I like navel gazing, but I hate belly buttons

Pet Blogger Challenge Jan. 10

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that I only like navel gazing (or, as our friend Pamela would call it, omphaloskepsis) when it’s metaphorical. Please keep your abdomens covered or – at a minimum – at a reasonable distance from my eyeballs. I can’t quite explain why, but belly buttons really weird me out.

Now that we’ve established some boundaries, dear reader, let’s move on to the real topic. (Full disclosure: I may have actually directed a few lines of “Take a Look at Me Now” at the mirror in order to psych myself up before writing this post, but let’s just keep that between us, okay?) This bout of self-reflection has been prompted by the annual Pet Blogger Challenge hosted by Go Pet Friendly and Will My Dog Hate Me, two of my favorite blogs. Continue reading

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In 2013, you wanted more puppies, more puns, and… more cats?

Today, on the last day of the year, I’m taking the totally original approach of reflecting on 2013. I don’t see a lot of this out there, which I find surprising – I mean, you’d think it would be a natural fit. I can only hope that my trailblazing example will inspire more reflection in the future as one year passes the torch to the next.

Sarcasm duly noted? Good. Because I know every website on Earth (and perhaps Mars?) is doing the same thing… and I don’t care. Nostalgia is my absolute favorite kind of -algia, and I finally put down a deposit on a nice little bungalow on Memory Lane. (It just makes good financial sense.) Let the reflecting begin! Continue reading

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Flipping off cancer… the canine way

Give Cancer the Paw

I’ll admit… when I first saw that there was a blog hop entitled “Give Cancer the Paw,” I thought we were basically flipping it off. You know, a canine twist on giving something (or someone) the finger.

Yeah, I’m classy like that.

For my more sheltered and innocent readers (do I have any of those?), by that I mean:

Giving the finger, verb: (1) Flipping off someone or something (“flipping the bird“); (2) Expressing displeasure using an agreed upon hand signal involving the middle finger; (3) Evaluating a fellow motorist’s driving ability; (4) practicing hand calisthenics while also sending a message;

or

noun: (1) Beloved gesture of irritated motorists everywhere; (2) Reliable pose for rebellious former child stars trying to be edgy.

I mean, it kind of fits. People are always standing up to cancer or walking for a cure. Why not flip it off too? I can think of plenty of instances where I’d like to tell cancer to shove it where the sun don’t shine. Whenever it takes away someone you love (be it person or pet), it sucks. It sucks bully sticks.

November is National Pet Cancer Awareness Month – it’s a good time to educate yourself about canine cancer and this blog hop is a great way to start. The Give Cancer the Paw Blog Hop is hosted by Peggy’s Pet Place and Pooch Smooches. Visit those blogs for more information about canine cancer, and be sure to check out the other blogs participating in today’s hop. They’re full of information about prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and more – including personal stories and support.

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DOGma: Channel your inner bitch & take up some space

Sometimes – okay, all the time – I want to write about something, but I can’t quite figure out how it fits into this blog. Often, I’ll jot down the idea, which then languishes on my list of post ideas until I forget what inspired it in the first place. Other times, I’ll stretch things just a bit… forcing a round peg into a square hole (do I have that backwards?) and hoping you’ll indulge me. Today is one of those days. Let’s all say some affirmations together and hope it works out, okay?

What’s today’s topic? Well, it’s about space. A few friends shared this video on Facebook, and I just knew I had to say something about it. Hang in there. There’s a dog connection at the end for the patient among you… Continue reading

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#BtC4A: Turning shelter dogs into social butterflies?

Blog the ChangeIt’s time for yet another edition of Blog the Change for Animals. This time around, I thought I’d talk about dog socialization and the ways in which shelter dogs can benefit from being socialized. Sometimes, socialization at the shelter can make a huge difference in the life of a dog.

I was inspired to write about this topic today because of a program that’s currently going on at Friends of Homeless Animals (FOHA), a local no-kill shelter (and the reason I have a Tavish snoring by my side). FOHA has started play groups for some of the dogs – they get together weekly to work on socialization.  The play groups often result in fun videos like this one:

I love that FOHA focuses on dog socialization. It’s a great way to get the dogs out of their runs and to let them learn how to interact with people and other dogs in a relaxed setting. While this type of group might not work for every dog, it can help prepare some dogs for their future adoptive families. Structured play groups can enrich the lives of dogs while they are in the shelter. In addition, these type of groups can be useful for training and assessment. Finally, they can give shelters a chance to show off some of their adoptable pups having fun and being adorable (like the dogs in the video above).

I’m far from an expert on this issue, but I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you have any experience with shelter play groups? Would you be interested in implementing this sort of program at your local shelter? For more information about play groups, check out Playing for Life!, a training and behavior program focused on this issue.

I’m not the only one blogging the change for animals today. Check out these other great posts:

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Your dog agrees: you cannot be replaced

This week is National Suicide Prevention Week. With that in mind, I just want to share a simple message here today:

WSPD2013ShirtDesign

I mean it. You cannot be replaced. If you don’t believe me, just ask your dog. Chances are, that furry face would be lost without you. In fact, I’m sure there are a host of reasons why you are simply irreplaceable.

I won’t say much more here today, but I did want to share a few links/resources.

A heavy post, I realize. I’ll bring the funny tomorrow.

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Do you have to choose between having a dog and having kids?

No.

*declares post completecloses laptop, goes to the kitchen, eats a cookie in celebration of a job well done, eats a second cookie in celebration of how good that first cookie was, reconsiders answer, returns to computer*

Here’s the thing. The answer is really that simple… and yet, it’s not. All at the same time. Allow me to explain.

I don’t believe that “you” (in the broadest sense) have to choose between kids and dogs. I don’t think it’s a zero sum game. At the same time, do “you” (in the narrowest possible sense) have to choose between kids and dogs? I can’t answer that one. However, I have thoughts. Lots of them. Continue reading

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Do you have a hurricane plan for your pet?

As illustrated by the buckets of rain that have been falling lately, it’s hurricane and tropical storm season. Check out this handy infographic from Petfinder about keeping your dog safe during a storm. Make sure that when it comes to your pets, you control the story of the hurricane.

Hurricane Safety: I Still Want More Puppies

For more tips, including how to keep your cats safe during a storm and how to help pets lost during a disaster, click here.

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Interspecies baby mama drama

Happy Friday! Let’s get to today’s linkage (which I must admit is not actually filled with baby mama drama… just several animal baby mamas).

  1. First up, your punny pet names: Furman Bates and Bone Crawford.
  2. That’s right. Those are my holiday-themed puns for this week. Okay, fine. Enjoy these photos of cute animal moms. Happy now?
  3. Moving on… this guy gives new meaning to the word sheepdog.
  4. Speaking of interspecies pals (as I almost always am), sometimes an animal adopts a different kind of animal. When that happens, cuteness is the guaranteed result.
  5. No, really. It’s absolutely guaranteed. Adorbs.
  6. Apple Moonbeam is an awesome name. That’s just a fact. (Also a fact? I could never adopt a squirrel in need, as Tavish would simply think I’d finally brought the appetizers inside instead of letting them taunt him from afar.)
  7. Um, guys? I think I’m melting over here.

Finally, we end with a video. I think I could watch this all day:

Still need more? Enjoy:

Obviously, today’s theme was partially inspired by Mother’s Day. This weekend, I’ll be remembering the wonderful lady who made me into the woman I am today. To those of you also making due with a memory, I’m sending you a giant hug.  

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The Rhino Force is strong with this one…

I have no words.

The cute is almost too much to handle.

Speaking of rhinos (as one does), you should head over to Tiny n Fit to read her recent post about visiting South Africa. She shares some sobering facts about rhino poaching, as well as some ways that you can help. (Spoiler: you don’t even have to leave your house, although you can if you want.) Finally, you can enter to win a cool Rhino Force bracelet (ends Monday).

What are you waiting for?

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