplies, but during retreat times, the trails and conference rooms are filled with dogs and people participating in such things as "Doggie Socials," positive training classes and Sellman's demonstrations of Tellington TTouch, a form of body work that reduces the stress and tension of dogs.

Camps that have been around for a while have a huge return rate — 60% to 75% of their clientele each session are return campers, they say. The humans make friends they enjoy seeing again, and so do the dogs.

"Some of the dogs came for the first time as puppies," says Kohlmoos, whose Camp Winnaribbun celebrates its 16th season this year, "and then they're brought back when they are old and pulled around on a wagon so they can have one last time to enjoy the sunshine and water."

Tools Commonly Used In Dog Training Schools
By Gray Rollins - petsourceusa.com

There are a great many tools that can be utilized in dog training schools. All of these tools are quite helpful when utilized in the training of a dog. The following will introduce you to some of the tools that are utilized in dog training schools and how they can benefit you in the training of your dog.

The clicker is a very useful tool that is used in a lot of dog training schools. What exactly is a clicker you might be wondering? A clicker is a small object that is made out of plastic and contains a small piece of metal inside. The clicker makes a clicking noise when it is squeezed and then released. Using a clicker is a great way to get your dogs attention and once he learns the noise that it makes he will be able to recognize it almost anywhere.

Another tool that you will often find in dog training schools would be the dog leash. The dog leash by far is one of the most commonly used while training a dog. Dog leashes come in a variety of sizes from very short leashes that are used when a trainer wants to exert more control while training to much longer leashes that are used when behaviors that require a bit more freedom are being taught to dogs. There are even leashes that allow dogs a certain amount of freedom then automatically recoil when the trainer wishes the dog to return to them.

A tool that has become quite popular in dog training schools as well as widely enjoyed by dogs themselves is the treat carrier. These special containers allow a dog trainer to be able to carry around a supply of dog treats to use while training their dog. They are quite handy and keep you from having to get your clothing dirty or having to carry around treats in a plastic bag, which could get quite cumbersome.

A tool that is often utilized in dog training schools if a dog has issues with biting is a muzzle. A dog needs to be carefully introduced to this method of training and if the training is done properly it can be extremely efficient in ridding a dog of a potentially hurtful habit.

These are just a few tools of the trade that can be found in dog training schools. There are many more out there and the training tools can vary greatly depending on what type of training you are planning to do with your dog. If you are unsure as to what training tools you are going to need before you begin training your dog contact your local dog training school, as they will be able to point you in the right direction.

Cat Lady
Roberta Beach Jacobson - SeattlePI.com

Humorist Roberta Beach Jacobson (a.k.a. The Cat Lady) blogs from the litter box. A professional member of the Cat Writers' Association, she believes cats rule the world.

Kitty's bucket list

- Climb the tallest tree in the world (and get back down)

- Learn how to open cans of tuna

- Chase bugs until I get tired or bored, whichever comes first

- Perfect the sport of rolling in sunbeams

- Volunteer to entertain kitties living at the shelter

- Get my own bed pillow

- Go cat bowling

- Teach myself how to open the refrigerator

- Chase every dog out of my garden

- Swim with the fish (little ones, not sharks)

- Figure out how to use a flea comb

- Register for my personal Facebook account

- Take over this cat blog

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Bizarre News -- Dog Mansions

The stories may be strange, but they're true

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A doghouse won't do for some yuppie puppies. They have doggie mansions. Tammy Kassis' three little dogs have their own 11-foot tall Victorian. It matches the couple's own home in Southern California. There's a TV and even air conditioning in the doggie digs. Kassis figures they spent well over $20,000 on the doghouse. And she says she'd do it again in a heartbeat. Kassis adds the doggie mansion isn't just for the dogs. She says she hangs out there with them.

PHOENIX (AP) - An Easter Bunny for Easter dinner? It's on the menu at a pair of Arizona restaurants. Payton Curry is the executive chef at Caffe Boa, in Tempe, and Boa Bistro, in Mesa. He plans a rabbit-based menu on Sunday. Curry says rabbit is no different than chicken, duck, lamb, pork or beef. He notes a number of patrons have requested rabbit dishes. But Curry tells The Arizona Republic emotions are running high. He says phone messages and e-mail are about 80 percent against rabbit for Easter. He says one caller even wished him a slow and painful death. Curry adds he grew up in Minnesota eating squirrel.

FISHKILL, N.Y. (AP) - This is no way to treat the Easter Bunny. Police in Fishkill, N.Y. are looking for a guy who roughed up the Easter Bunny. Officers say a woman dressed in a bunny costume was slammed to the ground by a teenager who then ran off. The woman wasn't seriously hurt. She was dressed in a white bunny suit to promote a candy shop on Main Street. State troopers are hoping tips from witnesses will help solve the case of bunny rage.

Paw Print Pick:
Willow Keeps Her Eye on the Perps

Willow is a major stalker, but has been unsuccessful to date.

This reader says her cat has a weird habit. My dog does it, too. Does anyone know what this is all about? She says her cat wakes her up by grooming her hair. It's very strange. More on Willow's strange adventures:

Owner's name: Andrea

Why I chose this name: It came with her and seemed to fit her beautifully. Although ,she mostly ignores me when I call her.

Breed: Mixture.

Age: Very active 3 years.

Why and where I got her: Previous 18-year-old old cat died. Swore I wouldn't get another so soon, but her picture spoke to me.

Where we live: Chattanooga, Tenn.

Favorite activity with my pet: Security patrol: code for camping out in a very understanding neighbor's yard and watching birds, rocks, chipmunks and trees. Fortunately, we've never caught any type of perps.

One thing my pet does I just don't get: Waking me up by sitting on my head and grooming my hair.

One trait I shared with my pet: We're both high maintenance and think everyone should do what we want and when.

Ideal Diet for African Grey Parrot
By Vet Jennie - Gulf-Daily-News.com

Vet Jennie answers your questions about pet care in this weekly advice column, created in partnership with the Bahrain Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BSPCA). We will also be highlighting each week just one of the animals in the BSPCA sanctuary, in the hope of finding each of them a loving home.

QUESTION: I have recently bought an African Grey Parrot. What should I be feeding it? Is there anything I should be avoiding?

Answer: Unfortunately, many pet birds are often fed inappropriate diets often leading to malnutrition and subsequent illness. This is especially true of the African Grey Parrot (commonly known locally as the Casico).

Firstly, an all-seed diet is bad. A seed-based diet is often high fat, low protein and calcium with limited vitamin content.

The number of parrots that are fed on solely sunflower seed or peanuts is shocking and akin to feeding a child only chocolate - they can survive but are not healthy.

Seeds can still form part of a balanced diet but it is important to ensure that they have a good mix of different seeds and nuts and should account for no more than 50 per cent of the diet.

The rest of the diet should be made up of fresh produce.

Virtually any fruit and vegetable can be given to parrots - EXCEPT FOR AVOCADO. It is also important to select the more fleshy fruits such as mango and papaya over just apples and oranges.

Vegetables are also important, so cabbage, brussels sprouts and carrots among others can all be given.

Small quantities of other food can also be offered such as whole grains and grain products such as bread and pasta as well as dairy and poultry products.

Beans and legumes can be used as an excellent source of protein.

There is also a variety of pelleted bird diets worldwide and I believe that a poor pelleted diet is better than a good seed diet, although I am uncertain of their availability in Bahrain.

Avoid - Avocado, chocolate, caffeine, high-fat foods

For further information, visit the sites www.multiscope.com/hotspot and www.aviannetwork.com.

Jennie works at Dr Nonie Coutts Veterinary Surgery. Please send questions to vetquestions4bspca@gmail.com.

BSPCA Pet of the Week

THIS week's BSPCA Pet of the Week is cuddly Darby.

Breed: Local mix breed

Colour: Black and tan

Coat: Short-medium haired

Sex: Male

Age: Approximately one year

Darby was literally thrown over the BSPCA wall at night, aged 4 months, in June last year. Since then he has grown into a really sweet-natured, calm and friendly dog. He enjoys being cuddled and having his soft fur stroked by adults and children. Darby loves going for walks and would make a great pet for any family with kids.

If you are interested in adopting Darby, or any of our other dogs, puppies, cats and kittens, visit the BSPCA in Saar, near St Christopher's School or log on to the website www.bspca.org for directions.

Contact: BSPCA Sanctuary, 17591231. Open for adoption viewings Monday to Wednesday from 9am to 12noon and Thursday to Saturday from 9am to 1pm. The sanctuary is closed on Sundays.

The BSPCA is now enforcing a policy of neutering all male dogs at the sanctuary. Its policy ensures all female dogs and cats that are adopted MUST be neutered, the cost of which is incorporated into its pricing structure.

The Fly Champion
by Amber Alyssa Nicole - Helium.com

My beautiful and playful boxer Roxie joyfully entertains herself by chasing flies. It doesn't matter what kind of flies they are it could be red, white, blue, doesn't matter any fly will do. She spots a fly and her head begins to mo-o-o-o-ve with the motion of what ever direction the fly happens to be flying in at that moment, usually in a zig-zaging motion.

Then she follows it around the house in this zig-zaging motion, making sure it that it doesn't get away. All the while curiously wondering what it would taste like - chicken maybe?

Then all at once she opens her mouth and grabs for it! To her surprise she misses the fly. But her curiosity urges her to go on for another try at the teasing fly. She once again watches the fly, she says to herself "wait, wait for it, wait...." then when she thinks she has a good shot at capturing the fly, she lunges forward saying "NOW!" capturing nothing once again. This battle goes on about five more times. The fly teasing, Roxie lunging, and grabbing nothing in return for her efforts.

Once Roxie has caught the menacing fly, she disables it and spits it to the floor, with a face that says "Hey! This is definitely not chicken!" - "Tastes like spinach - yuck!"

Now the pawing begins! Roxie being a boxer (boxers are known for using their front paws like a human boxer would use their hands in a ring) begins to paw and "box" at the once menacing fly, which is now disabled on the ground unable to fly. First the right paw jab! Then the left paw uppercut! Oh, no the fly is down! 1...2...3... It's over for the fly! We have a new heavy weight champion - Roxieeeee The Boxxerrr dog!

And me watching Roxie effortlessly win the fight says "Oh, no not another dead fly to pick up". As I head to the closet to get the broom and dust pan. My cat on the other hand has been objectively watching this fight to the death not understanding why the dog is chasing the fly. She thinks to herself "That is one crazy dog!" and "Why doesn't the fly just fly away - doesn't it know its going to die."

Roxie the champion of this fight now goes on for another menacing victim perhaps the next fight will be held in the kitchen or maybe outside in the backyard, but where ever there are flies you'll find that my Roxie will always be up to the challenge of the fight. Maybe the next fly will taste like chicken, hopefully not spinach.

Fun Training Tips For Your Pet Rabbit
By Sue Day - ezinearticles.com

Rabbits are not as trainable as dogs but they are lively and inquisitive creatures that offer wonderful companionship. They have their own personalities too. Many people allow their rabbits to live in the house with them and the rabbits will climb on the bed to sleep with their owner. They have been known to come when called and perform interesting tricks.

Rabbits can be toilet trained to use litter trays while they are inside your home. Unlike cats though, they will need several trays around the house as they can't remember where it is. The sides shouldn't be higher than 3 to 4 cm so that it is easier for the rabbit to hop into it. You can use cat litter or shredded paper which is cheaper.

To encourage your rabbit to use the tray, put some of his droppings in it and show it to him. If he urinates sponge it up with a paper towel straight away and leave it in the tray. Rabbits are not as reliable as cats at using litter trays so it may take sometime before your rabbit understands what you want it to do. However, they do go to the toilet in the same area of their hutch or cage so if you catch them 'going' in a particular spot inside, place a litter tray there and make toilet training your rabbit much easier.

Training your rabbit to being picked can be tricky. Rabbits don't enjoy being picked up off the ground. Rabbits have strong back legs that can cause deep scratches if they panic and try to get away from you. To avoid this, pick up rabbit by the scruff on it neck behind its ears and quickly hold it to you firmly securing its body with your other hand. As soon as you can, put the rabbit down safely. For this reason, it's not a good idea to allow children to handle them without parental guidance. As well, a dropped rabbit can be very difficult to catch if it gets away.

It is better to let the rabbit sit on your child's knee while your child is sitting on the ground. If you give the rabbit special treats at this time, it will soon learn to be relaxed near your child.

Be wary that any loud noise or interest from a cat or a dog may scare your rabbit and they may quickly dart away and be lost. For this reason, you may want to bring them inside when being petted or handled by children.

Sue Day has worked in the pet industry for many years. Now a full time dog trainer, Sue has put together a website of over 50 pages to share her knowledge and experiences of pet care.

If you would like more great tips and you would like to save some money on your pet bills for all your pets including dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, mice or rats, please go to: [http://www.save-money-on-pet-bills.com]

To receive great advice on dog training information, please go to http://www.messypawz.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Sue_Day

Simple Ways to Bring Joy to Your Pet’s Life
by Kim - HoustonPetTalk.com

Is your pet sad, grieving or depressed? Different remedies and natural solutions can help.

I’m adding to the information that was provided in the Natural Pet Tips featured in this month’s issue of the Houston Pet Talk magazine. There are a number of possible ways that you can bring joy into your pet’s life. This is especially important if they seem depressed. They may be lonely having lost their best friend. Perhaps your schedule has changed and you can’t spend as much time with them as you like. Or maybe you have not been feeling well lately and they miss the “you” they know and love. They can be worried about you, too. If your pet is off emotionally or behaviorally, you want to try to help them as this can lead to heath problems. Remember the best way to determine what will help them the most is by muscle testing. There are so many options to chose from and when your animal is not themselves, you really don’t want to be beating around the bush.

■Placing something yellow on or near your pet can help to bring more “sunshine” into their life, even if they live outdoors. Yellow can help to recharge your pet just as sunshine can. Sounds odd, well color therapy is truly amazing. It is simple and easy to do. It is not about your pet seeing the color, but the wonderful energy the color gives off. It is best to use muscle testing to select the appropriate color. Purple can help increase their energy and help with depression. Blue can help them feel peaceful. Pink can help with anxiety, tension, jealously and feeling loved. But a bright dandelion yellow is great to warm your pet’s heart.

■The Bach flower essences Agrimony, Mustard, Water Violet and Wild Rose can help promote inner joy. Gentian is helpful if your pet seems depressed. Star of Bethlehem, Honeysuckle and Walnut are helpful if your pet is dealing with loss. A custom Bach flower remedy is best as it is custom created just for your pet.

■Creating an essential oil spray of sweet orange, frankincense and ginger can help your pet to become more joyful. You can spray it in the air or just allow your pet to smell the bottle. Click here to learn more about animal aromatherapy.

■Rose quartz, amethyst, smokey quartz and turquoise are crystals that can help with peace, calming and grief. Since crystals can be powerful with the energy they give off, it is best to use muscle testing to see if they are appropriate for your pet and if so, which ones and how they should be offered. There are so many wonderful crystals to choose from. They can be placed on or near your pet but it might be best for them to be offered in a crystal spray as the energy is effective but more subtle.

■Ignatia, Pulsatilla and Lachesis are homeopathic remedies that can help your pet if they are dealing with grief. However, I would not use homeopathy on an animal unless they muscle tested as it being helpful and then I would make sure I muscle tested which remedy is needed. Homeopathy can be awesome but you only use it when needed and it is important to use the proper remedy. Click here to learn more about homeopathy.

■Whole grains can perk up your pet’s mood if they are not grain sensitive. Know that grains contribute to allergies/sensitivities with pets so you only want to feed grains if your pet’s body can handle them. Again, the way to know what is best for your pet is through muscle testing. Many pets need a grain-free diet.

■Turkey can be a better option than chicken. Most cats and dogs do well on turkey as they have more sensitivities to chicken. You would use muscle testing to find out what proteins are best for your pet as many pets can not handle all the proteins that are available.

■Consider adding bee pollen or chlorophyll to their diet to boost their energy.

■If you have not told your pet they have a forever home with you, do it now, even if they’ve been with you for years. Many do not realize this.

■Consider doing something special with your pet that you have not done before or done in a long time. This can help bring unexpected joy to your beloved pet. Or if you are used to taking your dog on walks for instance, take them to somewhere new. Do whatever you can to enrich and stimulate them such as playing games. This will help to bring more joy into their life.

■You can also rub your hands together and send loving energy to your pet. See the reiki/energy blog to learn more.

■Think about playing some spiritual/healing type music for your pet. Some music was specially created to affect the energy in the body by using certain notes that resonate deep within the heart and soul.

As you can see, there are a lot of wonderful options for helping bring joy into your pet’s life. Regardless of the reason your pet needs some help, explore the various methods and see what works best for you and them.

Blessings to you and the animals you love!

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