Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Kitties Gotta Play

Today, Guest Blogger Kate Fenner and her kitty Cinnamon take on Big Orange Fish and Lazy Lady Bug with this pet toy review. Imperial Cat generously provided the toys from their Cat 'N Around collection.

Kate: A few days ago I received a mysterious package in the mail. I had a suspicion it contained the much-anticipated Imperial Cat toys even before I opened the package, because I heard the contents jingling. So did Cinnamon! Just after I opened it, she moseyed into the living room to check things out.

Inside were two adorable toys, one shaped like a fish, and the other like a ladybug. Each has a little bell inside, which makes a light jingling noise when tossed around. Both are filled with feline friendly organic catnip.

When I first opened the envelope, the scent of catnip was extremely strong. However, once being removed from the envelope and tossed around the house by Cinnamon, it didn't bother me anymore. And as you will later see, the scent was not a negative issue for Miss Cinnamon.

When she was a young kitten, Cinnamon didn't care too much for catnip. But recently, we've discovered that she now really enjoys it, both on its own and in toys. So when I placed the toys on the ground, and she started investigating them, I could tell she knew the catnip was there, and she was thrilled!












She had a great time batting both the toys around, rubbing up against them with her head and body, and most amusingly, grabbing one of the toys in her two front paws and then scratching at the toy with her back paws, all while rolling onto her back.












Cinnamon definitely enjoys both of these toys. I think the orange fish tends to get a little more use, simply because it is a little larger of a toy, which makes it easier for her to grasp. These Imperial Cat "Cat 'n Around" toys have both certainly become welcome additions to her toy box.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday Pet Roundup

Hi and welcome to Monday Pet Roundup!

* Collars on cats--Choking hazard or crucial means of ID? The NYTimes reports on the findings of a new study.

* How about a new source of energy fueled by...ummmm...dog poo. The Miami Herald has the story.

* A less-effective use of dog poo: The Chicago Sun Times reports that a Naperville women got into trouble for exacting creative revenge after her neighbor's dog left its calling cards on her lawn.

* I have to get off this subject. Okay, here's a new iphone and ipad app: ilounge reviews "iKnow Dogs HD+" dog breed guide ($8, Alphablind Studios). See how they rate it.

* Finally, for your chuckle for the day, TODAY Pets alerted me to this great site, 103 Pugs in Little Jackets. Irresistible pugs all dressed up for the fall weather. Click and get ready to smile!

What about you? Do you put collars on your cats? Sweaters on your pugs?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Practicing our Good Manners

Has your dog earned his Canine Good Citizen degree? Kelly hasn't yet, and one of the reasons is because she still isn't reliably friendly around other dogs. That's something we're going to have to work on.

Canine Good Citizen is sponsored by the American Kennel Club (AKC), and rewards dogs (purebred and mixed breed) who display good manners at home and in the community. That's why I want to participate, because I think this is a worthy accomplishment.

In addition to basic commands such as sit, stay and come, here are some of the things your dog will have to know to be a Canine Good Citizen:

1. Behave politely around people. Allow a friendly stranger to approach. When your dog is being petted, he shouldn’t spin around like a top, but he shouldn’t shy away either.

2. Behave politely around other dogs. Your dog should never show signs of aggression. It’s acceptable to show interest in the other dog as long as she remains in control.

3. Cooperate for veterinary examinations and grooming. It’s not easy to be poked and prodded, but no nipping!

4. Walk on a leash without tugging or pulling ahead like a Greyhound at the races. He will not have to heel perfectly, just walk with you evenly.

5. Remain calm when she is left with someone else and you are out of sight. We know she loves you. But she should be able to separate from you for a short time.

Has your dog participated in the Canine Good Citizen program? If not, what are the tasks that you and your dog find most challenging? One thing for sure, Kelly and I have some work to do!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Kelly Tests Toys

Kelly roots through her basket of toys like a truffle pig, searching for just the right one. Why does a particular toy catch her fancy at any given moment? Who knows. She has her favorites, like the pink bunny (now decapitated and dismembered.) She loves toys!

Recently csnstores.com generously gave us the opportunity to test a few pet products. Kelly and I selected two toys and a pet food placemat. Testing products is fun!

Kelly loves Nylabones, and I love the fact that they are practically indestructible. We chose the Nylabone Galileo Dog Chew Toy, "Souper" size, for powerful chewers 25 lbs and over (Nylabone $17.48). This bone is huge! And heavy. Even so, Kelly loves to toss it in the air and fling it about (thunk! crash!). She was immediately attracted to the scent and flavor. The lumpy shape is pretty cool too, reminiscent of a real bone.















I was really excited to try out the Dog-E Logic Interactive Dog Toy (Ware, $27.95). The idea is to hide a treat under the pegs and sliding discs, and see if the dog can deduce how to remove the obstacles to get to the goodies.





























But could she figure this out? See for yourselves.



Kelly seemed to have fun playing with this toy, but I think it was more knocking and pawing things until she got what she wanted. Not sure if there was really much reasoning going on.











The last item we tested was the Doggie Butler Indoor/Outdoor Rug (No Trax, $28.99). When this arrived, it smelled strongly of rubber and carpet, so I had to put it outside to air out. But now it's fine. The mat has raised edges which help keep the bowls, and stray food in place. It sops up sloppy water dribbles well. The backing is thick rubber, so it doesn't skid around or budge on the tile floor at all. Overall a great pet food mat.

If you have any pet supply needs, I would recommend these products, and csnstores.com. They have hundreds of different items, from dog beds to crates, leashes, travel bowls, pooper scoopers, grooming needs and of course....toys! Kelly says toys are the best!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday Pet Roundup

Hi and welcome to Monday Pet Roundup! The model today is my daughter's cat, Cinnamon, playing with some new toys.

* Election season is upon us. Maybe we should consider this way to vote: According to the AP, the Washington (DC) Humane Society held an election that went to the dogs. Bone-shaped dog biscuits with each of the two mayoral candidates names were placed in front of canine voters. The dogs voted by choosing which bone to eat. Some (hungry) dogs voted more than once.

* In more political news, USA Today reports on an adorable rescue mutt Hewitt, who "helps" County Councilman Dave Somers work in his office in Everett, Washington. Wait until you read how Somers acquired the dog.

* Firefighter Dayna Hilton and her dalmatian are doing great work educating children about fire safety. If you know any kids who like to color, check out her new Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog Coloring Book . It's a great way to spread the fire safety message to children. Congrats on the book, Dayna and Sparkles!

* Love cats? I hope you've seen this UK Ikea advertisement, gone viral on You Tube with more than 600,000 views so far. These are some beautiful cats. Check it out here:




* I think a parrot would make a great pet, but I have no idea how to care for one. Here, Martha Stewart and an animal expert offer a brief introductory video about owning an African Grey Parrot. Did you know they like to be misted with water?

* If you enter this contest, you could win $500 worth of pet care services. Just send Fetch Pet Care a paragraph and/or photos or video to show "How far would you go for your pet?"

What about you? I think we all would do just about anything for our pets, but can you go too far? How far is too far?
And do you think dogs can do about as good job selecting a politician as anyone? lol

Friday, September 17, 2010

Write a Blog Post, Feed a Shelter Pet

Things We Can Do to Help Shelter Pets:

1. Adopt pets from shelters or rescue groups. Give a homeless pet a chance.

2. Support shelters by donating your time, resources, food, blankets.

3. Blog about Pedigree's Adoption Drive.

Kelly is a rescue dog and I'm grateful to the rescue group we got her from for saving her and keeping her safe until we found each other. Shelters and rescue groups are run largely on donations and need our help to make things more comfortable for these beautiful pets while they are waiting for their furever homes.

Why write a post?

* Each year, more than 4 million dogs end up in shelters and breed rescue organizations. Pedigree created The PEDIGREE Adoption Drive to help shine a spotlight on the plight of these homeless dogs.

* This year the PEDIGREE® Adoption Drive is raising awareness for homeless dogs by donating a bowl of food to shelter dogs for everyone who becomes a "Fan" or "Likes" the PEDIGREE Adoption Drive on Facebook. So far more than 1 million bowls have been donated.

* For each blog that posts about the PEDIGREE® Adoption Drive through September 19, PEDIGREE® will donate a bag of its new Healthy Longevity Food for Dogs to shelters nationwide. It's simple: Write a post, help a dog.

When you are finished, join the special PEDIGREE® Blog Hop!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Kelly visits life-size sculptures

I can't wait to show you pictures from our weekend outing with Kelly. But first, Peggy's Pet Place has a new look! I'm excited by the new colors and size. (Please bear with me as I tweak.)

Now, back to the family outing. We took Kelly with us to tour the Sculpture in the Streets in downtown Albany NY. A city, even a fairly small one like Albany, can be intimidating to a little dog. But I think she had a great time.

The statues, by American artist Seward Johnson, are life-sized bronze sculptures of ordinary people in everyday activities. The fun part is that, from a distance, pedestrians or motorists passing by might be tricked into thinking the statues are real!

Join us on the tour:


"I'm trying to be good and stay for my picture, but there is so much to see here."
















"Enough yakking ladies. Can't we get up and play in the park?"















































"Nope. Nothing good in the news today."















"Okay, but don't come at me with those huge clippers!























"You don't mind if I read over your shoulder do you?"



















We hope you enjoyed the sculptures. Are there statues like this in your community? If not, come visit Albany! The sculptures will be on display through October.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday Pet Roundup

Hi and Welcome to Monday Pet Roundup!

* I saw these birds while on a walk downtown Saturday. They were perched so cute on an office building window sill.

* I'm so excited because today I'm announcing the contest winners of A Dog's Purpose book and a pet-friendly Frisbee. Thank you so much for all the great and thoughtful responses. Here are some of the wonderful endings to the sentence: A dog's purpose is-
to love us
to show us what a best friend is
to make us happy
to teach us
to protect us
to help us discover our inner dog.

* $100, $700 or even $1,000..Ark Animals blog explores why buying a pet can be expensive. Are you willing to pay? And do you think a shelter pet should cost less than other pets?

* With pets so expensive, little shock that they are sometimes the object of illegal practices. Thieves stole several rare birds from a pet shop in the Chicago are. One suspect was seen on surveillance camera taking a parrot out of its cage and putting it in her purse. Good news: the birds have all been safely returned.

* Is this place for real?! You may have seen the pictures going around the web of hundreds of cats and teeny tiny replica houses. From greenplanet.com, find out more about the man who built Caboodle, a cat village--complete with little houses, a church and Wal-Mart--for homeless cats.

And now, the contest winners! Thank you so much to everyone for entering, I wish you all could have won. I'm delighted to announce the winners, CONGRATULATIONS! Please send your mailing address to me at peggyfrezon (at) gmail (dot) com and I will get your prizes right out to you.


For the first place drawing, A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron, the winner is:
Gloria













The second place winner, a dog-friendly Frisbee, goes to:
Benny and Lily

Friday, September 10, 2010

Is Your Dog Amazing Too?

The way Kelly sits, with all four legs brilliantly in the right places--amazing. And the way she sleeps, either on her stomach, or back--also impressive. Okay, so I'm just kidding a bit. But I do find practically everything about dogs amazing. They are pretty much the most perfect animal.

So I had to check it out when Vet Tech.org sent me 50 Amazing Facts About Dogs. Here are some of my favorites:

* Different dogs dig holes for different reasons.
Digging holes is a common bad habit amongst canines, but every individual has a different origin. 2 of the more popular reasons why dogs start ripping up the dirt are sheer boredom and attempting to escape, either to find a mate or an adventure.

* Dogs don't understand when we point.
Most dogs do not comprehend the concept of pointing. Rather than following the finger to the person, place or thing indicated, they will stare at the fingertip and wonder what’s going on.

* Dogs are capable of dreaming.
Rapid eye movement – an observable phenomenon for curious owners – does occur in dogs, making it entirely likely that they undergo their own unique dream experiences.


* The 2 most common dog names begin with the letter M.
“Maggie” for females, and “Max” for males. Other popular names include Jake, Molly, Buddy, Lady, Bailey, Sadie, Sam and Lucy.


* The Americans and French own the most dogs.
In both France and the United States, dogs reign supreme as pets, with about 1 out of every 3 households owning one or more. Switzerland and Germany keep the least amount of pet dogs – only 1 in every 10 homes keeps a pet pooch.

* Dogs aren’t colorblind.
In actuality, dogs are capable of perceiving and processing color – just in a very rudimentary manner akin to a human’s vision during the twilight hours.

* Talking to pet dogs is a very common practice.
According to the American Animal Hospital Association, 33% of dog owners have admitted to talking to their pets. The actual number probably sits much higher than this, however.

What about you? What is something amazing about your dog?

(p.s. Don't forget you can still enter to win a free book, A Dog's Purpose, until Sunday at 5pm. Just leave a comment on this past Wednesday's blog post! Good luck!)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Dog's Purpose Book Giveaway Contest

Here's what I hear about the new bestseller, A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron:
1. The book is a heartwarming dog's-eye view of the world.
2. What's really cool is that the author helps spread the word about critical issues in animal rescue (more about this later.)
3. What's really really cool is that you can win a copy of A Dog's Purpose right here on this blog. (keep reading!)

But the main thing I keep hearing about A Dog's Purpose is that the novel--about a dog's search for his purpose over the course of several lives--will make me cry. Wait! Don't stop reading here...there are plenty of laugh out loud moments in the book, too. After all, Bruce Cameron is a seasoned bestselling humor author (8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, one of the absolute funniest books I've ever read!) But back to the crying. If you've read any review, it's no secret that the canine protagonist dies three times in the course of the book. Then, (sort of like in the movie Groundhog Day) the dog receives the miracle of life again and again, remembers the lessons of previous lives, and ponders his purpose.

This book is sweet, sincere and charming. The dog's inner voice really works--he thinks exactly the way I would expect a dog in his situations to be thinking. And yes, it's sad. Not that I necessarily like to cry, but sometimes a good cry is a prerequisite to experiencing deeper, happier emotions.

And now for the contest! The publishers kindly provided me with a copy of the book (and Frisbees!) to review, and one to give away! One lucky reader will receive a copy of A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron.

Second place winner will receive a pet friendly Frisbee.


How to enter:
1. I'd be happy if you'd follow me on this blog. Thank you! (optional!)
2. Leave a comment that completes the sentence: "A dog's purpose is..."
3. The contest is open now until Sunday 9/12/10 at 5pm.

How to win:
Winners will be chosen by random number generator
Winners will be announced on this blog on Monday 9/13/10.
If you're selected, I will ask you to provide me with your mailing address so I can send you your prize!

** Here is the cool part I promised you earlier. The author is a true animal lover, spreading the word about spaying and neutering, puppy mills, and adopting rescue dogs. He wrote the book in part because he was inspired by his daughter's dog rescue work with Nikeno's Second Chances in Denver. You can even go to his website and nominate a dog of the week and receive a donation to a pet shelter or charity of your choice.

Don't forget, leave a comment here to be entered to win a free book or Frisbee! And please spread the word to your pet loving friends so they can have a chance to win too. (All you doggies out there, enter for a chance to win the book for your momma or poppa!)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Monday Pet Roundup

Hi and welcome to Monday Pet Roundup! And Happy Labor Day. Kelly just came out of the lake and is shaking off. Look out, don't get wet!

* Looking for an activity to share with your dog? Try Happy Hour! The Washington Post reports on such an event held last Wednesday at the Park Hayatt Hotel. Ticket price of $12 included two drinks and free dog cookies. (Proceeds benefited the Washington Animal Rescue League.)

* How about dogs on the subway? Not in NYC, but the Boston Herald discovers that yes, dogs are allowed on the T!

* Dogs or jail? Which would you choose? According to USA Today, a Kentucky woman says dogs. Because she owns 6 dogs, 4 more than town regulations allow, she can face jail time. Do you agree, or disagree?

* Sorry to end with this but I just have to say it. I saw the video of the woman tossing the cat in the trash can. I can't forget about puppy mills, hoarding and the Vick dogs. I just read a headline about setting dogs on tame, chained bears. I can't open the link. I can't read the story. My heart is sick. I just can't take it any more.

* Okay, I can't end the post there. Here, via Cute Overload, is a little sleepy pup I hope will bring a smile to your face.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Tail-Wagging Adoption Tour and Susan Sims, Part 2

Wednesday I introduced you to
Susan Sims, publisher of FIDO Friendly magazine and founder of Get Your Licks on Route 66 mobile pet adoption tour. Today we continue our interview, find out what Junior is up to, and learn more about some of the heartwarming adoptions last year.

Q: The pet adoption tour kicks off in Chicago on September 11th. What are the special events along the way?

Susan: Each partner shelter provides volunteers to help during the day and we try and take photos of all the pets being adopted. We place a lot of ads in the local media and its always great fun when camera crews come out during that special day to help encourage more people to consider adopting their next pet. It is truly heart warming to be a part of this experience when people find their new forever friends.

Q: Do you remember some of the pets who were adopted?

Susan: Watching people looking at the pets up for adoption never failed to touch our hearts. One day in particular stands out in my mind when a disabled woman adopted a small bundle of fur who only had one eye. She thought they were a good match!

Last year, we had a cover contest where we chose one lucky pup from the tour to grace our cover. The pet that made it was a white puppy pit bull. He was adopted by a family in Flagstaff, Arizona (pictured with his new family and here on the cover) and they named him Spike. We saw the whole love story unfold that day and it was a perfect match.

Q:
Are there cats too?

Susan:
Cats are onboard as well!

Q: You're on the road for a month. What are the pluses and minuses of traveling so long?

Susan: We love traveling with our dog, Junior. The plus side is being able to experience different sights and sounds with him. He is always up for adventure. Another plus is that we always order room service when Junior is along for the ride. The minus side is: we always order room service when Junior is along for the ride. Lol

Q: So Junior is an important part of the tour.

Susan: Last year, Junior’s picture was quite large on the side of the bus. The caption was, ‘Hi, my name is Junior and I was adopted.’ We stay at the LaQuinta Inns and Suites as they are our hotel sponsors and one night when my husband was walking Junior at the hotel, a guest came up and said, "Is that Junior?" It took my husband awhile to realize that this person had seen Junior’s face on the side of the bus, and that was why he was recognized.

Q: Darn, I don't live in the Route 66 vicinity. Can we follow along online?

Susan: Thanks so much for asking! We will be blogging daily on our FIDO Friendly blog as well as highlighting stops on Animal Radio. There is also a direct link with photos at www.getyourlicks.org. We will be running a feature story the first of the year which will detail the entire tour.

Q: How many pets do you think will be adopted as a result of this year's tour?

Susan: Last year we helped adopt 150 pets. It would be great to double that amount this year!

Q: That would be great! How can we help?

Susan: You are helping us so much right now by spreading the word about this life saving event. We also have a great auction up on Charity Buzz. Starting September 2nd, people can take a look online and bid for great auction items. All proceeds will benefit the ‘Get Your Licks on Route 66’ tour. Once on Charity Buzz, look for North Shore Animal League America and FIDO Friendly and the event name: Get Your Licks on Route 66.

Thank you Susan, and best of luck on the tour! Hugs to Junior!

If you want, you can leave your good wishes for Susan and Junior and their travels here. And, if you have any questions for Susan, feel free to ask here too.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tail-Wagging Adoption Tour and Susan Sims, Part 1

If you're like me, you'd take in every sweet, adorable, pleading homeless pet and give them the love and care they deserve...if you could. The next best thing, however, is promoting pet adoption all across the country.

What is it? Get Your Licks on Route 66 is a mobile national pet adoption tour rolling along the length of the America's Favorite Highway, Route 66.

When? The event kicks off in Chicago on September 10th and arrives in California early October.

Where? The 36-foot Mobile Adoption Unit will travel through eight states, with stops in Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

Meet Susan Sims, publisher of FIDO Friendly magazine, and founder of Get Your Licks on Route 66.

Q: How did this adoption tour begin?

Susan: Early in 2009 I had the idea to travel cross-country to help promote pet adoption.
FIDO Friendly magazine is such a great venue for all things dog, but I wanted to get out on the road and start a grass-root awareness campaign about pet adoption. We partnered with North Shore Animal League America, (NSALA) the world's largest no kill animal shelter.

Q: So, do you bring pets for adoption along with you?

Susan: The bus drivers take pets from the local shelters along the way and bring them to a designated venue where people can come on board the climate-controlled pet adoption bus and look at pets for adoption.

The 2 bus drivers from NSALA are the true heroes, as they transport pets to the different adoption sites each day and at day's end, take pets that had not been adopted back to the shelters. At this time, they sanitize the bus and get it ready for the next day's adoption. This process is repeated at each shelter.

Q: How can we find out if/when you'll be coming to our town?

Susan: We will be posting the entire schedule on our blog and online.

Q: Why have you made this event one of your personal missions--what does it mean to you?

Susan: Just before the Get Your Licks on Route 66 pet adoption tour last year, we lost both of our two Labs within a few months of each other and as fate would have it, we adopted Junior from our local shelter just before the last sweet spirit passed over Rainbow Bridge. There are a lot of great dogs sitting in shelters right now, just waiting for the chance to become someone's best friend. By making this month long pet adoption tour something fun and hopefully news worthy, I feel that more and more dogs will be adopted as a result of what we do. Junior is a pure bred black Lab, found at a shelter, so he made a perfect choice for spokes-dog. You just never know who you will find that needs a new forever home at your local shelter. These are not throw-away dogs, just sweet spirits looking for a home.

Junior came with us last year, in fact, you could say he grew up on the road. He had never been on a car trip, never in a plane and we just got lucky that he loved the entire experience. We made sure that we stopped at places like Camp Bow Wow when we had extra time so he could run and play with a few 'new friends' before we jumped back in the car for the next city stop. I think if pet parents remember to exercise their furry best friends, making a long road trip like this one can be a great experience for all concerned.

Thank you Susan!

Be sure to stop by again Friday to
Learn more about Junior
Read some of the heartwarming adoption stories

Find out how you can help!


If you want, you can leave your good wishes for Susan and Junior and their travels here. And, if you have any questions for Susan, feel free to ask here too.

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