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Sunday, April 26, 2015

ASPCA's Help A Horse Day And #HelpAHorseContest!

Photos courtesy of the ASPCA

Today is a special day for horses in need, thanks to the good folks at the ASPCA—it's Help A Horse Day 2015! Although we usually write about companion animals that are a bit smaller... and that actually live in your home, horses are certainly faithful, loving companions to many across the United States. And today is the day horses that have been abandoned, abused or neglected will receive some extra help from concerned animal lovers, thanks to the ASPCA. In fact, many areas are hosting weekend festivities to get you involved to help these gorgeous, elegant animals.

Despite the eloquence of the equine narrator in Anna Sewell's, Black Beauty, that influenced generations of animal cruelty activists, or even the goofy antics of the chatterbox horse in the TV sitcom, "Mr. Ed", horses can't speak for themselves and need your voice to make the case for their humane treatment.

The ASPCA explains a few ways you can help:

__Visit the ASPCA's event directory to learn more about Help A Horse Day celebrations and become involved with equine rescue groups in your area.

__Urge the U. S. Congress to pass a federal ban on horse slaughter (U.S. H.R 1942, The Safeguard American Food Exports Act 2015). Yes, it's still happening to as many as 150,000 horses each year!

__Enter the ASPCA's Help A Horse Photo Contest by sharing a picture of your favorite horse (of course!) and using the hashtag #HelpAHorseContest.

And let us know if you're lucky enough to share your life with a horse!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Rescued Dog Wants Dining Companion

Rescued from the Sato Project, little dog Bonnie prefers to dine with her pal. Take a mere 20 seconds out of your day to watch this intelligent and savvy gal. This just might be the start of a beautiful canine friendship...

Friday, April 24, 2015

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie...And Other Things You Do To Annoy Your Dog

                    Hey! Don't bug us when we're sleepin'!

When your dog is trying to get some shut-eye, do you think he looks so sweet that you give him a big hug? Oops! Who wants to be bothered when they're sleeping? And canines don't have a history of "grasping" one another to show affection, so hugging can, well, annoy them. Admittedly, Parental Unit hugs me all the time and will not apologize for it!

What other behavior faux pas are you Parental Units committing that could be interpreted by your dog as inappropriate at best, or at the other end of the spectrum, contribute to their behavioral problems? Our friends at Modern Dog magazine have described 12 pet parent behaviors that just might be annoying to your dog. Hint: they include yelling (dogs interpret this as angry barking), teasing and breaking with routine.

Of these 12 crimes against your canine, we think the worst is simply too much time alone. Dogs are social animals and need daily interaction with you, their fearless leader. Dogs also have a fair amount of energy (some more than others) and are intelligent, so they need a good amount of both physical and mental stimulation each day to be at their best. A short walk in the morning before work and plopping down with you on the couch to watch TV at night really doesn't cut it. Over time can this routine of inactivity can result in destructive and even aggressive behavior.

What inadvertent "crimes" have you committed against your pooch? Any of those listed, or have your discovered other behaviors that annoy your four-legged buddy? Let us know!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

BlogPaws Wordless Wednesday Pet Blogger Hop: Going Green!

In celebration of Earth Day 2015, our friends at BlogPaws are proud to announce that this year's pet blogging and social media conference in Nashville, Tenn., is officially "going green"!  Partnering with the Pet Industry Sustainability Coalition and Only Natural Pet, the conference has embraced a zero-waste initiative. Cool!

Meanwhile, back at the Ohio ranch...Parental Unit and I will be going for an extra long run today, despite the rainy weather (well, I'll be doing the running!).

Now let's head on over to the BlogPaws Wordless Wednesday Earth Day Pet Blogger Hop and meet and greet some new "green" blogging buddies!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Your Dog's Loving Gaze...And What It Really Means

Parental Unit said that once I looked at her with my big brown eyes, she was "a goner". I'm not sure what that means, but I do know that I was "a goner" from the shelter within minutes of meeting my new Parental Unit!

              Ridiculously cute photo of me by Clark Creative.

This fascinating article in today's New York Times Science section explains just how a dog's loving gaze turns you humans into besotted fools. No offense, of course.

A new report in the renowned journal, Science, seems to confirm what pet parents have known for ages: when humans and dogs gaze into one another's eyes, both release elevated levels of the "attachment" hormone, oxytocin. This "continuous loop of loving reinforcement" probably starts with the dogs' gaze, according to researchers. And the bonding that ensues is similar to the "feel-good" feedback that bolsters bonding between parent and child. One of the conclusions drawn by the researchers is that perhaps dogs "cleverly and unknowingly utilized a system meant for bonding a parent with his or her child." Unknowingly? Yeah right.

In my experience, if I gaze at Parental Unit long enough, I usually get, oh, a treat or a walk. How about you?
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