Labrador Retriever

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AKC Group: Sporting
The Labrador Retriever probably arose from the St. John’s Dogs used for fishing in Newfoundland. The St. John’s dogs would go out with the fishermen on their boats and retrieve the lines or nets and haul them back into the boat. Late in the 19th century, they were brought to land and trained as gun dogs by aristocrats. The more “refined” dogs were soon labeled “Labrador dogs” to distinguish them from the Newfoundland Retriever breed, which was developed for the same reason. The popularity of these dogs soon took off worldwide. Today, the Labrador Retriever continues to rank high on lists of most popular breeds.
Size: 20 to 25 inches; 55 to 80 pounds
Color: Solid black, yellow or chocolate
Life span: 10 to 12 years
Health problems: Eye problems, hip or elbow dysplasia, craniomandibular osteopathy (CMO), thyroid problems, von Willebrand’s disease, diabetes, progressive retinal atrophy, osteochondritis dissecans, allergies, seizures, heart problems.
The Labrador Retriever is a good natured, loving, loyal dog and has been proven to be a wonderful addition to the family. A Lab is intelligent, responsive and one of the easiest breeds to learn
obedience. Quick learners, friendly and sociable, full of energy and affectionate; this dog is all positive personality traits to a T. A Lab thrives on human attention, so if you don’t have time for a
dog, check out another breed. He may have a tendency to chew. This may be most especially displayed when bored. A Lab gets along with everyone: kids, strangers, pets, other animals. They do require regular exercise and need a safe, secure play/exercise area. A Lab loves to swim! They have a tendency to pull on their leash and jump up on people. Start training as early as possible (a Lab is full grown at six months, although mentally it takes three years). After six months, training can become more difficult, so start with basic commands before this six-month birthday. Always discourage jumping. Be consistent and reward good behavior. If the entire family is involved in training and one member allows something, you will all have to allow it. Otherwise, your Lab will become confused and carry on with the behavior. (A Lab can “unlearn” a rule as easily as he can learn one.) Labs lean toward overeating, so try not to food reward and keep a watch on how much he eats.
Labrador Retrievers are handsome, large, sturdy dogs. They have dark, wallowing eyes with an eager and intelligent expression. The coat is short, close fitting and sleek. Brush him weekly to keep
him looking handsome. He tends to be a medium shedder, though he does shed seasonally.


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The Ragamuffin is a large cat that takes 4 years to fully mature.  Males weigh 12 to 20 pounds, while females weigh 8 to 15 pounds. Altered males are more likely to reach the 20-pound mark than intact males.
The Ragamuffin body is rectangular and sports a broad chest and shoulders and moderately heavy muscles in the hindquarters. The hindquarters are as broad as the shoulders. Ragamuffins usually have a fatty pad on the lower abdomen. The legs are medium in length and heavily boned. The back legs are slightly longer than the front. The paws are large and round and able to support the weight of the cat without splaying. Fir tufts should be beneath and between the paws.
The head is a broad, modified wedge with a round appearance. The forehead should be moderately rounded. The muzzle is rounded and broad. The chin is rounded with full cheeks. The whisker pads should appear “puffy.” The neck is short and heavy and strong. The tail is long and medium with a slight taper and plumed. The medium-sized ears flare slightly and tilted slightly forward. They are rounded and sit on the side as much as on the top of the head. The eyes are large, moderately wide set, walnut-shaped and expressive. The more intense the eye color, the better. All eye colors are allowed and eye color depends on the coat color. The Ragamuffin comes in almost all colors, with the exception of pointed colors and patterns, with or without white.
The Ragamuffin is not a new breed; simply a newly recognized breed. The history of the Ragamuffin is intertwined with the history of the Ragdoll. (They are not the same breed.) All true Ragdolls can be traced through a California breeder. All Ragamuffins can also be traced to these bloodlines.  The foundation cat for the Ragdoll is a semi-feral longhaired white female, Josephine, that resembled a Turkish Angora. Four of her offspring (Fugianna, Daddy War Bucks, Tiki and Buckwheat) spread their seed like wildfire and many Ragdoll and Ragamuffins can be traced back to these
five cats. The breeder claims she developed several breeds. One — the Cherubim — was the umbrella breed from which all the others developed.
She then set up tight breeding guidelines and programs. Eventually, other breeders got tired of all this red tape and wanted to branch out and form their own catteries and programs. By 1993, most of these other breeders had broken away. This was when the Ragamuffin name first appeared. Ragamuffins are quite similar (but not identical) in conformation and temperament to the Ragdoll. The Ragamuffin is described as a combination of all the Cherubim breeds, to explain the wider array of colors that Ragamuffins can come in.
Ragamuffins are people-oriented and affectionate. Think of them as large, cuddly teddy bears. They love to be pampered and cuddled. They have mellow, sweet dispositions. They develop strong bonds and crave your attention. They live to please and are calm, easygoing and patient felines. They tend to go limp in your arms simply because they love to be cuddled so much. A Ragamuffin is the ultimate lap cat! They tend to greet everyone at the door — they have not heard of this concept called a stranger. This should give you plenty of reason to keep your Ragamuffin indoors only. A Ragamuffin can be easily trained to walk on a leash, fetch and to beg. They adore other cats and cat-friendly dogs. They love children of all ages — don’t be surprised to find your Ragamuffin curled up in the stroller of your toddler or schoolager. Not overly athletic, they enjoy a good play session. Ragamuffins are quiet cats; they love to listen and offer love, purrs and cuddles in response. They want to be involved in all your activities. Some fans will delight in telling you that one Ragamuffin is never enough. Like Lays chips, betcha can’t have just one.

Planning for an Emergency Disaster

Hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes and other natural or manmade disasters can strike anyone at any time and anywhere. For pet lovers, having an emergency plan in place to reunite with your pet when the unthinkable happens is essential. Below are the best tips to help you do just that. Stay safe!

  1. Microchip your pet and ensure your pet wears a collar with up-to-date information at all times. In the event of an emergency or just a lost pet situation, this is the simplest and best way to ensure your pet is returned to you. If the thought of microchipping doesn’t sit well, check out the Barkcode collar. This collar has a scannable code that will bring up your pet’s profile and contact information. They also have their own URL and allows rescuers with smartphones to post the pet’s information online to help you and your loved ones be able to reunite with your pet.
  2. Create an emergency kit. This kit should include current medical records of your pet, proof of ownership, a photo of your pet, two weeks worth of pet food, food or water bowls, bottled water, litter boxes with litter, any medications for your pet and the contact information of a local emergency shelter.
  3. Place a sticker near your home’s front door. The sticker should allow you to list the number and types of pets residing in your home. This is the best way to alert emergency responders that their are other family members who are in need of rescue.
  4. Where applicable, plan a safety location ahead of time. In the case of a hurricane, sometimes Red Cross disaster shelters are able to accept pets as well as vet hospitals, boarding facilities, pet-friendly hotels or motels and or your own friends and neighbors can help you reunite with your pets later. When you know a disaster is eminent, taking a few minutes ahead of time can save you weeks of stress and worry later.
  5. When disaster strikes and an evacuation is necessary, never leave your pets behind. As scary as the situation is for you, it’s just as scary for your pet. Your pet will be much calmer if you can remain together.
  6. When you’re not home when disaster strikes, plan ahead with your neighbors. Show your friends, neighbors and pet sitter where your emergency kit and carriers are located.
  7. Always bring along a familiar item. Bringing along a favorite blanket or toy, familiar food and litter for your feline will help them to stay calm whether you are separated or not.