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Wednesday April 26 , 2017
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Pet Stories

Canine Casanova

Trucker is a ladies’ man. Human or canine, he loves ladies and ladies love him.

He’s only been in my life for one year and has attracted eight female neighbor dogs: Trina, Princess, Bosco, Molly, Angel, Munchkin, Maggie and a miniature dachshund named Trixie.

It’s not that he’s opposed to male dogs, but it seems that we are surrounded by females. They all seek his attention because he is the “tall, dark and handsome” boy next door.

I’ve seen female dogs pull their owners by the leash towards my yard just to sniff noses with Trucker. If he is walking loose in my front yard with me, Trucker slowly saunters over to sniff female dogs passing by with their masters.

Trina, a cream-colored Shih Tzu that lives next door, crawls under the fence with my help. She greets Trucker by standing on her hind legs and putting her front paws on either side of his neck; a kind of doggie hug I guess.

 

Pink Toes and Cowlicks

An estimated 10 million pets are lost every year for various, unfortunate reasons. In fact, the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy notes that family pets are lost about every two seconds.

Most pet owners try to protect their babies with collars, tags, microchips and tattoos. While these methods are helpful in finding lost pets, I am still speechless when I talk to some pet owners who can’t describe specific physical traits about their furry kids other than it is “black and white” or “has a scar on his face.”

Police officers trying to record descriptions of missing persons often encounter people who cannot remember the color of a spouse’s or child’s eyes. Imagine how much harder it is to find a missing pet!

Because of a small physical trait that my friend Ruth noted about her cat, Lexie, the two were reunited.

Ruth, a senior citizen, often let her longhair, tortoiseshell-colored female cat outside of her front door on a tie-out cord and kept a close eye on her by sitting nearby. Unfortunately, one day Lexie apparently tried to chase a bird or another animal and slipped out of her collar. Lexie was gone.

   

Like Snoopy, Like Trucker

When I first saw the home that I currently rent, I knew that the roof over the enclosed front porch would become a perch for my three felines: Joan, Jack and Forest.

I’d remove one screen from two windows above the porch, place an ottoman under the one window and voilà – an instant playground safe above the ground with tree limbs shading it and the window close by for a quick retreat.

Sure enough, in the early mornings my cats sit on the roof and watch possums that wobble up from along the riverbank next door. Midday my cats lie on the warm shingles and unsuspectingly watch neighbors. After rain, they lap water from the gutter.

My desk is near the window and I always make sure that I’m close by when the rooftop playground is open.

The one pet that I didn’t expect to explore the porch roof is Trucker. My agile, 60-pound, leggy, mixed-breed pooch loves his feline siblings. He follows them and they follow him, mimicking each other’s habits. He watched them exploring the roof and wanted to join in the fun.

The ottoman beneath the porch roof window became Trucker’s post – a watchtower to observe the world. My cats leap up to the sill and hop outside while Trucker watches with his nose sticking out of the window and his long tail pointed straight down to the floor like an anchor.

One warm afternoon I lifted the window wide. The cats hopped out to their posts and Trucker sat on the ottoman. I sat at my desk working and turned around to find that he was missing.

Trucker was on the porch roof. The cats were looking at him with questioning eyes and I was torn between laughing and panicking.

Trucker was calm, standing tall at each corner of the roof looking up and down the road. I spoke to him and he came back to the window, stepped over the sill onto his ottoman and into the room without worry.

I wondered if the neighbors saw him and what they’d say if they did.

Time and again while I work, Trucker sits on the ottoman post with his body consuming the top of the cube form. He barks now and then at dog walkers below. When I leave the house his face can be seen behind the closed window at his second-floor perch watching me.

Sometimes he steps onto the roof so quietly that I do not know he’s there. I turn around from my desk and see only his head and shoulders. He sits peacefully just outside of the window looking up and down the block.

One spring day his private roof time became a public display.

   

Boarding Your Pet

I recently spoke with Jules Diane Cavitt, she is the owner of ‘Julie’s Cut’s for Mutts’ in Manteno, Illinois.  I spoke with her about boarding animals and what things should be considered when contemplating boarding your pet.  I am passing along to you the following information with which she provided me. First and foremost you want to thoroughly check out the facility with which you are planning to board your pet. Find out how old the animal has to be in order to be boarded. A pet should be at least twelve weeks before they can be boarded. What are their hours?  Does anyone come back at night and let them out?  How often are they fed?  Take a good look at the facility, are there dogs there now, and are they cared for properly? Find out how big the cages are; make sure that your pet has enough room to move around in their cage. Find out the times that your pet will be let out of their cage. Summertime is a busy season so you want to make sure that they are booking properly and not overbooking.  So you need to find out how many other dogs will be at the kennel and how many employees will be taken care of them.  Get to know the employees, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

   

Tips For a Well Behaved Cat

Cats are creatures that love a routine. I'm sure you notice them rubbing at your legs and meowing when you're preparing dinner. They no doubt can smell the food and they want feeding too.

Below are my favourite tips for a well behaved cat.

Feed your kitten or cat at the same time of day in the same spot. You can have a mixture of canned foods or dry biscuits. Check the quantity needed for the age or size of your cat on the packaging. I have found my cats do very well on less than the recommended amount and I've often wondered if this 'suggested amount' is overstated so you purchase more of their product.

   

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