Sunday, September 30, 2012


How many of you know what this photo depicts?  And, how does it fit into our discussion about dogs and cats this week?  Think about it for a minute...we'll discuss it further down the page.

Desperado and Helpful Buckeye are finally getting back into a more normal flow of activity after the hustle and excitement of the last seven days.  We were out every evening this past week with many of our friends who wanted to hear more about our Grand Canyon adventure.  We finally decided that we had to save Saturday and Sunday evenings for staying at home and resting our voices.

As I was sorting through my files preparing for this week's issue of Questions On Dogs and Cats, I came across several recent interesting story lines about dogs and cats that will provide the material for this week.  I think you'll find something worth thinking about in each of these stories.

How many of you think of your town/city as "dog friendly"?  Of course, there are numerous factors to consider when making such a determination.  The folks at have come up with their list of The 100 Best Cities For Dogs (in the USA).  Does yours make this list?

100 Best Cities For Dogs

No one wants to hear that his city has gone to the dogs. But in this case, it means canines are king, and Portland leads the pack. We crunched the per capita numbers of dog parks (Trust for Public Land), dog-friendly apartments (, vets (, animal shelters (, and pet stores and services, along with the percentage of dog owners in the respective cities. Finally, we factored in state laws against animal cruelty, dog fighting, and puppy mills (Humane Society).
The Top 10 Best Cities For Dogs (according to are:
  1. Portland, OR
  2. Colorado Springs, CO
  3. Wilmington, DE
  4. Seattle, WA
  5. Denver, CO
  6. Tampa, FL
  7. Manchester, NH
  8. St. Louis, MO
  9. Pittsburgh, PA
  10. Las Vegas, NV
Go to this web site to see if your town/city is in the next 90 on the list.
In the same vein as evaluating a city as being good for dogs, would you also want to include the likelihood of a criminal getting into your house...through a doggy door?  Some of the people in the following article might just want to do that:
Open doggy doors beckon crooks and creatures
LOS ANGELES – A burglar will use any open door – front, back, side, garage or doggy.
Deanna Souza was sleeping in her Northern California home on March 1 when her doorbell rang. Zoe, her 4-pound Yorkie, started barking. The bell rang again. Zoe was making such a fuss that Souza went to see who was there. Through her blinds, she saw a woman heading for the back yard while putting on rubber gloves.
When the doggy door in her sliding glass door started rattling, Souza called 911 and hid in a closet. Zoe ran and hid under a bed.  Police arrived and arrested the woman – wedged in the doggy door.

The FBI says there was one burglary in the United States every 14.6 seconds in 2010. The agency doesn’t compile statistics on method of entry, but experts agree doggy doors are relatively low on the list, since not every house has one, they are usually small and a crook can’t be sure what might be on the other side.
“If the door is big enough for a Lab or mastiff, I’m not sure I would want to crawl through it,” said Dr. Bonnie Beaver, a professor at Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and director of the American College of Veterinary Behaviourists. “But some idiots even try to come down the chimney.”
Recent accounts make that case. On May 7, just days after NFL linebacker Junior Seau’s suicide, a man squeezed through the doggy door at his Oceanside, Calif., home and walked out the garage door with a $500 bicycle, police Lt. Leonard Mata said.
In East Bethel, Minn., a teenager was caught using a doggy door to steal money and valuables from her neighbour so she could support a porn addiction, said Laura Landes, crime prevention specialist with the Anoka County Sheriff’s Department.  Souza, a dispatcher for the California Highway Patrol, still has the same doggy door because Zoe needs it. “If someone really wanted in, they could just break the glass,” she said.
Still, police, retailers and pet owners say you can replace, renovate or reduce your doggy door to dissuade intruders – human and animal:
REPLACE IT: There are options whether you want to spend $10, $100 or over $1,000.
There are all-screen doors with magnets that slide back into place, electronic doors with locking mechanisms, wall entry doors, bullet-proofdoors, extreme weather doors, aluminum doors and panels for patio doors, said Jodi Liddle, merchandising and purchasing manager for Wisconsin-based Drs. Foster and Smith.
Honeywell Security Group’s Total Connect app will monitor a pet door, sending an alert to a homeowner’s phone or pad saying the door is being accessed, said Rob Puric, director of Honeywell’s product management for residential systems. If you add a camera, you can watch who or what is coming or going, he said.
A SureFlap door allows a cat or dog to enter by reading a microchip implanted in the animal. “The product’s inventor created SureFlap because his cat Flipper was continually being followed back into the kitchen. The strays would eat Flipper’s food, fight with him and spray the kitchen,” said spokesman David Payne.
The PetSafe SmartDoor reads radio frequencies from a key on your dog’s collar and Power Pet Doors by High Tech are activated by an ultrasonic collar worn by the pet.
GUARD IT: Don’t underestimate the value of your dog as a deterrent, said Col. Jerry Neufeld, public information officer for the Amarillo Police Department.
“A dog that barks, even if it’s just a little dog that yaps, will draw attention and no criminal wants that,” said Nicole Aguon, a crime specialist with the Livermore, Calif., Police Department.
A “Beware of Dog” sign – whether you have one or not – might also deter a burglar because most are opportunists and will move on rather than risk it, Aguon added.
MINIMIZE THE RISK: Get the smallest door your dog or cat can reasonably get through, Neufeld said, and if you can unlock the door when you reach through, add another deadbolt higher on the door. If the house is going to be empty for a while, secure all windows and doors and put a barrier on the doggy door if there is no lock.

Dowels or bars can make doggy doors in sliding glass doors more solid and if an old-fashioned door is bigger than a pet, attach a bar across it to downsize it, Landes said. “People are creative,” she said.
THINK LIKE A PEST: Doggy door intruders aren’t always human and that might require some creativity, too.
If a raccoon gets in, make a path of marshmallows, cheese bits, or fig bars toward a door, said John Hadidian, urban wildlife director of the Humane Society of the United States, in his book “Wild Neighbors.” Get behind the raccoon, make noise and it should run away, Hadidian said.
If all else fails, call animal control.
...still like your doggy door?
You often hear about humans committing insurance fraud by making either outrageous claims or outright false claims to their insurance company.  Where does the following story fit in? 

Outrageous pet insurance claims: Dog survives
 being buried alive
As anyone who spends time watching YouTube dog and cat videos knows, pets often have a canny knack for getting into all sorts of quirky calamities. But sometimes what's fascinating becomes frantic as we rush our beloved animals to the vet for emergency care.
That's what happened to Peanut, the dog who won Veterinary Pet Insurance's Hambone Award contest for fetching the most outlandish claim. (The annual challenge is named after a canine that devoured an entire holiday ham while accidentally locked inside a walk-in fridge.)
The rowdy dachshund-terrier mix often amuses her owners, Keith and Christy Wolfram of Sicklerville, N.J., by chasing wildlife from the backyard. But things got out of hand last October when she tussled with a skunk and ended up buried alive in dirt beneath the deck. She was finally unearthed after a few hours, barely breathing and suffering from hypothermia, but not before some drama ensued.
Unable to find Peanut, the couple had called firefighters for back-up help. Everyone started digging - and the rescue mission may have ended if not for the dogged determination of the canine's owners.
"When the firefighters saw Christy continue to dig, one of them decided to take a last look," said Keith Wolfram in a statement. "I remember him shouting, 'I see her paw!,' and my heart just sank. By the time they got her out she was barely moving. I couldn't believe she was alive."
Peanut spent two days under a vet's care, with VPI picking up 85 percent of the costs. Her backyard saga was judged the best by thousands of visitors to VPI's Hambone Award website, topping 11 other quirky pet claim stories. VPI, a Brea, Calif.-based pet insurer, sponsors the annual contest to educate owners about the dangers faced by pets, said company spokesperson Adam Fell.
Second place went to Pebbles, a cat from Rio Linda, Calif. who went on an unscheduled 15-mile road trip after getting stuck in a car engine. Pebbles was later treated at a veterinary hospital for cuts and a broken jaw.
Bayley, a Labrador retriever from Lothian, Md., took third. The rambunctious Bayley shattered a 55-gallon aquarium, which left a two-inch gash on his chest that was stitched by a local vet.
Other notable entries included Crispy Bacon, a potbellied pig from Las Vegas with a taste for his owner's drugs -- he almost overdosed on ibuprofen, acetaminophen, omeprazole and beta blockers. Ginger, a golden retriever from Rocky Hill, Conn., survived being bit on the nose by a snapping turtle.
There's a lesson in these tales, says Carol McConnell, VPI's president and chief veterinary medical officer: know your pets and what it takes to protect them.
"Peanut is a perfect example of a dachshund-terrier mix, a combination of two tenacious breeds that were created to hunt game by digging animals out of their burrows and dens," she said in a statement. "She was just doing what comes instinctively. Peanut and all of the nominees illustrate the unpredictable nature of our pets."
Peanut, who declined to give an acceptance speech following the announcement, will receive a bronze trophy in the shape of a ham and a swag-bag filled with treats, toys and an emergency care kit.
The article isn't real clear about how Peanut got buried in the dirt...unless she actually pursued the skunk down into a burrow.  If that's what she did, I'll bet she smelled pretty bad when finally dug out.
OK, now we can talk about the photo at the top of the page.  Sure, the human-sized items look like mummies...but what about the ones that look like dogs and cats?
Modern day mummies:
 The craze that is attracting celebrities and pet owners keen on preserving their bodies when they die
Welcome to modern day mummies.  Already, more than 1500 people across the world have contacted Summum, the world’s only mummification company, to be mummified after they die.
The company based in Salt Lake City, Utah have revealed that their clientele includes celebrities, from all over the world, including Britain, and added that they also cater to requests from pet owners.  Dozens of pets, including everything from dogs and cats, to peacocks, finches and even rats have undergone the traditional Egyptian burial routine.
The process takes 90 days. The organs are taken out and cleansed, then the body is hydrated for more than 70 days, submerged in a tank.  Then it is covered with lanolin and wax, followed by layers of cotton gauze and a fibre glass finish. The body is then encased in a steel or bronze casket.

Ron Temu, who works at Summum’s appropriately pyramid-shaped building as a counsellor for clients, said: ‘The chemicals we use are so permeable that if a drop was put on the hand, just seconds later it can be tasted in the mouth.  The olden day mummies look very dry and that’s because it was believed the best way to preserve them for the afterlife was to completely dehydrate them. We do the opposite and believe that hydrating the body fully is the best way to preserve it. That's why the bodies will still look like the day they died - even thousands of years later.’
But the process isn’t cheap. Cats cost £3,600  and dogs at £15,000. Human mummification costs approximately £40,000.   ‘As we have clients from all around the world, including the UK, if a pet dies, then a vet packs it in ice and it is transported to us straight away.’
Some people do like having their mummified pets in their own homes - even animals as small as a rat or finch.  ‘What is amazing is that these animals, like everything else we mummify, look exactly like the day they died.  We test some of the pets after they have been mummified for years and they are perfect.’
Summum has already mummified human beings but their progress has been checked after 18 months and then state law says that as they have been opened, they must be incinerated.
But many are signed up to be mummified in the future - and the company says it has tremendous implications for cloning.  It is feasible that DNA could be removed at a later date by drilling into the casket.  Mr Temu said: ‘Being able to take out DNA at a later date has real appeal for people. People like the idea of being able to clone themselves. We have a lot of people signed up to be mummified. They signed up in their 30’s and 40’s, and are now in their 50’s and 60’s, so we have a lot of work ahead of us.’
The Ancient Egyptians mummified bodies because they believed in the afterlife and thus by preserving their bodies, they would stand the best possible chance of living in the eternal world.
The process involved washing the dead body as a symbol of purification with wine and water from the River Nile.
An incision was then made before removing all of the organs. These included the liver, lungs, stomach and intestines but the heart was left as it was integral to the life eternal.
The body was then stuffed and covered with salt in order to dry it out and left for 40 days.
Following that interval, it is then cleansed for a second time before being covered with oil in order to keep the skin elastic.
The organs are then wrapped in linen and reinserted before the body is covered with good-smelling oils and wrapped in high-quality linen.
Once the body was completely clothed, it is ready for the afterlife where the Egyptians believe a greater power would judge the heart based on the good deeds on earth.
Bear in mind that the prices quoted are in British pounds, which are currently pegged at 1 pound=$1.60 US.

How Ancient Greeks Named Their Puppies

Dogs played a special role in ancient Greek society and mythology; Cerberus guarded the gates of Hades, the goddess Artemis used dogs in her hunt, and Greek citizens employed dogs for hunting and protection.

To the ancient Greeks, picking your new pup was an important decision, just as it is today. But, according to Stanford University researcher Adrienne Mayor, writing for Wonders & Marvels, the process could have been just a little bit different.
Like moderns, the ancients looked for an adventurous and friendly nature, but one test for selecting the pick of the litter seems rather heartless today. Let the mother choose for you, advises Nemesianus, an ancient expert on hunting dogs. Take away her puppies, surround them with an oil-soaked string and set it on fire. The mother will jump over the ring of flames and rescue each puppy, one by one, in order of their merit.
Mayor says that dogs were typically given short names that evoked ideas of things like power, speed, or beauty. Then again, the more things change, the more they seem to stay the same. According to Mayor, popular names for dogs in antiquity, translated from Greek, include Lurcher, Whitey, Blackie, Tawny, Blue, Blossom, Keeper, Fencer, Butcher, Spoiler, Hasty, Hurry, Stubborn, Yelp, Tracker, Dash, Happy, Jolly, Trooper, Rockdove, Growler, Fury, Riot, Lance, Pell-Mell, Plucky, Killer, Crafty, Swift, and Dagger.
Any names on that list strike your fancy?  I like "Dash" and "Fury"....
Since we're talking about unusual early Greek names for dogs, let's move ahead a couple thousand years and see what's up with dog and cat names today:
'Chew Barka' and 'Pico de Gato' top Wackiest
Pet Names list
By Lisa Flam
For the fourth year in a row, Veterinary Pet Insurance scoured their pet database of more than 485,000 animals for the wackiest-named cats and dogs around. Meet the pets who inspired these madcap monikers, and the creative owners who came up with them.
Chew Barka
Once their younger child turned 5 and was off to school, Michele and Peter Manzelli III were feeling a bit lonely. They decided against trying for a third child; instead, despite Peter’s allergies, the Chelmsford, Mass., couple decided a dog might just fill the void. So they brought home an apricot toy poodle (a hypoallergenic breed) for a trial sleepover in 2010.
Unsure if they would keep the 6-week-old, 2-pound pup, they weren’t thinking of names quite yet. But his feisty antics, combined with their son Peter’s love of “Star Wars” (he wanted his sister, Gianna, to be named Yoda) led to the pooch’s unusual name.
“All he did was chew at things and bark at everybody,” Michele told
“We started calling him ‘Hey, Chew,’ ‘Hey Bark,’ because that’s all he was doing,” Peter recalled. “We all looked at each other and said ‘Chew Barka — that’s a perfect name for him.’” The little puppy was therefore named after Chewbacca, the huge, furry Wookiee warrior, and despite sinking his teeth into all of Michele’s flip-flops and gnawing on the area rugs, he was in the Manzelli home to stay.
“Of course everybody fell in love with him,” Michele said, adding that her husband is doing fine with the help of daily allergy medication. “After one night, we couldn’t give him back.”
Though her now 12-year-old son and husband are the “Star Wars” fans, it was Michele who concocted the dog’s name. Her creativity earned Chew Barka the top spot on Veterinary Pet Insurance Co.’s 2012 list of wackiest dog names.
The Manzellis get a great reaction to it. “They love it because he’s so little,” Michele said. “He’s furry all over, but he’s not ferocious-looking. He’s very-timid looking.”
These days, Chewy, as he’s called, doesn’t bite the Manzellis' belongings as much. But he still makes a lot of noise. “He’s a good protector,” Michele told “He barks at everybody who walks by.”
And Michele, who works part-time from home, and Peter, who also works at home sometimes, aren’t feeling quite so alone, especially when Chewy snuggles with them at night.
“He’s just like a heat-seeker,” she said. “He loves to cuddle up.”
Pico De Gato, as his name suggests, isn't afraid of human food. In fact, he's a fan of steak burritos.
Pico de Gato
The scientific wordplay that led to the names of Vince and Caroline Rye’s two cats leaves many people scratching their heads.
When the San Diego couple brought home their first cat about four years ago, Vince, a physicist, had the idea for the name Mu. It was a combination of the scientific symbol Mu, meaning micro, and the little kitty’s meowing.
“He thought it would be funny, and when we were trying to think of names, he’s like, ‘I’ve got a name that’d be pretty ironic,’” Caroline explained. “He has a sarcastic science sense of humor.”
But the name worked. “It’s was very fitting and he still meows a lot today,” she said.
About a year later, the family brought home another kitten. “Since he was a little baby at the time, we were trying to think of things that were smaller than 'micro' or Mu, so we were playing with different words and Pico came up,” Caroline explained. “We were trying to think of something to go with it.”
So they drew on several elements from their lives. The couple often call cats “gatos,” Spanish for cat, and they love Mexican food, with Rye often making homemade pico de gallo.
“We were thinking 'pico' is smaller than 'micro,' and if we’re going the scientific route, since we always call our cats ‘gatos,’ pico, gato — it just kind of went together,” Caroline said. The name “Pico de Gato” was born, and now it sits atop VPI’s 2012 list of wackiest cat names.
Fittingly for a pet with a food-inspired name, Pico is fond of human food. He begs for cheese and has enjoyed grilled steak burritos, Caroline said. “He goes crazy for it.” 
The cat even found his way into a box of doughnuts. “He had a doughnut in his mouth like ‘this is mine,’” Caroline recalled.
But despite the cats’ names, they’re mini no more. Caroline told that Pico now weighs about 18 pounds, surpassing the once-micro Mu by a pound or two. The big kitties better stay spry, as the Ryes' 9-month-old daughter, Caitlin, is on the move. “She squeals when she chases them,” Caroline said.
But what about the rest of the wacky names? Here's a look at the rest of the Top 10 among both dogs and cats, with details gleaned from VPI’s Wacky Pet Names website:
Wackiest dog names
2. Nigel Nosewhistle This pup was named in honor of Michele and Pete Thomas’ late dog, Sidney, a Westie who used to make whistling noises when he was tired.
3. Sir Maui Senqkey Schwykle Sure, his seven syllables are a mouthful. But when Sir Maui hears his full name, he knows he’s been a bad boy, according to owner Jean Schwindt of Virginia Beach, Va.
4. Spark Pug Spark Pug’s owners like wacky names: The rescue dog lives alongside Betty Boop, Minnie Pearl, Little Jimmy Dickens and Benjamin Button. But the name has been a fitting one for “Sparky,” says owner Jack Fallin, of Walnut Creek, Calif., who says the pooch was playful as a pup.
5. Agent 99 Named after the “Get Smart” character, this Labrador retriever has a nose for mold. Owner Brad Prill, of Wildomar, Calif., originally got the dog for his industrial safety consulting firm (Agent 99 can find 18 kinds of mold), but she now goes everywhere with her owner.
6. Stinker Belle This Yorkshire terrier was the first dog for Jay Cohen’s wife, and he thought the pooch would be spoiled rotten and become a real stinker. Fortunately for the Nashville, Tenn., couple, Stinker Belle doesn’t get into too much trouble.
7. Vienna Sausage This dachshund’s name was picked out even before she was. Gary Jaconski and Cassandra Wahl of Williamstown, N.J., like meat-related names for their animals and decided that if they got a dachshund, they’d name her Vienna Sausage after the food popular in Guam, where Wahl grew up.
8.Furnace Hills Dante All of the pups in this Spinone Italiano’s litter got names that began with "D." Owner Axel Waldkirch of Elizabethtown, Pa., came up with the name by combining the movie “Dante’s Inferno” with the name of his neighborhood —  Furnace Hills.
9. Senorita Margarita The owner of this Yorkshire terrier thought she would be bringing home a male dog that she planned to name Senor. Finding out she had a female, owner Samantha of Mount Joy, Pa., adjusted the name to fit the dog’s gender while honoring her favorite alcoholic drink.
10. Trigonometry They call him “Trig” for short, and the name reflects his owners’ jobs: she’s a teacher and he’s a sheriff’s deputy.
Wackiest cat names
2. Dingleberry Poor Dingleberry wasn’t doing so well when he was adopted by Laura Carlson of San Diego: He had parasites in his stomach that led to diarrhea, making the name a fitting one.
3. Dumpster Kitty This cat gets her name from her humble beginnings, under a Dumpster behind a hotel. Eileen Karle of Kerhonkson, N.Y., who works in the hotel, took the kitty home after the feline moved into the ceiling of the hotel’s kitchen and the staff wanted her out.
4. Schnickelfritz Jeff Rich of Avondale, Ariz., was thinking of naming his newest cat “Fritz” after a mouse in an old movie. But the cat answered to “Schnickelfritz” and the name was a keeper.
5. Koobenfarben This unusual name came about after Alycia Watson upset a co-worker by mispronouncing his name. Her husband said it should be the pronunciation, not the spelling, of a name that’s important, and joked that they could say their name was pronounced “Koobenfarben,” which then became their cat’s name.
6. Sassy Pants Huska This cat’s pushy and sassy personality led to her name after she was adopted by Robin Lefkowitz-Huska of Morganville, N.J.
7. Vincent Van Furrball When Iza Ramli of Arlington, Va., adopted this tabby, he was malnourished and his left ear drooped, leading to his name after the one-eared Dutch painter, Vincent van Gogh.
8. Kitty Gaga With her unique facial markings that make it look like she’s wearing heavy eye makeup, "Kitty Gaga" was the only name for Keane Slagle’s feline pop star.
9. Beefra One look at this kitty’s striped tummy and Ellie Irons of New York City settled on the name “Beefra,” which is how she pronounced “zebra” when she was little.
10. Mister Bigglesworth Cindy Chiudioni of Eastlake, Ohio, found a stray orange tabby and took him in. And after a trip to the vet, she changed her new pet’s name from Princess Bigglesworth to the anatomically correct Mister Bigglesworth.
Lisa A. Flam is a news and lifestyles writer in New York who had a goldfish named Swimmy and a dog called Daisy.
OK, now that you have come up with a name for your dog or cat, can you tell if the pet is right-handed or left-handed? 
Is your pet right or left-handed?
The DIY test that uses cheese, sofas and the backdoor to find
 out... but you have to do it 100 times
Ever wondered which paw your pet would clutch a pen with, should it develop opposable thumbs?
Quite possibly not. But if you have, this could be just the thing you've been waiting for.
Dr. Stefanie Schwartz of the Veterinary Neurology Center in Tustin, Calififornia, claims to have developed a test to figure out whether a dog or cat is right or left-handed.  Paw preference won't make a dog or cat walk, talk or wink like a human. You won't even get a high-five or a fist pump out of it. But vets and owners reckons the curiosity factor will have pet owners clamoring to find out if theirs is a leftie or a rightie.
Researchers are studying things like right brain-left brain connections, genetics and sexual orientation that may one day change the way dogs and cats are bred, raised, trained and used, said Schwartz.
Some horses have to be ambidextrous, said Dr. Sharon Crowell-Davis, a behavior and anatomy professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia.  In U.S. racing, horses only have to lean left because all races are run counterclockwise on tracks, but in some competitions and in some other countries, horses have to race and canter both ways.  'They have to be able to circle right and left. If not, they can trip,' Crowell-Davis said. 'You have to work to get them to take the lead they prefer less.'  She has never seen an advertisement promoting right or left-pawed dogs or cats. 'The only time you see it used in advertising is with horses. If a horse if being offered for sale, because of issues on the lead, it may say 'Works well on both leads' to emphasize the horse has had training.'
For dogs and cats their well-being doesn't depend on preference.   A 1991 study at Ataturk University in Turkey showed 50 per cent of cats were right-pawed, 40 per cent were left-pawed and 10 per cent were ambidextrous. That study might be out-of-date, Schwartz said, but it does provide percentages.
A 2006 study from the University of Manchester in England showed dogs were split half-and-half.
About 90 per cent of humans are right-handed and 10 per cent are left-handed.
Laterality — the textbook term meaning one side of the brain is dominant over the other — may someday help breeders predict which puppies will make the best military, service and therapy dogs, Schwartz said, and that could be lifesaving.
But for now, if you care enough, Schwartz has a series of tests that she says will determine the paw preference of your pet, when performed 100 times.  She suggests filling a toy with something delicious and putting it in the center of the dog's visual field. Which paw does it use to touch the toy first? Which paw does the dog use to hold the toy?
Or you could put something sticky on a dog or cat's nose and take note of which paw it uses to remove it? Place a treat or a piece of cheese under a sofa, just beyond a dog or cat's reach, she says. Which paw does it use to try and get it out?
Other indicators include which paw a dog offers to shake when asked or knock the backdoor with when it wants to be let in. Similarly for cats you can track which paw it uses to bat a dangled toy or to reach a treat lurking under a bowl.
Schwartz said there are a few things that might alter test results, including that if a dog has arthritis or an injury in a shoulder or leg, it could use the other to compensate.
When a cat really wants something, she said, tests show it uses its dominant paw, but when it's just fooling around it may use either or both.
And it is also possible that handedness in dogs, and maybe cats, will change over time as the animal's motivation changes.
Robin A.F. Olson, founder and president of rescue organisation Kitten Associates Inc, said her cats are always reaching for toys or treats with one paw or another.  'I try not to be judgmental of my cats' abilities or lack thereof. We will never worry about the anti-paw.'
It appears that Nora, an internationally acclaimed 8-year-old piano-playing tabby from Philadelphia, owned by piano teacher Betsy Alexander and her artist-photographer husband, Burnell Yow, is right-pawed.  Yow studied her videos and 'determined that she appears to lead with her right paw, then follow with her left,' Alexander said.  But she has her ambidextrous, headstrong moments.  'She uses both paws to reach for specific notes, even black notes ... and she uses her head to roll a series of multiple notes.'
Burning question or a waste of time? How to find out if your pet is a leftie or rightie....
If you teach a dog to shake, which paw does it offer you first and most often?
Dangle a toy over a cat's head. Which paw does it lift to bat it?
Put a treat under a bowl. Which paw does the cat or dog use to move it?
When a dog wants in the backdoor, which paw does it 'knock' with?
Which breeds of dogs would be most likely to impress men? 
Top Dog Breeds to Impress Men
By: Dr. Dawn Ruben
Wonder where all the good – and single – guys have gone? Try the dog park. That's right – believe it or not, there's a certain logic to it all, to wit:
• A single guy with a dog shows that he can commit to something. He just hasn't found the right person to shower his attention on.
• He obviously is putting forth effort into the relationship, i.e., he's spending time with the dog (and cleaning up after it, if he's responsible, an added bonus – willingness to clean).
• He's probably hoping his dog will help him meet an eligible woman he can get to know.
Of course, you'd look pretty silly showing up at a dog park without a dog – that would make your intentions just a little too obvious. But if you have a dog, or want to get a dog to share your life with, then by all means do so. But choose a dog that fits your lifestyle and a breed you can love and enjoy, even if you are going to do that alone.
If the breed you choose had the added benefit of attracting the type of guy you want, why not use all the ammunition you have to snare your soul mate?
• Looking for an outdoorsy man? A live-off-the-land hunter? These types of men tend to be drawn toward sporting and hunting breeds of dogs. Labradors, English Springer Spaniels, German Short- haired Pointers, Bloodhound, Weimaraners, Vizslas, or Chesapeake Bay Retrievers can help lure in the man of your dreams.
• If you want a more masculine guy, one who thinks size is important, think about adopting a Great Dane, Newfoundland, St. Bernard, Irish Wolfhound or Great Pyrennees.
• Want a guy who understands the importance of fashion and isn't afraid of a high maintenance woman? Consider a Maltese, Poodle, Cocker Spaniel, Bichon Frise, Pekingese, Saluki or Afghan.
• If you're looking to tame a bad boy, the kind your mother warned you about, then try a Rottweiler, German Shepherd, English Bulldog, Akita, Staffordshire Terrier or Bullmastiff.
• Some men are drawn to symbols of upper class and status. To get to know one of these guys, think about a Borzoi, Greyhound, Dalmatian, Doberman or Bouvier de Flandres.
• Even though you may think they are extinct, there are still some men interested in settling down and enjoying the family life. To indicate you are on the same wavelength, consider adding a Cairn Terrier, Golden Retriever, Beagle, Boxer or Collie to your family.
• To attract the man drawn to the exotic and uncommon, be seen with a Chinese Crested, French Bulldog, Bedlington Terrier, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Bull Terrier or Basenji.
Remember, before you pick one of these dogs to be your companion, investigate the breed's needs and traits to make sure it fits your life first – with or without that special man.
Sounds like there may be more to this theory than meets the eye, huh? 
The LA DODGERS are 2 games behind the second wildcard team with only 3 games to go in the regular season.  The chances of making up that ground are slim.  This will be a very disappointing end to a season that started out so well and featured several big-name acquisitions during the season.  The only positive way to look at it is that we are set up really well for next year.  Ah, the sports fan's lament....
The good news for the Pittsburgh Steelers is that they didn't play this weekend.  We've played 2 really lousy games on the road and the team seems to be disrupted in some way.
My only team to be playing really well is the Ohio State Buckeyes.  We went to Michigan State yesterday and beat them in a tough game.  Undefeated so far....
I've had several friends ask me this week which felt more exciting, cresting the top of Vail Pass on my bicycle or finally arriving at the summit trailhead of the North Kaibab Trail on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. There's no doubt that Vail Pass was a real thrill but it wasn't as difficult as I had expected.  With the tough hot conditions that wore me down on part of my Rim-to-Rim hike of the Grand Canyon, the exhilaration of reaching the summit and seeing Desperado waiting there for me was...the best ever!
I had another "life-changing" experience this week, albeit on a much smaller scale.  I do our grocery shopping and have been going to the same grocery store for almost 14 years.  This week, I went to another store for my groceries and will continue to do so.  It was almost like breaking up with a long-time girl friend.

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."
--André Gide,  French author

~~The goal of this blog is to provide general information and advice to help you be a better pet owner and to have a more rewarding relationship with your pet. This blog does not intend to replace the professional one-on-one care your pet receives from a practicing veterinarian. When in doubt about your pet's health, always visit a veterinarian.~~






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