Saturday, January 20, 2018

Anatomy of a Dog


The many terms dog fanciers are familiar with:
Occiput - the highest point of the skull at the back of the head; prominent on some dogs.
Forehead - the portion of the head from the stop and eyebrows to the back point of the skull.
Eyes - most often brown.
• Dogs have eyebrows, or simply brows, just like humans.
Whiskers provide some sensory feeling.
Flews is just a fancy word for a dog’s lips.
• A dog’s cheek is the skin along the sides of the muzzle.
Muzzle (foreface) is comprised of the upper and lower jaws.
Throat is beneath the jaws.
Stop is an indentation (sometimes nonexistent) between the muzzle and the forehead.
Neck - runs from the head to the shoulders.
Nape of the neck is where the neck joins the base of the skull in the back of the head.
Crest starts at the nape and ends at the withers.
Withers are the top point of the shoulders; highest point along the dog’s back.
Shoulder - top section of the foreleg from the withers to the elbow.
• The back runs from the point of the shoulders to end of the rib cage. The term back is sometimes used to describe the back and the loin.
Prosternum is the top of the sternum, a bone that ties the rib cage together.
Chest is the entire rib cage of the dog.
Brisket - term used to refer to the sternum. In some breed  term refers to the entire thorax.
Loin is the back between the end of the rib cage and the beginning of the pelvic bone.
Flank refers to the side of the dog between the end of the chest and the rear leg.
• The upper arm on the foreleg is right below the shoulder and is comprised of the humerus bone, which is similar to the one found in an upper arm. It ends at the elbow.
Elbow is the first joint in the dog’s leg located just below the chest on the back of the foreleg.
• The long bone that runs after the elbow on the foreleg is the forearm,  comprised of the ulna and radius. The forearm may have feathering on the back.
Thigh bone is connected to the pelvis at the hip joint. Hip dysplasia is an abnormal formation of the hip socket that, in its more severe form, can eventually cause crippling lameness and painful arthritis of the joints.
• The upper thigh is the part of the dog’s leg situated above the knee on the hind leg.
Stifle or knee is the joint that sits on the front of the hind leg in line with the abdomen.
Abdomen is the underside of the dog from the end of its rib cage to its tail.
• The wrist is the lower joint below the elbow on the foreleg.
Pastern is the foot of a dog. Sometimes called the carpals, pasterns are equivalent to the bones in your hands and feet —not counting fingers and toes — and dogs have them in both forelegs and hind legs.
• A dog’s toes are equivalent to fingers and toes.
• The toenails or claws on the end of each toe are actually incorporated with part of the last bone of the toes.
• Dogs have a foot or paw at the end of each leg, called the forefoot or hind foot depending on whether it’s front or back. The paw comes with nails (sometimes called claws), paw pads, and usually dewclaws.
Dewclaws are vestiges of thumbs, more or less useless appendages.
• On the underside of the foot are several pads, including one main pad (communal pad) and a pad under each toe, for a total of five pads. You can find stopper pads behind the wrist on a dog’s forelegs.
• The lower thigh is the part of the hind leg beneath the knee to the hock - a joint like an ankle. Some dogs have feathering along the back of their lower thighs and hocks.
• The rump (or croup) is the rear end; where the pelvis bone is.

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Friday, January 19, 2018

Happy National Popcorn Day!


A Person Can Learn A Lot From A Dog

A person can learn a lot from a dog, 
even a loopy one like ours. 
Marley taught me about living each day 
with unbridled exuberance and joy, 
about seizing the moment 
and following your heart. 
He taught me to appreciate 
the simple things-a walk in the woods, 
a fresh snowfall, 
a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. 
And as he grew old and achy, 
he taught me about optimism 
in the face of adversity.
Mostly, he taught me about friendship
and selflessness and, above all else,
unwavering loyalty. ― John Grogan

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A Beautiful Nap

A beautiful nap this afternoon that put velvet between my vertebrae.
― Henry Miller

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Such Short Little Lives

Such short little lives 
our pets have to spend with us, 
and they spend most of it waiting 
for us to come home each day. 
It is amazing how much love and laughter 
they bring into our lives and even how much closer
we become with each other because of them. 
― John Grogan

Monday, January 15, 2018

Redheads

While the rest of the species is descended from apes,
redheads are descended from cats. 
― Mark Twain

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Free Kittuns

An Essay by Jim Willis, © 2002


The sign on the mailbox post was hand-lettered on cardboard and read “FREE KITTUNS.”

It appeared there two or three times a year, sometimes spelled this way, sometimes that, but the message was always the same.

In a corner of the farmhouse back porch was a cardboard box with a dirty towel inside, on which huddled a bouquet of kittens of different colors, mewing and blinking and waiting for their mama to return from hunting in the fields. The mother cat managed to show them enough interest for the first several weeks, but after having two or three litters per year, she was worn out and her milk barely lasted long enough for her babies to survive.

One by one, people showed up over the next several days and each took a kitten. Before they left the woman who lived there always said the same thing, “You make sure you give that one a good home – I’ve become very attached to that one.” One by one the kittens and their new people drove down the long driveway and past the sign on the mailbox post, “FREE KITTUNS.”

The ginger girl kitten was the first to be picked. Her four-year-old owner loved her very much, but the little girl accidentally injured the kitten’s shoulder by picking her up the wrong way. She couldn’t be blamed really – no adult had shown her the proper way to handle a kitten. She had named the kitten “Ginger” and was very sad a few weeks later when her older brother and his friends were playing in the living room and someone sat on the kitten.

 The solid white boy kitten with blue eyes was the next to leave with a couple who announced even before they went down the porch steps that his name would be “Snowy.” Unfortunately, he never learned his name and everyone had paid so little attention to him that nobody realized he was deaf. On his first excursion outside he was run over in the driveway by a mail truck.

The pretty gray and white girl kitten went to live on a nearby farm as a “mouser.” Her people called her “the cat,” and like her mother and grandmother before her she had many, many “free kittuns,” but they sapped her energy. She became ill and died before her current litter of kittens was weaned.

Another brother was a beautiful red tabby. His owner loved him so much that she took him around to meet everyone in the family and her friends, and their cats, and everyone agreed that “Erik” was a handsome boy. Except his owner didn’t bother to have him vaccinated. It took all the money in her bank account to pay a veterinarian to treat him when he became sick, but the doctor just shook his head one day and said “I’m sorry.”

The solid black boy kitten grew up to be a fine example of a tomcat. The man who adopted him moved shortly thereafter and left “Tommy” where he was, roaming the neighborhood, defending his territory, and fathering many kittens until a bully of a dog cornered him.

The black and white girl kitten got a wonderful home. She was named “Pyewacket.” She got the best of food, the best of care until she was nearly five years old. Then her owner met a man who didn’t like cats, but she married him anyway. Pyewacket was taken to an animal shelter where there were already a hundred cats. Then one day, there were none.

A pretty woman driving a van took the last two kittens, a gray boy and a brown tiger-striped girl. She promised they would always stay together. She sold them for fifteen dollars each to a laboratory. To this day, they are still together…in a jar of alcohol.

For whatever reason – because Heaven is in a different time zone, or because not even cat souls can be trusted to travel in a straight line without meandering – all the young-again kittens arrived at Heaven’s gate simultaneously. They batted and licked each other in glee, romped for awhile, and then solemnly marched through the gate, right past a sign lettered in gold: “YOU ARE FINALLY FREE, KITTENS.”

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Friday, January 12, 2018

A Faithful Dog


 A man's dog stands by him
in prosperity and in poverty,
in health and in sickness.
- George Graham Vest

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Make A Wish

Feral Vs. Stray - What's the Difference?


Basically FERAL CATS are wild offspring of domestic cats
and are primarily the result of pet 
owners' abandonment
or failure to spay and neuter.

STRAY CATS have been abandoned, strayed from home or have become lost...
Stray cats can usually be re-socialized and adopted. 

Feral Vs. Stray pdf

TNR - trap-neuter-return


Monday, January 8, 2018

I Believe In Animal Rights

I believe in animal rights, 
and high among them
is the right 
to the gentle stroke 
of a human hand.
- Robert Brault

Sunday, January 7, 2018

The INTEGRITY of UGLY

Everyone in the apartment complex that I that lived in knew who Ugly was.


Ugly was the resident tomcat. Ugly loved three things in this world: fighting, eating garbage, and, shall we say, love. The combination of these things combined with a life spent outside had their effect on Ugly. To start with, he had only one eye and where the other should have been was a gaping hole. He was also missing his ear on the same side, his left foot appeared to have been badly broken at one time, and had healed at an unnatural angle, making him look like he was always turning the corner.

His tail has long ago been lost, leaving only the smallest stub, which he would constantly jerk and twitch.

Ugly would have been a dark gray tabby, striped-type, except for the clumps of missing fur. Every time someone saw Ugly there was the same reaction. “That’s one UGLY cat!”

All of the children were warned not to touch him, the adults threw rocks at him, hosed him down, squirted him when he tried to come in their homes, or shut his paws in the door when he would not leave. Ugly always had the same reaction. If you turned the hose on him, he would stand there, getting soaked until you gave up and quit. If you threw things at him, he would curl his lanky body around his feet in forgiveness. Whenever he spied children, he would come running, meowing frantically and bump his head against their hands, begging for their love. If you ever picked him up, he would immediately begin suckling on your shirt, earrings, whatever he could find.

One day Ugly tried to befriend the neighbor‘s dogs. They did not respond kindly, and Ugly was badly hurt. From my apartment I could hear his screams, and I tired to rush to his aid. By the time I got to where he was lying, it was apparent that Ugly’s sad life was almost at an end. As I picked him up and tried to carry him home, I could hear him wheezing and gasping, and could feel him struggling. It must be hurting him terribly, I thought. Then I felt a familiar tugging, sucking sensation on my ear. Ugly, in so much pain, suffering, and obviously dying, was trying to suckle my ear.

I pulled him closer to me, and he bumped the palm of my hand with his head, then I could hear the distinct sound of purring. Even in the greatest pain, that ugly battled-scarred cat was asking only for a little affection, perhaps some compassion. At that moment I thought Ugly was the most beautiful, loving creature I had ever seen. Never once did he try to bite or scratch me, or even try to get away from me, or struggle in any way. Ugly just looked up at me completely trusting in me to relieve his pain.

Ugly died in my arms before I could get inside, but I sat there and held him for a long time afterwards, thinking about how one scarred, deformed little stray could so alter my opinion about what it means to have true pureness of spirit, to love so totally and truly. Ugly taught me more about giving and compassion than a thousand books, lectures, or talk show specials ever could, and for that I will always be thankful. He had been scarred on the outside, but I was scarred on the inside, and it was time for me to move on and learn to love truly and deeply. To give my total to those I cared for.

Many people want to be richer, more successful, well liked and beautiful, but for me, I will always try to be Ugly.

- Author Unknown

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Saturday, January 6, 2018

Caturday is for Cuddling

Caturday is for Cuddling

I Love This Little House

I love this little house
because it offers, after dark, 
A Pause for rest, a rest for paws, 
A place to moor my bark. 
- Arthur Guiterman

Friday, January 5, 2018

Cat Collage

One day I was counting the cats and I absent-mindedly counted myself.
― Bobbie Ann Mason

Humans Fail - Dogs Prevail

All his life he tried to be a good person. 
times, however, he failed.
For after all, he was only human. 
He wasn't a dog.
― Charles M. Schulz

Thursday, January 4, 2018

I Am Your Cat...

... and I have a little something I'd like to whisper in your ear. I know that you humans lead busy lives. Some have to work, some have children to raise. It always seems like you are running here and there, often much too fast, often never noticing the truly grand things in life. 

Look down at me now, while you sit there at your computer. See the way my eyes look at yours? They are slightly cloudy now. That comes with age. The gray hairs are beginning to ring my soft muzzle. You smile at me; I see love in your eyes. What do you see in mine? Do you see a spirit? A soul inside, who loves you as no other could in the world? A spirit that would forgive all trespasses of prior wrong doing for just a simple moment of your time?

That is all I ask. To slow down, if even for a few minutes to be with me. So many times you have been saddened by the words you read on that screen, of others of my kind, passing. Sometimes we die young and oh so quickly, sometimes so suddenly it wrenches your heart out of your throat. 

Sometimes, we age so slowly before your eyes that you may not even seem to know until the very end, when we look at you with grizzled muzzles and cataract clouded eyes. 

Still the love is always there, even when we must take that long sleep, to run free in a distant land. I may not be here tomorrow; I may not be here next week. Someday you will shed the water from your eyes, that humans have when deep grief fills their souls, and you will be angry at yourself that you did not have just "One more day" with me. 

Because I love you so, your sorrow touches my spirit and grieves me. We have NOW, together. So come, sit down here next to me, and look deep into my eyes.

What do you see? If you look hard and deep enough we will talk, you and I, heart to heart.

Come to me not as "alpha" or as "owner" or even "Mom or Dad," come to me as a living soul and stroke my fur and let us look deep into one another's eyes, and talk. I may tell you something about the fun of batting toys, or I may tell you something profound about myself, or even life in general. 

You decided to have me in your life because you wanted a soul to share such things with. Someone very different from you, and here I am. I am a CAT, but I am alive. I feel emotion, I feel physical senses, and I can revel in the differences of our spirits and souls. I do not think of you as a "Cat on two feet", you are human, in all your quirkiness, and I love you still. 

Now, come sit with me. Enter my world, and let time slow down if only for 15 minutes. Look deep into my eyes with your heart, with your joy and I will know your true self. We may not have tomorrow, and life is oh so very short........

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Link to Paradise

Dogs are our link to paradise. 
They don't know evil 
or jealousy or discontent. 
To sit with a dog on a hillside 
on a glorious afternoon 
is to be back in Eden, 
where doing nothing 
was not boring--it was peace.
― Milan Kundera

Monday, January 1, 2018

A New Year Wish for Dogs



  • For every dog searching trash cans for breakfast, a filled bowl with his name printed in bright letters.
  • For every dog who slept fitfully last night, chained in a frozen yard, a soft, warm bed with a person snoring gently nearby.
  • For every shelter dog, spending Christmas morning in a soiled run, a forever home, filled with sounds and smells of family.
  • For every "Christmas" puppy given today, a tolerant, caring owner who won't abandon you as you grow into a real dog.
  • For every ailing pet, enough money for your owner to pay the bills to make you well.
  • For every lost dog, a clear, safe road, and well-marked path, to lead you home.
  • For every old and tired friend, a warm fire and a soft bed, to ease your aches and pains.
    And…
  • For every Heart Dog at the Bridge, a moment when you know that you are remembered today, missed again, and loved forever.

    - Author unknown