Monday, November 30, 2009

Prey of the Dog: Down Under

Koala BearKangaroos

Even though our dogs are domesticated, many of them have a prey drive that lies within. It's this prey drive that makes them chase, squirrels, rabbits, deer, cats and other animals.

There are two animals that seem to be a target of domesticated dogs in Australia: the kangaroo and koala bear. Both of these wild animals are hugely popular. New of attacks involving these animals have increased quite a bit.


Young KangarooKangaroos are marsupials. Smaller-sized kangaroos are known as Wallabies. The Red Kangaroo is the largest of the species.

The Kangaroo is the national animal of Australia. Their young which are called joeys are carried in their pouch until they are strong enough to live on their own. They eat plants and grass and survive on very lttle water.

Kangaroos are an animal that can't move backward, only forward. In addition to living in Australia, they also can be found in Tasmania and New Guinea. Their population in Australia has dwindled over 50% since 2001. A large number of that is due to humans hunting kangaroos.Still, they have a large population compared to koala bears.

Koala Bears

Koala in TreeKoala bears are beloved in their homeland of Australia and in other parts of the world. They live solely in Australia and are a protected species. They may be called koala bears but are actually mursupials just like kangaroos. They carry their young in their pouch. Their young are called joeys as well.

They eat only leaves from Eucalyptus trees. It is from these trees that they get their water intake. Due to the fact their diet doesn't give them much energy, these animals can sleep up to 22 hours a day. They have thick, dense fur but store little to no fat in their system. Because of this, they have a very weak defense system if they are attacked. An estimated 4,000 koala bears die from attacks each year.

Why Dogs Attack Them

Domestic dogs have been found too attack these animals for various red kangarooreasons. With the increase of development and, much of their habitat has been destroyed to build roads, homes and businesses. Forest fires have been a further detriment. These animals have no choice but to adjust to their new surroundings and that may mean wandering into a person's backyard.

Some dogs see them as intruders violating their territory. They will chase them out but can easily be kicked to death by a kangaroo whose been put on the defense. Kangaroos are docile animals but if they are provoked they will defend themselves. Another method of survival for a kangaroo is leading the dog to water and then holding it under to drown it with its front paws.

In contrast, koalas can be quite aggressive and will defend themselves by biting or using their sharp claws.

Sometimes, dog owners let their dogs roam off leash in recreational parks. One minute their are walking with their master, the next they are off chasing an animal. The consequences of this can be severe because one of them will die.

What Can Be Done?

Koala AsleepThere are steps that dog owners can take to protect their dogs, have peace of mind, and help kangaroos and koala bears have a better chance at survival:

  • Keep an eye on your dog when you let it out in the yard
    Many times you think the coast is clear and miss that Koala who's been hanging out in your tree.

  • Limit your dogs time outside from dusk to dawn. Since both of them are nocturnal animals, you have a greater risk of seeing them. Instead of leaving them in the yard, take them on a walk instead.

  • Use fencing to keep Koalas out.

  • Know what kind of trees you have, if you have any because they are a target for koalas. This list will tell you what trees are koala magnets. Grass in the backyard is appealing to Kangaroos.

  • If your dog is an outdoor dog, have him sleep in an enclosed area. Many dogs love to be close to their owners so they can protect them. If you don't want them in your house, then have them in your garage or basement

Learn More!
Here are some websites where you can learn more about these magnificent animals:
Animals Australia
Australia Koala Foundation
Australia's National Parks
Kangaroo Protection Coalition
Other Wild Animal Posts
Oh No! My Dog Got Skunked!

Have any of you seen these animals up close? Have you ever witnessed an attack? What are your thoughts on this subject?

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Winners!


Sadie, Winner of The National Dog Show

Recently, there have been two huge dog competitions. The National Dog Show was filmed a couple of weeks ago but not aired until today. Out of hundreds of dog breeds, Sadie won Best In Show. This Scottish Terrier hails from Mackinaw Island, Michigan. This is her 102nd Best In Show award. You may want to keep an eye out for this dog when the Westminster Dog Show happens.
Million Dollar Winner

Dr. Papidies, Cutest Dog Competition Winner

In other dog news this week, a winner was chosen for the Cutest Dog Competition. Competing in a field of 60,000 dogs with over 7 million votes, the million dollar recipient is Dr. Papidies! Dr. Papidies is a Chihuahua who overcame tremendous odd. He was originally diagnosed with Addison's Disease three years ago. He was in intensive care due to this disease and was lucky enough to have his owner Dr. Leslie Capin be able to give him the proper medical care to have the disease effectively treated.

Since he has healed, Dr. Papidies has joined Dr. Capin's practice as the office mascot. Hence the name "Dr. Papidies". What's even more amazing is that all of the winnings are going to be shared between two charities: The Dumb Friends Animal League, one of the oldest animal welfare organizations in the Rocky Mountains and the Max Fund Animal Shelter, a no-kill shelter based out of Denver. The other three semi-finalists will win an award of $5,000.

Congratulations to both of these extraordinary dogs! Did you see or participate in either of these events? If so, go ahead a leave a comment or e-mail.

Read More About It!
Cutest Dog Competition: The Final Four
National Dog Show

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you all have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The National Dog Show

National Dog Show

Thanksgiving is a big holiday here in the United States. It began when the Pilgrims and Indians gathered together for supper one day. What I love about the holiday is that it's a time to reflect and appreciate what we are thankful for in life. It's also a great time to spend with family and friends.

We have many traditions for this holiday. Thanksgiving dinner is one of a kind.
Macy's Thanksgiving Parade is something that all people love to see. I've only seen it on TV but can imagine what it's like to see it in person. Another new tradition is starting to form for dog fans. That's the National Dog Show.

The National Dog Show has been running for eight years, since 2002. It is hosted by John O'Hurley. Some of you may know him from Seinfeld, others may have watched him perform in the first season of Dancing with The Stars. He has also written two books, the New York Times bestseller It’s Okay to Miss The Bed On the First Jump and Before The Dog Can Eat Your Homework First You Have To Do It: Life Lessons From A Wise Old Dog To A Young Boy.” For those of you who have no idea of who he is, all I can say is he's a great person to host this show because he has quite a lively personality and is a funny guy too.

National Dog Show 2The dog show has seven dog groups: Herding, Hound, Non-Sporting, Sporting, Terrier, Toy and Working. The herding group is for sheep dogs like the Collie and Australian Shephard. The Hound dog category are for hound dogs like the Bassett Hound and Greyhound. Non-Sporting dogs are ones that don't fit into a particular category like the Bichon Frise, Dalmation and the Chow Chow.

Sporting dogs like the Cocker Spaniel and the Irish Setter are active dogs. Some in that group are popular for to be used for hunting purposes. The Terrier group is pretty self-explanatory. Examples of dogs in that group are the Scottish Terrier and the Norwich Terrier. Lastly, the Toy dog group are small dogs that are bred just for companionship like the Chihuahua, Pug and Maltese.

This show is sponsored by Purina and takes place in Philadelphia. The proceeds from the show will help raise money for the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. It's become a huge event for the city of Philadelphia and looks like it will be an event that will become bigger and brighter in years to come. You will be able to see it on NBC at 12pm E.S.T./11am C.S.T.

If you would like to learn more about this event, please visit the National Dog Show website.

So my question to you all is what are you most thankful for? I am thankful for so many things in life, most notably, my family, friends, dogs, cat, good health and especially to you, my readers. I hope that you all have a great holiday. Thanks for stopping in.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Blackberry Apps

It all started when I was looking at my mail. I received a flyer from U. S. Cellular and for four days, they are offering a free phone. For the longest time, I've been bouncing back and forth about the Blackberry phones but am just not ready to switch phones yet.

Apple phones are the big smartphone at the moment. Their design is superb and their interface is unlike any other phone. However, Blackberry is the pioneer that came up with the idea to integrate the cell phone with the functionality of a personal digital assistant (PDA).

These phones may not be as glamorous as iphones but their functionality and durability is one of a kind. If you are a dog-loving, Blackberry application user you may be interested in these dog related apps:
  • Doggie DashDoggie Dash
  • This game is priced at $4.99 and is part of the Diner Dash games series. The object of the game is to see how fast you can get your dog groomed.

  • Mobile Dog TricksMobile Dog Tricks
  • This has a whole bunch of dog tricks on it from something as simple to "Sit" to something more complicated like "Jump Rope". If you love to teach your dog new tricks, you should check it out.

  • My DogMy Dog
  • This is an app where you take care of a virtual dog. It's a little pricey at $4.99 but if you enjoy these apps, it may be one to consider.

  • My Mobile WatchdogMy Mobile Watchdog
  • This is a great app for parents to monitor their child's cell phone. With all the cyberbullying and other dangers facing kids, if they are going to have a cellphone at a young age, it's worked as a useful aid for parents. The best thing is that it's FREE. Even though the only thing about dogs is the title and picture, I couldn't exclude this powerful app.

  • PetzPetz
  • Although this is very similar to My Dog, the main difference is that this apps is geared for nine different types of pets. It also costs a tad less at $2.99.

    *All prices are stated in US Dollars.

    To learn more about Blackberry's applications, check out the Blackberry website.

    Other Apps Posts

    iPhone Apps
    Web Apps

    Well, I hope your week is off to a great start. Thanks for stopping in. :)

    Friday, November 20, 2009

    The First Firefighters

    1920s Firehouse Dogs

    Anytime I see a Dalmation, I think of a dog who's a firehouse mascot. They are known for their unique coat and athletic physique. Still, the reason these dogs are so much a part of today's firehouses goes back to their origin.

    What makes Dalmations special?

    It started in England in the 1700s. Dalmations had come to the country from the country of Croatia, called Dalmatia. Horses are animals that enjoy company. Their owners recognized these dogs for having the ability to get along with horses. The first documented firehouse dog was named Chance who worked for the London Fire Brigade in 1828.

    Dalmations are one of the few types of dogs that had the stamina to run distances of 20 to 30 miles (32 to 48 kilometers), they seemed a natural fit. Their distinctive bark and acute guard dog ability made them great candidates for clearing the paths for coaches. They also have a keen sense of smell and a high energy drive.

    This breed became popular for firefighting because of two key characteristics. They were masterful at keeping horses calm. The sounds of alarm and other noises set horses off yet, having Dalmations around distracted them from the noise and kept them calm. Second, these dogs were great at watching over the horses to ensure that they wouldn't be stolen.

    How They Have Evolved

    As coaches became firetrucks, the Dalmation as firehouse mascot has endured. There has been many occasions where their loud bark has saved a firefighter's life and their scent tracking abilities have helped firefighters find people through the thick smoke. Dalmations are great at catching rats. Many firehouses had rat problems and they would help keep it under control.

    Today, many firehouses still use this breed as their mascot. With the advancement of technology, many of these dogs serve as companions compared to what they did in the olden days. Labrador Retrievers and mixed breeds are now popular choices for firehouse dogs but Dalmations will always be iconic.

    There are a couple of books out there that I will be adding to my reading list:
    The Firefighter's Best Friend: Lives and Legends of Chicago Firehouse Dogs
    Going Home: The Lost Story of Chief the Fire Dog

    Other Posts of Interest

    K-9 Cops
    Dogs In The News: Coming Home

    Have any of you had experiences with these dogs?

    Well, since it's late, I just want to thank you for stopping in and wish you all a great weekend.

    Thursday, November 19, 2009

    The Final Four

    During the summer, I wrote about the Cutest Dog Competition. There were twelve semi-finalists who won $500. The winner of the contest will receive $1,000,000. The winner will be chosen on Thanksgiving Day. One thing I noticed is that all of the dogs are small dogs. Even though all dogs are cute, I just found that interesting.

    Commissioner James Gordon
    Commissioner James Gordon
    Dr. Papidies
    Dr. Papidies

    I can't wait to find out which dog will be the big winner. If you would like to learn more about this contest, you can visit their website.

    You can read more about the Cutest Dog Competition here.

    Monday, November 16, 2009

    Down the Hatch

    Giving pills to your dogs is something that all dog owners will do at one time or another. Some dogs will just need it for a few days. Others will need to take medication for the rest of their life.

    Giving dogs their medicine is easier said than done. Dogs can usually sniff out the pill with their strong nose and will do what they can to not take the pills.

    There are some methods that do work. Here are ones that have worked for me:

    1. Manually. This is one of the harder ways to get your pet to take medication. If you put your hand at the fulcrum of the jaw and press it so that it open, you can usually fit a pill at the back of the mouth. You then close the mouth and keep it closed for a couple of seconds so the dog will have to swallow the medication.
    2. Cover the pill with food. Since Cookie needs to take Vitamin E every day as a preventative for epilepsy, Mom and I have had the best luck by either burying it in canned food or using peanut butter. Both of these foods are strongly scented enough that the dog is more focused on the food and not what's inside.
    3. Grind it up. You can take the pill and use a mortar and pestle to grind it into a fine powder and put it in with the dog's food. This works best with moist food but may also work with dry. Also, the end of a butter knife will work as well.
    4. Pill Pockets. Pill pockets are a new product made by Greenies that have worked great when I've had difficulty giving my dogs their medication. It's a soft treat that has a pocket where you insert the pill and then I close the top ends together. The dogs love the smell of the treat so much the swallow it whole. They are a little on the pricey side but are good to use as a last resort.
    Well, thanks for stopping in. I hope the week is off to a good start for all of you.

    Friday, November 13, 2009

    The Blender

    I bet you think this is about a dog who can operate a blender. While it may be a great guess, this is actually about the news.

    I was looking at the news on the net and came across not one but three stories that really stood out. Being Friday, I like my stories to be light. However, sometimes the news just can't wait till the weekend's up. Anyhow, I found a mix of all kinds to share with you before the weekend starts.


    Photo by the Daily Mail

    Sabi, a 10-year-old Labrador Retriever who worked with the Australian Military, was thought to have been gone for good. 14 months ago, she was lost in the Afghanistan desert while in the midst of a battle. It's very rare for a dog to survive by itself but Sabi not only survived but came back in excellent health. So good in fact, it's believed that she was cared for by a human during that time.

    She was initially found by an American soldier who could tell she was a military dog. It was an amazing stroke of luck that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had made a surprise visit the same day the dog's announcement was to be made. After she passes veterinary tests, Sabi will be sent back to her Australian homeland to live and enjoy life as a retired military dog. For more on the story, find it here.



    Some of you may remember Oreo. She was the dog who was thrown of a Brooklyn roof last June. After surviving two broken legs and a broken rib, the incident had affected her in the worst possible way. It turns out that she is too aggressive to be adopted. She was given the best care, had therapy for two months and seen by a specialist. None of that was enough to keep her from growling and snapping at her handler.
    Photo by Hiroko Masuike

    With all the inquiries about adoption, it's a shame that this dog was too traumatized to trust people ever again. The ASPCA did everything they could to rehabilitate her, but it just was not enough. The only silver lining I can find is that the person responsible pleaded guilty and will be sentenced on December 1st.
    Read the Associated Press article.


    Kaleb and Chewy
    Another story in the news that caught my eye was the story of Kaleb Drew. He was the 6-year-old boy who could not have his service dog for autism at his school. Today, the Illinois Court allowed him to have Chewy accompany him to his school.

    Personally, I think this is a good thing. Service dogs are taught to serve and they are taught to protect. This will teach kids that dogs aren't just a pet, and that they do special jobs just as some human beings do.

    Photo by Robin Scholz for the St. Louis Dispatch
    More about this...

    Related Posts
    Dogs and Autistic Children
    Two Stories of Miraculous Survival

    I hope you found these as worthwhile as I did. What are your thoughts on any of these stories? Thanks for stopping in and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

    Wednesday, November 11, 2009

    Dog Sweaters

    Sweater Dog

    Their Origins

    Dogs first started wearing clothing in King Arthur's time in Britain (around 520 A.D.). Since knights had put coverings on their horses to protect them from their elements, they had the same idea for their dogs since they would travel with them. Now, you normally see them dressed up for fashion, some do dress up their dogs for warmth.

    I never thought much about dog sweaters until Elvis joined my family. Elvis was a Rhodesian Ridgeback that my brother had picked up from a local breeder. Since Elvis was a short haired dog, he would need a sweater in the winter to protect him against the harsh winter elements. We always picked up a knit sweater from Pet Supplies Plus every season. It really made a difference with Elvis too. You could tell from looking at him that he didn't mind wearing the sweater at all. He has since passed but I will always remember how much sweaters helped him through our rough winters.

    Dog Sweater Breeds

    If you live in a cold weather climate and have a short-haired dog, if your dog falls into one of these breeds, you may want to get them a sweater for winter. Most of these dogs have short hair and/or thin skin. However, some short-haired dogs have a dense enough coat. If that's the case, you probably won't need a sweater for them. Here are some dog breeds that can fall into this category:

    • Basenjis

    • Chihuahuas

    • Chinese Crested

    • Dalmations

    • Dachshunds

    • Great Danes

    • Greyhounds

    • Italian Greyhounds

    • Weinmaraners

    • Xoloitzcuintle(Mexican Hairless Dog)

    • Yorkshire Terriers

    What to look for

    When you are looking for a good sweater for a dog, you want to find one in a knit that doesn't shed much fibers. If you have a dog with allergies, you will want to check the fabric contents to make sure it doesn't aggravate their allergies. Measuring a dog is important. The best fit for a dog sweater is by measuring the largest diameter of the chest area. Some packaged sweaters will give you a breed size, others will give a measurement in inches so it's always good to measure beforehand. Most sweaters are priced starting at $10.00. If you love to knit, you can make your own. There is a very good resource at this site.

    Where To Get One

    Chilly Dog
    Pet Supplies Plus

    Related Posts
    Acc essory of the Week: Dog Raincoat

    Do any of you use sweaters for your dog?

    Monday, November 9, 2009

    More Dog Fonts

    Hi All! I was looking on the web for more fonts for this site. I can only put the links on the blog. These are some really creative dog fonts out there. The uses for these are endless. Just click on the font and it will take you to the download page. Most of these are dingbats but there are one or two letter fonts that I couldn't resist. These are all made for PCs

    Font NameFont TypeLicense
    Blue's CluesTTFFree
    Cats vs. DogsTTFFree
    Doggie PrintTTFFree
    Ennobled FontTTFFree
    FL FirehouseTTFFree for Personal Use
    Good DogTTFFree
    Good Dog OTFOTFFree
    JLR DoggonTTFFree
    Summer's Doggie BoneTTFFree
    WM AnimalsTTFFree for Personal Use

    Other Dog Art Resource Posts

    Dog Fonts
    Paws Social Media Icons

    So while we are on this topic, what are your favorite fonts? Leave a comment and share.

    Friday, November 6, 2009

    Sometimes They Can Get Along!

    Boxer and Kitty


    I've always heard that cats and dogs don't get along. Since Friday is here, I thought I would do a pictorial piece that shows some who do. (I've always thought that having both is the best of both worlds). As some of you may know, in addition to Cookie and Gigi, I have a cat named Kat (who is also called Katerina). Gigi loves her and Cookie loves to chase her.

    Anyhow, this post is dedicated to all the posters who have a soft spot for felines. If any of you have both, I would love to hear about them. Have a great weekend you guys!

    four cats and a dog
    Four Cats and a Dog

    Red cat and Big Dog
    Peas in a Pod

    Bed Mates
    Bed Mates

    Gathered for a Nap
    Gathered for a Nap

    Hello There
    Hello There!

    Just Snoozing
    Just Snoozin'

    What Next
    What Next?

    More Photo Posts
    Dog Photos
    The Dogs of Summer
    Hogs for Dogs

    Resources for More Photos
    Morgue File
    Wikimedia Commons

    Thursday, November 5, 2009

    Dogs in the News: One to Ten

    Ruby's Pups
    You ever have those days where you come across a story that's too good to pass up? Well, I came upon this story from the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

    How It Began

    It all started when Gary DeNicola was driving to a Sunday brunch. He noticed a small reddish dog wandering through a traffic intersection. Not wanting it to get hurt, he took it to his home and was planning to take her to the shelter the next morning. Little did he know, that this little dog was pregnant. In fact, she wound up giving birth while she was staying in his back yard to nine puppies.

    The Next Day

    The next day when he had called the local shelters, he ran into the same thing. All of the shelters were full, mostly because financially struggling families couldn't afford to care for their animals so they gave them up. One shelter even required to give the newborn pups vaccination shots before they would be accepted. It's believed that her owners gave her up when they learned she was pregnant. They looked for a microchip and there wasn't one to be found.

    Where Does One Go From Here

    Around Thanksgiving, one of the shelters will have expanded their space. If Mr. DeNicola still has puppies, they will take them in.Right now, Gary is doing what he can to help these dogs by keeping them in an area of his basement. He has a 12-year-old Cairn Terrier named Tiger who has been a solo dog for quite some time, so he's keeping the pups separate to avoid territorial issues with his dog.

    He also has some neighbors who are helping him to find good permanent homes. His neighbor's three-year-old son named the mother Ruby for her reddish color. He has succeeded in finding Ruby a permanent home when she's done nursing the 5 week puppies. He's not planning to take in any puppies himself, but you never know.

    If you or someone you know would like to take in one of these cute pups you can e-mail Gary at If you would like to read more about this story visit this website.

    Other Dogs In The News Stories

    Coming Home
    The $32,000 Flight
    Two Stories of Miraculous Survival
    Still Shocked
    Puppy Flushed Down the Toilet

    Have any of you been in similar situations? Thanks for stopping in.

    Monday, November 2, 2009

    When Your Dog Is Beyond Chubby

    obese doggy

    The Aha Moment

    I decided to take both dogs on a long walk on Halloween. A huge part of this was to tire Cookie out so that she wouldn't be barking like a maniac when the trick or treaters came to visit. It turned out to be a day full of surprises.

    I had found a grassy area and decided I would run them for a little. Cookie tended to get tired out easily but Gigi came to life running in a set of circles just like she did when I got her a year ago. In that moment, I realized that I had not been doing enough to give my dogs adequate exercise. I was being cautious with Cookie because of her injury. However, time has passed since then and she has recovered pretty well and Gigi's higher activity level was not being met. Both wound up calmer that day and weren't as antsy as they usually are.

    Our Society Today

    The way our dogs live, is a direct result of how we raise them. We all slack off now and then. I myself have done so on more than one occasion. However, four out of ten dogs are either overweight of obese in the U.S. While there are medical factors as well as some breeds having a disposition to a slow metabolism, this post isn't about those dogs. Some of the breeds that tend to gain weight easily are: Golden Retrievers, Bassett Hounds, Pugs, Cocker Spaniels (like Cookie) and Collies.

    For some dogs, giving them an extra dog treat a day is like us having an extra candy bar. Giving them table scraps isn't much help either. It can just make them more finicky and throws their feeding schedule off track. Dogs are best when they have a solid routine for feeding and exercise. Our society has changed from having a more physical workday to having a more sedentary one, especially with all of the technology we have.

    Even now, there's even a drug by Pfizer called Slentrol which was created for dog obesity. I think any drugs for that should be used as a last resort, but after cruising their site, they do have a great obesity risk indicator.

    If you feel that your dog doesn't have the energy that he did compared to when you first brought him or her home, then you may want to step up the exercise regimen and/or reduce calorie intake. Doing this gradually is the best method. Dogs don't become obese overnight and it's not healthy for them to lose weight that way either.

    Steps for prevention

    Watch the fat content! Dry dog food can contain anywhere from 11 to 16 per cent fat. If you feel you're feeding them the right amount of food, then you may want to switch to a food with a lower percentage fat content. Some of you may want to make your own food for them. When you do that, there's less preservatives involved but it can be time consuming.

    Make time for exercise! Many days can be really stressful. Sometimes the last thing a person wants to do is go out and exercise. Really, it helps both the person and the dog because it helps to release the stress.

    While Cookie is overweight, she is still healthy enough to enjoy a run or chase the neighborhood squirrel. Anything extra I'm doing for her now, is to improve her quality of life as she gets into her senior years. Also, I aim to keep Gigi as active as she used to be.

    Have any of you been in a similar situation? If so, what did you do?

    Well thanks for stopping by. I hope your week is off to a good start.

    Related Posts and Articles
    The benefits of walking your dog part I
    The Benefits of walking your dog part II
    Obesity in Dogs
    Preventing Dog Obesity


    Dog Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory