Saturday, April 29, 2017


Toby entered my life aged 14 weeks and he proved to be an extremely strong character. I have owned cats of different breeds for many years but never one quite like Toby. He is very demanding and as a kitten would regularly grab hold of the legs of anyone from whom he wanted attention. If he was feeling ignored he would lie in wait and literally ambush anyone who passed by, grabbing them and hauling himself up their legs. Fortunately he usually did this to males who were normally wearing trousers!

Bengal kitten Mel
Bengal kitten Mel
(Photo credit: 
He was always fascinated by water and liked nothing more than to sit on the side of our bath dipping his paws into the water and flicking it over himself. He fell into the bath on more than one occasion and there was much splashing and scrabbling of claws against the side of the bath. Of course he then had to be thoroughly dried which took some time. This meant end of bathtime for the poor person whose bath he had infiltrated.

He never quite understood the shower though. Perhaps it was because we always ensured that the cubicle was firmly closed. He would sit outside and stare longingly at the cascading water and the instant the door was opened he dived in and managed to get his paws as wet as possible.

Toby’s love of water meant that he enjoyed the hosepipe immensely. He would watch the water shoot out of the end and keeping just out of the reach of the spray, pat at the few droplets that landed by him On one occasion he stopped looking at the water coming our of the hose and walked the length of it to where it was attached to the outside tap. He sat and stared at the tap mewing very loudly.

One day when he was ten months old he was hit by a car and badly injured. We were sure he would not survive but our wonderful vet pinned his shattered pelvis together and after a couple of months, while not quite as good as new, and with a slightly odd gait, he was back to his mischievous ways.

When we moved to a property that had been empty for some while we found that the lavatory was blocked. I lifted the inspection plate to see what was there. What I thought I would see apart from the obvious I cannot imagine. But lift the lid I did and who should join me but Toby. He stood beside me as I looked gloomily at the mess. He peered into the unpleasant gaping maw of the drain hole and slipped straight in.

I has to haul him out and as I lifted him from the stinking vile brown mess of God knows how many bowel evacuations. I put him in the back and hosed him off trying at the same time to remove my clothing which Toby had managed to cover with a layer of vile brown slime. I admit to being helpless with laughter as I attempted to clean us both up and I have never attempted to lift a sewer inspection plate again.

Nowadays Toby is a little more sedate and his main interest in life is the loft and the ladder which leads to it. He sits and mews longingly at the loft hatch until someone takes pity on him and hauls down the ladder and takes into the roof for a good wander round.

Friday, April 28, 2017


The Ragamuffin is a relatively recent cat breed that originated through periodic breeding of Ragdolls with Himalayans and Persians. A large cat, the Ragamuffin weighs in the range of ten to twenty pounds, with males typically being heavier than females. It is a somewhat rare and expensive breed at the moment. This is largely owing to its relatively recent recognition and development, not to mention the sublime beauty and appeal of this felid. Like the Ragdoll, Ragamuffin is one of the most sought after domestic cats.

"A picture of Amarillo of First Europe, a...
"A picture of Amarillo of First Europe, an European Ragamuffin."
(Photo credit: 

Like other large cats, Ragamuffins take time to develop, reaching full size by around four years of age. Thy have a rectangular profile with strong chest and shoulders. Heavily boned and well muscled, they often have a fatty pad on abdomen though they are not obese. Fur is long and silky with a prominent neck ruff and plush tapering tail. A broad variety of coat colors and patterns exists. Eyes are large and expressive. There is a nose dip and whisker pad is puffy, adding to the cat's sweet facial expression.

Despite similarities, certain differences do exist between Ragamuffins and Ragdolls. The former have a rounder skull with a slightly fuller face and tilted ears. Eyes are walnut shaped in contrast to the oval eyes of Ragdolls. Also Ragamuffins are allowed to breed outside their stock every fifth generation to prevent continuous inbreeding and maintain genetic variety.

Ragamuffins are docile and gentle cats. They are non-aggressive and should not be allowed outdoors unsupervised. Still they are active and quite fond of playing with their toys and fetching them and climbing scratch posts. They show a very affectionate attitude towards people and lovingly follow them around the house. Ragamuffins are not demanding and do not require daily grooming. Their rabbit like fur does not matte easily and they have no particular health problems in their lines.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Can Speaking And Singing Stop A Nuisance BARKER?

How do you stop a nuisance barker? Easy: Teach them how to "speak" and "sing". This might be more interesting for bothersome humans, but just way cuter for canines. All types of dogs, may it be size or breed, can be easily taught to speak. The way for it to go is to call your dog, show him a treat (which never disappoints), and say "Speak".

English: Barking Dog
Barking Dog (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The dog might probably not understand what you are trying to make him do, and probably would dart on the treat, jumps, and will eye it intently at first. Finally, he will sit down, gets impatient, and then utters a sharp bark which is what you have been waiting for, and for that instant when he does so, reward him with a treat.  

Not all dogs love to bark. Just like humans, some are aggressive, and some are just plainly shy. For these types of dogs, they can be encouraged to do so by imitating a bark. Chances are, he will reply to it. Reward him, a never-disappointing deed of all time, then he will learn to bark as soon as he hears the word "speak". Now, after the dogs have been taught to bark once, you can teach him a series of barks. This way, you can make him expect to be rewarded, which encourages him to bark more until you give him a stop signal, which can lead to a full phrase, or whichever you want him to do.  

Other than being social beings, dogs are very observant. By the time you signal your pet to stop at the slightest point, your friends won't detect the magic trick, such as subtle movements of hands and feet; a wink or a shift of your gaze, and if you keep up with these tricks, you might be firing up an interesting series of barks that can sound as if your pet is having a conversation. You can address him as if he was a human being to keep his performance appealing, impressive, and very perplexing.

Demonstrating the latter, if you are exhibiting your dog to an audience, and might want him to "speak", you would like to be a bit more creative like asking him a question. That way, you can probably be in a very good business as to have a "talking dog". Either way, that is much better than pestering barks in the neighborhood. 

Now that your dog can now "speak", you can now teach him how to "sing". Try making him imitate a series of whines and howls to a certain degree, reaching the pitch, and the style of noise you desire. As your pet learns how to follow you, say "sing" automatically to associate the desired action.  With constant practice, a dog can and will learn to follow your turn quite accurately. Do not forget to praise and treat him plentifully for encouragement. Exercise the activity on a regular basis. 

By this type of training, not only have you got rid of a nuisance dog, you have disciplined your pet vigorously, making him understand that barking and whining is only allowed in command. And now, for the humans.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


CBP officer with his explosive detection dog c...
CBP officer with his explosive detection dog clears vehicles entering the Super Bowl area. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Detection dogs are trained to detect even minute amounts of key substances. These substances range from drugs to cadavers to peanuts (yes, peanuts!). Bomb dogs and explosives dogs are trained to sniff out dangerous items in airplane luggage, cars, buildings, and anywhere a threat is suspected. Because the number and types of detection dogs are so numerous, this article will focus on a few of the main types of detection dogs.

1. Bomb Dogs

What good is sniffing out a bomb? Plenty! If there are reports that a bomb has been planted somewhere on public or private property - in a school, under a car, in a mall, just to name a few examples - and no one knows just where the bomb is, it can take precious time for people to find it. And in the meantime, the bomb might be poised to explode. 

A dog's nose can detect parts per trillion, which is far more sensitive than any human nose; this means that a dog can seek out and find a bomb in record time - even if it's well-hidden. This saves precious hours and potentially saves many human lives. 


The exact procedures for training bomb detection dogs are rigorous, and handlers practice with their dogs daily regardless of actual threats. Dogs are taught to sniff out various bombs in a wide range of situations, so the training takes time. Dogs are rewarded when they discover the bombs, reinforcing their desire to keep detecting these dangerous explosives. 


Bomb detection dogs are often German Shepherds or dogs that are related to German Shepherds, such as the Belgian Malinois (most people can't tell the difference). Labs, Bloodhounds, and even Beagles have been used in this capacity, as have mixed breeds. The key is a keen sense of smell, trainability, and a courageous, non-timid temperament. 

Spc. Matthew Hoffman, a Fort Lee competitor, w...
Spc. Matthew Hoffman, works with his
military working dog, Roxy, to sniff out narcotics
(Photo credit: 
2. Drug Dogs

Like bomb dogs, drug dogs are trained to sniff out small amounts of substances even if they are hidden or masked by other scents. This is where drug dogs can truly amaze - they can detect illegal drugs even if the drugs have been packaged in multiple layers and the package smeared with strong scents like coffee and vapor rub!


Dogs are trained on a reward system, getting praise rewards or a favorite toy (usually not food treats) if they sniff out the substance. Drug dogs are used at airports, by police on the street, at borders between countries, and anywhere that drugs may be trafficked or suspected. 


Drug dogs can also be any breed that exhibits favorable traits. Once again, the German Shepherd shines as the most likely breed to serve in this capacity, but Bloodhounds and other hounds are also excellent sniffers.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Get a Loyal Loving Friend Through ROTTWEILER Rescue

Rottweiler rescue organizations provide a valuable service by serving as an alternative to the dog pound for owners of purebred Rottweiler dogs that, for a variety of reasons, must give up their dog. The owner may have gotten the Rottweilers with good intentions, planning to keep the dog for its entire life. Then something happens. Many purebred Rottweiler dogs end up homeless because of death, marriage, eviction or new children.

The Rottweiler is an excellent watchdog, and some owners get their Rottweilers for the purpose of guarding property. When the property changes hands, the watchdog may not be needed any longer needed. Instead of easing the Rottweiler into retirement as a house pet, some owners prefer to give their dogs away.

An undocked Rottweiler in profile
An undocked Rottweiler in profile
(Photo credit: 

A Rottweiler dog owner who can no longer keep his or her Rottweiler can surrender the dog to a Rottweiler rescue organization. However, owners should be absolutely certain they are being forced to give up their dog before they turn the Rottweiler over to a Rottweiler rescue organization. Luckily for the dogs, Rottweiler rescue organizations are eventually able to find homes for most Rottweilers. Remember, no one should get any dog thinking that they can turn it over to a rescue group if things don't work out.

Anyone who wants to adopt a Rottweiler rescue dog should carefully consider the decision and be absolutely sure before they make a move to adopt a dog. A commitment to a dog should last the dog's entire lifetime.

Rottweilers are big dogs, weighing eighty to one hundred thirty-five pounds, and they have great strength. It is essential that such a strong, confident dog be properly trained, for the safety of the dog and the people around it. Obedience training for Rottweiler puppies should begin at an early age, preferably eight to ten weeks. With a rescue Rottweiler, though, you can't be sure what kind of training the dog has already had. Owners of rescue dogs should be prepared to go through obedience training with their dogs, to correct any problems with the dog's behavior and to introduce the dog to the structure and authority Rottweilers crave.

Confidence is a trait of most Rottweilers' personalities, but the Rottweiler longs for a pack leader. A rescue dog owner should provide the Rottweiler with enough exercise to fulfill the dog's need for vigorous recreation and with enough discipline to establish the owner as the leader of the pack.
Rottweiler rescue groups will only accept Rottweiler dogs that are in good health, with current vaccinations. Each dog that is accepted as a rescue dog undergoes a health and temperament evaluation by a veterinarian, and the owner who turns the dog over is required to pay a nominal fee to cover intake expenses. The fee is also meant to discourage owners from dumping dogs on the rescue groups, and encourages owners to think long and hard before surrendering their dog.

If you are interested in adopting a rescue dog, contact a Rottweiler rescue organization near you. Most organizations will require that you be at least 21 years old and that you have the permission and consent of all adults in your household. If you don't own your own home, you will be required to provide written permission from the owner for you to adopt a Rottweiler. If you are discouraged by these requirements, please remember that they are designed to reduce the possibility of an irresponsible owner having to return a rescue dog and to make sure prospective owners understand the commitment required to adopt a Rottweiler.

If your application is approved, you will be paired up with a rescue dog and asked to foster the dog for a temporary trial period. The result is worth the wait because your Rottweiler rescue dog will be a faithful companion for the rest of its life.

    By Sharon Davies
    Sharon Davies hopes that by explaining some of the history behind the Rottweiler that more and more people will come to feel connected to the dog instead of fearing it. When thinking of getting a Rottweiler as a guard dog, remember that there is much more to them then just a scary looking dog. A lot of Rottweiler information can be found in different books or just by talking with your vet.
    Article Source: EzineArticles