Nose Then and Now

While doing some digging the other day (looking for something unrelated), this picture came up:

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This is Nose when he was a kitten.

This is Nose now:

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I only have one question: What happened? Baby Nose must have eaten some weeds somewhere along the way because he grew like one!

Peanut the Jailbird

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Peanut is the kind of cat who doesn’t have a favorite spot — she sleeps wherever she wants to when she wants to. My favorite pictures of her sleeping are behind the bars of this chair. Look at her looking down like she’s ashamed. Perfect! Let this be a lesson to all the kitties out there — if you do the crime, you gotta do the time. ūüėČ

 

Pippy’s Missing Something

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For the past two weeks, there has been a hole in the d√©cor of this corner. Normally, something stands here that Pippy really enjoys: a scratcher. (It was off getting the natural rope replaced.) Pippy, being such a creature of habit still went to his corner to scratch his claws, but oops! The poor guy had to resort to biting his nails himself to keep them in shape. He was happy to relinquish the “privilege” of doing his own nails when he got his scratcher back this morning. After only two minutes, Pippy was at the scratcher “breaking” it back in.

Pippy's fave toy

Low Energy Cat Breeds

These are the cats that will curl up beside you on the couch. Since they have a natural tendency towards inactivity, ensure that you provide these cats with a multitude of toys to make them be active otherwise you’ll end up with a fat cat. They may be cute to look at, but in the long run, a fat cat is not easy to live with.

BIRMAN

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Birmans do not like being the only pet in their home, they are much too social. They are active and playful, but they will be quiet if you’re busy. Birmans are medium to large in size (males weigh 9 to 15 pounds, females are 6 to 10 pounds) and have a semi-long silky coat. They do tend to shed. Their coats don’t often mat and Birmans have long bottle brush tails. They also feature brilliant blue eyes which seem to round out their sweet expression and dispositions.

BRITISH SHORTHAIR

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British Shorthairs have found the balance between being affectionate and clingy; they would rather curl up beside you than be on your lap. British shorthairs are a healthy, hardy breed that takes 3 to 5 years to mature. They are playful, alert, intelligent and adore children. They may take some time to warm up to strangers, but if you return their love, they’re good. British shorthairs are a compact well-balanced cat (males weigh 12 to 18 pounds/females 9 to 15 pounds). Their coats are short, dense, plush and they do shed.

EXOTIC SHORTHAIR

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Exotic shorthairs have been dubbed “the lazy man’s Persian.” They have the body type and easygoing Persian personality, without the coat length that requires all that grooming. exotic shorthairs are athletic — males weigh 7 to 14 pounds, females 6 to 10 pounds. They are fun-loving, loyal, affectionate, quiet and sensitive. Their thick, dense, plush coats and round face resemble a teddy bear look.

HIMALAYAN

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The Himalayan is one of the most beloved cat breeds. For good reason, Himalayans live for affection and loved to be petted! They make loyal, devoted companions that get along well with children and other pets. Himalayans are playful and active well into its senior years. They are poised, calm and self-assured. Himalayans have long coats that come in a multitude of colors. Males weigh between 9 to 14 pounds, females 7 to 11 pounds.

PERSIAN

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Under that long, thick, glossy coat is a muscular, sturdy body. Persians come in a variety of colors and coat patterns. Persians are affectionate and loyal; the typical sweet cat. The coat requires daily brushing, an occasional bath and should always be kept indoors. Persian males weigh 9 to 14 pounds, while females weigh 7 to 11 pounds.

RAGAMUFFIN

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Their large, expressive eyes match their large body. Ragamuffin males tip the scale between 12 to 20 pounds (!) while females are 8 to 15 pounds. Don’t dare be afraid of all that cat, Ragamuffins are sweet, loving and have been dubbed “teddy bears.” They flourish under human attention and make a wonderful family pet that gets along with other cats and even dogs. Ragamuffins are calm, easygoing and can be trained to walk on a leash, play fetch and sit up and beg. It takes four years for Ragamuffins to reach adulthood. Their coats are medium to long and are thick and plush.

RAGDOLL
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Affectionately dubbed the “puppycat,” Ragdolls can be taught to fetch and to come when called. Ragdolls are social, loving and affectionate, they get along with everyone — even dogs. They remain playful throughout their lives and mature slowly — at around 3 to 4 years. Ragdolls are large: males weigh 12 to 20 pounds while females come in at 8 to 15 pounds. Their coats are semi-long, plush and silky.

SELKIRK REX

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Selkirks are one of the newer cat breeds and are distinctive due to their naturally curly coat. Their coats are either long- or short-haired, but both varieties have dense, curly, soft coats. Selkirks adore people, other cats and dogs. They are patient and tolerant, adaptable to almost any living situation. They are clever, mellow and endlessly entertaining. A medium sized cat males weigh 11 to 16 pounds, females weigh 6 to 12 pounds.

 

Low Energy Dog Breeds

These breeds of dogs are for you if you don’t like spending the majority of your time with your dog outdoors. Now, they do still require exercise (every dog does to stay healthy mentally and physically), but these guys won’t run you ragged or require you to be an Olympic athlete to keep up with them.

BOLOGNESE

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Bolognese are said to be descendants of Bichon Frise. Bolognese originate from southern Italy where they were a popular companion dog among the Spanish royalty and moved throughout Europe. The average Bolognese weighs between 8 to 14 pounds and is playful, but not overly active. Bolognese’s long-hair is prone to matting, but they don’t tend to shed much and are considered hypoallergenic. Bolognese are very intelligent and easily trainable. They are reserved around strangers, but get along well with children and other pets.

GREYHOUND

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Ignore the fact that Greyhounds are “designed” to race; they sprint fast but are not high-energy. Greyhounds can be traced back to ancient Egypt and Greece where they were used for herding and hunting. Despite the fact that they can reach a height of 2 1/2 feet and weigh 60 to 70 pounds, Greyhounds make better apartment dwellers than most small breed dogs. By nature, Greyhounds are quiet and gentle and very obedient. You may need to train them or supervise with smaller pets or young children, but they make excellent companions for school-age children and other dogs. They do well with strangers. They do like to run, but a 20 to 30 minute walk most days is sufficient exercise for them.

BULLMASTIFF

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These large guard dogs are a cross between an English Mastiff and an English Bulldog. They were bred to stand in front of an intruder, knock them down and hold them, not to attack. Bullmastiffs typically weigh 100 to 130 pounds and stand 21 to 27″. They are calm, low-key dogs that can do well in an apartment provided it’s large enough for them to move around in. They should live strictly indoors. Bullmastiffs are very loyal and they live for attention. They adore children, are very calm and will return your affection. You might actually have to convince your Bullmastiff to get off the couch; as in any large breed, obesity is always a concern. Don’t let him be a couch potato!

PUG

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These Chinese pets were once used as royal gifts or for bartering in the Orient. They quickly spread throughout Europe because they are very affectionate. If not overfed, Pugs shouldn’t weigh more than 18 pounds. Pugs are pretty low energy, but their wrinkles do require some cleaning to avoid infections and their pinched faces lead to breathing troubles — so no strenuous exercise! Pugs have¬† a tendency to be stubborn and can snore pretty badly.

BULLDOG

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Originally bred to fight, Bulldogs have since thrown down the gloves and have been bred with gentler personalities. Bulldogs are small and muscular, typically weighing between 40 and 50 pounds. Bulldogs are very loyal and affectionate and get along with everyone. They do require some cleaning attention for their wrinkles on their face. Without frequent casual walks (they can’t handle strenuous workouts), Bulldogs can grow obese.

CHIHUAHUA

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Chihuahuas are the smallest dogs in the world. They were named after the state of Chihuahua in Mexico where they were discovered in 1850. Chihuahuas are thought to have descended from the dogs of Chinese or Spanish explorers. Chihuahuas max out the scale at 2 to 6 pounds and reach a height of 9″. Chihuahuas are not meant for families or even couples; they bond to only one person only and are fiercely loyal to that one person. Personality-wise, they are very high-strung. Both the short- and long-haired varieties require little grooming and an occasional walk will suffice. (In fact, Chihuahuas may end up logging more miles in your purse than on the ground.)

YORKSHIRE TERRIER

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Surprisingly, the long-haired Yorkie does not need regular grooming. Regular brushing and a monthly trim is enough grooming to keep them looking sharp. (Once you learn how, you can easily trim a Yorkie at home yourself.) Yorkies require little space and don’t require much training or exercise. Yorkies max out at 7 pounds and 6 to 7″ in height. Yorkies are quite adventurous and brave. They are also very affectionate. It is imperative with Yorkies that you establish that you are the leader and the one in control. If you don’t, a Yorkie will change its temperament and become demanding, dependent, jealous and will snap at people. As long as you establish your gentle leadership, your Yorkie will be the sweetest, most adorable dog on the block.

BEAGLE

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Everybody loves¬†a Beagle; it is the most popular dog breed in the U.S. Their short coats ensure very little shedding. Very loyal, great with kids and doesn’t require regular grooming — what more could you ask for? Beagles make wonderful trackers — once they pick up a scent, they must follow. Males are slightly bigger than females and weigh a bit more. They can handle life in an apartment as long as they receive plenty of time outdoors, but they do best in a house with a fenced-in yard. (Beagles can suffer from “selective” hearing where they might not respond to you if they’re following a scent.)

DACHSHUND

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These small dogs love people, but do not do well with children. They come in three different coat distinctions — short-, long- or wire-haired. None of the coat types require much grooming (they rarely shed), but regular brushing and bathing are essential. They don’t require much space and need minimal exercise. There are three varieties of Dachshund — the Standard 8 to 11″ in height that weigh over 11 pounds, the Miniature is 5 to 7″ and weigh less than 11 pounds and the Toy reaches up to 12″ and weigh 8 pounds.

Socks’ Attack

Imagine this:

You’re having a lazy Saturday morning in bed. You’re awake, but you don’t want to get up quite yet. You don’t want to just lay there and waste time, so you do something constructive and read. Your ever-loving cat is laying on the pillow above your head.

You’re in the middle of the chapter and you’re minding your own business. All of the sudden, your cat (who is much like Socks) decides to “scent-mark” your glasses with the side of her mouth. You’re obviously startled because you weren’t expecting it.

This is exactly what happens when you live with a cat. You can’t even read in peace!

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Cooper vs. Horton For the Bed

Cooper has a new habit, and in the process has found a new hold over Horton.

In their home are two doggie beds,¬†one for each of them. The bigger one is supposed to be for Cooper, however,¬†there used to be no set preference by either dog¬†until lately…

Horton will be curled up in one of the beds; Cooper will begin to bark at Horton like he does when he wants to play in his praying/bowing position (see below) . Cooper continues to bark until Horton jumps out his bed to chase him. Cooper instead heads in the opposite direction, does an about turn and takes up residence in the bed vacated by Horton. Does Cooper simply like having a warm bed or is he just teasing Horton? What do you think? (By the way, poor Horton just curls up in the other bed and goes to sleep.)

Cooper bowing2 poor Horton

Pippy’s Sleeping Arrangements

Pippy is the baby of his family and he does not like to be alone.

He and his best buddy Boots used to eat together every morning and they would usually be found sleeping in the same general vicinity. Unfortunately for Pippy, Boots died in July 2013. That wasn’t enough to change Pippy’s penchant for companionship. He still sleeps in the same general vicinity of, but he doesn’t just single out one cat anymore, he will lay near whomever he chooses. His favorite spot used to be on the bed under the window next to the wall (see picture below, yep, that was Pippy’s spot). This was probably because Boots’ favorite spot to sleep was actually under the covers with his feet sticking out. (Thank goodness because if you didn’t see his feet, you might end up sitting on him!) Without Boots, Pippy has learned to lie wherever he wants: at the foot of the bed, the couch or on a blanket.

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Which Pet is Right for You?

When you decide to get a pet, there are a lot of things to consider. Some of the bigger considerations:

Clean-up: Who will be doing most of it? How much are you willing to let your kids participate?

Your lifestyle: How much do you travel? How easy is it for you to find a reliable pet-sitter or boarding facility? Can you travel with your pet?

Your personality: How active is your lifestyle? How sedentary is your lifestyle?

Your preference: Are you allergic to certain animals? Which pet do you naturally gravitate towards?

Time: Realistically, how much time do you have to devote to a pet?

Children’s Ages: Do you want to teach your child how to care for a pet or is it more for the pure enjoyment and the whole family will participate in the upbringing? Certain pets are better suited to an older child than to a youngster.

Let’s take a closer look at the most common pets and their needs.

RODENTS (hamster, gerbil, mouse, rat, guinea pig, chinchilla)

The recommended age to participate in caring for a rodent is age 8. Rodents are not recommended for younger children because the rodents are easily injured — they can get squished, sat on, stepped on and the like. Rodents are great starter pets for children to learn how to care for an animal.

They live in a small cage filled with newspaper shreds or wood chips. As long as you thoroughly clean the cage weekly, rodents don’t stink too much. They don’t require bathing or much personal care and are usually only fed once a day. All you really need to do is hold and play with them a few times a day. Keep in mind that rodents are “squirmy” and will always require supervision when taken out of their cage. Rodents typically tend to only live 2 to 3 years — so there’s not too much of a long-term commitment.

There are toys and tunnels you can purchase to enrich their environment. Out of the whole group, chinchillas are the least fun of the group, guinea pigs are the loudest (they emit a loud or irritating squeal) and rats are the smartest (they can be trained to do the most “interesting” tricks).

DOGS

Of all pets, dogs provide the most enriching family experience — everyone can play a role. However, of all pet options, dogs are require the most care. A lot of work and time must go into establishing pack order and¬†potty training.¬†Potty training requires a lot¬†of consistency and may also require extra gear¬†to cut down on accidents.

There are a lot of breed choices to pick from and to find the perfect breed for you and your family, you need to do your homework. Not all breeds do great with kids and not every breed will do well in an apartment. Some breeds are very easygoing and some are naturally high-strung. If you’re into travel, not every breed travels well, so you may need to find alternate arrangements for your pooch.

Unless you’re pretty active (or at least be able to devote some daily walking time), a dog is probably not the pet for you.

CATS

Cats and dogs remain the most popular pet options and many are undecided between which one is a better fit and usually families end up falling back on simple preferences between the two. Of course, a lot of households actually have at least one of each.

Cats are a much lower maintenance pet than dogs. For pure entertainment purposes, cats provide just as much (or more) than dogs. Note: If you have an active baby or a toddler, be very careful regarding your child and the litter box, young children are amazingly curious. Many more children have an allergy to cats (rather the dander than the actual animal) than to dogs.

Meanwhile, cats make amazing pets for older children and can fill a variety of needs for a family. It is possible to travel with a cat (if your cat will tolerate travel), but it will probably take a lot of creativity, so do your homework. Most times, you’ll have to find a sitter or boarding facility. There are a number of breeds that display a wide array of personalities (some that act more like dogs than cats), so, again, you’ll need to do your homework to find the best fit for you.

FISH

These are the ultimate in low maintenance pets. All you have to do is clean the bowl and feed them on a daily or weekly schedule. They last anywhere from one day to 3 years! Watching fish is the ultimate in calming experiences. Kids love them!

REPTILES (turtles or lizards)

This group makes a great pet — as long as you know how to properly care for them. Some may require certain food, water or heat sources. They are fairly low maintenance overall and much less fragile than rodents. Turtles make a great starter pet for a child of any age.

Lizard-wise, there are a multitude of options to choose from. They are great fun to watch, but not very interactive.

BUNNIES or FERRETS

After the training stage for dogs, bunnies and ferrets require the most care of any pet. Never decide to take on the care of a bunny or ferret on a whim; you will live to regret it. They are very instinctual and easily frightened — it takes a ton of time to hold them in order to properly domesticate them. They will trust you completely, so the amount of work that you put into them, they will give you back. They can both be potty trained and even learn to walk on a leash. Their cages (especially for male rabbits) will soil quickly, so you will require a lot of time for clean up.

Ferrets are very entertaining, but require the same amount of attention that you would devote to your toddler. They are very mischievous and need a lot of exercise. Make sure to provide lots and lots of toys. They do emit a musky odor.

BIRDS

Birds are akin to reptiles on the pet scale: very entertaining and pretty low maintenance. There are several varieties available with parrots and cockatiels providing the most attention. They can be extremely noisy and do not like to be ignored.