If you know anything about cats, you know that they tend to be very clean and neat animals. They seem to always be grooming themselves and when using their litter box they make sure that they cover up their waste. Occasionally you will find a fickle feline that isn’t so neat. And it can be VERY frustrating to deal with a cat that has bad toilet habits.
Some cats stand to urinate, thus missing the box altogether.
Others seem like they’re trying to dig to China and fling their litter all over the place.
Recently I was living with a roommate who had an adorable cat but she came with a frustrating problem. She couldn’t seem to hit the litter box. Her owner tried everything (we thought). She changed the size and shape of the box. She put potty pads all around the box to catch the urine that didn’t make it into the box. She even put plastic up on the walls around the box. There was still always a smelly mess to clean up.
I am now pet sitting for a cat who has the same problem as my roommates kitty, and her owner came up with this wonderful solution. So simple, yet so effective! She definitely was thinking outside the box, the conventional litter box that is.
She bought a large tote and cut a hole in the side for the cat to enter. She filled the bottom with kitty litter and walah! A clean and efficient litter box! Your cat can dig to her heart’s content and it will not fly all over the place, and if she pee’s standing up, it will still stay confined to the box. You can leave the lid on if your cat prefers privacy, or leave it off.
Remember, as messy as some of our furry friends are, they still like to have things nice and clean. So to help them with this, here are some other things to remember to keep your cat happy while going potty.
- Use clumping litter – except for kittens younger than 6 – 7 weeks of age.Use unscented litter.
- Keep the litter deep enough.
- Use large litter boxes. The bigger they are, the less likely your cat will step on her feces.
- The more cats you have, the more litter boxes you need. Have enough litter boxes available.
- Have litter boxes placed in a quiet area.
It’s time to officially say good-bye to my precious little Luna. Occasionally someone comes into your life and you know is has been a real blessing to have been a part of their life. Luna was one of those pups. From the minute I met her she stole my heart.
Luna had been struck with a crippling condition when she was quite young and thanks to her wonderful “mom & dad” she was fitted with prosthetics so she could lead a full and functional life. I will always remember her little tap, tap, tap as she walked through the room. It was adorable.
Over the years of watching over her and her brother Reilly, I loved her more and more. She was a gentle soul, never getting upset about anything. She was so patient while I put on her “shoes” as I called them. When it was time to have her afternoon snack, she would go to the pantry door and wait patiently for me to give her her dream bone. Then off she would go to her bed to enjoy her snack. Luna loved sleeping right next to me in bed. She would snuggle up tucked under my arm and snooze away.
Her brother Reilly was always close by, watching over her. He loved cleaning her ears and Luna would just lay back, enjoying the bath. They loved playing with their toys and “hide a treat” games together, or just basking in the sun.
Last year the family moved to a new home. They had only been there a few short months when Luna lost her sight. But in true Luna fashion, she learned to navigate her new surroundings and got along just fine.
This last June I came to stay with Luna and Reilly and found Luna to be failing. She had lost a lot of weight, was pretty weak and wasn’t eating very well. I knew we were going to lose her soon. But she rallied and when I returned the first of this month, she was doing SO much better. She was eating, exploring around the yard, and snuggling up to me just like always. I was so happy to be able to spend those last days with that sweet girl.
Then just a week and a half later I got the call that she was gone. It breaks my heart that I will never hear that tap tap tap on the floor again. Never see her sweet face again. Never snuggle up to her again. But her memory will live in my heart forever.
Tillie the dog is being hailed as a hero for watching over his canine best friend, Phoebe, for a whole week after the two strayed from home and Phoebe fell into a cistern, according to the dogs’ rescuer and owner.
The two dogs escaped from their home in Vashon, Washington, when the front door was left ajar on Sept. 7, their owner B.J. Duft told ABC News, saying that he was hosting a company party that day and there was a lot of moving around.
“Tillie would never leave even if the gate was left open, but she’s best friends with Phoebe, and so when Phoebe follows her little Basset Hound nose, Tillie always goes with her to make sure she’s OK,” Duft said. “They’re best pals — inseparable.”
The “dynamic duo” had been lost for a week when Amy Carey of nonprofit pet rescue Vashon Island Pet Protectors got a helpful call this past Monday, she said.
“A community member said he saw a dog for the past few days coming up to his property, come up near him but not all the way, and then go back down a trail to a ravine behind the house,” Carey told ABC News. “It turned out the dog was Tillie trying to get help for Phoebe, who had gotten stuck.”
Carey said she immediately went out to the area to investigate and was relieved to discover Phoebe stuck in a cistern down the ravine — and most amazing of all — Tillie standing just above the cistern watching guard over Phoebe.
“It was very clear what Tillie had done,” Carey said. “She had not left her friend’s side except for going up to the man’s house when he was there to try and get help for Phoebe.”
Carey said she quickly called Duft to tell him she found the dogs, and Duft said there were “a lot of tears and hugs” when they reunited.
“I was thrilled,” he said. “I was absolutely not surprised to learn that Tillie had stood by her side the whole time. She’s a very caring, loving and nurturing dog and the two of them are best friends.”
The dogs were starving and exhausted but otherwise in good health, according to Carey and Duft.
When the gang was all together back home, they celebrated with a “hamburger dinner,” Duft said.
“Within an hour of getting home, Tillie already wanted to play with her favorite toy — the tennis ball — so we did just that,” Duft said. “The two also hung out on the couch and got some well-needed sleep.”
The owner added that he already has a “GPS dog collar ordered and on its way” and that he “never wants to lose them again.”
By AVIANNE TAN September 18, 2015 1:55 AM Good Morning America
Photos by Joe Curiel
Cistern destroyed where Basset Hound was trapped for a week
Elizabeth Wiley, of KING 5 News reported that the owners of the property destroyed the cistern with a jackhammer on Thursday. The cistern had been on the property for about 90 years and was partially filled in to keep kids from getting stuck. “But it was obviously still too deep for a Basset Hound’s short legs,” Curiel said.
I’m posting this story because one, I want to spread the word about this amazing man who makes these wonderful prosthetics for animals and two, because I pet sit for a sweet little dog named Luna who has been wearing prosthetics made by this man for several years that has enabled her to have a fulfilling and wonderful life because of them. The company is called Animal Ortho Care and is located at 3200A Lafayette Center Dr., Chantilly, Virginia 20151. Phone number is (703) 474-6204.
By now, the heartwarming video of Derby the dog running for the first time in his life thanks to 3D-printed prosthetic legs has officially gone viral. But Derby, a rescue dog who was born with disabled and deformed front legs, isn’t the only one excited about his fancy new limbs. While 3D printers have been used to make replacement limbs for humans, Derby is the first animal to be successfully outfitted with 3D-printed prosthetics. His ability to run marks a huge step forward for the small but remarkable field of animal prosthetics.
Derrick Campana — who helped create Derby’s new legs with designers at the 3D printing company 3D Systems — has been a trailblazer in that field for the past decade.
A certified orthotist, specializing in the creation and use of corrective braces and artificial limbs, Campana had worked only with human patients until about 10 years ago. But when a veterinarian brought a dog in need of a prosthesis to the facility where Campana was working, he discovered he could apply the same technology that he’d mastered on people to help animals. He also soon learned there was a market for animal prosthetics and orthotics that hadn’t really been tapped. So Campana founded Animal Ortho Care in Chantilly, Va., one of the first companies to make orthotics and prosthetics specifically for animals. Today, Campana told Yahoo News, Animal Ortho Care is one of five such companies in the world, seeing between 200 and 300 animal patients each month.
A few months ago, Derby became one of those patients. Tara Anderson, an employee at the South Carolina-based 3D Systems, had been fostering the disabled dog, and after a failed attempt to help him walk with a cart, she enlisted a couple of her colleagues to help make Derby some prosthetic legs. Accessing 3D printing technology was no problem, but none of them were experts in prosthetics. That’s where Campana came in.
“We were really interested in the case because we always wanted to incorporate 3D printing into our business,” he said. Though 3D printing technology has been available for a while, he explained, some of the materials and tools that work for making human prosthetics aren’t totally compatible with animals. For example, the technology used to easily scan a person’s leg is not as accurate when scanning a leg covered in fur. For Derby, Campana said he molded a fiberglass cast and scanned that into the 3D printing system.
“In the future, hopefully we can just scan the leg directly,” he said.
While 3D printing technology is bound to see furry-friendly advancements in its future, creating the perfect prosthetic is only half the battle when the patient is an animal.
“We can make a perfectly well-fitted device, but from there it takes the whole team — the veterinarian, physical therapist, the owners — to teach the dog how to use it,” Campana said.
Not every dog is a good candidate for a prosthetic. Some have been holding up their injured or missing leg for so long that retraining them to step down is very difficult.
“Derby was a hard case, but he was a good candidate because he really wanted to use his legs,” Campana said, explaining that even though he didn’t have paws, Derby still attempted to use his small forearms to get around, despite not getting very far.
“When any patient comes in here using his stump, bringing it down, that really increases the chances of success,” he said.
Campana said he’s already been in talks with 3D Systems about further collaborations. As for Derby, Campana hasn’t seen the dog since he started using his prosthetic legs, but, like nearly 3 million others, he has seen Derby’s video.
“He’s running great,” Campana said. “We’re really excited.”
Story written By Caitlin Dickson December 18, 2014 6:23 PM Yahoo News
It was like a scene out of the movie Paddington.
But instead of a talking bear at London’s Paddington Station, it happened in the middle of a busy Richardson street Wednesday morning. A volunteer with Richardson-based Take Me Home Pet Rescue discovered a malnourished 3-month-old terrier mix puppy.
The dog wore a shirt with a note pinned to it. The note read “Please Help Me”, similar to Paddington’s “Please look after this bear. Thank you.”
The note also identified the female puppy as Rainbow.
Elise Bissell, Take Me Home Pet Rescue’s director, said many shelters and rescue groups are full at the moment. So the nonprofit posted information on its Facebook page looking for someone to foster the dog.
Bissell approached another volunteer, Lisa Faulkner-Dunne, who runs a public-relations business.
“It’s interesting how this occurred, and because it’s so unusual, we asked ‘Hey, what do you think?’ ”
Faulkner-Dunne, who said she helps the nonprofit with marketing in addition to “cleaning up puppy poop” sent out a news release describing the Paddington-esque way the puppy was found.
“Someone could have just turned her loose,” Faulkner-Dunne said. “But they loved her in some way or they wouldn’t have tried to do it this way.
“It’s kind of an odd thing.”
The volunteer who found Rainbow is caring for Rainbow now. Fosters keep dogs at their home until they are adopted with rescue groups providing food and vet visits in addition to spaying or neutering the animals to prepare them for adoption.
“Hopefully, someone will submit a foster application that will have to be approved,” Bissell said. “We need someone who is home some because the dog is an energeic puppy.”
To foster Rainbow, contact Take Me Home Pet Rescue at (972) 238-7988, email email@example.com or visit takemehomepetrescue.com to download a foster application.
Pets Insiders blog written by Tommy Cummings on The Dallas Morning News website. Published on May 27, 2015
As I sit here looking out the window at the wood duck taking her early morning dip in the pond, the finches grabbing their breakfast from the bird feeder and singing their cheery songs, the antics of the chipmunks and squirrels, all the while the pups snuggled on their blankets taking a snooze I realize what a wonderfully rich life I have.
I start reflecting on the choices I’ve made in my life. When I was 15 years old I worked at a little café named the Jolly Boy. The owner was my mentor and he taught me so much during the time I worked for him. He always talked about when he retired him and his wife were going to buy a motor home and travel all over the United States. Just months after he retired his wife had a stroke and they never got to follow his dream of seeing the country. That always stuck with me. I just couldn’t imagine waiting my entire life to do what I really wanted to do and then not being able to do it.
I decided that making a huge amount of money was not going to be my motivation in life. Don’t get me wrong, I have always been a hard worker. I believe that you do the absolute best job that you can to earn a living, pay your bills, and feed your family. But spending time with my children and family, traveling, and enjoying life were always my priority and I did just that. Throughout my life my family went camping, went on vacations, and had many, many family gatherings as we still do.
Ten years ago my children were raised and gone from home. I had a wonderful job but felt that time was ticking away and I needed more time to do the things I enjoyed doing. So I quit my job, rented out my house and went to Alaska and started my new life of travel and adventure. I met new friends and had great adventures while I worked there.
After working in Alaska for several seasons my path eventually led me to pet sitting. This was the perfect fit for me. I absolutely love animals and I get to spend every day loving and caring for them while having the freedom to travel when I want to.
I also figured out how to travel inexpensively. This meant traveling all over Alaska sleeping in a VW van, spending New Year’s Eve in Times Square while staying in a hostel in Harlem, backpacking throughout Panama and Mexico, taking a three-month road trip around the entire United States and parts of Canada in my little 8-year-old Toyota Corolla as well as many, many other trips I have taken on a shoestring throughout the years. Here are some of the many places I’ve visited over the years.
Just recently I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a year taking care of my two youngest grandsons. Being a part of their lives in such an intimate way was such a gift and since I don’t live as a traditional Grandma does, I was able to form a bond with them that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. I will cherish that time with them for the rest of my life.
I have now returned to pet sitting. I am so blessed that I get to stay in so many different locations like the home where I’m staying right now, meeting wonderful people who have become an extension of my family and caring for all the different dogs and cats that I have fallen head over heels in love with. Here are just a few that I get to spend my time with.
And I look forward to where the next 10 years are going to take me.
So as I look out at the pond again and down at the sweet sleeping pups I think about how I, someone who in this society is considered poor, am the richest person in the world!
Purdue center developing dog care standards
The Department of Agriculture is supporting an effort to create dog care standards that could eventually lead to development of a privately operated dog breeder accreditation program.
Animal advocates think such a program could help reduce animal suffering.
The Purdue University Center for Animal Welfare Science is developing and testing uniform care standards for dog breeding and raising over the next two years. The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is supporting the effort, and the agency earlier this year included creation of a private accreditor program for professional dog breeders among its goals for the next five years.
Candace C. Croney, PhD, director of the center and an associate professor of comparative pathobiology and animal science, said the center intends to create and test a set of voluntary standards applicable at any scale of dog breeding as well as useful in creating a dog breeder accreditation or certification program. Whether the dogs are raised for sale as pets or for research, compliance with the standards would meet the dogs’ needs for socialization, enrichment, and comfort and include well-being assessment.
“We want to be a little bit careful that we don’t rush to release standards that haven’t been properly vetted and tested,” she said. “But we do realize that there’s an industry that’s waiting for this information, hungry for this information, so we’re really trying to be aggressive about our timeline.”
The work includes studying aspects of welfare where scientific literature is lacking, she said.
In an August 2014 announcement about the project, Dr. Croney said variation among state-based care standards and a lack of studies on some factors affecting welfare had raised questions.
“The public is becoming increasingly concerned that existing state laws, typically written as minimum standards, do not fully address important elements of dog care and well-being, such as health, genetics, reproductive soundness, and behavioral wellness,” she said.
The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, Pet Food Institute, and World Pet Association are funding the project.
Participation would be a voluntary activity beyond federal government requirements that affect thousands of dog breeders inspected and licensed by the USDA.
In addition to the goal of supporting creation of a dog breeder accreditation program, APHIS included in the same five-year plan a goal to partner with accredited professional or industry organizations such as the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to reduce the frequency of inspections at facilities that have implemented animal care and welfare programs.
Welfare advocates see potential
Robin Ganzert, PhD, president and CEO of the American Humane Association, thinks the standards being created at Purdue could help improve the lives of animals and help eliminate the “demonstrable” cruelty in some dog breeding businesses. She thinks buyers and sellers of dogs alike could embrace the program.
“It’s very important for all of us who celebrate the power of the bonds with animals in our lives to make sure that we are able to have healthy animals brought into our homes,” she said. “And so, I think this program will go a long way to ending the abuse and the poor welfare practices we have seen in puppy mill types of facilities.”
Dr. Ganzert said the AHA, through one of the association’s chief veterinary officers, has provided information for use by the center in creating the dog care standards.
Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, chair of the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee and vice president of animal welfare at the Animal Rescue League of Boston, said an accreditation program is needed, and she applauds the effort. She said she has seen wide variability in animal care in industries that breed dogs and cats.
Dr. Michael J. Blackwell, senior director of veterinary policy for the Humane Society of the United States, said the project could provide better oversight of the dog breeding industry, which he said has an unfortunate number of puppy mills with questionable-to-poor care standards.
“Given that we do still see quite a few puppy mills across the country, it is clear that there needs to be more attention given to ways of providing oversight, and an accreditation process would certainly be one way to do that,” he said.
Dr. Smith-Blackmore hopes the program will be an all-or-nothing form of accreditation rather than a tiered form, which she thinks can unintentionally give legitimacy to operations providing substandard care. She expressed hope that the standards would cover transportation, often a source of horrid conditions for dogs traveling long distances to multiple stops as well as measures to ensure that dogs at accredited facilities are bred to have good health and provided with an acceptable quality of life.
She also hopes any certification or accreditation would require continuous verification of compliance. She noted that webcam feeds seem to remind poultry industry workers that someone could be watching to see whether they treat animals with respect, and she said webcams could provide similar benefits for dog breeding operations.
Customers could influence participation
The AHA Humane Heartland program now certifies humane care is given to more than 1 billion animals on 10,000 farms, numbers reached in response to retail customer demands for improvements, Dr. Ganzert said. She expects the same pressure would apply to dog sales, and retailers would have a vested interest in supporting transparent standards based in science and evidence.
“It’s in the retailer’s best interest to provide for an opportunity for pets to enter our lives in a healthy way,” she said.
Dr. Blackwell said it’s likely retailers would pressure breeders to participate in such a program, a result he hopes will come to pass.
“I think the public’s interests will probably drive that support for working only with accredited breeders,” he said.
Dr. Croney said the center had yet to decide who would perform audits or certification under a national program using the standards, but they would be outside Purdue University.
She has been surprised by dog breeders’ positive reception of the project.
“Every single breeder that we have talked to, that we’ve consulted with, has actually given us good feedback that strengthens the standards,” she said.
Dr. Croney also hopes an accreditation or certification program would help participating breeders distinguish themselves from others and reassure those buying dogs that the participants planned and documented their efforts to provide the best possible quality of life for their dogs.
Dr. Ganzert said humans have a social contract with domesticated animals, whether they are raised for agriculture or as pets.
“As we evolve, as we learn and know more, we have to do right by what we know, and that means we’d better provide for better humane treatment of animals in all environments,” Dr. Ganzert said.