Friday, June 29, 2012

Frogs used for illegal doping in horse racing

Racing regulators kept hearing the reports: trainers were giving their horses a powerful performance-enhancing potion drawn from the backs of a type of South American frog.

But for months postrace testing could not find the substance, a painkiller far more powerful than morphine. Then a lab in the Denver area tweaked its testing procedure, and in recent weeks more than 30 horses from four states have tested positive for the substance, dermorphin, which is suspected of helping horses run faster. 

“We hear about some pretty exotic stuff,” said Dr. Steven Barker, who directs the testing laboratory at Louisiana State University. “Frog juice — this is exotic.” 

The discovery comes as the racing industry is struggling to counter perceptions of a pervasive drug culture. Indeed, dermorphin is the latest in a long list of illegal performance-enhancing drugs that have found their way onto racetracks. Cobra venom has also been used by trainers to deaden pain so that injured horses can race.

Bad cows


Sandy claws?

Photo: Yinghai


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Looking for a nanny?

When parents begin their nanny search one of the things they should take into consideration is if they have or plan to have a family pet. Whether it is due to allergies or a fear that they’ll have to care for the family pet, for some nannies working in a home with a pet is simply out of the question.

Maureen Denard has compiled 5 Rules for Finding a Pet Friendly Nannywhich will be very helpful to a family which is considering hiring a nanny and has a family pet.

Snowflake horse



Video: Dog Hamlet

Hamlet's soliloquy performed by Hamlet (the wire fox terrier).

 To pee or not to pee. That is the question.

The cutest thing you'll see today


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cow Are You Today?

A Talking Mug? A mug that looks like a cow? Put them both together, and you end up with a hilarious talking cow mug! Each time you pick up the mug, it says one of 7 hilarious sayings combined with moo sounds. Our coffee mugs are COW-RRRIFFICCC!! Batteries included.


Guest Post: Animal Myths Busted! (part 2)

 Estelle Page is a blogger at, , and she’s on a mission to prove that everything we know about animals is a lie! Well, okay, just some of it...

This is Part Two of a post published June 6, 2012.

 5 More Infamous Animal Myths

Image: AJ Cann
 Making up facts about animals seems to be one of our favourite pastimes.

The internet is swarming with so called ‘animal facts’ and it seems that there’s no shortage of misinformed animal lovers. This list sets out to reverse some of this bad work and set the record straight.

Read on for a few more daft suggestions that have been made about our animal friends.

1. Rats are ‘orrible and dirty

No, actually it all depends on the rat.
If the rat lives in a sewer, then yes, the rat is probably quite dirty. Generally speaking though, rats spend around 60% of their lives cleaning themselves. This means they only have 40% of their time to do other things, such as become dirty again.

2. Goldfish have a three second memory

One of my all time favourite incorrect animal myths is the memory capacity of a Goldfish.

In actual fact, Goldfish have quite good memories – they’ve proved they can be taught how to navigate a maze.

Sadly, many still have to live in a fish bowl with a miniature castle.

I’m not sure whose idea it was to associate Goldfish with underwater replicas of English middle aged fortifications, but it definitely seems to have caught on...

Image: Rennett Stowe
3. Koalas are bears

Koalas are a type of marsupial, not a kind of bear.

They are furry like bears, but that’s where the similarities end. English settlers have been awarded the responsibility of awarding the koala bear its incorrect label.

But English settlers gave quite a few pretty peculiar names around this time so maybe it was a trend back then.

4. Worms will regenerate

This is the type of thing your primary school teacher tells you and you believe for life, and you’ll end up passing this (incorrect) vital information down to your children:

“If you cut a worm in half, then the two halves will regenerate and continue to live as two separate worms.”

This is just not true.

Earthworms are biologically complex like other species. They have all the internal body systems that make up most other living organisms i.e. brains, digestive systems....the lot.

You wouldn’t cut a dolphin in half to see if it survived, would you?

My suggestions is to use the appropriate pest control supplies UK instead of waging war on the garden critters by punishing them through death.

You might also be interested to learn that a mole survives on a diet of only earthworms, so you could already have some help there if moles are a garden feature of yours.

Unless it’s the pesky moles that are the problem, in which case you might want to save the worms and invest in some sonic mole repeller instead.

Image: Suwaif

5. Camels store water in their humps

Let’s get this straight - a camel is not a live, walking hip flask.

A camel’s hump contains fat reserves providing the animal with the same amount of energy as three weeks of food do, so they’re more like packet lunch boxes than water bottles.

For animals, desert survival is about the preservation of water and nutrients within their bodies rather than actual storage for when they get a bit bored.

So, there you have your 5 more animal myths blown out of the water.

Your task is now to find some more to add to my list...

The cutest thing you'll see today


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Video: Baby and chimp make friends


Snow Globe Salt & Pepper Shakers

Add some spice to your table with the Snow Globe Salt & Pepper Shakers. Each set includes one (1) white and one (1) black polar bear seasoning globe. These fun salt and pepper shakers can be used for all seasonings!


The cutest thing you'll see today


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Want an easy pet?

 MyOwnPet Balloons are balloons, in shapes of pets that float right above the ground, that you pull behind yourself, on a ‘leash’.

There’s something for everyone: puppies, dinosaurs, a pot-bellied pig, a frog, a panda, a ladybug and many more.

Clarissa and her puppy

Titian, Portrait of Clarissa Strozzi


Cute, cute, cute!

 Josh Duhamel and dachshund puppies -- 3 times cute!


Friday, June 22, 2012

Dirt bath


Guest Post: Cat Care 101: Dogs Aren't the Only Pet in Need of Training

Liz Becker is a blogger, freelance writer and recent college graduate. She currently performs market research for an online marketing firm when she is not contributing her own thoughts and observations to the online community.

Cat Care 101: Dogs Aren't the Only Pet in Need of Training

When most people think about pet training, they think about dogs. However, the more you learn about cat behavior and cat care, the more you will realize that your cat or kitten needs to be trained as well! Cats have a number of natural behaviors that can make them undesirable as companion animals. If you want to know why you should train your cat, check out the list of reasons below! 
Saving Your Food and Your Paperwork 

Some cats love jumping up on tables, and there are plenty of reasons for a cat to wish to do so. They may be interested in what you are doing or they might want to know what you are eating. When your cat jumps up on the table, say “no” very sternly and remove it. If it persists, spray it with water from a garden spray bottle. 
Never feed your cat from the table, as this will only promote this undesirable behavior. Reprimand your cat every time you see it on the table; otherwise it will think that being on the table is allowed. 
Protecting Your Furniture 

Scratching is a natural behavior, but it can ruin your walls and your furniture. You can mitigate the issue by keeping your cat’s claws clipped, but this is only a short term solution. Give your cat a few different options when it comes to scratching. Some cats prefer mats, while others prefer posts. Place the mat or post in front of the location that the cat typically scratches. Scold the cat when you see it scratching on your furniture and praise it when you see it scratching where it should. 
Preserve Peace at Dinner 

Some cats haunt the dinner table when you are trying to eat. If your cat picks up the habit of begging, it can turn into quite a pest. Never feed your cat from the table. If it lingers around the dinner table, ignore it. If you want to give your cat something from your plate, something which should be a rare occurrence, simply wait until after dinner and put it in the cat’s bowl. 

If you are invested in turning your cat into a well-behaved member of your family, take the time to train it appropriately. While cats do not need the same kind of training as dogs do, you’ll find that training your cat can be rewarding and that it can even lead to a tighter bond between the two of you.

“MOM?!? Are you in the BATHROOM? Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom? MOM! "

“MOM?!? Are you in the BATHROOM? Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom? MOM!"

"What are you DOING in there? Mom? Mom? Mom? "

"Are you coming OUT soon? Hey, MOM! Mom? Mom. MOM!!”

what the mom sees

Photos/captions by ©Daisy The Curly Cat


The cutest thing you'll see today


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Art history


Meat allergies in central Virginia - caused by a tick

Researchers from the University of Virginia say they've linked a sudden onset of meat allergies to the bite of the Lone Star Tick, which is formally named amblyomma americanum and is commonly found in Virginia. Experts say they've counted 1,000 cases so far, mostly located in central Virginia.

The most puzzling part of the sudden breakout of this specific allergy is the delayed reaction that people seem to have to the tick bite.
"You do not get hives until four hours, and you have no idea how strange that is for us as allergists," University of Virginia researcher Dr. Thomas Platts-Mills said. "It's a completely new form of food allergy in which you eat beef or pork or lamb, and three or four hours later, you develop hives."

 The hives people with the meat allergy develop aren't docile, either - doctors and patients say they burn and itch with a fiery intensity. In fact, bestselling author John Grisham spent years trying to unwrap the mystery of his sudden and painful allergy to meat.


Let's ride

Girl, her tricycle and her dog, 1911


That's what friends are for


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Perfectly posed

Photo: judecat

Chicken footstool

For farm and poultry aficionados (with money) ... the perfect accessory:

 Chicken footstools ($650 and up)


Photo 1: Source
Photo 2: Source

Lupo, the lucky dog

Prince William, during a break from playing in a charitable polo match, scooped up his cocker spaniel, Lupo, and walked around the grounds showering the pup with kisses

Photo: Indigo/Getty


The cutest thing you'll see today

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Door: blocked


The first Miss America

National Photo Company, First Miss America Margaret Gorman posing with her Greyhound, “Long Goodie”, 14 April 1925.

Source: Library of Congress


A lot of quackers


Monday, June 18, 2012

Kitties for your closet

Animal Clothes Hanger

* Whoa, check out the clothes on that critter!
* Oversized cardboard hanger topped with a painted animal print
* Metal hanging hook
* 14.75"l, 16"h

We saved a life yesterday

Father's Day - Just relaxing in the backyard, when we heard a commotion coming from the next door neighbor's yard, and the sounds of birds chirping and cheeping.

My husband went to investigate and discovered that a baby robin had a very unsuccessful flying lesson. The baby bird's left leg was caught and pinched in one of our neighbor's lawn decorations. The poor little thing was hanging upside down - beak open, panting and trembling. Another neighbor's little black dog was barking and dancing around the victim. Several fully-grown robins were circling overhead and shrieking.

My brave husband risked getting bitten and pecked. He untangled the bird's leg and brought it over to our yard to get it away from the dog.

We tried to feed the birdie a little bread mushed up with water, but it wanted nothing to do with us. He just sat there trembling, with his eyes closed, wings half spread.

After an hour or so, my husband observed,

"Look, the mother bird is sitting in that tree, with a worm hanging from her beak."

And sure enough, she was. The mother bird circled many times, trying to see if it was safe to land or not. Eventually, she did land next to her baby. The adult bird dangled the worm in front of the baby, but the baby seemed to have no interest. She hopped away slowly, trying to get the baby to follow. No luck. Finally, the mother bird hopped up to the baby, whacked it several times on top of the head until the baby tipped its head up with an open beak. The mom then dropped the worm in the baby's mouth and flew away.

The mother bird returned in about a half hour with a fresh worm and repeated the feeding process. This time the baby was much more alert and interested. It even cheeped softly a few times.

I waited a few minutes to allow for the worm to be digested and decided to scoop up our little rescued birdie  and put it in a more open area just in case it wanted to try to fly again. As I picked the baby bird up, he started a horrendously loud panicked cheeping. That alerted not only the mom robin, but also what seemed to be every other robin in the neighborhood. I had about ten adult robins swooping at me, chirping and shrieking. What a family! How amazing that they were trying to protect one of their own!

I placed the baby bird in a shaded, grassy spot and walked away as quickly as possible. We checked the spot a few hours later - he was gone!

Photo: Julie Corsi

The neighborhood watch

Product Review: Sweet Little Butterpup™ by Lincoln Bark

At we vigorously endorse our USA rawhide chew treats - great for long, satisfying chew sessions. But we know that there are times when a quicker snack is needed. But that snack also has to be 100% natural, made with human grade ingredients like yummy peanut butter, sweet pumpkin and crunchy oatmeal and also be healthy and delicious.

We were thrilled to receive a sample of  Sweet Little Butterpup™ treats to try out  and critique. First, we appreciate the fact that they're made right here, in the good ol' USA, in Chicago, by Lincoln Bark. They contain the Chia Seed superfood, which promotes canine health with more antioxidants than blueberries and  8x more Omega-3 Fatty Acids than wild Salmon!

Butterpup™ treats contain no wheat, soy, corn, preservatives or additives. They come in a cute little munchable, crunchable nugget of great flavors: Chicken Liver, Salmon, Oatmeal and Pumpkin.

So ... what's the verdict?

We'll let Poppy tell you.

#1 - Chicken Liver:

Two crunches and gone! Poppy likes 'em!

#2 - Pumpkin Peanut Butter:

Two crunches and gone! Poppy likes 'em! (She also licked her lips, wagged her tail, and looked around for more.)

Ok, ok,

#3 - Oatmeal

We have to confess that there was no crunch this time - Poppy swallowed the little nugget in one piece. Good thing they're so small. Mission accomplished, we thought we'd stop for the day.

Sweet Little Butterpup™ treats HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - great quick, little, healthy, reward treats.

Please visit Lincoln Bark to see the varieties of Sweet Little Butterpup, and other treat  selections.

(Photos of Poppy by Julie Corsi)