October 23, 2012
If you need to lighten up a bit, and are a crazy cat person, pick up a copy of this off-beat How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You by The Oatmeal which is written, drawn, and coded by Matthew Inman. The book description says it best:
If your cat is kneading you, that's not a sign of affection. Your cat is actually checking your internal organs for weakness. If your cat brings you a dead animal, this isn't a gift. It's a warning. How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You is a hilarious, brilliant offering of cat comics, facts, and instructional guides from the creative wonderland at TheOatmeal.com
Sense of humor required.
October 5, 2012
We all know the benefits of sharing our lives with pets; sadly we often outlive them.
One of our Golden Retriever twin girls suffers from severe and debilitating arthritis. For over a year we have tinkered with palliative (pain meds) and curative treatments.
And we are not alone--we are one family among thousands living with older pets in pain, obsessively assessing the quality of their lives, while learning that the very pain medications that relieve their suffering can and do gravely impact the quantity of their lives.
If this strikes a chord in your life, you may want to check out this Behavioral Signs of Persistent Pain chart. Then get out the tissues and read the insightful Deciding When a Pet Has Suffered Enough | New York Times Sunday Review by bioethicist Jessica Pierce. She is also the author of The Last Walk: Reflections on Our Pets at the End of Their Lives which "asks--and answers--the toughest questions pet owners face".
September 25, 2012
Many of us are familiar with the always-entertaining Ree Drummond, either from her "stream-of-consciousness" Pioneer Woman food/photography blog or the Pioneer Woman Food Network cooking show, both based on her wholesome family life on a prosperous Oklahoma cattle ranch.
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Pioneer Woman Cooks, she has just today released a new Christmas book set on the ranch and centering around her comical basset hound Charlie. Charlie and the Christmas Kitty is a follow-up to picture book Charlie the Ranch Dog. Sweet, heartwarming story, terrific illustrations, to make a fun Christmas gift!
September 13, 2012
Laughter is the best medicine. So if you need a pick-me-up, pick up a copy of I Could Pee on This: And Other Poems by Cats by Francesco Marciuliano, the author of the family comic strip Sally Forth that appears in almost 800 newspapers world-wide.
This is a funny and delightful collection of tongue-in-cheek poetry written by cats, explaining their behavior to clueless humans. Good gift idea for the cat lover!
September 8, 2012
Ever wonder what it's like to fly like a bird? We all have. But then, imagine actually being a bird. Birds are mysterious.
Ornithologist Tim Birkhead has spent a lifetime studying birds and shares his insights in Bird Sense: What It's Like to Be a Bird. Whether you think you've got them figured out, or know little if anything about birds, this book will expand your horizons.
August 18, 2012
If you enjoy bird watching, bring along this handsome Birder's Journal in your pocket on all your outings. You can keep track of dates, name, gender, location, habitat, weather, and observations.
It's made of soft and supple calfskin leather with ivory paper specially selected for sketching and 160 pages for all your entries. Makes a perfect gift for any bird lover.
July 27, 2012
In the fantastic Disney movie 101 Dalmatians the dogs actually brought the couple together. Roger Radcliffe's enterprising dalmatian Pongo decided to find a wife for Roger and a mate for himself and arranged a meeting in the park with a woman named Anita and her female dalmatian, Perdita.
If you are single and have issues with your social life, your dog's breed may be a factor. The pet social network Klooff surveyed 1,000 people to find out the top 5 breeds that make single men and women more desirable to date. Check out the gallery at Dog breeds that will get you a date (or not) | Boston.com to find out which breeds can help (and hurt) you on the dating scene.
July 20, 2012
Dogs express their love and affection very openly through tail-wagging, nuzzling, pawing and kisses. Cats are a lot more subtle, no surprise there.
Here are some common signs of cat affection from Decoding How Cats Show Affection | Petside:
- Eye blinks: When a cat meets a stranger for the first time, they give them an unblinking stare. They are wary. Cats that feel trust and affection for a human often blink at them.
- Grooming: When your cat allows you to groom him, this is another sure sign that he trusts you and feels cat affection for you.
- Head rubbing: When a cat rubs her face on a human, she is using scent glands on her cheeks to mark her territory. this can both mean affection, and that she is claiming the human in question as her "property."
- Belly display: This sign of cat affection is one of the most profound acts of trust a cat can bestow on a human.
- Kneading: A cat kneading against your body is an act of sheer contentment, trust and true adoration
Interested in learning more about cat behavior? Your Cat: The Owner's Manual: Hundreds of Secrets, Surprises, and Solutions for Raising a Happy, Healthy Cat is an enjoyable and informative resource.
July 12, 2012
Do dogs dream? Sure seems like they do, asleep on the floor, whimpering, paws twitching. Can they recognize themselves in the mirror or understand what they're seeing on the TV? Are they more intelligent than cats? We all wonder about how dogs think and perceive the world.
In Do Dogs Dream?: Nearly Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know dog researcher and psychology professor Stanley Coren answers the most commonly asked questions about how dogs think and act in a conversational Q&A format with illustrations. Sounds intriguing!
June 29, 2012
Does the word "doghouse" conjure up this image:
a $4,419.74 Victorian Cottage Kennel Dog House available at Walmart.
Now that dogs are considered members of the family, their housing has increased in stature too. According to Luxury Doghouses and the Dogs That Couldn't Care Less | NYTimes.com, custom dog houses ("barkitecture") in the $3,000 to $5,000 range are all the trend now, at least in certain circles.
The doghouse above and other amazing ones appear in a fun slide show Custom Doghouses, Fit for a King | NYTimes.com:
The supermodel Rachel Hunter commissioned this replica of her Mediterranean-style house in the Los Angeles area from La Petite Maison, which built it more than a decade ago and charged more than $16,000. It has handmade roof tiles, a terra cotta floor, wrought-iron details and dog-themed artwork on the walls.