DIY Dog Food Puzzle Dispenser

Many of our breed guides specify that you must keep your dog mentally active to prevent boredom behaviors such as digging and chewing. If you are having difficulty keeping your dog occupied, you might try making a food or treat dispenser like the one shown here to make the dog figure out how to get […]


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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Olympian Maddie Mastro Saves Dog in South Korea

“Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.” Taking the words of this popular quote from canine behaviorist and dog trainer…



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DogTipper

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Here Comes Sunshine | 8 Sun Inspired Art Prints

8 Sun Inspired Art Prints
1. Hello Sunshine Print, YoYo Studios  |  2. The Sunshine Print, Katy Girl Designs  |  3. Sun Print, Art Prints Factory  |  4.  Sunshine Wall Art Print, The Little Inkspot Co.  |  5. You Are My Sunshine Art Print, Delivered By Danielle  |  6. You Are My Sunshine Art Print on Wood, One Strange Bird Designs  |  7. You Art My Sunshine Two Piece Art Print Set, My Printable Arts |  8. You Are My Sunshine Art Print, Home Again Creative

You guys, it’s almost one of the most wonderful days of the year… Daylight Savings Time begins this weekend! I know there are lots of people who despise this time change because we “lose” an hour, it’s dark in the early morning, and for those of us who have kids, sleep schedules are disrupted. For me, these are simply minor annoyances. I love DST with all of my being. Winter itself is a major drag for me (I’ve deal with SAD on and off for my entire adult life), and the whole getting dark at 4 PM thing is a huge part of that. I genuinely feel reborn and refreshed once the day gets longer and the sun returns. So in honor of Daylight Savings, I’m sharing a few adorable sun inspired prints (several of which are instant downloads) I came across on Etsy. Just looking at them makes me feel cheery, man. Here’s to longer (feeling) days!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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For your research, Steph: "Having a pit bull…

For your research, Steph:

"Having a pit bull … and three kids is not acceptable because we're not going to deal with the consequences of losing a life," Newsom said.

He appointed a task force led by Carl Friedman, the city's director of Animal Care and Control, and members of the mayor's office, the police department, fire department, health department and city attorney's office, and gave the group 10 days to produce a report.

Friedman said the task force will likely consider breed-specific permits and mandatory spaying and neutering of aggressive dogs." And that they did.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=823394

We don't need to be convinced that mandatory spay/neuter is an outdated, ineffective idea and welcome you to follow the success of the the honey-not-vinegar approach that our group has been enjoying in the East Bay.
BAD RAP Blog

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Canine clones—The Japanese version

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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End of Oaks

dead white oak

Dead white oak.

They stand as edifices on the ridge-lines.  They seem as permanent as the stony ground on which they grow, but they are not eternal. Sooner or later, boring of insects and the general rot of wood bring them into death. Then, the winds of summer storms and winter gales bring them to the ground, and their matter returns to the soil from whence they came.

The oak tree played a major role in the identity of two of my ancestral people. The German people see the oak as a national symbol, and the English had a similar position for them. It was from the oak trees that the Royal Navy’s ships were made.

The forests I know best in West Virginia are called “Appalachian Mesophytic Forests.”

“Mesophytic” means not particularly wet or dry.  The oak and the hickory are the dominant trees, which has led to their other name, “oak-hickory forest.”

But the oak predominates.  In a typical West Virginia forest, around 60 percent of the trees will be oak, and unlike Western Europe, where just a few species of oak exist, our forests will be filled a great diversity of the trees. The most common species are divided into “red oak species” and “white oak” species. but there are many other types of oak that fall under neither distinction.

One of the weird delusions one must fight against in these forests is assuming they are old, that they are the same forest primeval that existed when Europeans first arrive. However, most of these forests are regenerated from old farm pastures that were left fallow after the agrarian economy fell apart in the latter decades of the twentieth century.

Those old forests certainly had many oaks, but they also shared their growing space with massive American chestnut trees.  The deer supposedly preferred the chestnuts to acorns, and even now, one can buy chestnut feeds to bait deer.

But those deer munching prepackaged chestnuts will never have the privilege of foraging beneath those old chestnut trees. In the early 1900s, a chestnut blight came sweeping through the Northeast and the Appalachians. The indigenous American chestnuts died off. And now only the deer’s ancestral proclivity manifests itself when the bait is put out.

I knew people who were alive when the last of the chestnuts died. I knew a few old farmers who missed the trees so much that they planted the Chinese chestnut as a replacement tree.  My grandpa Westfall had a massive Chinese chestnut as the “shade tree” for his deck, and I can still see him sitting on his the deck, peeling away chestnuts with his knife that he had just collected from his favorite tree.

A big storm came one summer, and the howling winds twisted that tree down to the ground. I thought it would be there forever, but the wind had other ideas.

It was a lesson in the simple reality that trees are not permanent. They are living, and they die.

This year, a firestorm went off in West Virginia.  The governor wanted to open up some of the state parks to logging. The reason for this move was never fully mentioned, but the truth is the Chinese market wants good quality oak lumber, especially from red oaks. The Chinese are buying the logs straight out and processing them over there, and the state wanted to make a few dollars selling big oak logs.

The plan has since been abandoned.

Now, it is certainly true that oak trees do grow back, but what is not mentioned much of the discussion about oak forests in West Virginia is that oaks are also under threat.

Just as the chestnut blight brought down our native chestnut tree, the oaks are under pressure now and have been for decades. Yes, the forests are still dominated by oak trees, and acorn mast still drives the ecosystem.

But now, it is quite difficult for oaks to reproduce. Squirrels still take acorns and bury them away from their parent tree, which makes for better growing conditions for the seedlings.

But when the seedlings arise from the leaf litter, the chomping maws of white-tails rip them from their shallow little roots.

Deer have always eaten little oak seedlings. The two species have evolved together, and during the autumn, the deer rely heavily upon acorns to build up their fat reserves.

However, we now live in a time in which deer densities are high. Sportsmen expect deer to be a high densities, and during the 80s and 90s, the numbers were even higher than they are now.

The state DNR, realizing that high deer numbers were ultimately bad for forests, for agricultural interests, and for auto insurers, decided to allow hunters to take more does from the population.  The deer numbers went down a bit.

This deer number reduction coincided with a coyote population increase, and it was assumed that the coyotes were the reason why the deer numbers dropped.  Some conspiracy theorists believed that the DNR or the insurance companies turned out coyotes to reduce the deer population. The story goes that some trapper bagged a coyote in his fox trap, and on its ear was a tattoo that said “Property of State Farm.”

Of course, the coyotes do take fawns, and some coyotes do pack up and hunt them. But there is very little evidence that coyotes have an effect on deer populations, at least in this part of the country.

Coyotes aren’t like wolves in that they don’t need to kill lots of deer to survive. They can live very nicely on rabbits and mice. Those smaller species have the added advantage that they don’t fight back with sharp hooves when the predator must make a kill.

So we have sportsmen demanding higher deer numbers and lower coyote numbers, and we have oak trees that are having harder and harder time regenerating, simply because there are too many deer eating their seedlings.

And now, fewer and fewer hunters are taking to the woods to hunt deer. State parks, of course, are off-limits to deer hunters.

So if these big oaks are taken for the Chinese market, it really could mean the end of oak trees in the state parks.

And statewide, they could become a rarity entirely.

Of course, the deer themselves will starve without acorns feeding them every September, October, and November, and maybe that crash will allow some regeneration to occur.

But it might be too late.

The truth of the matter is deer hunting is about forestry, and if more and more people see deer hunting as a cruel “sport,” then we’re going to see drastic changes to our forest ecosystem.

Our only hope is that black bears become more carnivorous and eat as many fawns as they can find, and the coyotes learn to swarm the hills like Kipling’s red dogs.

Or maybe more human hunters will take to the forests and fields in search of high quality meat.

But none of these events is likely to happen.

And in a few decades, we may very well see the end of the oak-hickory forest as we know it.

I guess it is time we thought long and hard again about selling out our natural resources to out of state concerns.  The curse of West Virginia is that we never really have, and those who dared raise the issue were either driven from office or kept as far from centers of power as possible.

Maybe times are changing.

Let’s hope they change fast enough for our forests and wildlife.

 

 

 

 

Natural History

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Slim the Orange Tabby Cat “Started Becoming More Active” Thanks To Halo Natural Cat Food

Slim the Cat

We recently received this message from Tracie Anderson in Minnesota about a cat named Slim:

“Slim is a feral orange tabby cat. He is 9 months old now. He was hurt in August 2017 and I saw it all happen. He got banged in the head right in the left tear duct. He howled so badly. I ran and quickly picked him put and help him to my chest and started praying. I could tell it was a significant brain injury. Three days I held him, only putting him down to go take care of the rest of the animals here at Triangle Acres.

Slim’s chances were slim. But that is not why he is named Slim. He is a slim physique as well. The vet just told me to be patient, if he didn’t improve in 4 to 5 days then he advised me to bring him back and humanely put him down.

Slim fought the first 3 days. He was fed canned cat food watered down. Dropper for water to give him water. His head swelled up but not as bad as the vet thought. He had tons of seizures and body tremors.

Day 4, I was dead tired from staying up the past 3 days. I picked him up gently and held him and kissed his head carefully. I asked him what he thought and he meowed and gave me a bit of a purr. When the vet saw him he said he was surprised he was still alive. He examined him and said the swelling was slowly going down but it appeared Slim couldn’t see anymore. The vet just said keep moving forward. Help him eat, teach him to eat whatever I could do. So I set up a pen for him and we started learning to do things over.

Day 30 Slim was walking but held his head to the left and walked in circles and clearly had a handicap we had to work through.

The vet was amazed but yet guarded. I hadn’t seen a seizure for a long time, but when I am sleeping and working with other animals, I don’t see everything. He was eating, but not dry cat food well. So after voicing my concerns about his weight not advancing and his coat being so rough I wondered what to do. The vet didn’t have any ideas either. Plus it seemed Slim was having a hard time with another canned cat food – processing it. So I started to look for a different food.

Slim the Cat

I came across Halo® on an Amazon Daily special and ordered a case. Slim went nuts over it. It took about three weeks of Halo chicken canned cat food before I really started to see a difference. But he started becoming more active and his coat was softening. And he was doing much better processing the food too. We tried the dry food, he likes it, but he just can’t crunch it well.

Today it has been about five weeks since we started Halo- goodness its spendy! Slim eats 2 full cans and shares another can. I put the old ladies (3-17 year old sisters whose health is failing now) on HALO as well. Slim races around his room and leaps with abandon. Actually I noticed this past week he has been gauging heights of the furniture in his room and has been clearing them just fine the past couple days.

Yes Slim is still blind. We think, the vet and I, that he has partial sight, but it would be the angled at the ground. He follows toys on the ground, but not in the air level with his head. So we know he sees something.

Today was a surprise and a first. Slim leapt into my arms. He’s been studying the height of my knees when I sit down for almost a week. He made a clean jump and I was able to catch him.

I don’t know if I would have found another cat food, I am just glad Halo is what he goes nuts over and what has helped him come up in health and I don’t mind the poop end of things either. Much easier to tolerate.

Jazz is a new kitty about 3 months old that was rescued from the cold. Jazz had 3 siblings and a neighbor brought one of his siblings over to me when it started to get cold out. They were about 5 weeks old at that time. The sibling that was brought to me did not make it, it had been cold too long and I couldn’t get it warmed up and couldn’t get it to take milk. The other 2 siblings we hunted for, but couldn’t find the same afternoon. Jazz showed up in my barn that evening. He was in between 5 other cats- they were blanketing him in a circle of fur. Cats are intelligent. However, I knew if they scattered, Jazz wouldn’t make it. So I grabbed Jazz and brought him inside. Jazz now resides in the same area of the house that Slim does and Jazz is now on Halo, too.

It’s a good cat food. Slim is living proof of how good it is. The improvement of his overall health and his coat speaks volumes.

If I were rich I would buy stock, lol.

I just wanted to share Slim’s story. If we hadn’t stumbled on that Amazon deal, I am not sure where we would be today. Thankful we stumbled on it.”

Slim the Cat

Thank you Tracie for sharing your story and we are happy to hear that Slim and Jazz are doing well on Halo!

Halo Pets

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Getting Ready for the Iditarod

The ceremonial start is going on now, and actual racing starts Sunday at 2:00 pm, Eastern Time (10:00 am in Alaska). Typically the restart, as it is called, leaves from Willow, but poor conditions there have moved it to Fairbanks. The race lasts 9 – 12 days, ending when the last team makes it to […]


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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Reality sets in

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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And we’re back…

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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