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Monday Mentions: Blogs, Pet Food & Summer Colds

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Looking for a new friend

Pets make us feel better just by being there…

I’m sick today, urk. No voice. Stuffy head. Feel exhausted. So that’s my excuse for the brevity. I’ve had folks suggest a number of remedies–eat marshmallows to coat the throat and my personal favorite, sip “Hot Damn” (cinnamon flavored schnapps). Need to snuggle with my Seren-kitty and have the Magical-Dawg deliver some chicken soup (but he’ll want to share…). Colds suck anytime, but summer colds are particularly aggravating. Hope y’all stay healthy and I promise, I’ve sanitized the links and suchlike so germ-icity won’t infect you today on the blog.

Do your cats and dogs know when you’re under the weather? How do they act? Do tell.

Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo links and videos, pet schtuff and bling and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. Some of this “schtuff” can be hard to categorize and may fit more than one topic so I urge you to at least scan them all.

WRITER-ICITY SCHTUFF

New Writerly Production? book a year or more? Is acceleration of content a good thing?

Love Is Murder, check out Sandra Brown’s edited anthology of romantic suspense (pre-orders now available)

Blogging Tips for Writers–FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS!

More Blogging Tips–make it EASY to comment plus all about moderation

Author Facebook Pages, why have them?

New Anthology Opps from Margie Yee Webb the co-creator with Dahlynn McKowen for Not Your Mother’s Book . . . On Cats. And Ken McKowen and Kathy Baker are co-creators for Not Your Mother’s Book . . . On Dogs.

Meredith Bernstein Literary Agency has new website with value-added for writers. Meredith was my agent for many years and I can’t recommend her highly enough.

Hyperthymesia and Marilu Henner’s Brain from the awesome Writer’s Forensics Blog of Dr. Lyle

Authors On the Air, a new radio show might be worth a look, suggested by author CJ West

PET SCHTUFF

Cat Food Recalls and Dog Food Recalls expanding. Here’s further info from the FDA.

Small Vet Practices On Way Out? IBISWorld reports veterinarians appear to be gravitating toward working in larger multi-doctor practices. What will this mean for your furry wonder?

Pit Bull Saves Owner, Loses Leg awesome story about a hero dog pulling owner from train tracks

New Hyperthyroid Diet for Cats–miracle or disaster waiting to happen? A veterinarian weighs in.

Dogs Feel Your Pain, fascinating read from ScienceNOW thanks to great pet author Cheryl Smith

Bad Journalism How-To on Cat Declaw from Sally Bahner. Let’s be responsible, folks!

Is Innovative Vet Care Too Expensive? Great post by my colleague Jo Singer. I have to say, the only “hate mail” I ever got about a book took issue with my cutting-edge title and the expense involved. Hmnnn.

SAR Dog Organizations Receive $258,000 In Grants from the AKC Companion Animal Recovery Canine Support & Relief Fund, bow-WOW!

Hogzilla–Feral vs Domestic Pig Brains for those who are really into “this little piggy.” Hmnn, wonder what would happen if people brains took that turn (can you say “weird plot idea?”)

This how-to video is on my new must-do list, since Magical-Dawg loves getting dirty and we have white carpet.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? 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 excerpts from the forthcoming THRILLER, LOST & FOUND, and pet book give-aways!

Woof Wednesday: Putting On the Dog at Dog Shows

Yorkie in papers

Yorkshire Terrier backstage at Westminster.

Last week, I’m sure a number of readers watched the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on television. I’ve attended this event several times–I shot most of the pictures in today’s blog at Westminster–and it’s even more exciting and impressive in person.

In an email communication that mentioned the show, though, one passionate pet advocate expressed the hope that folks NOT watch the show. A finger was pointed at shows for promoting the sale of pets for profit, labeling the practice to be cruelty to animals that created the need for rescue organizations and shelters to deal with the cast offs.

White poodle in show wraps

This Standard Poodle is not yet ready for his close-up! Again, taken in the benching area at Westminster.

Wow. I have to applaud the passion, and I actually agree with some of the comments. I also would like to see an end to the need for rescue and shelters, but I don’t believe banning dog shows (or cat shows) would stop indiscriminate breeding. Just take a look in the paper at the “free puppies” section—those are not dog show animals being bred for profit. Punishing the folks who research pedigrees, perform expensive genetic and other health tests before doggy match-making, fund ultrasounds, support research to improve health of all dogs (or cats) doesn’t account for numbers found in rescue, foster and shelter organizations. I know many breeders who include in their contract that should your circumstances change THEY will take back the dog or cat.

beagle

Notice the saw dust on the floor--the BEST pictures (without people traffic) can be taken at the Westminster doggy potty spot.

The only folks who actually make money breeding dogs and cats would never get one of their dogs into Westminster or a comparable show. If you heard my colleague David Frei comment during the broadcast, you learned that a majority of the exhibitors at these high-venue events are ALSO into rescue work, support shelters, do therapy dog work, visit prisons, are hunting dogs or SAR emergency teams, and help fund health studies that benefit all dogs and cats including shelter animals.

komondor

Corded coats as on this Komondor served to protect the dogs as herders, but critics suggest the emphasis on appearance may not be good for the dogs.

What’s the deal with showing dogs, anyway? The earliest record of a dog show dates to June 1859 in England and featured hunting dogs, while today the show world has expanded to include a much greater variety of breeds, types, and fun canine sports.

Conformation dog shows are the beauty contest of the dog world, like the Westminster show. But conformation goes beyond simple looks. Show judges must know what constitutes the breed “ideal” and measure each competing canine against that mind’s eye image to select the winner that comes closest. Besides looks, the dog’s health, ability to move, and even personality must be up to snuff.

Golden 1

Appearance doesn't have to be extreme--there can be "hidden" issues as in this gorgeous Golden Retriever, a breed known to have a very high incidence of cancer.

Interestingly, after the 2012 Westminster winning Pekingese Malachy was crowned, quite a bit of outcry resulted not only from folks like rescue and shelter organizations, but also from those in the “show” world. You see, dog shows have a public relations problem—as evidenced by the comments that prompted this column. The breeding of some dogs to extravagant extremes that meets a “show” standard but may impact the health and well- being of the dog has been in question for years, from veterinarians and forward-thinking dog lovers. While the Peke breed was developed to be a lap dog/pet in ancient China, and the winner certainly fit today’s standard, the little guy epitomized all the complaints about purebred dog breeding favoring form over function. The coat alone would be crippling and lethal in a Texas summer!

Thank you to everyone who does their part for companion pets everywhere. It shouldn’t be an “us against them” mentality. I just wish that all the “good guys” from every arena—show, shelter, rescue, feral TNR, foster and more—worked together for the mutual benefit and against the common enemy—abuse, neglect, and more.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? 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!

Woof Wednesday: How To Brush Puppy Teeth

Chewing is my passion

Special dental chews can help with tooth care.

Pungent pet breath goes beyond offending houseguests; it signals the beginning of dental disease that’s not only painful, but can cut short your pet’s life. February is National Pet Dental Health Month so it’s the perfect time to “brush up” on recognizing and preventing tooth trouble.

Eighty percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats develop dental problems (periodontal disease) by the age of three. Pets don’t brush their teeth, so bacteria grow in left-behind food, mineralize, and forms plaque. The bacteria also release enzymes that cause receding gums that loosen teeth, and redness and swelling (gingivitis). If that’s not enough, chewing pumps bacteria into the bloodstream through the raw gums. That damages your pet’s heart, liver and kidneys.

There are many products out there for dogs to help keep those teeth pearly white. But the absolutely best way to prevent dental issues is to GASP! brush your dog’s teeth.

I can see y’all quivering in your socks at the thought. But it really isn’t all that difficult. I’ve just posted a step-by-step how-to in this article on how to brush puppy teeth (it works for adult dogs, too). You’ll also want to take a look at the video, below, from my friend Dr. Jim Humphries.

Do you brush your dog’s teeth? Does he have breath that’d knock over a moose? How do you manage Poochie’s dental care? Please share!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? 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!  NOTE: the Pet Peeves newsletter will have a special VALENTINE’S DAY ISSUE you won’t want to miss!

Feline Friday: 12 Weird Cat Behaviors Explained

Seren's Valentine Rose
Yes, this is a repeat of a previous blog post but I’ve many more followers since it first appeared. And frankly, I’m at deadline on a number of projects so–DO-OVER TIME! Enjoy!

We love them but cat behavior can puzzle and frustrate owners, making us think we have a weird cat. Does your cat eat weird things? Seren-kitty (above) can’t get enough of roses. Some cats act like battering rams, and pummel their special humans with head butts and body rubs. It’s called bunting behavior, and is one way cats communicate with each other, and their humans.

Why do cats pose in a quirky front-end bow with their nether regions raised? I call it elevator butt, although there’s a more polite technical name for the display. And what’s up with presenting his tail to your face? Actually, your cat’s action is a backhanded compliment and kitty-correct.

Cat with bowl
Do your cats cover their–ahem–creative efforts? Not all cats do this, and some try to cover their food bowl. How weird is that? Especially when they seem to prefer eating plastic.
Myster E. Watching TV 016
Does your cat want to phone home? Is kitty jealous of your time with the telephone?  or maybe they want attention when you’re on the computer? This quirky behavior also has a logical explanation. Learn about 12 weird cat behaviors, why cats do them, and how you can learn to live with them – or even enjoy your quirky kitty’s antics.

What are your cats’ foibles? Every cat is different, of course. My Seren-kitty, for instance, adores Philly cream cheese and has learned how to get the Magical-Dawg in trouble. She just “meow-meow-meows” so he comes running, and then her head spins around and she throws a hissy fit and chases the 90-pound lug across the room. How do your cats express their “inner creative kitty?”

#AskAmy Sweet Tweets

Folks who “follow” me on Twitter @amyshojai and @About_Puppies are the most awesome Sweet Tweets around–they love #cats and #dogs and #pets, many #amwriting.  Just follow and include the #AskAmy in your tweets if’n you’re interested in pithy links to articles, books, blogs, experts, fictioning and sparkle-icity!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? 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!

Feline Friday: 12 Weird Cat Behaviors Explained

Posted on

Seren's Valentine Rose
We love them but cat behavior can puzzle and frustrate owners, making us think we have a weird cat. Does your cat eat weird things? Seren-kitty (above) can’t get enough of roses. Some cats act like battering rams, and pummel their special humans with head butts and body rubs. It’s called bunting behavior, and is one way cats communicate with each other, and their humans.

Why do cats pose in a quirky front-end bow with their nether regions raised? I call it elevator butt, although there’s a more polite technical name for the display. And what’s up with presenting his tail to your face? Actually, your cat’s action is a backhanded compliment and kitty-correct.

Cat with bowl
Do your cats cover their–ahem–creative efforts? Not all cats do this, and some try to cover their food bowl. How weird is that? Especially when they seem to prefer eating plastic.
Myster E. Watching TV 016
Does your cat want to phone home? Is kitty jealous of your time with the telephone?  or maybe they want attention when you’re on the computer? This quirky behavior also has a logical explanation. Learn about 12 weird cat behaviors, why cats do them, and how you can learn to live with them – or even enjoy your quirky kitty’s antics.

What are your cats’ foibles? Every cat is different, of course. My Seren-kitty, for instance, adores Philly cream cheese and has learned how to get the Magical-Dawg in trouble. She just “meow-meow-meows” so he comes running, and then her head spins around and she throws a hissy fit and chases the 90-pound lug across the room. How do your cats express their “inner creative kitty?”

NEWS FLASH! The 2nd edition of the (updated) Pet Care in the New Century has just been released in print and all Ebook formats, yee-haw! I’m excited (can you hear me purring?). Kudos to my wonderful publisher at WhoDaresWins Publishing, where you can learn more about the book that covers feline kidney transplants, gene-therapy and more for our special pets.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions–and to stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!