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Pet Neglect

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Cloudy in closet


News in Singapore broke of a businessman being jailed for failing to feed his emaciated pet.

It is not for me to partake in another person’s sorrow, but I was relieved by the news.

Many  pet owners are unaware the neglect is  a form of abuse. It’s probably more common than more direct forms. Those who neglect their pets consciously or otherwise need to develop more awareness.

They choose to forget about pets if they no longer have time or inclination to look after them.

The poor furballs we all love are victims of consumerism. They are bought as easily as clothes and can just as readily discarded.

Time is not on their side as well. Without realizing how busy they are, owners attracted to a pet’s irresistible, kawaii features and tote them home. They conveniently leave them aside when they simply cannot find a few minutes to remember to feed them.

These owners think that leaving their pets alone is better than beating them into submission or abusing them by kicking them into a corner.

A most common form of neglectful abuse is chaining  a dog up for hours in the hot sun and leaving him alone. His essentials, like a food bowl and water, are often not replenished.

A pet comes with a  mess. To solve the problem, some owners cage or crate their dogs and forget about them.

The most disastrous form of neglect, by far, is simply leaving pets in a park and walking home without them.

You cannot take in every single abandoned or neglected animal much as you would love to. You can, however help to stop neglect.

You can get more involved by tactfully prompting neighbors whom you suspect are neglecting their pets.

If the reminder does not work, volunteer to take them in if possible or suggest ways to find it another home should there be no other way of looking after it.

Get authorities involved if things come to an ugly head. This is not pleasant, but is worth the trouble if it helps an animal in need.

Neglecting an animal is just as bad, if not worse, than physically abusing one.



10 Unusual Facts About Dogs

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Cloudy On the table
Dogs rank among the most common domestic animals we know.
We know their tail-wagging habits at the back of our hands. But despite our long-term relationship, there are some odd things about our canine buddies.
1.   Dogs descend from a weasel-like creäture called the Miacis, which existed forth
     million years ago. This little fellow later evolved into the Tormactus, then the            Canis family of foxes, wolves,  dogs and other dog-like creatures we are familiar
2. Grapes and raisins cause renal failure in dogs. Before realizing this, I fed my dogs
    regularly with grapes. I now understand why they had diarrhea.
3. Apple and pear seeds contain arsenic. Dogs love fruits, but avoid letting them
     feast on the core.
4. Dogs have sweat glands between their paws. They perspire through their paws and
5. Dr. Robert Mugford invented the Wagometer in 2003  to measure how fast
     a dog’s tail wags. 
6. A dog’s blades unattached to the rest of the body to allow flexibility for running.
    My West Highland Terrier, Cloudy, always wins a race with me. 
7. The phrase “raining cats and dogs” originated in 17th century England, a time when
    homeless animals would float down flooded streets.
8.Kubla Khan holds the world’s highest record for owning the most number of dogs.      He had 5000 mastiffs!
9.  Mastiffs and Great Danes wore armor during his time to go into battle.
10. Plato once said that the dog has a philosopher’s soul. I wonder why my older dog,
     Misty, loves contemplating!
Understand Fido better with these facts.

A new kong toy

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There is nothing cuter than watching a little dog trying to make sense of her Kong toy. A mental challenge!

Categories: Photography

Sleepy Sisterhood


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Cloudy and Misty move about as a pack, even in their sleep. Here are some photos of them embracing theri “sleepy sisterhood.”

Ten quirky reasons for owning a pet

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Cloud on Table 2


Having been a dog owner for the greatest part of my life, I would advise any potential owner that dog ownership has its ups and downs.

Still, the downs (eg. too much barking or excessive poop) are not enough to deter it.

Here are a few plausible, though slightly wuirky, reasons to own a dog.

1. A pet is pure eye candy.

To start, dogs are feasts for the eyes. Their absolute cuteness simply makes you go “aww”.

Cloudy, my little West Highland, just drew a laugh out of me this morning when she crawled into my cupboard and insisted that it was her den.

A dog’s whimsical ways simply pull you to it.

2. It keeps you calm.

Besides its cute appearance, a dog keeps you calm. Looking at it alone soothes jangled nerves.

Stroking a dog releases endorphins and raises poor spirits. It also relieves stress.

3. A pet makes a good pillow.

Further, provided you do not squash it with your head, a pet is an excellent pillow.

It is comfortable to at least snuggle next to it, anyway.

4. It is fun.

Pillows aside, pets are fun, They make wonderful playmates and companions.

Would a human catch a ball with his teeth?

5. It may help you out.

And then, pets may also help you. Contrary to popular belief, they do earn their keep.

Use them as doorbells, security guards or pest exterminators.

6. It keeps you secure.

To speak of being guards, dogs make great ones. A dog is a protective creature and will defend you when necessary. It keeps you secure.

7. A pet is good entertainment.

A dog is also wonderful entertainment. It is a lively creature full of hilarious antics.

My terrier, Cloudy, enjoys competing with my Schnauzer, Misty, to see comes in first in a race. I say “bye bye” and cloudy becomes anxious to move in front of Misty.

She also enjoys picking up strange objects and offering them to me.

8. It helps you make friends.

Like all other pets, dogs help the thoroughly introverted make a few friends. There is no better place to find a few than a dog park or even a veterinary clinic with a medical ambience.

9. It is not fussy.

To add, dogs are not as selective as humans. Two dogs may quarrel one day and be great friends the next.

10. It does not ask for much.

They definitely do not ask for much. Other than a little attention or a few obedience classes, you do not have to take it for ballet sessions or choir camp.

Unless your dog is Misty, who yowls when she hears the piano.

If you have not decided to get yourself a dog, what’s stopping you?

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Should owners treat their dogs like their children?

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Cloudy playing ball 1

Should we treat our pets like our children?

My dog, Cloudy, prompted a little thought this morning as she patiently waited for me to prepare her flea dip. She had her favorite teddy bear soft toy in her mouth and bowed, asking me to take her out for a play session.

It was not the first time she behaved like a child, or showed attachment to her “parents”.

Pet owners develop bonds with their dogs that others, family members included, find difficult to empathize with. There are times when I get quizzical looks for giving Cloudy a hug after she completes a run around the park.

There is a gnawing, or at least nibbling gap between pet and non-pet owners that needs addressing. Perhaps their fear of dogs came about because of a bad experience of being bitten by one. Their dislike could also stem from sheer revulsion brought on by pet owners who do not clear up after a walk in the park.

This gap always begs the question “Should we treat our dogs like our kids?”

The bond with a dog is one of implicit trust. Once formed, the dog sees you as its leader and looks to you to show it the way. As it follows you around, it shows its faith that your way is the right one. It trusts that you will not abandon or hurt it.

Their acceptance of our affection is unquestioning.

We love our dogs for the feelings of dependence that they give us. They make us feel needed. That need continues for its life.

A relationship with a dog is an innocent, uncomplicated one. It has no motives or particular reasons for its actions, and that is where its psyche stands apart from ours.

That naiveté is a real draw. Throw in unquestioning loyalty to the mix. There are times when you will come home to a spouse watching television, and he ignores you when you come through the door. It is always the dog that greets you.

You are probably assertive with a frisky dog which shows no sign of defiance or back talk.

Like all children, dogs emote, sometimes better than we do. They respond to your feelings of happiness, sorrow or anger. They understand tension, oftentimes better than humans can.

Treating dogs like children is a given, considering these very understandable reasons. Owners have to do it with the feelings of those who prefer not to own one in mind.

This means that pet owners need to take trouble to clean up after their pets, as much as non-owners should try to empathize and accomodate.

It also means that owners have to train dogs to heel and not jump up at passersby. They have to rein themselves in around other dogs.

With everyone in mind, dogs are like children.

Cloudy’s inspection


Cloudy alert


Dogs love things neat and tidy. Cloudy is no different. Here she is, giving an unmade bed a once over. Let’s hope that she is not too strict!

Categories: Photography

Self-sacrificing dogs

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We note dogs for their undying, unquestioning loyalty to their masters. Dogs are famous for not holding grudges after their masters punish them for misdemeanors.

Their loyalty difficult to compare with. Devoted dogs seldom think twice about giving their lives for their owners.

Here are a few dogs that have paid the ultimate price to save their masters.

1. Simon, the guide dog

Visually handicapped Dave Furakawa was walking his four-year-old son from school when a red Chrysler careened through the intersection, heading straight for the duo.

The situation would have been disastrous if not for Simon, Dave’s guide dog. The Boxer instinctively pushed Dave’s son aside.

Naturally, the dog took the hit. He died before he could be sent to the vet.

2. Gander, the Newfoundland War Dog

The next dog that fearlessly gave up its life for the greater good was Gander, a heroic Newfoundland.

In the Battle for Hong Kong fought between the British, Gander pushed back enemy advances on several occasions. The last time the bulky dog fought, a grenade landed in the middle of the Canadian forces.

Gander unhesitatingly picked up the grenade and ran off to the side. It detonated before he could throw it away.

3. George the Jack Russell

Large dogs are not the only ones that are brave. Jack Russells, famed for liveliness in spite of their lack of size, are courageous little fellows.

On one occasion, George, released by its owners during a walk, noticed two pit bulls approaching a group of children. He valiantly defended the children, who escaped quickly. George himself, however was the Pitbulls’ victim.

4. Troy, the Labrador retriever

Another brave dog that prevented a Pitbull attack was Troy, a Labardor retriever.

His owners, the Dohertys were a family walk in Randalstown when a loose Pitbull attacked them. The dog first lunged at Cole, one of their four Labrador Retrievers, biting his leg.

It then attacked the parents, Sean and Dierdre, injuring them slightly. Then it went for their son, Ben.

That is when Troy decided that it was time to interfere. He fought the Pitbull bravely, giving up his life in the process. Police shot the offending Pitbull.

5. Nero, the Fire Hero

Besides being protective, dogs are intuitive. Last year, a fire raged through Yorktown Heights, New York, razing the home of the Eliseo family.

Their Newfoundland, Nero, first sensed the fire. He went through the house, waking the family up.

After a little confusion and scrambling, firemen saved the family. They initially thought that Nero escaped the blaze and asked for the help of the Police to track him down. Later, his ashes were found in the house.

The loyalty of dogs surpasses that of many creatures, including our own.

Celebrities who own Westies

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Cloudy On the table

Cloudy, my West Highland Terrier, is indispensable. In spite of her frisky ways, impatient barks and her sometimes too-playful, couch-jumping disposition, I would not trade this little dog for the world.

These terriers, also known as Westies, are a handful. They also come with their share of inspiring strengths.

One hallmark of the Westie spirit is its sturdiness. Never mistake this small terrier as a little dog that willingly sits on your lap. This little fellow, bred for ratting, has a super-strong tail that it can literally hang upside down from (Do not try this at home).

This dog has a charming, natural appearance that makes it a common feature of advertisements. A keen watchdog, this little fellow is friendly with other dogs and strangers. Cloudy, a feisty female, absolutely loves children and has many “boyfriends”.

The Westie does not traumatize you with excessive pet hair.

Of course, no dog is perfect and this mighty terrier is no different. It has the dynamic terrier temperament and is completely bossy. Prepare yourself for dominance issues and possible animal aggression. Strong-willed, it has a mind of its own and at times, barks the house down.

Still, he is a huge draw. Celebrities have taken to these little fellows in the way bees do to honey.

One of them is English dream boat and Twilight actor, Robert Pattinson. His favorite female Westie, Patty, became a doggy angel over a year ago.

Star of the Walking Dead, Christian Serratos, is another celebrity who owns a Westie. She and her male terrier, Bolt, are constant companions.

Adding to the list is funny man Rob Schneider. He may not have won an Oscar, but his dog goes by the moniker and reflects his hope.

Lastly, we have Underworld Star Kate Beckinsale. The English actress owns a Westie puppy, but has not revealed its name.

The enchanting Westie is a crowd pleaser. Celebrities, too, have become fans.

Categories: Stories about pets