Friday, September 25, 2009

Snuggies for dogs - surely a sign of the end of civilization as we know it.

This is just wrong, friends...

And if that didn't convince you to shell out your hard-earned cash, maybe their official website will. After all, who needs a Snuggie more than a collie, easily one of the hairiest dogs out there?

This is the gift you buy the person who drives you crazy with pictures of their little Lola all decked out in sundresses...and the holidays are just around the corner :-)

Another news outlet weighs in on Michael Vick

Yahoo Sports published this article about Michael Vick's impact on dogfighting since his arrest and conviction. I found it an interesting read, especially as it tends to reflect the thoughts I expressed when he was scheduled for release from prison.

I know there are an awful lot of people out there who still have deep emotions over the issue of Vick's release, and only time will tell where it all leads in the end, but from my point of view, what's done is done. All we can do is pick up, move on and learn from from the past how to prevent similar events in the future.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Settling In

I spent a fairly considerable amount of time worrying about how the critters might react to moving into a new home. Of particular concern were the cats, as they are all now into the double-digits and despite what people continue to perpetuate, are highly emotional creatures.

I needn't have bothered.

Once Bo noticed that the table and the food dishes came in the same car as him, he was good.

Obviously, hallway m
onitor Darby made it through with few rough spots.

Weebs was more concerned about the flash being in her face than any
real danger.

And Musette was determined to sleep off any attempts at getting an actual picture...

Just another day in the fur factory...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Time magazine does dogs

Check out this excellent article from Time: The Secrets Inside Your Dog's Mind.

This is a wonderful study of cognition and how dogs appear to have adapted their behavior to better integrate with humans. Fascinating stuff.

Company promotes pit bull stereotype to sell products

Icon, a manufacturer of products for motorcycle riders has chosen to promote a new product line for Fall 2009 --- Represent, a (mostly) outerwear line featuring an image of a vicious pit bull.

Product descriptions of this line feature phrases such as:

"Firstly, it features a snarling possessed crop eared mauler of a canine. Not many people are stepping up to the dog plate given the current social climate. But if Icon is gonna come, than we're gonna come correct. If the graphics weren't enough, the supervents on the Represent can be adorned with an optional adhesive backed metal stud kit. On the chain or off, a spiked up collar goes a long way projecting that certain image."

Or, "Earn respect, take props and if need be, bust caps."

"If you're not a canine aficionado, you need not apply. Peta commandos, back off, our dog is off the chain."

"We as a company reject cliches, innuendous (sic), and rumor mongering. Instead we have adopted a pictogram approach to all our products. It allows us to tell our story yet keeps us out of trouble with the legal department. This one has a vicious hell dog who has just broken his chain. You know what that means."

To be fair, at the bottom of most descriptions they have a disclaimer, such as it is: "And to all the haters and nay-sayers - Icon does not support or condone any type of dog fighting. Never have, never will. Don't get it twisted."


Excuse me if I do, in fact, get it "all twisted". When you promote products by repeatedly using a stereotypical image of one of the most persecuted, prejudiced, misunderstood breeds on the planet and feature in the product description wording such as the above, excuse me if I do believe that you are promoting a thuggish, dogfight-supporting lifestyle.

Excuse me if I choose to be repulsed by your "anything to make a buck" mentality, even if in the course of making a buck you help promote a level of fear and misunderstanding that continues to perpetuate hostility towards a breed that already has more stigma than it can handle.

And, by all means, excuse me if I choose, in response to the choices you've made, to spread my thoughts about your choice of marketing tools as far and wide as I can. Call me a "hater" or a "nay-sayer" all day, Icon. If being someone who see pit bulls as something other than an easy way to make a fast buck makes me a "hater", I'll wear the title proudly.

Want to send your own message to Icon? Just click here.

Someone needs to revoke this dude's cat card...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

SB 250 tabled by Florez

SB 250, The Pet Responsibility Act, has been tabled by author Dean Florez (D - Shafter) until January in hopes of finding more support in the California State Assembly. It appears that the bill is 13 votes short of passage.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. I was a supporter of the bill, despite the fact that there were a couple of things that troubled me. I believed that the bill was written with the best of intentions.

But I also believe in the legislative process, and if after all of this time the bill is still over a dozen votes short of passage, perhaps the people have spoken. Did they speak the way I wish they would have? No --- but it doesn't always work that way. I've been terribly disappointed in the past over laws I supported that didn't pass (or vice versa), but one thing I keep in mind is that we all have the opportunity to have our voice heard and if "my side" didn't have the will/gumption/organization to get their message out effectively enough to change the hearts and minds of other voters, then maybe "my side" doesn't deserve to win.

I'm not sure part of the "good fight" is to try really hard and encourage others to give it all they've got, then when it looks like things aren't breaking in your favor, go running off the field and hope the other team gets winded so you can swoop in and call it a win. Or take your ball and walk off the field, rather than having a loss on your record.

It may be permissible, but that doesn't mean it's honorable.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

AB 241 passes Assembly

AB 241, The Responsible Breeder Act, a bill introduced by Assemblyman Pedro Nava (D - Santa Barbara) has passed the full Assembly and is on its way to the Governor's desk for his signature. The bill limits the number of intact cats or dogs a seller can maintain to 50. Animal shelters, among other professional distinctions, are not affected by this bill.

To read the full text of the bill click here.

Monday, September 7, 2009

New natural treat for dogs

I'm a pretty simple person when it comes to treats for my pets. I like buying them snackables that have easily identified ingredients that are healthy and appealing. I may be willing to stuff myself with highly-processed, chemically-preserved snacks when the mood suits me, but since the critters can't make their own shopping choices, I take my job as guardian of their health quite seriously. That's why I'm thrilled to have found a new treat for the dog, DogNip! Catch of the Day.

DogNip! Catch of the Day is produced by the folks of The Original Free Range Dog Chews. They have created a line of dog treats based on dehydrating products that have as few ingredients as possible to a shelf-stable level, keeping the treats in as close to a natural state as possible. For a no-funky-ingredients-I-can't-pronounce girl like me, I was hooked.

Darby tried the "Skin and Bones" variety, made from wild caught salmon skin that is stuffed with salmon and sweet potato, shaped into dog bone shapes and dehydrated. That's it --- just two ingredients. Being the big fish junkie he is, I figured I'd know within seconds whether it measured up to his overly-spoiled palate.

It didn't take that long. Just a whiff of the strong fish aroma emanating from the bag as I cut it open had his full attention. Darby took his offering and headed for a quiet spot. Since most of his treats are of the one-bite variety, he rarely needs to settle in enjoy a handout, but the size of these treats dictated at least two or three chomps. He was a happy camper with his treat and I am a happy critter-mom for having another pet treat option.

The Original Free Range Dog Chews folks don't sell directly to customers, but their full line of products can be found at one of my very favorite online stores, If you're like me and like feeding your dog healthy, wholesome treats, give them a try. Your dog may get hooked!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Pet limit laws limit positive solutions

Back when I worked as the office manager of a veterinary hospital in Sacramento, I had the good pleasure of knowing a woman who owned 22 cats. Yes, 22 --- and every last one of them were spayed or neutered, up to date on their vaccines, licensed and well cared for. We’d see her a couple of times a month, because with 22 cats someone was always either due for shots or one of the “special needs” felines needed a check-up of some sort. She’s one of the first people I think of when discussions come up about limiting the number of pets a person can have.

Kern County Animal Control Director Guy Shaw is proposing an ordinance that would, among other things, require people with 10 or more dogs and/or cats to apply for a permit to keep them. The Board of Supervisors expects to receive plenty of feedback from people when the topic comes up for discussion at its Sept. 29 meeting, and I’m sure the public will not let them down.

Don’t get me wrong. I empathize with Mr. Shaw’s frustration about the pet overpopulation problem we have in Kern County and the endless cycle of homeless pets that are brought to the shelter every day, more than can possibly find homes even during the best of economic times. I just don’t think an arbitrary number limit is going to help.

The problem with using a number is that people immediately seize on the number as a topic of debate, rather than discuss what it means to be a responsible pet owner. If Jane Citizen has eight cats and four dogs, and all are altered, current on their vaccinations, licensed and aren’t bothering the neighbors, what difference does it make to me how many pets she has? What difference should it make?

If, on the other hand, Judy Citizen has two dogs who are unaltered, produce litter after litter of half-breed “designer dogs” and are left to live the bulk of their lives in a concrete run on the side of the house, with little family interaction or stimulation, should that pass as O.K., just because they are within the prescribed limit?

It’s a big discussion, worthy of far more consideration than haggling over the appropriate “quantity”. Let’s treat it as such.

Blog Design By Sour Apple Studio © All Rights Reserved.