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Monday Mentions: Religious Cats, Little Dog Life Lessons & Pet Resources

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I do my best to avoid talking about politics and religion but just had to make an exception in the case of Ketzel, subject of the above book MEWSINGS: My Life as a Jewish Cat by my colleague Greta Beigel. This delightful book just got a stellar review and I had to add my SNOOPY-DANCE-‘O-JOY! to the celebration. Note: you can click on the book cover to go to the “buy” page on amazon.

What about your fur-kids? In centuries past, cats were worshiped as gods and sometimes still seem to expect that adoration. Dogs, on the other paw, sometimes treat their humans with such deference that we get too big for our britches. So what’s up with YOUR fur-kids? Are they spiritual beings? Do they meditate, celebrate or gravitate to more than the food bowl? Please share!

Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo links and blogs and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. Today it’s all about pets.


Pet Peeves Radio – Women Training Dogs Camilla Gray-Nelson trains women to train their dogs–and yes, it’s a bit different than the male viewpoint. If you’re a lady with a pet dog and at the end of your leash with Fido’s antics, you’ll want to learn the tips in this show. Camilla has been training dogs and solving problems for more than 20 years and today runs Dairydell Canine Center in Northern California. She and her staff have helped more than 9000 dogs and owners from all over the United States!

Folks, if you have a suggestion for a guest or topic idea for Pet Peeves please drop me a line or post a comment to that effect. It can be funny to serious about what HISSES you off (or makes you purrrrrr and wag) about all-things-pets.

Four Legged Life with Arden Moore offers a pet community with pet care classes, a newsletter, an award-winning “Oh, Behave!” radio podcast with lots of pet-loving celebs, and more. Arden also happens to be the editor of Catnip, a publication of Tufts University (and I have the honor to write for her once in a while!).

PUPPY-LICIOUS PLUG. Those who visit this blog know I frequently share puppy-licious content from my site. Maybe it’s not kewl to say it’s GREAT info…but I do have a GREAT time writing it. It’s still quite new so each month about 10-20 new articles and that many blogs (plus a weekly newsletter) get added.

HEARTWORM ALERT! Last week I added an article about canine heartworm disease and the fact that the treatment to cure the disease is in short supply. And I heard back from the American Heartworm Society (a GREAT resource for info!) asking me to share this video with more information–of course, I’m delighted to do so!

You know, of course, that cats get heartworms, too. Seren gets her preventive each month, even though she’s an indoor cat. You can find out more at the American Heartworm Society site. Franny Syufy’s site also offers top notch cat specific content. I had the good fortune to work with Franny last year as the contributing writer on cat behavior. Franny’s site has been around about 15 years so you can image the wealth of info she’s got, check it out!

GORILLA OF MY HEART? UC Davis School of Vet Medicine Newsletter has all kinds of great animal-istic information and special thanks to Lynn Narlesky who keeps me plugged in the fascinating latest. Check out one of the features about a HUMAN virus found in gorillas. Can you say “medical thriller plot?”

HORSING AROUND. Fertility vaccine for wild horse birth control, a study from the awesome folks at Morris Animal Foundation.

DOGGY TESTIMONY. My German dog-writing colleague Bernd Guenter pointed out this neat story about a dog helping rape victims testify in court–and how it’s being challenged. Incidentally if you ever need fanTAStic dog photos, check out Bernd’s books and Berner pictures–just awesome!

DOG FIGHT AP? EWWW! Some of y’all have been following the story about the dog fighting ap–yes, there’s an AP for that, apparently. No one has opposed it more strenuously than my colleague Steve Dale who offers details in his blog. And another colleague, Susan Conant, tracked down the link to report and request that offensive aps be taken down–check it out here.

GOOD NEWS FOR PET PASSPORTS. Apparently your pets no longer need to endure 6-month rabies antibody rechecks when imported to the UK–here’s the details about the new rules on pet passports.

LIFE LESSONS and Little Dogs, a most touching blog post by Catie Rhodes

TAKE YOUR CAT to the VET WEEK sponsored by invites you to take the furry pledge! You don’t need a pet passport to do the right thing by your cat. Stay tuned for more about this later in the week…

Whew–it’s clear that the critters took over today’s Monday Mentions. I’ve got a slew of publishing/writing tips–so many that I’ll share them on tomorrow’s blog.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? I’m nearly ready to record a bunch of new ones, so be sure to get your requests in the comments. Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

About amyshojai

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified animal behavior consultant (dogs/cats), award winning author of 30+ pet care titles and thrillers, and spokesperson to the pet industry.

14 responses »

  1. As one of the last remaining hold outs when it comes to getting a Kindle, I wish this book was available as a “real” book – it sound wonderful!

    • I wonder if you could get it as PDF? Maybe Greta will reply with an answer. *s*

    • Hi AmY, Hi Ingrid:

      Thank you so much for this lovely mention. First, without having a Kindle or Nook, “Mewsings” can be downloaded at Amazon or B&N to a PC, Mac, iphone, ipad, etc. Re PDF? Yes, it’s readily available in this format/other similar simple types at

  2. Re: courtroom dogs… “Defense lawyers argue that the dogs may unfairly sway jurors with their cuteness and the natural empathy they attract”

    Like a younger victim alone wouldn’t attract empathy? Like an attorney’s entire JOB isn’t to sway the jury whether their client is telling the truth or not?? Seriously, let’s have a reality check, here. Sheesh! The whole concept of a trial has almost become more of a mind game than a presenting of evidence with the way some of these lawyers work, so how does a dog make that any different, aside from maybe them being afraid they won’t be able to frighten the victim into slipping up and falling for their baiting? Not to say ALL alleged victims are telling the truth… I’ve known a few “victims” who I’m quite certain lied through their teeth (a harassment case against one of my favorite professors comes to mind… friend knew the “victim” and she was a drama queen and liked to lie to get her way).

    “They argue that as a therapy dog, Rosie responds to people under stress by comforting them, whether the stress comes from confronting a guilty defendant or lying under oath.”

    Again, how does that make a difference? If a jury might assume a stressed victim is lying whether they are or not, then it’s no different when comfort makes them seem more like telling the truth. Except that it’s way more important for the person who isn’t lying. If the victim has a service dog for, say, blindness, are you going to make them leave that dog outside too in case it gives some kind of sympathy grab? Leave the cane and the glasses too, jury might automatically side with you if they know you’re blind, you know.

    “But Rosie’s promised appearance next to the children might well have played a role. “It became obvious,” said Mr. Lopez-Perez’s lawyer, Andres Aranda, “that the children were going to be testifying, and he decided to avoid that.” ”

    Yes, how dare the children be encouraged to testify! God forbid we have all the information we can get in the trial! Clearly this dog should be banned. What’s next? The defendant not having to testify against himself? Oh, wait….

    Whew I’m rambling again. But geez, that’s ridiculous!

    • Dang, you nailed it Karyl, my thoughts exactly! But then the “law” can turn into just a game of interpretation. Yes, it’s supposed to be about justice. *sigh*

  3. Pingback: Tuesday Tips: Pix, Tricks & Writers Fighting Dirty « Amy Shojai's Blog

  4. My dogs (dachshunds) think they’re cats. They want to be the center of attention at all times or they sulk. They meditate a lot, mostly while sprawled somewhere with their eyes closed and pretending to be asleep. Love me fur babies 🙂

  5. I’ve got an unrelated question from an acquaintance of mine, posting with her permission because she’s looking for advice (since I think you’ve mentioned a few times just to post in the blog to ask questions):

    “My caique Isaac has a problem: he’s a habitual yeller. He’s always been a bit whinier than a normal parrot and continues to display signs of immaturity despite being nearly a year and a half now. Now he’s the sweetest, most loving and gentle parrot you could know, but he suffers from severe separation anxiety (or something) when I’m not around. If there is nobody around, he will not yell since there’s no one’s attention to get a hold of. But if SOMEONE is in the apartment (usually my roommate Richard who is working at home) he’ll yell and yell and yell until I come home.

    Here’s the methods we’ve used to get him to cut it out.

    Foraging toys
    more toys
    separate cage
    placing that separate cage outside
    covering the cage
    covering the cage for a short period until he stops, then uncovering it and covering it again if he yells again
    walking out of the room when he yells until he’s quiet
    ignoring him completely
    giving him a treat when he’s quiet
    training to get him to quiet when counting to five on a hand
    jolting the cage slightly when he yells

    Now this bird is not without boatloads of attention. He gets the best fruits and vegetables and seed mix and pellet mix every day. He’s got toys galor. He has Enzo (so he’s not lonely). He gets hours of play time everyday. The problem, as far as we can tell, is that Isaac is “special”. Special stupid. He has no concept of cause and effect, he has an extremely difficult time grasping what rewards are.

    The one thing that helped somewhat was when we put him outside in his own cage. He’d started to chill out SLIGHTLY and at least by being outside, his noisiness couldn’t effect my roomates. Plus he was distracted by the things out there. Unfortunately our downstairs neighbor is utterly insane and hates any and all noise (they tried calling the police when my roomate left his window open and was talking to his friend late one night in a low voice). The few times they called our landlord over simple whistling from Isaac outside (in the afternoon, on a weekend) means we can’t risk putting him outside again lest more drastic action is taken.

    Getting rid of the bird is not an option. He’s my friend and I’d sooner move out than give him up. But I need some advice from animal knowledgeable people out there. Any and all of these techniques worked to stop Enzo from yelling. She’s now a model parrot. But Isaac simply doesn’t get it. How do you train a “special” bird?”

  6. Thanks! I’ll send the links her way


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