10 Basic House Cats (Photos)

Meet the Canine Lifeguards

Every year the Italian coastlines are swarmed by tourist from all around the world and the Italian Coast Guard estimates they rescue an average of 3,000 people a year.

Working with the coast guards is a team of specialized lifeguards who are responsible for saving many lives during the summer months- the graduates of canine lifeguarding school.

“ Dogs are useful in containing the physical fatigue of the lifeguard, to increase the speed at which casualties are retrieved, to increase the security of both the casualty and of the lifeguards,” Roberto
Gasbarri, coordinator of the Italian School of Canine Lifeguards, told the Associated Press.

The three year program trains dogs to rescue swimmers in trouble. They lifeguard pups wear buoys or a two raft of which the victim can hold onto.

They canines are even jumping out of helicopters and fast boats, considering they are much more capable to function in extreme situations.

“The dog becomes a sort of intelligent lifebuoy,” said Gasbarri. “It is a buoy that goes by itself to a person in need of help, and comes back to the shore also by himself, choosing the best landing point and swimming through the safest currents.”

Italy currently employs 300 life-saving pups, most of them retrievers. Yet the only requirement to become a life-dog is to weigh more that 66lbs.

“Being retrievers, they set out to pick up anything we tell them, be it a human being, an object, or a fish, and they bring it back to the shore,” said lifeguard Monia Luciani. “They do not associate it with a physical activity, but it is rather a game for them.”

To find out more about the Italian School of Canine Lifeguards, visit www.canisalvataggio.it

What Happens When Airline Loses Your Dog?
Jill Rosen - BaltimoreSun.com

When the airline loses your luggage, you get a credit.

And according to Delta, that's what you get when they lose your beloved dog, too.

In a heartbreaking story told the other day on The Consumerist, a guy named Josiah tells a horrifying tale of packing his dog Paco onto a Delta flight from Mexico and then arriving back in Detroit emptyhanded.

When a frantic Josiah called the Delta crew, they told him his dog was safe in Mexico, having somehow been left behind. They said Paco would be on the next flight to Detroit. Except he wasn't.

More calls revealed that Paco had "escaped" his crate in Mexico. He was gone and all Delta could offer was a credit. Like he was a missing Samsonite.

Josiah and his girlfriend had found Paco, which they guess is a cross between a Jack Russell and a dachshund, a stray that locals told them had been running all over town. They fell in love with the little guy and made arrangements to take him home to Canada.

Wondering what you think of this appalling service by Delta. What is proper compensation for an airline losing a pet? I can't even imagine.....horrifying....

Less-Than-Fetching Pet Names
Can Reflect on Owners
By Patty Khuly, Special for USA TODAY

What's in a (pet's) name?

Whether it's the twentysomething's Rottweiler named "FUBAR" or the newlywed couple's first kitten registered as "Emma," veterinarians usually get the picture. We know that what you name your pets speaks volumes about what they mean to you.

Sure, it's different for every generation, ethnicity and subculture, but it's not hard to extrapolate animal-oriented attitudes based on these differences. It's a fun exercise we sometimes engage in when things get too heavy at the hospital. A bit of lighthearted gossip is always a welcome thing, right?

In case you've never had the opportunity to ponder animal nomenclature, here are some basics you might want to acquaint yourself with:

• Human names are usually reserved for personal companions or child-pets. Yes, I get a little concerned when people start using names like Stephen, Kaitlin or Susan. They're too boringly close to humanity for comfort. But otherwise, people names are my favorites. Oscar, Bruno and Max are popular in our hospital, as are Maggie, Brandy and Morgan.

• Then there's the fashion factor. The same trends in people names seem to occur in pet names, especially for dogs. One year the Star Wars names are hot (Luke, Darth, Leia), next year it's the soap stars (Phillippe, Gabriella, Luz Clarita) — or worse (consider Shrek, Britney, BeyoncĂ©).

• Drama, anyone? Regardless of what prudence might dictate, pet owners always seem to go with dramatic names for their pets. Maybe they represent names they are unwilling or unable to name their children. After all, our pets are immune to what anybody thinks about them outside their households. Hence, a justification for ridiculous naming (think Ghetto-Fabulous, Shrapnel, RazzleDazzle).

• Still, there's no excuse for rudeness. I always worry when I see a pet named something rude, demeaning or devised to congratulate the owner on his dry wit. Infidel, Slut, Saddam, Fidelita and Stalin are all names I've seen come out of the label machine. What does that say about your relationship to your animal? I guess that all depends on how you feel about the namesake in question … but still!

For my part, I worry these latter people will abscond without paying their bills, at the very least. But you never know … after all, I get funny looks whenever I call my dog in public (but Slumdog came by his name honestly, I can assure you).

• For some reason, cats tend to get the most whimsical, "out there" names. They're also less likely to get named after humans. Pyewacket, Manzanilla, Zoom, Sharpie (white cat with a black tail, of course). And when they do get people-named, it's often after some histrionic personage: Beelzebub, Persephone, Calliope, Cassandra … you get the picture.

What does this say about dogs vs. cats? I'm open to your suggestions, but my take is that cats, as close as we get to them, always seem a little beyond our reach in some way. Consequently, dogs earn themselves less creative appellations.

Maybe it's also because cats don't absolutely need their names as much as dogs do. Dogs' names get used so often during the course of normal life: "Fido, sit!" "Fido, come!" "Fido, no!" By contrast, cats just have to hear the sound of the correct cabinet opening or your car pulling up in the drive and — instantly they're there (or not there, depending on your cat, in which case no name-calling is going to make a difference anyway).

• At the vet hospital, names mean everything … to the owner, anyway. The pet could care less — he's likely to be equally pleased or freaked out regardless of what you call him. However, if the veterinarian gets the name wrong in front of the owner, all bets are off. I might as well have called him a her (the worst kind of transgression). Which is why I consider my trust level ratcheted down a couple of notches should a naming error occur (hopefully restored by the end of the appointment, but this is highly unlikely).

Though I may make fun, I do understand that our pets' names are justifiably sacred. The bond we share with them gets its early start when we offer them a denomination (or epithet, as the case may be) and is constantly reinforced with each call and response.

Still, when it comes to naming a submissive cat after a totalitarian dictator or a dog a word otherwise punishable by a sound mouth-washing, I think I can be forgiven for taking exception.

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Top 10 Basic House Cat Breeds
by bugy220 - PetFoto.com

We decided to start a cat? In the world of so many species, you sometimes do not know what to choose. Here’s a brief guide to the most popular of them. Which breed would you choose, remember that all cats are good in their own way. Even the “backyard basement, which also needs a home and human care.

Persian. Although cats of this breed and look luxurious and expensive, they are not demanding. Rather, the Persians, gentle and playful with soft melodious voice. Their long hair and big eyes require careful regular maintenance, but if they are to teach the children to the bathroom, they quickly become accustomed.

Exotic. Sometimes representatives of this breed is called “lazy Persians. They have all the qualities of the Persians, only without the long hair. Since the age later than other exotic species, adult males and females quite playful, and some are so friendly that they will embrace you when you are petting them.

Maine Coon. Once the cat breed Maine Coon named Cousy won the exhibition of cats in the U.S. in 1895, this breed has become very popular. Maine Coons are excellent tolerate cold. These giants are very clever and know how to love, which makes them excellent friends for children and dogs.

Siamese cats. In the Disney cartoon had two Siamese cats Si and Am, who sang that better than them cats do not. Many agree with this statement: huge blue eyes of these cats are very popular.

Abyssinian cat. An ancient breed Abyssinian cats – a powerful, big “rabbit” ears. Abyssinian cats are among the most intelligent, they like to be among the people. Once your pet this breed will examine your schedule, it will follow you closely.

Ragdoll. For those who want a cat, more like a dog, Ragdoll – an ideal option. These cats will be happy to meet you from work to run after you at home t sleep with you. Many can even teach basic commands such as “me” or “Oporto”. Another advantage – they have little shed, respectively, and take care of their hair much easier.

Sphinx. As soon as people learned that the lack of hair – a spontaneous mutation in cats, there were bald cats. Perhaps, sphinxes and no wool, but they have a lot of personality. These cats always know what to do with his master, with never a dull moment, but they are not suitable for permanent tiskany and weasels.

American Shorthair. Though these gluttons, and may gain weight to 6 kg, they have excellent health and live longer than other breeds.

Burma. If you want your pet was more “divine”, pay attention to the Burmese breed. Silky Burmese cats perfectly adapted to the schedule of his master: it will be quiet when you are busy and playful when she sees that you are willing to give it time.

Oriental. Those who need a companion for all 24 hours a day, your only Oriental. This highly flexible cat sticks his nose everywhere: she will steal your lunch, dig into things. She can not even keep one for a long time, but it may take offense. But do not worry, she quickly forgives everything, one has only to scratch behind the ear.

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Tips for Cutting Pet Care Costs
Posted By: Petango

Owning a pet is a rewarding experience, but it can also be an expensive one. According to the ASPCA, the annual cost of owning a cat is $670, and if you have a big dog, you could be paying up to $875 a year. Add in grooming, spaying, neutering, and other incidentals and you’re up to more than $1,000 for a cat and $1,800 for a large dog in just the first year. However, there are many ways to save money without compromising on care. Here are a few tips for cutting pet care costs.

Buy pet food in bulk
Don’t buy the small bag of kibble or dry food because it’s convenient. Buy the large bags and store them. Canned food can sometimes be purchased at a discount if you buy a case.

Coupons and loyalty cards
Many pet supply stores send out newsletters with coupons, and pet food is advertised in grocery store flyers. Take advantage of any offer you can. Be sure to sign up for loyalty cards that give you cash back or discounts on future purchases.

Buy the good stuff
It might sound silly to suggest buying the more expensive food to save money, but providing your pet with the right nutrition will help cut down on medical bills. Cutting pet care costs begins with ensuring that your pet is receiving the right vitamins and nutrients from a healthy diet. Be sure to read pet food labels and talk to your vet about your pet’s specific needs.

Don’t overfeed
Be sure you’re giving your pet the right amount of food. Just like humans, pets can become overweight. Not only are you wasting money on extra food, but you’re also exposing your pet to potentially serious medical issues.

Cut down on treats
Excessive treats aren’t just expensive, but they can cause weight issues. Basic treats that help protect your pet’s teeth are the best way to go.

Don’t skip the vet
Preventative health care can save you a bundle in the long run. Take your pet to the vet for regular checkups. Catching problems early can help in cutting your pet care costs and extending the life of your pet.

Spay and neuter
The short-term cost of spaying or neutering your pet will be more than made up for in cutting pet care costs in the future. Spaying or neutering not only eliminates the cost of unwanted pregnancies, but it also eliminates the potential for diseases and tumors of the mammary, ovary, and uterus in females and prostate in males.

DIY grooming
Teach yourself some basic grooming skills. Brushing, nail clipping, bathing, and even brushing your pet’s teeth yourself can save lots of money.

Pet toys
Pets don’t need fancy toys, people do. Old tennis balls and empty boxes are just as much fun for your pet as that $20 store-bought toy.

Consider pet insurance
Shop around for a good pet insurance policy. Paying the low premiums now can save you from huge medical bills in the future.

Shop around
The number-one tip for cutting pet care costs is to shop around. For basic care such as vaccinations, look for affordable clinics in your area; some pet supply stores have weekly or monthly low-cost vaccination clinics. Compare different vets and their costs. Shop around for medications: There are several reliable online sources for most pet medications. Don’t be afraid to look around, but also read online reviews and talk to everyone you can so you're sure that cutting costs won't mean cutting the quality of your pet care.

Pet Problems Aren't Always Expected or Common
by Allison Dascoli - Charleston Daily Mail

Furry companions can have complex, worrisome afflictions

Seven years ago, I agreed to write a bi-monthly column on veterinary topics for the Daily Mail. I figured I would write until I ran out of questions or topics. Well, that has yet to happen. Just when I think I have covered all common questions and ailments, something new comes into my exam room and slaps me in the face. This time it was a Lhasa Apso with two very worried owners in tow.

It seems he had been sick for a couple of days and was limping to some degree on his right side. Could he have suffered a stroke? He was an older pet with a history of seizures, so a stroke was a possibility. But he was sick. His gums were pale and had evidence of bruising. He also had a slight fever and did not try to bite me when I checked his gums. He must have been feeling awful. I had to get the spunk back in this little guy, so I got started.

Laboratory tests over the next few hours raised my suspicion for lots of things including a tick-born disease. But he was an indoor dog. When I asked the owners about ticks, they said they had pulled a tick off him way back in November. He usually didn't get ticks, and it was only one.


In the next few days his tick titer test came back positive for Lyme disease. That is right - Lyme disease right there in St. Albans. Now that we had our diagnosis, treatment was started and he should make a full recovery, fortunately. We really don't live in a Lyme area. Unfortunately, this tick didn't know that.

So, let's talk about this disease to educate and also stress the importance of tick control as we go through the spring and summer months.

Lyme disease is caused by an organism called Borrelia burgdorferi. This organism is commonly carried by the deer tick. But it also can be carried by the brown dog tick and other ticks depending on what part of the country you live in. It is common in the eastern coastal states and southern and western states. West Virginia is in the middle of all those, with a relatively low incidence of the disease. Dogs become infected when a tick carrying the organism bites him and injects the disease.

Polyarthritis, or limping on one or more legs, is the most common clinical sign reported in dogs. They can also show lack of interest in food, lose weight, and experience fever and swollen joints and lymph nodes. The bull's-eye rash on the skin is not always present in Lyme disease and can be impossible to see under a full coat of dog fur.

The good thing about Lyme disease and other tick-born diseases like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Erlichia is that they can easily be tested for by a yearly heartworm blood test at your veterinarian's office. Most veterinarians are using a type of test now called a 4DX that picks up these other diseases in addition to testing for heartworm disease. Interestingly, this patient's heartworm test in January was negative. Lyme disease can take two to five months after a bite to show a positive test.

Treatment for Lyme disease is simply a good antibiotic for two to four weeks. But prevention is the key in keeping pets healthy. A brand-name, veterinarian-approved flea and tick medicine is critical to prevent ticks. It must be applied once every month to be effective and used all spring and summer. There are also tick collars available for pets that are more at risk of ticks than others, but these are only effective against ticks, not fleas.

Another good preventative is that once-a-year heartworm test. A lot of owners decline the test and say their pets are on preventative all year, which is great, but heartworm preventative does not stop tick bites. A heartworm test will find these tick disease dogs so treatment can be started sooner rather than later.

If you get your dogs tested with the 4DX heartworm test regularly and practice good flea and tick control this summer, you should have a healthy and fun-filled time together.

Send questions for Dr. Allison Dascoli to "Ask the Vet," Charleston Daily Mail, 1001 Virginia St. E., Charleston WV 25301 or e-mail them to askthe...@dailymail.com. Comments or suggestions can be submitted the same way.

Hints From Heloise

Vehicle Restraint

Dear Heloise: I read your column regularly and especially enjoy Saturdays, when you dedicate the column to pet issues.

I would like to add to comments about RESTRAINING DOGS WHILE DRIVING. I was rear-ended while driving to work a few years ago, and the only thing I could think of after it was all over was: What if my dog (70-pound Lab mix) had been with me? To put it simply, she either would have gone through the windshield or hit the dashboard hard. Although I was on the freeway, the person who hit me was not fully up to freeway speeds; either way, the injuries to Hannah most likely would have been life-threatening. Before Hannah was allowed to ride in the truck with me again, I went and found what I call her "seat belt." She can continue to sit in the front passenger seat with me, but the harness she now wears has the vehicle's seat belt running through it, keeping her on the seat.

It works great (had to slam on the brakes once when someone cut me off) at keeping her on the seat and not flying around the vehicle's cabin! Thankfully, I have never had to "test it (the harness) out" in a significant way, but at least I know I have done my best to protect her while riding in the car, as a crate for a dog her size is not feasible in my newer car. For your readers who are unfamiliar with these harnesses, they are available in most pet-supply stores. -- Jean M. Barrett, via e-mail


Dear Readers: Dan Thomas of Van Wert, Ohio, sent in a photo of his 10-year-old light-blond Lab-shepherd mix, Bailey, sound asleep on the couch. He looks adorable with his head on a pillow, and Dan says it's another hard day at work for him! To see the sleeping beauty, visit www.Heloise.com. -- Heloise


Good morning, Heloise: I've just read your weekly pet column in the Kerrville (Texas) Daily Times, which reminded me that from time to time, you've posted unusual pet names.

My two littermate cats are Rosemary and Thyme, adopted from a groomer's offering. They are 11 "people" years old, both calico; Rosie is long-haired and Thyme short-haired. For sisters, they tolerate each other, but each tries to be the alpha one -- and they seem to alternate in that endeavor. I'm widowed, so these two girls are a great comfort to me as they vie for my lap and attention. -- Phyllis Mullins, Kerrville, Texas


Dear Heloise: I took my Chihuahua to get her annual shots. When we got home, she was having a reaction. It was late in the day, so I took her to a closer vet. She was given two injections.

I have learned to always get my pet's shots earlier in the morning and not wait until around closing time. My vet also said to spread smaller dogs' shots out and not give them all at the same time. -- Annette Cruse, Huntsville, Ala.

Tips for Pet’s Photography

Having snaps of your pets with digital camera is much difficult for you as pets cannot understand your directions regarding pose setting. It is also very important to keep pets calm and happy during their photo shoot. Here is some very nice information to make unique and interesting pets photography. Keeping these tips in your mind you will enjoy photographing pets as a fun and rewarding experience.

•It is always recommended to use natural light for pet’s photography. Also avoid red light as it can frighten the pets.

•Focusing on eyes is also considered the best for portrait photography regardless of this thing that you are taking photo shoot of your pets. It is said that “eyes are the windows to soul” so you should try to have snaps of sharp eyes of pets.

•In order to keep your pets calm and easy during photo shoot is also very important. So you should go to them instead of forcing them to come to you. If you want to capture natural and true gestures of pet’s movements, let them do as they wish.

•A successful picture is that coveys the right image of character of its subject. For instance if you have lazy cat in your home and want to have its snaps, show its yawning. On the other hand show your pets in action or performing its favorite trick if they are playful and active.

•Try to have close shots of pet’s face and fur as it looks very beautiful and is very important in pet’s photography.

•As it is difficult to keep pets in still posture so play them quietly and give a sudden call to them or whistle. This action will alert surprise them and you will be able to have a quick shot of pets in alert and natural posture.

•You will have to schedule your time for pets photo shoot. Taking shoots at the time of sleep and awake will provide you better opportunities to capture interesting gestures of your pets.

•Be patient during pet’s photo shoot and this attitude will allow you to have nice and decent snap of your pets.

•Experiments, trying different approaches, angles and composition will make you take good and result oriented snaps of your pets. Pet photography requires lot of experiments to get master piece of your pet’s photography.

Follow the tips as they are perfect for making your pet’s photography very interesting and look like professional.

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Keeping a Predator Fish

Keeping fish can be lots of fun, but no one wants to buy a new fish just to have it eaten or have it eat your other fish, so here is a guide on things to do to ensure this does not happen.

Many people like to have fish for pets because they are low maintenance, and can be very relaxing to watch them swim. Most first time fish enthusiast like to keep cold water fish, because they are cheap and most of the different types of these fish will get along together. These fish have some bright colors and have some very fancy fins, but they are mostly large goldfish, and eventually switch to tropical fish to get a larger selection of fish. But keeping tropical fish can be a bit of a gamble, the fish cost more and some of them are very aggressive and will eat your other fish.

There are more different types of tropical fish for you to choose from, and they have a larger variety of colors then cold water fish and keeping them in an aquarium together with other tropical fish does not have to be a gamble, it is not like a trip to the casino to play blackjack, if you do things right there is no gambling involved at all.

The first thing you need to do is some reading before purchasing any fish for your tank. Reading about fish will give you an idea of what species of fish eat other fish, and which ones do not. It will also let you know which meat eating fish will live with what other fish, and make it less of a gamble that you are just buying one fish an expensive meal.

Cichlids are a type of fish that eat other fish but they are a school fish and prefer to be in a tank with other Cichlids, but you want all the other Cichlids to be about the same size, or one day you will come home to find several fish missing and one fat fish swimming around slowly.

Cichlids are a surface to medium depth fish. This means they will swim on the top and middle of the tank and will generally not go to the bottom of the tank for very long.

Keeping fish can be lots of fun, but no one wants to buy a new fish just to have it eaten or have it eat your other fish, so here is a guide on things to do to ensure this does not happen.

So many people with Cichlids will get a bottom swimmer to fill the tank out. A very popular type of bottom swimmers is catfish. There are many different fish in the species of catfish. Some of these fish are non aggressive and do not get very big, but a fish like this may not be aggressive enough to be in a tank of Cichlids.

You may want to get a more aggressive type of catfish, but if you get a large one it will surely eat the Cichlids, but if it too small you are gambling that the Cichlids will not pick its eyes out.

Just remember that no matter how much you read each fish does have a personality of their own..

There is always the possibility that some of your fish will get eaten, but the only way to make keeping fish not a gamble is to keep each fish in their own separate fish tank in the hope that this will keep them all safe, but this will not make for happy fish. With trial and error you will learn what can live with what types of fish.

Owner Says Dog Can Count To Ten

Aussie Shepherd Barks Numbers

The owner of an Australian shepherd says that the dog, named Sydnee, can count to 10, KCOY-TV in Santa Barbara, Calif., reported.

When given a number, the Sydnee barks that many times. She then gets a reward of raisins from her owner, Maxine Davis.

Davis got the dog when she was 10 months old from a soldier on his way to Iraq. She quickly learned typical tricks such as sit, shake and roll over.

Then, Davis realized the dog had a special talent when barking.

"I thought, 'That dog, she's just adding one finger, she's counting.' So apparently, she could count," she said.

The station reported that Sydnee can go up from one or down from 10, or in any other order.

Davis said the dog is so smart that she must sometimes spell things out to keep Sydnee from knowing what she is saying.

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