Be kind to all pets and animals because they will be kind back to you.
― J. Wesley Porter

Ear Mites

What are they? Ear mites are tiny infectious organisms resembling microscopic ticks. The mite can just barely be seen as a small white dot with the naked eye, but it usually must be detected by examination of a sample of ear wax under a microscope. Infection usually produces a characteristic dry black ear discharge commonly said to resemble coffee grounds. Because of the classical appearance of this discharge, infection is often diagnosed based on the presence of such discharge though without visual confirmation of the mite under the microscope, it is possible to be led astray. The discharge is composed of ear wax, blood, inflammatory biochemicals, and ear mites themselves. 

The Bizarre Ear Mite Life Cycle The mite lives on the surface of the ear canal skin, though sometimes migrates out onto the face and head of its host. Eggs are laid and hatch after 4 days of incubation. The larva hatches from the egg, feeds on ear wax and skin oils for about a week, and then molts into a protonymph, which in turn molts into a deutonymph. The deutonymph mates with the adult male. What seems especially bizarre to us mammals is that the deutonymph has not yet developed a gender at the time it
mates with the adult male. 

After mating, the deutonymph molts into either an adult male or an adult female. If she becomes a female, she will be gravid with eggs as a result of the mating. If he develops into a male, there are no consequences to the mating and he is ready to mate with deutonymphs of his own choosing. The adult mite lives approximately 2 months happily eating ear wax and skin oils. The life cycle (the time it takes for an egg to develop into an adult mite ready for parenthood) requires 3 weeks.  

Most ear mite cases are found in cats. Dogs can be infected as well but since dogs more commonly get ear infections of other types, ear infections in dogs rarely involve mites.

How Did My Pet Get Ear Mites? Ear mites readily transmit from host to host by physical contact. Ear mites came from some other animal with whom your pet has been socializing. Because mites are easily transmissible by physical contact, treatment for mites often must include all
household pets.

What Harm Comes from Ear Mite Infection? The presence of the mites is inflammatory and can generate very irritating ear infections. Skin disease can also result from infection by the ear mite.

Is It Contagious? 
Ear mite infection is certainly contagious among cats and dogs. Typically, the victim is an outdoor cat. Humans have been reported to develop skin rashes rarely; in general, we may consider that a human pet owner is extremely unlikely to experience any symptoms when their pet is infected with ear mites.

How Do I Get Rid Of Ear Mites?
What if They Just Don't Seem to Ever Go Away?
Read More HERE

Pet Adoption Myths Debunked

There are many mythconceptions about the quality of animals found in rescue shelters. The stigma that shelter pets have been stuck with for many years is that they are damaged goods. 

Just NOT true!

Myth 1: Shelter pets are obviously not good pets, or else their original owners wouldn't have gotten rid of them.

Animals are brought to shelters for a large variety of reasons including:

1. Their owners have passed away.
2. An irresponsible owner didn't get their pets spayed or neutered and found themselves with a litter of babies they could not keep or want.
3. The animal's owners were abusive so the authorities have removed the pet from the harmful environment.
4. An animal was purchased or adopted by someone who did not take into consideration all of the responsibility that caring for that pet would entail (such as someone who adopts a pet in an apartment complex that does not allow animals and subsequently forced to get rid of the pet).

Myth 2: Animals from abusive homes will never be good pets because they have been mistreated for so long.
Most animals coming from abusive homes will typically make a full emotional recovery with proper care and attention. Many them are so grateful to be rescued from their previous situation, they end up being more devoted and loyal than animals coming from non-abusive homes.

Myth 3: You never know what you're getting with shelter pets.
It’s true that the medical history and temperament of an animal adopted from a rescue shelter is questionable, but, it’s no different than an animal you can buy from a pet store - unless you purchase a pedigree – and even then, there are no guarantees.

Myth 4: All animals in rescue shelters are sickly or unhealthy.
It’s certainly possible that a pet adopted from a shelter may have medical problems, however the majority of the animals that are adopted from rescues or shelters are perfectly healthy - and just need a good home. You’re more likely to get an honest answer about an animal's medical problems from a shelter volunteer - who is clearly there because they care about the animals, as opposed to a pet store owner or breeder that is only it in for the money.


I like you; your eyes are full of language. - Anne Sexton

Kids N Canines: What Every Child Should Know

  • Always ask a dog's owner if you may pet the dog.
  • Some dogs shouldn't be touched. He may be "on duty" as a service dog or he may be ill or afraid of children.
  • Approach a dog from the front or side - not from behind.
  • Hold your hands low and speak softly. Do not surprise a dog, force him into a corner, wave your hands, or scream at him.
  • Dogs may get defensive at the food dish.
  • Don't interfere when a dog is eating and never put your hands between a dog's mouth and his bowl.
  • Some dogs are very protective of their balls and chew toys.
  • Never take a bone or toy from a dog's mouth unless he's trained to drop it or give it to you
  • Avoid teasing, rough housing, or tugs of war games.
  • Dogs may get too enthusiastic and forget you are not a dog. Fetch, Frisbee and agility are better outlets for your dog's energy.
  • Respect a dog's space.
  • Dogs naturally defend their territories. Do not stick your hand inside a strange dog's crate or car window
  • Never try to break up a dog fight. Trying to separate fighting dogs my make them more excited, and they might turn on you or accidentally bite you. Call an adult for help.
  • Observe canine body language: Beware of a dog that is barking, growling, or showing his teeth. Stay away if his ears are back or his hair is standing up on his back. Say "No" firmly and slowly walk away with your arms at your side. Do not scream, stare into his eyes or run away.

Doggy Dictionary

LEASH: A strap which attaches to your collar, enabling you to lead your person where you want him/her to go.

DOG BED: any soft, clean surface, such as the white bedspread in the guest room or the newly upholstered couch in the living room.

DROOL: Is what you do when your persons have food and you don’t. To do this properly you must sit as close as you can and look sad and let the drool fall to the floor, or better yet, on their laps.

SNIFF: A social custom to use when you greet other dogs. Place your nose as close as you can to the other dog’s rear end and inhale deeply, repeat several times, or until your person makes you stop.

GARBAGE CAN: A container which your neighbors put out once a week to test your ingenuity. You must stand on your hind legs and try to push the lid off with your nose. If you do it right you are rewarded with margarine wrappers to shred, beef bones to consume and moldy crusts of bread.

BICYCLES: Two-wheeled exercise machines, invented for dogs to control body fat. To get maximum aerobic benefit, you must hide behind a bush and dash out, bark loudly and run alongside for a few yards; the person then swerves and falls into the bushes, and you prance away.

DEAFNESS: This is a malady which affects dogs when their person want them in and they want to stay out. Symptoms include staring blankly at the person, then running in the opposite direction, or lying down.

THUNDER: This is a signal that the world is coming to an end. Humans remain amazingly calm during thunderstorms, so it is necessary to warn them of the danger by trembling uncontrollably, panting, rolling your eyes wildly, and following at their heels.

WASTEBASKET: This is a dog toy filled with paper, envelopes, and old candy wrapper. When you get bored, turn over the basket and strew the papers all over the house until your person comes home.

SOFAS: Are to dogs like napkins are to people. After eating it is polite to run up and down the front of the sofa and wipe your whiskers clean.

BATH: This is a process by which the humans drench the floor, walls and themselves. You can help by shaking vigorously and frequently.

LEAN: Every good dog’s response to the command “sit!” especially if your person is dressed for an evening out. Incredibly effective before black-tie events.

BUMP: The best way to get your human’s attention when they are drinking a fresh cup of coffee or tea.

GOOSE BUMP: A maneuver to use as a last resort when the Regular Bump doesn’t get the attention you require.....especially effective when combined with The Sniff. See above.

LOVE: Is a feeling of intense affection, given freely and without restriction. The best way you can show your love is to wag your tail. If you’re lucky, a human will love you in return.

Walking The Dog

The dog doesn't know the difference between Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, so I have to walk the dog early those days too. - Donna Shalala

Have A Safe 4th!

“My country, 'tis of thee, Sweet land of liberty, Of thee I sing, Land where my fathers died, Land of the pilgrims' pride, From every mountainside, Let freedom ring!” – Samuel Francis Smith

Spirit Cat

I believe cats to be spirits come to earth.
A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without coming through. 
- Jules Verne

Helen Keller

Helen Keller loved many dogs throughout her life, including Boston Terriers, Pit Bulls, mixed breeds, and a beloved Akita. 

She understood the benefits of sharing life with canines and was an out-spoken proponent of education and therapy animals. 

photo source: Akita Club of America