Monday, October 14, 2013

Laser Toys. Responsibility Of A Pet. Aflatoxin In Food. Saying Boo to a Sloth! Baby Badgers. Cougar Follows Fishing Boat. Sound Barrier. Cuban Missile Crisis. 24 Mile Skydiver.


For "Mammal Monday":

Why Laser Toys Can Be Bad News for Your Pet

image "Dogs instinctively chase laser beams simply because they move, and movement triggers the canine prey drive. In fact, when a laser dot stimulates your dog’s predatory systems, he can’t NOT chase it.

According to animal behaviorist Dr. Nicholas Dodman, laser toys are probably not a good idea for pets – especially dogs – because chasing the beam can become an obsession from which behavior problems develop. Never catching the “prey” can actually mess with a dog’s psyche.

Alternatives to laser toys for dogs include puzzle and treat-release toys that stimulate the drive to hunt, and also deliver a reward in the end. If you’re not quite ready to put away the laser toy, you can hide dog treats around the house and occasionally focus the beam on a treat, allowing your pet to “catch” her prey.

Cats have shorter attention spans than dogs when it comes to chasing prey. A cat in the wild will only stalk prey for a few minutes at a time. Since it’s unlikely your cat will develop a laser beam obsession, it safe enough to use a laser toy to help your kitty play and stay physically active.

If you do notice your kitty becoming obsessive about chasing laser beams, we recommend replacing the laser toy with a toy he too can “catch.”   More at:


Is Your Family Ready For The Responsibility Of A Pet?


"Have your children been begging for a new puppy, kitten or other small house pet? How can you tell if your children are ready for the responsibility of pet ownership? If you don't have children but are considering getting a pet of your own, how do you know that you're ready for the responsibility?

It's an unfortunate fact that many pets end up in shelters because they were bought on a whim (many puppies were purchased because of 101 Dalmatians, sales of Jack Russell terriers soared because of the popularity of Eddie on the TV show Frasier, bunnies and baby chicks are routinely given as pets at Easter) If the novelty wears out or the cute puppy grows into a large dog, or the tiny kitten becomes a full grown cat, you need to be able to make the commitment to that pet to raise him from the time you adopt him until he crosses the Rainbow Bridge.

Here are some questions you should ask to determine whether you're ready for the responsibility of pet ownership:"    More at:


Aflatoxin: The Single Pet Food Ingredient to Be Especially Vigilant About

image "Plant-based proteins are not recommended for carnivorous pets like cats and dogs, who are designed to consume animal-based proteins. But what you might not know is that there is another concern with plant-based pet food ingredients – the potential for contamination with aflatoxins.

According to, “Pet foods with plant-derived proteins may also contain more harmful toxins than pet foods with traditional fish and meat proteins.” The plant with the highest incidence of aflatoxin contamination is corn, followed by peanuts and cottonseed. Other frequently contaminated crops include certain cereals, oilseeds, spices and tree nuts.

Symptoms of aflatoxicosis in animals include severe, persistent vomiting; bloody diarrhea; lack of appetite; fever; sluggishness; discolored urine; and jaundice, especially around the whites of the eyes, gums and belly.

An expert in mycotoxins at the University of Guelph in Canada cautions pet parents to minimize the risk of aflatoxins by avoiding inexpensive pet foods containing vegetable cereals, corn or wheat fillers, and rice bran.

We recommend transitioning your pet away from all dry pet food toward a balanced, species-appropriate diet of whole, fresh food – either commercially prepared or homemade."  Full article at:


Saying Boo to a Sloth!

image "In this amusing and entertaining clip from the BBC's Life of Mammals, David Attenborough looks at the life of a sloth. The sloth has adapted to the lack of nutrition in its diet of leaves by hanging around not doing very much at all. We even get to see one moving at high speed!"




"At the Secret World Rehabilitation Wildlife Centre in the English countryside, workers are busy every day caring for the animals in need of their help. Their aim is to nurse sick or injured animals back to health with the goal of one day releasing them back to the wild.

Recently, the centre cared for an adorable cete of badgers kits. As they've grown, they've become quite a handful for the caring staff.  Meet a couple of sweet and mischievous baby badgers at the Secret World Rehabilitation Wildlife Centre in the English countryside for jam sandwiches and bottled milk." 



Dog-Paddling Cougar Follows Fishing Boat to Shore

"A guide and three fishermen were heading back to shore after a day spent catching salmon and halibut, when they realized they were being followed.

The creature was furry, so they assumed it was an otter… until they realized it had ears and was dog paddling in their direction.

The furry beast turned out to be a young cougar, who for some reason decided to behave in a very un-cougar-like fashion by going for a dip in the Nootka Sound in broad daylight. The fishing guide managed to get some of the action on film.

image The story has a happy ending… both the fishing group and the cougar made it safely to shore."

Video and more at:


On This Day:

Yeager breaks sound barrier, Oct 14, 1947:

"U.S. Air Force Captain Chuck Yeager becomes the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound.

For years, many aviators believed that man was not meant to fly faster than the speed of sound, theorizing that transonic drag rise would tear any aircraft apart. All that changed on October 14, 1947, when Yeager flew the X-1 over Rogers Dry Lake in Southern California. The X-1 was lifted to an altitude of 25,000 feet by a B-29 aircraft and then released through the bomb bay, rocketing to 40,000 feet and exceeding 662 miles per hour (the sound barrier at that altitude). The rocket plane, nicknamed "Glamorous Glennis," was designed with thin, unswept wings and a streamlined fuselage modeled after a .50-caliber bullet.  Because of the secrecy of the project, Bell and Yeager's achievement was not announced until June 1948. Yeager continued to serve as a test pilot, and in 1953 he flew 1,650 miles per hour in an X-1A rocket plane. He retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1975 with the rank of brigadier general."


The Cuban Missile Crisis begins, Oct 14, 1962:

"The Cuban Missile Crisis begins on October 14, 1962, bringing the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear conflict. Photographs taken by a high-altitude U-2 spy plane offered incontrovertible evidence that Soviet-made medium-range missiles in Cuba—capable of carrying nuclear warheads—were now stationed 90 miles off the American coastline.

Tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union over Cuba had been steadily increasing since the failed April 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, in which Cuban refugees, armed and trained by the United States, landed in Cuba and attempted to overthrow the government of Fidel Castro. Though the invasion did not succeed, Castro was convinced that the United States would try again, and set out to get more military assistance from the Soviet Union.

Khrushchev also had always resented that U.S. nuclear missiles were stationed near the Soviet Union (in Turkey, for example), and putting missiles in Cuba might have been his way of redressing the imbalance.

During the next two weeks, the United States and the Soviet Union would come as close to nuclear war as they ever had, and a fearful world awaited the outcome."


Skydiver breaks sound barrier with 24-mile jump, Oct 14, 2012:

"On this day in 2012, Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner jumps from a capsule attached to a helium balloon approximately 24 miles above Earth and becomes the first person to break the sound barrier without the protection or propulsion of a vehicle. After making his record-setting jump, which was witnessed live by a global audience via cameras mounted on his capsule, the 43-year-old Baumgartner landed safely in the desert near Roswell, New Mexico.

On the morning of October 14, 2012, a 550-foot-high helium balloon made of 40 acres of ultrathin plastic lifted the capsule carrying Baumgartner, nicknamed “Fearless Felix,” from the launch site at Roswell International Air Center. After reaching an altitude of 127,852.4 feet, Baumgartner stepped off the capsule and plunged toward Earth. His descent took nine minutes and 18 seconds—four minutes and 20 seconds of it in a free fall of 119,431 feet, during which he reached a top speed of 843.6 miles per hour, or Mach 1.25. Specially designed cameras positioned inside and outside of his capsule, as well as on the ground, enabled millions of people around the world to watch Baumgartner live online and on television. At an altitude of 8,421 feet above sea level, he deployed his parachute and went on to land smoothly in the desert. His entire mission, from launch to landing, took two hours and 47 minutes.

In addition to breaking the sound barrier, Baumgartner also set a new record for the highest-altitude jump. The previous record holder, Joseph Kittinger, skydived from an altitude of 102,800 feet in 1960. Kittinger, a former Air Force colonel, was part of the team that helped prepare Baumgartner for his jump, which happened to coincide with the 65th anniversary of the day when Air Force test pilot Chuck Yeager became the first person to break the sound barrier in a plane." (See above)



Even though it was a rainy day, Muffie's 'Dad' brought her for grooming at 7.30 am.  But when she didn't want to eat her breakfast, I knew that something was wrong.  (She usually expects to eat when Misty does.) She just wasn't feeling up to par, and had an upset tummy.  She is a terror to groom even when she is feeling well. 

So why do I groom her?  Because no-one else will, and I am the one who rescued her from abuse many years ago, and found her that good home.  She is a loving little 10 lb dog, but she can't stand to be touched in some places, and let's me know with her teeth.  That was her only defense when she was being abused. She has always had one leg and hip that bother her, and has to have the fur clipped very carefully.  So I let her rest for a long time before I started on her, and even curled up with her on my bed.  For a while I thought I was going to have to keep her overnight. When she started to feel better, little by little I did a bit more to her, and by late afternoon I had finished, but it took me all day.


Dizzy-Dick said...

You sure are good with animals!! And such a kind person.

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Hi DD,

Little Muffie was very cruelly treated before I rescued her, and I think that is how her hip and leg were hurt.

I feel so badly for any that are suffering, as I have lived in an abusive situation. I got out, but many animals can't without our help. They need us.

Happy Tails, Penny.