Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Victories. Pet Lovers Resolutions. Rusty Rabbit’s Braces. Cat’s Color. Mica’s New Knee. Big Business of Pet Food.


for “Mammal Monday”:

“Heroes like you helped the HSUS achieve monumental victories for animals in 2012. Please help us ensure more victories like these just by giving what you can today:”


New Year’s Resolutions for Pet Lovers

“If you’re making resolutions for the New Year, have you considered including your four-legged companion in your plans?  Small changes can make a big difference in an animal’s health, so if there are areas of your pet’s care you know need more attention, we recommend you start small … but definitely get started!”

    Make one small improvement in your
    pet's diet.

    1. The most important thing most pet owners can do for their pets' health in the new year is improve the quality and species-appropriateness of the food they eat.
      First, find out where your pet's current diet ranks on my list of 13 Pet Foods - Ranked from Great to Disastrous. If you learn that your pet's food is on the lower end of the ranking, set a goal for 2013 to start working your way up the list.


    Exercise your pet for one extra hour a week.

    Regular exercise is incredibly important to the physical and mental health of dogs and cats, and many pets today get very little physical activity.
    One extra hour a week is 60 minutes over seven days, or less than 10 extra minutes a day. If you and your pet take weekends off, you need to add just 12 extra minutes of exercise to your regular routine Monday through Friday.
    Another option is to take your dog for an extra half-hour walk on Saturdays and Sundays. If your pet is a cat, you could add 15 extra minutes of active play four times a week.

    Schedule at least one wellness exam with
    your veterinarian.

    Your visit to the vet shouldn't be for unnecessary re-vaccinations. A wellness appointment should involve a hands-on, nose-to-tail examination of your cat or dog, along with appropriate blood tests to check organ function.
    These visits (I recommend two a year for most pets) are invaluable, proactive tools to stay on top of your pet's health and catch problems as early as possible.

    Take one step to enrich your pet's

    Extra time spent with your dog is the very best way to enrich her environment. If you spend that time getting involved in an obedience or nose work class or one of dozens of other dog-centric activities, even better.
    Spending an extra few minutes each day with your cat can also enrich his environment, especially if you use the time to increase his fitness through interactive play. Other ways to enrich a kitty's environment can be found in my article titled Your Cat's Life in Captivity - How to Simulate Conditions in the Wild.

    Add one thing to your daily or weekly
    pet care routine: 


    Rusty: Ambassador for Peace

    Rusty:  Ambassador for Peace

    “He was left in a Florida, U.S. park to fend for himself. Day after day, the little red bunny sat calmly in the grass, not moving from the spot as curious people walked by. One morning a passerby saw some boys playing soccer. And then she noticed their ball was…the bunny.

    She intervened; the boys fled. She took him to her warm, safe home. Two weeks later, she found HouseRabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. – HARE. We asked her to bring him right over.

    Radiographs revealed severe, congenital hip dysplasia making his hind legs splay uselessly out to the sides. A broken femur had healed a bit crookedly. The veterinarian thought surgery would be too hard on the little red rabbit who had already been through so much.

    Instead, Rusty was fitted with leg braces that pulled his feet into normal position, allowing him to stand. His feet were cushioned with sponges of shed fur donated by other rescued rabbits, then braced together with sports tape.   When we first set him down to try out his new legs, Rusty stood a moment, puzzled. He took a hop. Then another. Then he was racing up and down the rugs, overjoyed with his new mobility! (His lolloping gait has earned him the nickname “Mr. Bippity.”)

    As you can see, he gets around just fine!

    The real miracle is his personality. Despite his harsh start, Rusty is a gentle soul. He’s become Ambassador for warren peace at H.A.R.E., befriending territorial rabbits in adjacent clans and inspiring them to make peace. He has more friends than any rabbit we’ve ever known, and he links them together with his cheerful spirit, gentle bossiness, and kisses. He’ll break up bunny spats by pushing himself between the perpetrators, growling as if to say, “Break it up, Guys! Life’s too short for grumpiness! Believe me…I know.”   From:


     Cats Color And Personality

    Cat Color“Did you happen to choose the color of your cat based on what you've heard their personality type would be like? It may sound funny but just like humans, cats have been judged by their color too!

    A study by University of California Berkley researchers have found a popular assumption that orange cats are friendly, black cats are evil, and white cats to be big snobs. Unfortunately because of our bias, a study by the Anthrozoos has found a negative link between our perceptions of our feline friends and the negative affects of their adoption rates. With the number of cat loving fans, who love the likes of Maru or the Grumpy Cat, they are lucky to not be a part of the one million domesticated cats out of 10 million who still end up in shelter's each year.

    Berkley researchers also found with our color bias, certain colored cats become more favorable over others, but there still is little evidence that shows a cat's personality is based on their color. Our preconceptions, whether conscious or unconscious, definitely has an affect on whether or not these pretty kitties will find a happy home or not. So whether you're looking for a cat like Garfield, Heathcliff, or Felix The Cat, you'll only be able to base it by looks. Let's break down the stereotypes and remember cats, like humans, have a personality of their own. Looks definitely can be deceiving so don't judge a cat by it's cover!”  From:


    UF’s first total knee replacement surgery in dog successful

    “Nearly eight months after undergoing total knee replacement surgery at the University of Florida Small Animal Hospital, a 9-year-old yellow Labrador retriever named Mica is racing through fields four days a week, sniffing out ducks in blinds and swimming while she trains for her master hunting title.”

    More at:


    The FALSE Belief that Keeps Your Pet Trapped in Bad Health...

    “I Learned the Hard Way”

    “I was in my second year of veterinary school and I had a Rottweiler named Gemini.  I was getting free food from the school for Gemini. I was told it was good food (Science Diet), I was broke, and I liked the idea of free food for my dog.

    Unfortunately, when Gemini was 7 she went into acute liver failure from an additive in the Science Diet food called ethoxyquin. Ethoxyquin is a stabilizer commonly added to pet food that is known to damage the liver.

    I didn’t think Gemini was going to make it.

    I made a change to her diet literally overnight. I started preparing homemade foods for her and she remained on a homemade diet for the rest of her life. Gemini lived to be 13.  My experience with Gemini was pivotal for me. It changed my belief about how companion animals should be fed.  It changed forever how I feed my own pack and the nutritional guidelines I give my veterinary clients, other pet owners and pet caretakers.”  More at:


    "The Big Business of Pet Food Corporate Profits are Soaring… But How About Your Pet? Could Their Diet Be Causing More Harm Than Good?"

    Ancient Diet“Your pet instinctively craves their ancestral diet for vibrant health and well-being.

    Sadly for your pets, the pet food industry is rapidly becoming Big Business.   Big Business to the tune of $15 billion worldwide.

    Behind closed doors, strategic acquisitions of smaller companies are quietly taking place – clearly to capitalize on the tremendous profits the pet food industry offers.

    What most pet owners don't realize is that the pet food industry is actually an extension of the food and agricultural industries.

    Pet food provides these giant multinational corporations a very convenient and very profitable "built-in" market for wastes left over from their human food production.  But here's the problem… Your beloved pet was never designed to eat 'wastes'.

    Today's commercial pet food is a far cry from your dog's or cat's ancestral diet – the diet their species has thrived upon for thousands of years. Dogs and cats both have a nutritional need for meat, bones, and vegetables.

    They do not have a need for carbohydrates or grains. In fact, in the ancestral diet, grains and seeds were not consumed unless they were pre-digested by their prey.

    Cat & DogOur beloved pals depend on us to feed them foods that truly nourish their bodies.

    Carnivores, as opposed to herbivores (such as cows), have relatively short, simple gastrointestinal tracts.

    Unable to make their own, they require all the essential amino acids – the building blocks of protein – from their foods. Plants and starches don't supply a full healthy array of amino acids.

    But there's more. Our pets' bodies are just not designed to cope with large quantities of carbohydrates.  Your pet's pancreas is unable to secrete the enzyme needed to split cellulose into glucose molecules. Dogs' and cats' bodies just aren't efficient at digesting, assimilating and utilizing plant material and grains as high quality protein.

    Unfortunately, feeding this type of unnatural diet can cause chronic inflammation and illness, obesity and other metabolic consequences.

    Commercial pet foods – especially dry kibble – are loaded with carbohydrates. You'll commonly find rice, corn, barley, potatoes, and starch added to cat and dog food as cheap sources of energy and calories. In fact, it's not unusual to find kibble with over 50 percent carbohydrate content.

    And here's another thing… Corn is one of the most frequently genetically modified 'foods'. Not healthy for you… and not healthy for your precious pet.” 

     Kibble? A far cry from a cat's natural diet.

    “Just as with humans, your pet's diet largely determines his or her overall health.  Protein in your pet's food comes in various forms – meat, poultry or fish, meat or poultry meal, and meat by-products.

    KibbleIn the food industry, only about 50 percent of every animal can be used as food for human consumption.

    The remaining parts, or "by-products" – heads, feet, bones, feathers, blood, intestines, organs, fat scraps, even unborn fetuses – are used in pet food and animal feed.

    Commonly you'll find meat meals in pet foods, including poultry meal, by-product meals, and meat-and-bone meal. 'Meal' signifies that these ingredients are not fresh; they are "rendered".  Rendering is the process where various ingredients are emptied into a large vat and boiled for several hours. These high temperatures can damage proteins and destroy natural enzymes.

    From a health standpoint, denatured proteins from high processing temperatures can lead to food allergies and intolerances and inflammatory bowel disease.

    But here's what's so controversial: In addition to food animal scraps, rendering, by law, can include grocery store expired meat (Styrofoam wrapping intact), road kill, diseased and disabled (and dead) cattle, and even euthanized pets.

    Pet food companies claim they no longer process dead dogs and cats (insiders admit they previously did), but the FDA has found pentobarbital, the most common euthanasia drug, in rendered meat-and-bone meal and animal fat.” More at:


    On This Day:

    Henry Ford publishes the last issue of the Dearborn Independent, Dec 31, 1927:

    “On December 31, 1927, the Dearborn Independent--a newspaper published by Henry Ford that, at the peak of its popularity in the mid-1920s, had about 700,000 readers--rolls off the printing press for the last time. Since 1920, Ford had used the paper as a platform for his anti-Semitic ideas, and many of its articles and essays were collected and published in a book called "The International Jew: The World's Foremost Problem." It was a bestseller in Nazi Germany and remains in print today.

    Henry Ford was an innovative entrepreneur, but he was also a flagrant and unapologetic bigot: He hated immigrants, thought labor unionists were "the worst thing that ever struck the earth" and made no secret of his belief in "the Jewish plan to control the world, not by territorial acquisition, not by military aggression, not by governmental subjugation, but by control of the machinery of commerce and exchange." (He blamed Jewish bankers for everything that was wrong with the world, from the Great War to his own inability to buy out his company's shareholders during the recession of 1919.) Early in 1920, he put a new editor in charge of the Independent after the old one refused to print Ford's vitriolic essays and resigned, and the first of the paper's anti-Semitic tirades appeared in May 1920. They circulated widely, since the paper was sold by subscription as well as through Ford's nationwide network of dealerships.

    In 1927, a Jewish lawyer and farm cooperative organizer named Aaron Sapiro sued Ford for defamation. (His was the third anti-Independent lawsuit, but the first to go to trial.) In court, Ford refused to take responsibility for the articles that appeared in his newspaper: in fact, he faked a car accident and hid in the hospital so he wouldn't have to testify. The suit ended in a mistrial, and--likely because of all the bad publicity the trial and the newspaper had brought him--Ford agreed to a private settlement with Sapiro. He issued a somewhat insincere public apology for his newspaper's years of defamatory content--"to my great regret," he wrote, "I have learned that Jews...resent this publication as promoting anti-Semitism"--and at the end of the year he closed down the Independent for good.”


    Bloodiest year of the war ends, Dec 31, 1968:

    “The bloodiest year of the war comes to an end. At year's end, 536,040 American servicemen were stationed in Vietnam, an increase of over 50,000 from 1967.

    Estimates from Headquarters U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam indicated that 181,150 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese were killed during the year. However, Allied losses were also up: 27,915 South Vietnamese, 14,584 Americans (a 56 percent increase over 1967), and 979 South Koreans, Australians, New Zealanders, and Thais were reported killed during 1968. Since January 1961, more than 31,000 U.S. servicemen had been killed in Vietnam and over 200,000 U.S. personnel had been wounded.

    Contributing to the high casualty number was the Tet Offensive launched by the communists. Conducted in the early weeks of the year, it was a crushing military defeat for the communists, but the size and scope of the attacks caught the American and South Vietnamese allies completely by surprise. The early reporting of a smashing communist victory went largely uncorrected in the media and this led to a psychological victory for the communists. The heavy U.S. casualties incurred during the offensive coupled with the disillusionment over the earlier overly optimistic reports of progress in the war accelerated the growing disenchantment with President Johnson's conduct of the war. Johnson, frustrated with his inability to reach a solution in Vietnam, announced on March 31, 1968, that he would neither seek nor accept the Democratic nomination for president. Johnson's announcement did not dampen the wave of antiwar protests that climaxed with the bloody confrontation between protesters and police outside the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in August.”



    After doing the usual jobs early in the morning, I had a cleaning frenzy, and caught up on things l had not been able to do for a while.  Vinegar-ing the coffee maker, de-crumbing the toaster oven, scrubbing them both and the front of the fridge and kitchen cabinets.  The kitten ‘helped’ me fold laundry, and I picked up her trail of playthings so that I could vacuum.  Everything is a toy to her, and she picks up stuff in her mouth, like a retriever, and drags it around to a new location.  But she isn’t retrieving, she is un-trieving, and scattering.  I have to be very watchful that she doesn’t misplace important things.  

    Misty was glad that I put her barn-coat on each time she went out, as there was a cold north wind.


    Later, Misty donned in her coat, and I wore a full length lined coat and gloves when Jay asked us to go down there to look at a job he has to do on an A-frame house near there.  Someone had put the sewer vent pipe collars (flanges) over the shingles, and they were leaking.  Not under, as per picture.  One vent didn’t have a collar on it at all, so any rain was going into the house.  It still amazes me what some folks will do, and not use common sense.  Then Jay took me to go over to Section Two of this subdivision, and loaded up some long lumber in the Puddle Jumper.  It was so long that it stuck out of the back of the little station wagon sometimes scraping the road, and having the back lift hatch open made it a chilly ride back to his place.

    When we got home, I let the kitten out of her big cage again, so that meant I had another trail of waste paper basket contents and paper recycling to clean up yesterday.

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