January, 2016

  • 26 January

    Amazing Double Dog Tricks

  • 26 January

    My Cat Splashes His Water Everywhere. Help!

    A tabby cat drinks from a pet fountain.

    Photo CC-BY-SA Angela Pace

    Dear Most Esteemed and Knowledgeable Kitties:

    I got a rescue kitten for a retirement gift. I have had him since he was a 7-ounce kitten; now he weighs about 24.5 pounds. He is great; however, no matter what I use for his water dish, he will paddle in it until empty. It is a worry for me when I am gone. What can I do? I cannot always be home to turn on the tub spout, which is his favorite place to drink.

    ~ Russ

    Thomas: Well, Russ, it sounds like your kitty really loves moving water, and since you can’t be around all the time, there is a very good solution out there.

    Bella: And that solution is a pet fountain! Like the one shown above, pet fountains have constantly moving water, which might give your kitty the “fix” he needs without splashing water all over the place.

    Tara: Pet fountains are pretty easy to find at pet stores and online outlets.

    Thomas: They range in degree of fanciness from plastic dishes with flowing water all the way through custom-made clay fountains that can cost well over $100, so you have a lot of choices.

    Thirsty Cat FountainBella: We have  fancy fountain that Mama got from Thirsty Cat Fountains. It’s one of those super-fancy ones, but Mama said that if we didn’t drink out of it, at least she could use it as a feng shui feature in the house. Tee hee hee!

    Thomas: Please forgive the mineral deposits; we have kind of hard water here.

    Bella: It was a housewarming gift for us when we moved across the country to our new home in 2013.

    Tara: Maybe someday I’ll drink out of that fancy fountain. *sniffle*

    Thomas: Oh, Tara, come on. You’re a brave kitty, and all we want to do is be your friends!

    Bella: So, Russ, what we’d recommend is that you get your big guy a fountain. We’d also suggest you put some sort of tray or other waterproof material under his water bowl, just so that when he does splash water, it doesn’t ruin your rugs or floors.

    Tara: Now, we do want to talk a little bit about your cat’s weight. Obesity can set your kitty up for lots of future problems like diabetes and early arthritis, so it’s really worth it to talk to your vet about a plan to get your cat to an appropriate weight.

    Thomas: You can’t put a cat on a “crash diet,” so you and your vet will need to work on a weight loss program that will allow him to lose weight slowly.

    Bella: We know fat cats can be cute, but we do hope you’ll consider helping your big guy to be a slightly smaller guy.

    Tara: Best of luck to you and your cat, both with resolving his drinking problem (tee hee hee) and with reducing his weight.

    Thomas: How about you other readers? Do you have some tips for Russ on how he can get his cat to drink more neatly or on types of pet fountains you’ve tried? Please share your advice in the comments.

    Bella: We’re so thankful to all of you who comment on our posts and help our letter writers help their kitties. We’re grateful to have such a wonderful community here!

    Tara: Yeah. What Bella said!



  • 26 January

    Leash Walking Technique for Aggressive, Reactive or Over Excited Dogs

  • 26 January

    Crate Training Tips for Dog Training

  • 26 January

    A Murder of Crows

    They call it a "murder" of crows, and this one is the real deal.  Not only does he carry a weapon, but he's even wearing an ankle monitor. From: Terrierman's Daily Dose To order the book..

  • 26 January

    How To Clicker Train “Heel” Position (Dog Training)

  • 26 January

    “Hey Honey? Did You Get The Cat Chow At The Store?”

    FullSizeRender“Could you bring it in here? Quickly?”

    ~ ~ ~

    A very….concerned Dimitri, from Doug & Sowmya in Winnipeg.

    Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Caturday, HELLA MASSIVE IMPENDING DOOM, Hey Honey, The Great White North

  • 26 January

    Canine Freestyle: How to Teach Turn & Backing Towards you using backchaining

  • 26 January

    Is Your Dog Scared of Having His Toes Nails Cut? Clipped? Dremelled?

  • 26 January

    Do Dogs Understand Seizures?


    Emily and new toy I found the toy, I own the toy.

    Our Emily has seizures. I've talked about them before. She's a rescue from a research facility which I know nothing about; the agreement between the research facility and the rescue org require the rescues org NOT to reveal what our Emily was used for. If they even know. It's very likely they do not. Other than being told she was a drug study dog, all I know about our sweet girl is that she is high strung, energetic, intelligent to a fault, and full of delight. And, that she has seizures. Is it epilepsy? Or some other brain disorder? Or any number of other issues surrounding the electrical impulses in her brain? I don't know. I do know that there is a mystery here, and it's one that may never be solved. 

    Two nights ago Tom and I were snuggled all warm in bed, watching the late news, drowsing off... when we heard some unusual noises in the front room. The front room is directly beyond our bedroom. Tom had just turned off the light, I was nearly in dreamland, when this noise shook me awake.

    I sighed in the dark. "You better go see what they're up to," I said. While unusual, it was possible the two dogs (Olive, our baby from the puppy mill, who was and still is a fantastic Mom to all...well, her best trait is how she supervises fights - and by that, I mean, tussles. Whenever Emily and Onyx, the 'cousin', play in the house, Olive interprets it as aggression and promptly lets them know it's not acceptable - it's quite comical to see this little Boston Terrier attempt to break up a 'fight' between two dogs twice her size!) were getting into things, like pulling books off the book shelf or randomly kicking their bones around the hardwood floor. Whatever it was, I figured we needed to nip it in the bud, and quickly.

    Tom gave a sigh and threw the covers back. He plodded around the bed to the door, likely thinking this would be a quick reprimand, so he could get back to his warm bed soon!

    Several minutes went by. Our house is quite small so I expected to hear Tom telling Emily to cut it out - yes, I assumed it was Emily, but only silence met my ears. I listened harder. You know what I mean; I cocked my head, removed the covers so my ears were exposed to the cold, and craned my neck a bit. Only quiet darkness. Hmmm... not sure why everything was suddenly so quiet, I pushed myself up and slipped on my slippers and went out into the front room.

    "What's going on?" I asked, wrapping my robe around me. 

    "Emily's having a seizure," Tom said, softly breaking the quiet with his voice. The whisper went through me like a bolt of lightning.

    Emily after a seizure Seizures are scary.

    "Oh no!" I rushed to the couch and sat at Emily's head. Tom was already cradling her in his arms. He soothed her with his voice, "It's okay, Emily. We're here. We've got you." 

    I massaged her neck and petted her head, which she likes me to do. I whispered in her ear letting her know we would stay with her. 

    A seizure is a scary thing for those of us who experience them with our pets. The animal stiffens and often has jerky movements they can't control. Their eyes are wide and frightened. Often, Emily will look right at Tom as if she is asking him to make it stop or go away. She is frightened and confused and wants to 'run' away, but she can't. As she lays wherever the seizure happens, she drools excessively and sometimes she passes stool. This time, she merely drooled as she looked wildly about, then fixated on Tom because he is her rock. 

    The seizure lasts anywhere from ten minutes to twenty minutes. It seems like hours when you're in it. You, the pet parent, are concentrating on making sure your pet does not hurt herself, and you also want to do whatever you can to reassure her it will be all right. Because, after it's over, it is all right. Mostly.

    This time, for the first time in five years, Emily's seizure gradually left her body but instead of rising to shake it off, she just lay there. She looked at each of us and made no move to get up. 

    "Want to get up now, Em?" Tom asked, in the shadows of the living room. We had not turned on a light and I wonder if that was part of the confusion. But, we didn't feel a light was necessary. 

    Emily merely sat on the sofa... yes, a sofa she was not supposed to be on. She has several comfy beds scattered all over the floor. Across the room, Olive was sleeping (or pretending to sleep) on the soft pillow of my upholstered rocker, where I allow her to sleep. The dog beds remained empty.

    "Help her down," I said to Tom. It seemed, to me, that Emily was unsure of the leap from the low-centered sofa to the floor. Tom helped her to her feet and she made a beeline for the kitchen, then the back door.

    Once she went out and peed, then came back in, she seemed normal. We gave her some more love and put a table on the sofa so she would not get back up there. 

    Everyone went back to bed. Well, sort of. In just about 5 minutes, I heard Emily pacing around the kitchen, coming to our door and snuffling under it, then back to the kitchen. She barked once and I got back up. I went out to comfort her a bit more. I gave her a massage, I kissed her head, I took her to her dog bed, and instructed her to go to sleep now.

    The rest of the night passed without incident. 

    In the morning, Tom and I rose. We washed up and went out into the front room, then to the kitchen (it's all one big room) to make coffee. The dogs did not rise for some time.

    When they did, Emily stepped out of her dog bed and stretched and... went over to the sofa where she'd had her seizure ... and she sniffed it for some time. 

    Did she remember? What smell was left there that drew her in? 

    I wonder, what goes through her mind during a seizure, beyond the terror she must feel? Is there a lingering memory? I guess we will never know. Dogs can't tell us. 

    The seizures are more often these days. We are reluctant to put her on medication, but it may come to that. 

    I remain mystified by what she knows and doesn't know and how I believe she would have so much to tell us, if only she could talk.

    Our very own Emily shows her smarts.