Aboard Noah's Blog

News, information, and chatter about collectible items with animal themes, as well as some facts, figures and fun related to pets and wildlife.

Location: Mentor, Ohio, United States
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Sunday, July 31, 2005

Saving Animals with Antifreeze Bittering Act

For years, it has beeen known that animals are attracted to the sweet taste of antifreeze. Now the government has stepped in to do something about it.

The "Antifreeze Bittering Act" has been introduced in Congress. The bill would require engine coolant, or antifreeze, that is 10 percent ethylene glycol to also contain denatonium benzoate, an extremely bitter chemical.

The House Subcommittee on Environment and Hazardous Material is reviewing the bill. It's a shame that it takes legislation for these manufacturers to make a change.

Older Adults Can Adopt Pets for Free from SPCA (Lakeland, Florida)

By Bill Dean, The Ledger

Even Vegas oddsmakers might've been hard-pressed to predict that Murdock, a 14-year-old Himalayan cat, and Snowy, a 2-year-old spitz dog, would've become best friends under the roof of Tricia Lenton's home in Lakeland.

But that's what they've become through Friends in Need, a new program that allows seniors to adopt pets free of charge from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Lakeland.

Seniors Adopt

Tricia Lenton says her dog Snowy and cat Murdock are "wonderful company." "I really am blessed," she says.

"They're wonderful company," Lenton says as Murdock, a silky, gorgeous cat, relaxes on the back of a couch and Snowy bounds around greeting visitors.

"I really am blessed."

A mile away, Rusty, an 8-year-old Yorkshire terrier nestles in the arms of 70-year-old Ernie Kryman, who with his wife Janice, adopted the red-and-black dog through the same program.

"We fell in love with him when we saw him," Kryman says.

And William and Sheila Pharis, who live in South Lakeland, recently adopted Sparky, a 6-year-old spaniel/retriever mix.

"He's a very, very loving dog," says William Pharis.

"And he loves to go for a ride. All you have to do is say the word, and boy he starts yelping and running to the car. He's a very loving little dog."

With a $10,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Lakeland, the Lakeland SPCA created the Friends in Need program to provide free pet adoptions to Lakeland residents who are 55 years or older, have special needs or who live in a facility or group home setting.

The grant allows the SPCA to waive the usual adoption fees, which are $70 per dog and $50 per cat, says Sarah Meltzer, public relations director for the SPCA.

"And that includes spaying or neutering that animal, making sure they've had all their vaccinations and also microchipping that animal, which is usually an extra $25," Meltzer says.

Since receiving the money in April, the SPCA has so far adopted out six pets. The grant will pay for 100 adoptions, and the SPCA has future hopes as well, Meltzer says.

"Our goal is to expand this program to the entire county after the grant is complete, because the need is definitely out there," she says.

Many of those adopting through the Friends in Need program have been pet owners before.

Pharis lost his 9-year-old German shepherd, Rocky, due to a tumor on his kidneys; while the Krymans lost Wiggles, a 6-year-old dachshund, to liver disease.

And seniors have other needs for pets as well, Meltzer says.

"Especially with some of our older adults . . . having a pet is just a life force for them. There's no kids at home; maybe some of their friends have passed on or they're not as active as they used to be, so they don't get out as much."

Reaction from those who have adopted through Friends in Need has been moving, Meltzer says. "We have heard some fantastic stories about how loved they are.

"People say, `Having this pet saved my life. I'm so much happier now; I can't imagine living without them now.' "

That's exactly the way Lenton describes having Snowy and Murdock in her home.

"They're my children now. I want to keep them through their old age," she says.

"I hit the jackpot."

Bill Dean can be reached at bill.dean@theledger.com or 863-802-7527.

Stop in and adopt an animal figurine

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Meals on Wheels for Pets of Elderly

By Francine Maglione

For more than 50 years the Meals on Wheels program has aimed at providing food for the elderly and homebound, but what happens to the pets of those unable to leave their houses?

That's where AniMeals comes in.

Developed in 1984 at the Helen Woodward animal shelter in San Diego County, Calif., the AniMeals program has worked to bring food to the pets of those unable to go out and buy pet food for their furry little friends.

"We understand that it is a big responsibility to have a pet or pets in the home," said Lynn Alexander of the Danbury Animal Welfare Society and coordinator of AniMeals, "and that it's often difficult for the older people to get out and buy the pet food."

After the director of the Helen Woodward shelter came to town to give a talk, Alexander and the rest of the DAWS officials were inspired.

"We thought it was a worthwhile program to start," said Alexander.

Many elderly Meals on Wheels clients were giving their food to their pets because they were unable to leave the house to buy pet food.

AniMeals began a pilot program last July in conjunction with Meals on Wheels by handing out fliers to Meals on Wheels clients that owned pets.

"(DAWS) approached us," said Calleen Benson, coordinator of the Elderly Nutrition Program which runs Meals on Wheels. "(Clients) have really appreciated and enjoyed it."

DAWS gets the food, which is donated from local grocery stores, and a driver from Meals on Wheels delivers it once a week to provide regular meals for dogs and cats of Meals on Wheels recipients. The service is free.

"I deliver it to Meals on Wheels, and they deliver it to the homes," said Alexander.

Alexander packages dry food and occasionally canned food if it's available.

"We cannot guarantee that the client will get the same food," she said. "We have to give them what we have available."

DAWS has put donation bins in various participating grocery stores in the area to allow anyone to donate pet food.

Meals on Wheels covers Danbury, New Milford, New Fairfield, Bridgewater, Bethel, Redding and Brookfield.

AniMeals only covers Danbury now and has seven active clients, but Alexander said she hopes to expand to other towns in the future.

So far the feedback from clients has been positive.

"They will say that they like it," said Alexander.

In order to sign up for the AniMeals service, Meals on Wheels clients can fill out an application and send it in.

To be eligible for Meals on Wheels, a person must be homebound and 60 years of age or older.

"At this point," said Benson, "a lot of their pets aren't just pets anymore, but companions."

For information on the AniMeals program, call (203) 744-DAWS. The Elderly Nutrition Program is located at 54 Main St. in Danbury, California. For information, call (203) 743-5418.

Famous Cheetah Visits the Dentist

By Namibia Economist (Windhoek)
July 29, 2005

One of the Cheetah Conservation Fund's (CCF) most famous resident cheetahs, Chewbaaka, made a visit to Otjiwarongo dentist, Dr. Dennis Profit, last week Friday for an infected gum. The day before, the famous cheetah ambassador was discovered to have a swollen lower jaw, extreme salivation and tenderness to the touch.

Local veterinarian Dr. Marc Jago from the Otjiwarongo Veterinary Clinic was contacted and arrangements were made to check out more closely the cause of the problem.

Veterinarian Marc Jago and dentist Dennis Profit of Otjiwarongo examining a patient who happens to be the famous CCF cheetah 'Chewbaaka'. This cat, who has appeared in several wildlife documentaries, is no stranger to the dentist having had serious tooth problems before.

Chewbaaka, CCF's 10-year-old cheetah ambassador, was orphaned when he was three weeks old and has been at the CCF ever since. The star of many TV documentaries, the cheetah has had several visits to the dentist over the years because of a malformation of his teeth resulting in what is known as Focal Palatine Erosion (FPE). FPE results when the lower molar wears an erosion in the upper palate of the cheetah's mouth and has been one of the physiological problems that the Cheetah Conservation Fund has studied over the years in their work with wild cheetahs in Namibia.

Following an anaesthetic at the Otjiwarongo Veterinary Clinic, Dr. Jago transported the cheetah to Dr. Profit's dental office were digital x-rays were taken showing a problem under the gumline.

Chewbaaka had been given a root canal four years prior and a remnant of the root was left, which was found to be causing the acute infection. The root was extracted and Chewbaaka's mouth stitched. The next day the swelling was down and Chewbaaka was back to his old self.

Chewbaaka recently starred in another documentary. The first was broadcast this week on DSTV's Animal Planet channel.

Cheetah Gifts

Cat survives 15-story fall

By Robin Tierney - Special to The Examiner - (Maryland, United States)
Friday, July 29, 2005

Rajah may have used up eight lives in one fell swoop last weekend. The 2-month-old kitten plummeted off the 15th-floor balcony of an Alexandria high-rise. Sunday morning, when Jessica Vides went to feed her two cats, only Linx showed up. "I asked my fiance, 'Have you seen Rajah?' " said Vides. "He has a habit of falling into the drawers and hiding." After scouring the apartment, they continued their search outside on the off-chance the kitten had snuck out the door.

Jessica Vides holds her 2-month-old cat, Rajah on Friday, who recently fell 15 stories from their home in Alexandria. Jeff Mankie/Examiner

Eventually, her fiance found the kitty in the bushes by the foundation of their building, a full 15 stories below their balcony. "Rajah was moving and, amazingly, seemed fine," Vides said.

What happened? "We kept the litter box on the balcony," explained Vides. The cats had seemed to know not to go near the edge - where access was blocked by clusters of plants, bicycles and odds and ends stored against the railings. Apparently, after a potty break, Rajah's curiosity literally sent him over the edge.

Vides attributed their luck to good landscaping: "There are a lot of bushes and trees, which must have broken his fall." Perhaps Rajah's young, flexible kitten physique also worked in his favor.

A Virginia cat rescue acquaintance came right over to examine the fallen feline. "We found no bruises, no injuries," said Vides. Rajah slept more than usual that day, but ate, drank and soon resumed his normal kitty antics. "He was playing with toys, playing with Linx, playing with his tail." He also climbed atop the bookcase, indicating that he hadn't developed a fear of heights.

"It is very dangerous to have cats and dogs out on balconies," cautions Judy McClain of the Society for the Prince George's County Prevention of Cruelty to Animals/Humane Society, where it's illegal to have a dog on a balcony if unaccompanied by an adult person. A dog could jump over or squeeze though rails; a tethered dog could jump off and be strangled to death.

Adorable Cat and Kitten Collectibles

Friday, July 29, 2005

What's REALLY in Your Dog's Food?

Most people are blissfully unaware as to what goes into commercially prepared dog food. (It'll shock you). But your dog's health is not unaware - your dog's health WILL suffer if you feed your dog most commercially prepared dog foods. Dogs fed on commercially prepared dog food tend to suffer from a higher incidence of degenerative-type diseases, and, on the whole, to not live as long as those fed a dog's natural diet.

Don't believe me?

An eye-opening article has been prepared by the Animal Protection Institute called "What's Really in Pet Food". If you've never read it before, I can guarantee it will put you off feeding your dog supermarket brands of commercial dog food again.

Click here to read the article.

Many vets and animal nutritional experts agree that the very best food for your dog is a mainly raw diet of bones and meat, as well as some veges and maybe some fruit and some whole wheat. It's commonly known as the BARF diet (Bones and Raw Food).

Don't like the BARF diet because you don't like giving your dog bones? You're not alone. I only recently found an alarming article which is making me think twice about bones (as opposed to raw meat, cartilage and some fat, which ARE indisputably good for your dog). My vet is one of those (in the vast majority, I believe) who has always advocated raw bones, but this article really does give cause for alarm, and I'm reducing, and considering cutting out, bones, especially as my dogs are getting on in years and may be at greater risk of bone splinters causing damage.

©2005, Brigitte Smith

Thursday, July 28, 2005

New Drug Offers Dogs Osteoarthritis Relief

As the world of medicine, human and veterinary, continues to evolve and improve, many people and animals live longer and with a better quality of life. I'm truly privileged, as a small-animal veterinarian, to be able to ensure that many animal companions will remain with their owners for many years.

It is exciting, then, to deliver the news that a new medication has been introduced to help our canine companions age gracefully. The latest approved drug to enter the veterinary field is PrevicoxTM, a coxib-class, non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) designed to alleviate the signs of osteoarthritis in dogs. Remember, osteoarthritis is a chronic degenerative disease that affects the bones and soft tissues of the joints, causing pain and decreased flexibility.

The good news about PrevicoxTM is that it addresses many of the concerns that come with any NSAID, such as efficacy and side effects. This medication was put to the test in lab and field studies and demonstrated excellent tolerance and fewer side effects such as vomiting and diarrhea. As far as efficacy, PrevicoxTM was shown to provide fast pain relief along with great improvement in lameness.

One of the reasons PrevicoxTM has been so successful is that it was specifically developed from the beginning as a veterinary product vs. so many other drugs that come over from the human side of medicine, in which data is often extrapolated to fit the veterinary patient. Merial, also the makers of Heartgard and Frontline, is responsible for the development and extensive testing of this drug in the lab as well as clinical trials in the United States, Europe, Canada and Australia.

Safety is an issue with all medications, particularly those aimed at helping our geriatric canines. Therefore, before starting any medication, including PrevicoxTM, it is important to have your dog visit your veterinarian for a thorough physical exam, senior profile blood work, and any other diagnostics to determine both possible needs and baseline values. Any dog, any size or breed that is over the age of seven should have at least an annual exam and workup or, preferably, a twice-a-year check-up.

If you and your veterinarian decide your dog is a good candidate for PrevicoxTM, there are some other beneficial points to note. Merial, one of the leaders in the veterinary medical field, also realizes the importance of compliance on the owner's part when it comes to giving pets their medication. So of course PrevicoxTM was developed into a small chewable tablet with a once-a-day dosing regimen. The tablet smells like a barbecued potato chip, which helps most dogs take the pill as they would a favorite treat. Additionally, PrevicoxTM can be given with or without food, and it may be used over the long term, rather than in an on/off again regimen used by other NSAIDS.

If you feel that your canine companion is slowing down due to the effects of aging and osteoarthritis, or if another NSAID is not delivering the desired effects, take your dog for a vet visit and full evaluation. Remember, it is you and your own veterinarian who know your dog best and who can decide what is truly the right path to help your pet age with a quality life.

I must emphasize to all dog owners not to overlook the nonmedical ways we can help. In fact, these are the backbone for many types of disease prevention: weight control, proper nutrition and regular moderate exercise. Remember, just as in humans, there is no "magic pill" that can substitute for these basic steps to good health. Any veterinarian in practice today will and must provide pet owners with a comprehensive "life plan" consisting of realistic medical and nonmedical approaches.

Dr. Tracy Acosta is a veterinarian at Biloxi Animal Hospital. She is also the host of "Let's Talk About Pets" heard from 1-2 p.m. Wednesdays on WTNI 1640 AM. You can call 896-8255 or 1-866-450-8255 for questions on this article.

Dog Imitates Siren, Saves Property

By Dave Donaghy, AAP
July 27, 2005 - The Daily Telegraph, Australia

A CATTLE dog that has developed a habit of imitating fire engine sirens alerted his owner to a potentially devastating blaze in a Brisbane suburb early today.

Michael Trembath, who works for the RSPCA, said Patchie started making siren noises after a firebug set alight a banana plant near a stand of palms that abut his property.

The howling woke Mr Trembath, who raced outside in his pyjamas and doused the fire with a garden hose before it could spread to his home at Logan in southern Brisbane.

He said the blaze could have easily engulfed the house he shares with his partner, his mother and his three children.

"It had only just started when my dog alerted us," Mr Trembath said.

"He got out and he howled and he howled and he howled until we came out."

Mr Trembath said the one-year old hero only started imitating emergency vehicles a month ago.

"We have a lot of emergency vehicles around our area for some reason," he said.

Pampered Pets Visit Suite Retreat

By Bruce C. Smith

A comfy stay for a night costs between $22 and $39

Big Boy curled up in a warm space near the top of his cat condo in the new Fishers PetSuites pet spa.

His vantage point was, well, "purrfect."

The large, year-old, long-haired Persian could keep one eye on a bird feeder just inches outside of a window. Meanwhile, he was just a few feet from the brightly colored topical fish swimming in an aquarium nearby.

Fishers PetSuites
Canine accommodations: Meka stays in one of the PetSuites townhouses, equipped with furnishings including Animal Planet on television, framed dog poster, twin bed and dog pillow. -- Amber Sigman / The Star

"It is just like a vacation for him," said Big Boy's owner, Cheryl Drake, Hamilton County. She left Big Boy in PetSuites for a few days while the family was on vacation.

"I was afraid to just leave him at home or have him stay with a friend, because sometimes they can get temperamental," she said.

But Big Boy appeared to be enjoying his time in PetSuites, which bills itself as a resort for pets.

The 20,000-square-foot facility opened this month at 9271 Park East Court in a Fishers business park along the west side of Ind. 37 between 131st and 141st streets.

It is the third of five locations for the Kentucky-based PetSuites owned by Bruce Lunsford, Brian Durbin, and founder Joe Mason who used his own dog, Elvis, as the company's model and mascot.

Mason had worked for a nationwide department store chain and traveled frequently but had trouble finding a nice place to leave Elvis when he was away. Several years of research resulted in the PetSuites design.

They are choosing locations in the upscale suburbs of Louisville, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and other cities, where there are many families willing to spend money to care for their pets.

The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association estimates that nationwide sales in the pet industry are nearly $35 billion a year, including $2.2 billion for grooming and boarding.

Durbin said "there have been studies that found 91 percent of pet owners tell their pets that they love them each night and 61 percent give them birthday gifts."

So, pet owners are clearly willing to spend on their creatures' comforts.

Valerie Bassett, Fishers, accepted the offer of a tour of the new PetSuites as a potential vacation home for Jasper, her 3-year-old boxer.

"I'd feel very comfortable leaving my dog here. They can get out of their cages and have play time outside or indoors," she said. "That's my baby, so nothing's too good."

An overnight stay in this pet palace will cost between $22 and $39. But prices can vary up and down a lot, especially for more than one animal, er, make that guest, and other offerings at the spa. There are discounts for extra guests from the same family.

There are a la cart options, such as extra play and walk sessions. There's the Charles Barkley toss and retrieve and the frequent flyer Frisbee toss.

Jody Ashley, Zionsville, was at PetSuites recently to drop off Buddy, a 2-year-old mix.

On the Ashley family's first visit to PetSuites, the first thing they saw was a sampling of the townhouses, penthouses and standard cages for dogs.

H. Kristen Miller, general manager at the Fishers PetSuites, explained that the 48-square-foot townhouses are best for dogs under 65 pounds, while larger dogs fit in the 88-square-foot penthouse spaces.

All totaled, there are 209 spaces in the climate-controlled PetSuites, including six penthouses and 18 townhouses. The rest are dubbed condos.

Furnishings are just like home in the fancy areas of the spa.

Penthouse and townhouse accommodations include a television tuned to Animal Planet. There are playful dog photos framed on the walls and a plastic bin to keep track of any favorite toys brought in.

Some of the spaces are large enough for two if dogs from the same family stay, Miller said.

Sleeping arrangements include one or two metal-frame beds with mattresses, the same sold in department stores as toddler furniture for children's bedrooms.

Bedding for everyone is soft, plush lamb's wool blankets, or a short pile rubberized carpet.

Room service, meaning the meals, are a menu of Iams and Eukanuba pet food products, but special diets can be arranged.

While PetSuites doesn't offer a mint on the pillow, there is a tuck-in treat at bedtime.

Unlike the standard five-star hotel for people, PetSuites has floor drains for quick cleanup of spills and accidents. The place is disinfected daily.

Back in the front lobby, the grooming room is off to one side, where stylists can provide a bath, a blow dry, a brush out and haircut, nail trim and other pampering. And like any good spa, PetSuites offers a light body massage and coat shaving.

Nearby is the cattery, where Big Boy was holding court.

Each of the cat condos is four vertical levels, beginning on the floor with the litter box, then a carpeted sitting space on the second level, the food and water bowls on the third, and finally the window seat on the top shelf.

It is all part of the PetSuites goal to help pet owners enjoy their own guilt-free vacation and other trips when they must leave their pets behind.

"It is a responsibility we take very seriously," Durbin said.

Miller, who formerly worked for a nationwide book retailer before finding a fun and challenging job at PetSuites, joked "I just figure I have furry children."

Pamper yourself with a figurine of your favorite dog breed

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Foul-Mouthed Parrot Kept Indoors

Source: BBC News, news.bbc.co.uk
July 26, 2005

A parrot with a colourful vocabulary is proving to be a social embarrassment for the owners of the Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary in Nuneaton.


Barney, a five-year-old macaw, has no respect for authority. He has sworn at the Mayoress and a vicar and also told two policemen what he thought of them.

Sanctuary worker Stacey Clark said Barney once belonged to a truck driver.

"We tend to keep him indoors, away from the visitors. But everybody seems to take his abuse with a smile," she said.

"He has got a lot of character and he does say thank you when he gets a treat so he can be polite."

Some of the sayings he likes to repeat best include "hello big boys" and "where have you been?"

But his favourite words are mainly unrepeatable.

Sanctuary owner Geoff Grewcock said he has one rude word which he likes to say over and over again while swaying on his perch.

He added he had seen neighbours and passers-by duck and look around startled when they pass the window and hear the swearing from within.

"He only seems to swear when you don't want him to," he added.

"We tend to keep him indoors, away from any visitors. It's as if he knows which visitors he shouldn't swear in front of and so he goes and does so."

Barney was given to the sanctuary, which houses four more parrots, as his owner was emigrating to Spain.

"We do look to rehome pets but we won't rehouse Barney as he has built bonds with us," Mr Grewcock added.

Protect pets from toxic plants, flowers

Tuesday, July 26, 2005
by Frances Goodman, www.vvdailypress.com

An e-mail from a pet lover asks us to warn readers that lilies, whether potted, growing outside or in a bouquet are high on the list of toxins for cats.

An innocent-looking bouquet containing just a few lilies can prove fatal if any of the lily parts are chewed or ingested.

Without prompt veterinary treatment, kidney failure can develop within 36 to 72 hours.

Many other familiar plants are toxic, including azalea and oleander, both of which can cause cardiac problems if even a few leaves are nibbled on. Chewing on the leaves or base of the Sago Palm can cause liver damage.

Many decorative indoor plants, including Peace Lily, diffenbachia (also known as Dumb Cane) and the popular Pothos Ivy also are toxic.

Cats naturally seek "greens" to eat and a puppy will put anything in its mouth. This means extra caution must be taken with plants and flowers, both inside and outdoors.

For a more complete list of poisonous plants and substances, visit the ASPCA Web site at www.aspca.org and click on their Animal Poison Control Center.

In emergencies, the center will also provide 24-hour personal telephone consultation at (888) 426-4435. There may be a $50 credit card charge for those calls.

For more sources on protecting pets from poisons, visit our Poison Control Links Page

Pooches can have it all, including massage and workouts.

By Dan Stober
Knight Ridder Newspapers
July 26, 2005

Dogs on treadmills in water tanks. Dog acupuncture. Dog massage.

Dog owners are spending big to give Fido the kind of medical care -- and even fitness workouts -- once reserved for humans.

Drop by Lisa Stahr's new $100-per-hour physical rehabilitation business and you might see a diseased poodle regaining his sense of balance on a trampoline.

Or maybe you'll see Cairo, a Labrador retriever with a spinal problem, splashing along on a treadmill in a tank through chest-deep warm water. The water's buoyancy allows him to jog along without pain -- an experience Stahr compared to a low-impact aerobic workout.

"Much of what you find available for humans is now available for animals," said Kristi Johnson, a physical therapist who works in the clinic. She started out working with people but was drawn to dogs. "Nothing is more rewarding than a wag of a tail at the end of the day," she said.

Owners seek treatment for their dogs for many of the same reasons they'd get it for themselves: to combat aging, to recover from injury -- even to get in training for athletic events. And while many pet owners can't -- or won't -- pony up for rehab, a growing number are happy to pay.

Hiatt and others in the field say there is no reason for pets to suffer from debilitating diseases or arthritis when help is available. "They used to just put a lot of these dogs down."

And the new centers don't do only repair work. More and more, they're helping dogs lose weight or get into athletic shape, like humans going to the gym.

Dog Therapy

Having a ball: Veterinary technician Sandy Gregory helps her dog Raymond balance his weight on a peanut ball as part of his physical therapy at Scout's House, a rehab center for animals in Menlo Park, Calif. -- Anne-Marie McReynolds / Knight Ridder/Tribune

Among the canine jocks are "agility dogs" who compete in meets, jumping over bars, crawling through pipes and running obstacle courses.

Surgeries to repair torn knee ligaments -- all too common among human athletes -- are now widespread among dogs. Hip replacements are not unusual, either. And like their human counterparts, the dogs can benefit from post-surgery rehab, Levine said.

Levine estimates there are over 50 stand-alone rehab centers in the country, with another 50 at veterinary clinics.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Einstein, the African Grey Parrot

Einstein is only 10 years old and could live to be 65. Einstein's life expectancy is just one of the things his breeder didn't warn owner Carol Pyle about when she purchased the African gray parrot, then 10 weeks old and not yet talking, for $750.

But Einstein is loved like a member of the family, and is much more entertaining than anything on four legs could be.

He can whistle "The Addams Family" theme all the way through, even vocalizing the finger snaps, they said. Einstein obviously is also a fan of the "Andy Griffith Show."

But he only learned the first word of "God Bless America" -- calling it out over and over -- when Helen tried to teach him the anthem after 9/11.

"Carol was on a conference call one day when he started up, and she had some explaining to do," her mother said.

The women swear Einstein's remarks sometimes fit the occasion. Once when he saw birds outside the window, he hopped onto the sill and called, "C'mere." Drop a pot in the kitchen or slip on the stairs and he'll advise, "Careful!"

Not so amusingly, Einstein also mimics police sirens, the neighbor's car alarm and the back-up beeps of garbage trucks.

"He does the doorbell, the phone, the microwave," Susan said. "You can be running around like a fool."

Find a gift for a bird lover

It's a dog's (and cat's) life

By DENISE FLAIM, July 25, 2005

Anthropomorphism -- what a concept. Here are just a few services and amenities for the four-leggers among us:

• Pseudo stud muffins: Some owners hesitate at altering their dog's, er, masculine silhouette. But after neutering, male dogs can retain their machismo with silicone testicular implants called Neuticles (www.neuticles.com). Depending on the size and quality of the implants, costs range from a couple of hundred dollars to $899 for ''custom sizing.''

• I'm right here: You wouldn't dump your toddler at the emergency room -- is your St. Bernard any different? The Center for Specialized Veterinary Care (www.vetspecialist.com) in Westbury, N.Y., has a ''compassionate care center'' where owners can stay overnight with their hospitalized animal. Among the private-room amenities: a workstation and cable modem hookup, telephone, sink and sleepable chair. The cost: $240 for 24 hours, plus medical costs.

• The doctor is in: Experts say veterinary care is one area that will continue to grow steadily, with owners spending the biggest chunk of their annual pet budget --$574 for dogs and $337 for cats -- on surgical vet visits. (The next-largest category, food, comes in at $241 and $185, respectively, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association.)

• It's you... and you, and you: The world has already seen a spate of cloned kitties, thanks to ''chromatin transfer'' technology perfected by Genetic Savings and Clone (www.savingsandclone.com) in Sausalito. (The price tag for such copycatting: $50,000.) Dogs, with their trickier reproductive systems, have proved more elusive, but the company expects to replicate its first canine this year.

• Room with a mew: Hotel chains such as Westin and Sheraton have dedicated rooms for the 19 percent of dog owners who say they bring their pooches on the road with them. And now Petsmart is extending such creature comforts to dogs and cats themselves: The pet-supply chain recently opened a Petshotel and Doggie Day Camp in Huntington, N.Y. ''Guests'' can watch Animal Planet, slurp lactose-free ice cream and snooze on faux-lambskin cots in temperature-controlled ''suites.''

Shop for Cat Lover Gifts

Shop for Dog Lover Gifts

Saturday, July 23, 2005

A Love Story about Dogs—How it all Began

Posted by Harriet Steinberg on Jul 23, 2005, 17:11

In 1987 the most intense love of Randi Berger’s life left this planet—her pet dog, Skippy. Skippy was a scruffy, tan terrier mix who came to Randi as a puppy when Randi was seven years old. Berger stated that she had such a great love for her pet that she preferred his company to that of her own peers.

When Skippy was 14-years-old, he almost died as the result of an automobile accident. Berger, who was so tremendously devoted to this pet, was able to nurse him back to good health. As Berger explained, “Three years later when he died, life as I knew it came to a halt.”

After Skippy passed away, Berger had to do something to help relieve the pain of not having her dog any more. She traveled throughout the United States in search of some answers. Finally, she began to frequent the animal shelters and adoption facilities near where she lived. When she learned that 75 percent of the animals placed in the shelters were euthanized, she decided she had a mission in life.

Her mission was to rescue, rehabilitate and find homes for dogs who have been abandoned, abused or suffer the bad luck of having an owner can no longer take care of their pets. She does all this through her dog rescue agency, Recycled Pets.

Initially her agency began by rescuing dogs from Southern California shelters. Now that she is better known, most of the dogs come to her agency from their owners, so they do not end up in over-crowded shelters. Berger also plans dog adoption events, which take place at various high-visibility locations, such as pet shops, parks and coffeehouse patios, where she matches people with their new canine counterparts. Berger says that she has met many of her life-long friends at these events.

All of the dogs are temperament-tested, spayed or neutered, given their shots, veterinary care when needed, and groomed before adoption. Special care is also given to make sure that they are properly matched to their new owners. Due to the fact that Berger has seen many behavior problems among these animals, she has learned by experience how best to rehabilitate and teach these dogs positive socialization.

Berger has just published her first book, “My Recycled Pets: Diary of a Dog Addict.” It is based on her diary, where she captured the rewarding experiences and remarkable “tales” about her rehabilitated favorite pets.

To date, Berger has rescued and rehabilitated over 5,000 dogs. When asked about her efforts, she said, “I have given these abandoned animals a second chance to become who they were meant to be—safe from abuse and neglect.”

Keeping your pets safe from heat

As many of you look for ways to keep cool this weekend your pets need the same attention.

Veterinarian Susanne Heartsill said the rule of thumb is if it's too hot for you to be outside, it's too hot for your pets, too. Heartsill said she's already treated two dogs that came in suffering heat stroke. Common sense usually tells us when we're getting too hot but animals are different.

"They go and go until they collapse," said Heartsill.

Here's what you want to watch out for: If your pet can't stop panting in the first five minutes, you should contact a vet. Doctor Heartsill also explains if you don't already have one, get a thermometer. If your pets temperature is above 102.8 you need to consult a professional. She said black colored dogs are more prone to over heating than light colored dogs so keep them well hydrated.

Also, never leave your dog in a car, even with the windows partially rolled down, for any reason at any time.

Dog Lover Gift Ideas

Friday, July 22, 2005

'Transport My Dog' Doggie Day Camp

The Transmiperro system (Transport my Dog) is a day camp for dogs, where a colourful bus takes them to a camp in the village of Cajic, 30 km (19 miles) north of Bogot, where the animals are trained and enjoy games and activities. Each pet owner pays between $34 and $106 per month depending on the program the dog is enrolled in. The dogs are returned home, exhausted, at the end of the day.

Shop for Dog Collectibles

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Problem of vehicle-to-animal accidents is increasing

Source: Globe and Mail By ROB SHAW, Thursday, July 21, 2005

"Right after the innovation of cars, they started running into wildlife," said Bruce Leeson, a senior environmental scientist at Parks Canada.

But as highways grow larger, cars travel faster, and animals have less space to roam, the problem of vehicle-to-animal accidents is increasing.

The most recent report from Transport Canada compiled provincial and Parks Canada data in 2003. It found:

An estimated 45,000 animals are hit by vehicles each year.

More than 80 per cent of the accidents involve deer.

Common methods of deterring accidents, such as highway signs, reduced speed limits, public awareness campaigns, reflector prisms, ultrasonic whistles, fences and highway lighting are costly and mostly ineffective.

Parks Canada has found success in combatting the problem in Banff National Park, where it has constructed 23 "green bridges" over the top of, and below, a four-lane, 45-kilometre stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway.

The bridges have reduced accidents by 82 per cent.

Since 1996, cameras have recorded more than 65,000 animals of all shapes and sizes crossing the road using the bridges.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Orangutan Art is Big in Austria

An Austrian zoo says it has been flooded with requests for paintings created by its orangutan.

Schoenbrunn Zoo in Vienna said staff thought it a joke when people started calling up offering large amounts of money for Nonja's paintings.

Orangutan Art is Big in Austria

Demand for Nonja's artworks come after the sale of three pictures by a chimp at a London auction for £14,400.

Schoenbrunn Zoo had its first painting ape in the early 1950s when Johnny the chimpanzee, who died in 1992, was given a set of paints.

Orangutan Art is Big in Austria

After his death Nonja inherited his paints and carried on the good work, in spite of a boyfriend called Vladimir who eats her artwork if not locked away in his cage.

Keepers believe Vladimir, who tried painting himself but kept making holes on the canvas, is jealous of his girlfriend's success.

-Source: Ananova

Orangutan-themed Items

Door-Knocking Bear - True Story!

Animal experts in Croatia say a bear has learned how
to trick people to let him in by knocking at the door.

They believe the 35-stone brown bear probably learned
the trick while nudging a door to get it to open.

Experts speculate the nudging was mistaken by the
owners for knocking and that the bear, pleased by the
outcome, repeated the tactic.

The Loknar family from Gerovo in western Croatia said
the bear had knocked at their door three times and
they were now refusing to answer the door.

Mum Nevenka Loknar said: "We jumped out the window as
he came in through the door and raided the kitchen the
first time.

"I opened the door and saw him standing there and I
didn't believe my eyes at first, then I ran for it as
he walked in as if it was the most normal thing in the

"Bears are a common thing in the woods around here,
but no one has ever heard of a bear that knocks at the

"The bear is so intelligent it's incredible. We've
tried to put up lots of obstacles to stop him coming
in, like a wire fence but he still gets through. I
wouldn't be surprised if he knew how to use wire

-Source: Ananova

Shop for bear-themed items

Monday, July 18, 2005

Study Shows More Tuskless Elephants

BEIJING, July 17 (AFP) - A recent study has predicted that more male Asian elephants in China will be born without tusks because poaching of tusked elephants is reducing the gene pool, the China Daily reported Sunday.

The study, conducted in the Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture in southwest China's Yunnan province, where two-thirds of China's Asian elephants live, found that the tuskless phenomenon is spreading, the report said.

The tusk-free gene, which is found in between two and five percent of male Asian elephants, has increased to between five percent and 10 percent in elephants in China, according to Zhang Li, an associate professor of zoology at Beijing Normal University.

"This decrease in the number of elephants born with tusks shows the poaching pressure for ivory on the animal," said Zhang, whose research team has been studying elephants since 1999 at a reserve in Xishuangbanna.

Only male elephants have tusks, which are said to be a symbol of masculinity and a weapon to fight for territory. However, due to poaching for ivory, the elephants' pride has become a death sentence, the report said.

"The larger tusks the male elephant has, the more likely it will be shot by poachers," said Zhang. "Therefore, the ones without tusks survive, preserving the tuskless gene in the species."
A similar decline in elephants with tusks has been seen in Uganda, which experienced heavy poaching in the 1970s and '80s, the report said.

There are between 45,000 and 50,000 Asian elephants in 13 countries, including China and India. China only has about 250, according to the report.

China is among 160 nations which signed an international treaty administered since 1989 banning the trade in ivory and products of other endangered animals.

Nonetheless, four Asian elephants were found shot dead in China last year. In addition to poaching, human activity that causes a loss of habitat also threatens the animals.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

There are more than 350 breeds of horses!

Here are a few breeds:

American Cream - Medium cream color with white mane and tail, pink skin and amber colored eyes.
American Paint Horse - Each Paint Horse has a particular combination of white and any color of the equine spectrum: black, bay, brown, chestnut, dun, grullo, sorrel, palomino, buckskin, gray or roan.
Appaloosa - Although Appaloosas are readily recognized by their spotted coats, some are solid in color. Some of their base colors include bay, black, chestnut, white, and palomino.
Arabian - Arabians come in all colors, though the color must be solid. Occasionally white body patches are seen.
Cleveland Bay - Coloring is purely Bay with black points, black legs to just above the knee, black mane & tail. Cleveland Bays were admired as they still are for their strength and courage. Clydesdale - Primarily a reddish brown to black in color, Clydesdales' hooves are twice the width of a thoroughbred race horse's.
Hanoverian - Elegant, strong, and robust. Chestnut, bay, brown, and gray are found the most often.
Lipizzan - Most are gray or white, but 1 in 200 is brown or black. A rectangular horse, with a long, powerful back, a muscular croup, a low, but well-defined wither.
Morgan- The Morgan is compact and refined in build, with strong limbs, an expressive face, large eyes, well-defined withers, and a crested neck. Morgans are most commonly bay, black, brown, and chestnut.
Mustang - Small, hardy, fast horse of the North American west. Most common colors are browns, bays, chestnuts, duns.
Palomino - Palomino is a used to describe a horse's color, but it is also it's own breed. The coat color of the Palomino is golden, like the color of a penny, with a flaxen or white mane and tail.
Quarter Horse - Well-known for it's stocky build, heavy muscling and compact appearance. They are solid in color, with limited white markings.
Shire - The most numerous and largest of the heavy horses found in Great Britain. The recognized colors in the breed are black, bay, brown and grey.
Tennessee Walking Horse - Their claim to fame is in their name: the unique gait, the running walk. The horse's head nods in time to the beat, the ears swing in perfect motion, and some horses will click their teeth.
Thoroughbred - Everything about them is long: long, smooth muscles, long forearms, long, sloping shoulders, long loins, long legs. The colors are bay, brown and chestnut, black, and some roans and greys.

Shop for Horse Gift Ideas

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Giant Panda Mei Xiang Gives Birth at Zoo

By DOUGLASS K. DANIEL, Associated Press Writer Sat Jul 9,10:36 PM ET

WASHINGTON - Mei Xiang looked surprised, perhaps a bit put off by the shrill cries from the first giant panda cub born at the National Zoo in 16 years.

Within a few minutes, however, the first-time mother was licking and caring for her cub, so fragile that zoo officials had yet to determine its gender or inspect it.

"Mei Xiang is the poster child for a wonderful mom," Dr. Suzan Murray, the zoo's chief veterinarian, said Saturday at a news conference hours after the overnight birth of the cub conceived through artificial insemination.

Zoo officials hope that the cub will fare better than the five previous ones born at the zoo since 1983. All died within days.

Their parents — the now-deceased Hsing-Hsing and his female partner, Ling-Ling — were gifts from the Chinese government in 1972 and the original source of the capital's panda fever.
Cubs typically weigh only 3 ounces to 5 ounces and are about the size of a stick of butter.
The public will have to wait at least three months to see mother and cub, who will remain indoors at the panda exhibit area.

The father — Tian Tian — is expected to continue roaming outdoors in the morning and returning to the air-conditioned enclosure during the day's warmer hours.

Mei Xiang, 6, and Tian Tian, 7, are about half as old and in better health than Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing were when they were conceiving.

That made zoo officials hopeful the new cub would become the third giant panda to survive into adulthood in the United States. The others were born at the San Diego Zoo in 1999 and 2003.

Giant pandas are rare. Their existence is threatened by loss of habitat, poaching and a low birth rate. As few as 1,600 live in the mountain forests of central China. An additional 120 are in breeding facilities and zoos in China. About 20 pandas live in zoos outside their native land.

Few capital celebrities are as popular and closely watched as Mei Xiang and Tian Tian. They came to the National Zoo in late 2000, on loan for 10 years from the Chinese government in exchange for $10 million raised through private donations to benefit conservation projects.

Their cub will be turned over to China after it reaches age 2, per the loan agreement, the zoo said. Following tradition, Chinese officials probably will name the cub after it reaches 100 days old.

By then the cub will probably weigh 30 pounds and be covered with fluffy fur, crawling and exploring at "that very, very cute stage," Murray said.

Giant pandas are capable of becoming pregnant for only a day or two once each year. For Mei Xiang, three attempts since 2003 to produce a pregnancy through mating or artificial means had failed.

The zoo artificially inseminated Mei Xiang on March 11 after natural mating between the pair appeared unsuccessful. The artificial process used has a 55 percent success rate, and the zoo was on watch in recent weeks as Mei Xiang showed signs of pregnancy because of elevated hormone levels.

A volunteer watcher notified zoo officials at 1 a.m. Saturday that Mei Xiang appeared restless and was repeatedly honking and grunting — all signs of impending birth. The birth came at 3:41 a.m.

"The cub came out squealing, so we knew right away we had a nice, strong cub from that healthy squeal," said Lisa Stevens, the zoo's associate curator for pandas.

The mother seemed surprised at first but has been exceptionally attentive to the cub, holding it, licking it and immediately responding to its cries even while trying to take a nap herself, Murray said.

"You couldn't ask for a better mom," she said.

The first set of pandas were presents from the Chinese government just two months after President Nixon made his historic trip to Beijing to reopen U.S.-China relations. Ling-Ling died in 1992 and Hsing-Hsing in 1999.

Shop for Panda Bear Collectibles

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Lions to the Rescue! Big Cats Save Kidnapped Girl

By Anthony Mitchell, Associated Press, posted: 21 June, 20051:50pm ET

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) - Police say three lions rescued a 12-year-old girl kidnapped by men who wanted to force her into marriage, chasing off her abductors and guarding her until police and relatives tracked her down in a remote corner of Ethiopia.

The men had held the girl for seven days, repeatedly beating her, before the lions chased them away and guarded her for half a day before her family and police found her, Sgt. Wondimu Wedajo said Tuesday by telephone from the provincial capital of Bita Genet, some 560 kilometers (348 miles) southwest of the capital, Addis Ababa.

“They stood guard until we found her and then they just left her like a gift and went back into the forest,'' Wondimu said, adding he did not know whether the lions were male or female.

Read the full story

Friday, July 08, 2005

Cindy Farmer's Animal Artwork

Animal lovers are invited to view a collection of wildlife art, featuring award-winning artist Cindy Farmer. We are now featuring hundreds of Cindy's animal illustrations created from colored pencils or pen and ink.

Animal Collectible Art by Cindy Farmer Derby Horse

Although Cindy works in pastels, charcoals, acrylics, watercolors, pencil and pen & ink, her favorite medium is the rather unusual prismacolor pencil. "It offers the control and very fine detailing that I desire and my customers demand. I like the looks of disbelief when someone learns that the piece they were admiring was done in JUST colored pencils!" explains Cindy.

Animal lovers will most likely admire and appreciate Cindy's work, which includes superb illustrations of over 130 dog breeds, beautiful wildlife art, horses, cats, and more.

Choose one of Cindy's animal collectible prints, or enjoy a realistic and detailed custom portrait of your dog, cat, or other favorite subject.

Cindy's beautiful drawings are limited-edition prints and come either matted and "ready-to-frame" or may be purchased matted, framed and "ready-to-hang".

About Cindy Farmer

Cindy Farmer was born in Canton, Ohio, and began her art career in high school taking a commercial art course and doing freelance art work for teachers and friends. She won a scholarship to the Columbus College of Art and Design. After working six years as senior artist for the Ohio Bell Telephone Company, she started doing portraits, animal collectible prints, and other freelance work at home in order to be with her 3 young boys. Over the years, Cindy has done many commissioned portraits and wildlife paintings, has taught drawing classes, and has won numerous awards.

Cindy Farmer's Animal Collectible Artwork Page

Official State Dogs

Surprisingly, only nine states have an official state dog.

    The State Dogs
  • Louisiana - Catahoula Leopard Dog. The Catahoula Leopard Dog is the only breed of dog native to Louisiana.
  • Maryland - Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Legend tells of an English vessel shipwrecked off the coast of Maryland in the early nineteenth century. Among the survivors were two young dogs of a Newfoundland breed. Supposedly bred to local coonhounds, they evolved into the present-day Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Shop for Chesapeake Bay Retriever Dog Collectible Items
  • Massachusetts - Boston Terrier. The Boston Terrier was originally bred in Boston, USA, in the 1800's, to bait bulls and hunt rats. Shop for Boston Terrier Dog Collectible Items
  • North Carolina - Plott Hound. The Plott Hound breed originated in the mountains of North Carolina around 1750 and is the only breed known to have originated in this State. Shop for Dog Collectible Items
  • Pennsylvania - Great Dane. The Great Dane came from England just as did William Penn. Shop for Great Dane Dog Collectible Items
  • South Carolina - Boykin Spaniel. The Boykin Spaniel was first bred by South Carolina hunters during the 1900's to provide the ideal dog for hunting ducks and wild turkeys.
  • Texas - Blue Lacey. The Blue Lacey was developed by a family in Texas.
  • Virginia - American Fox Hound. George Washington imported fox hounds into Virginia for hunting purposes. Shop for American Fox Hound Dog Collectible Items
  • Wisconsin - American Water Spaniel. The American Water Spaniel was chosen as the state dog because it is one of only five dog breeds native to the United States and the only one native to Wisconsin.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Official State and National Birds

-Alabama: Yellowhammer.
Adopted in 1927. When the Confederate Veterans in Alabama were organized they took pride in being referred to as the "Yellowhammers."
-Alaska: Ptarmigan.
Adopted in 1955. All three kinds of ptarmigan are found in Alaska.
-Arizona: Cactus Wren. Adopted in 1931. The Cactus Wren is the largest wren in Arizona, measuring 7 to 8 inches in length.
-Arkansas: Mockingbird.
Adopted in 1929. The mockingbird can imitate the song of many other birds.
-California: California Valley Quail.
Adopted in 1931. A prized game bird, known for its hardiness and adaptability.
-United States: Bald Eagle.
1782. Chosen as the national bird of the United States because it symbolized strength, courage, freedom, and immortality. The term "bald" does not mean that this bird lacks feathers. Instead, it comes from the word piebald, an old word, meaning "marked with white."

View the Complete List

Bird Lover Gift Ideas

The 20 Most Popular Dog Breeds

The Most Popular Dog Breeds*

  1. Labrador Retriever

    The Labrador Retriever is a stocky, intelligent, and even-tempered dog; it is the most popular dog in the USA. Shop for Labrador Retriever Dog Figurines
  2. Golden Retriever

    A friendly, intelligent, energetic, and very popular dog. Shop for Golden Retriever Dog Figurines
  3. German Shepherd

    A hard-working, herding dog that was originally from Germany. Shop for German Shepherd Dog Figurines
  4. Beagle

    The Beagle is a friendly, playful dog. It was originally bred as a rabbit hunter. Shop for Beagle Dog Figurines
  5. Dachshund

    The Dachshund is an active dog with a long body and short legs. Shop for Dachshund Dog Figurines
  6. Yorkshire Terrier

    A small, intelligent, long-haired dog that is a wonderful companion. Shop for Yorkshire Terrier Dog Figurines
  7. Boxer

    The Boxer is a powerful, muscular, playful dog that was originally bred in Germany. Shop for Boxer Dog Figurines
  8. Poodle
    The poodle is a lively, intelligent dog that was originally bred to retrieve game from the water. Shop for Poodle Dog Figurines
  9. Chihuahua
    The chihuahua is a small, alert, and playful dog; it was originally bred in Mexico. Shop for Chihuahua Dog Figurines
  10. Shih Tzu
    The Shih Tzu is a small dog that was originally bred in China. Shop for Shih Tzu Dog Figurines
  11. Miniature Schnauzer

    A small, lively dog that was originally bred in Germany to hunt rodents on farms. Shop for Miniature Schnauzer Dog Figurines
  12. Pomeranian
    The Pomeranian is a small, friendly, intelligent companion dog. Shop for Pomeranian Dog Figurines
  13. Rottweiler
    The Rottweiler is a powerful, muscular, determined dog that was originally bred in Rottweil, Germany, as a cattle guarding and herding dog. Shop for Rottweiler Dog Figurines
  14. Pug
    The Pug is a loyal, affectionate dog that has a squarely-built body and a flat, wrinkled face. It was originally bred in China. Shop for Pug Dog Figurines
  15. Cocker Spaniel
    A friendly, obedient dog that was originally bred to hunt birds. Shop for Cocker Spaniel Dog Figurines
  16. Shetland Sheepdog
    The Shetland Sheepdog is a working miniature collie that was originally bred in the Shetland Islands. Shop for Shetland Sheepdog Dog Figurines
  17. Boston Terrier
    The Boston Terrier is an intelligent, lively, short-haired dog. Shop for Boston Terrier Dog Figurines
  18. Bulldog
    The Bulldog is a muscular, wrinkled, powerful dog that was originally bred in Britain. Shop for Bulldog Dog Figurines
  19. Miniature Pinscher
    The Miniature Pinscher is a hardy little fellow that is very demanding and headstrong. Shop for Miniature Pinscher Dog Figurines
  20. Maltese
    The Maltese is a spirited, lively and playful companion dog. Shop for Maltese Dog Figurines

*According to the American Kennel Club, 2002

Meet Hercules - a Huge Liger

Hercules the Liger

Meet Hercules, part lion, part tiger, he is not just a big cat but a huge one,standing 10ft tall on his back legs. Called a liger, in reference to his crossbreed parentage, he is the largest of all the cat species.

He is the accidental result of two enormous big cats living close together at the Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species, in Miami, Florida, and already dwarfs both his parents.

50mph runner... Not only that, but he likes to swim, a feat unheard of among water-fearing lions. In the wild it is virtually impossible for lions and tigers to mate. Not only are they enemies likely to kill one another, but most lions are in Africa and most tigers in Asia. But incredible though he is, Hercules is not unique. Ligers have been bred in captivity, deliberately and accidentally, since shortly before World War II.

Hercules was the result of an accident rather than deliberate breeding. He is three years old, stands 10 feet tall on his hind legs, and weighs about 1,000 lbs. (At maturity he is expected to reach 12 feet in length and weight about 1,250 lbs.) He eats about 20 lbs. of meat (beef or chicken) per day, and he can consume up to 100 lbs of food in one sitting.

Shop for Tiger Collectibles

Shop for Lion Collectibles

Quarry Critters Animal Figurines

Quarry Critters, a creation of Second Nature Design, features a unique type of animal figurine. Quarry Critters are made of a very unique material that took Don Thomas, Second Nature Design's founder, two years to develop. It is a faux granite and resin blend that is cool and smooth to the touch and simulates real stone. There is a large selection of Quarry Critters, including dogs, cats, wildlife, and marine life.

Second Nature Design's main animal figurine sculptors are Elaine Cox and Gaylord Ho. Quarry Critters feature a unique style and material that distinguish them from most animal figurines, and it is their unique material that makes them suitable for both indoors and outdoors.

Information on Sandicast animal figurines can be found in a separate article featuring Sandicast

Quarry Critters Figurines

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

K-9 Kreations Animal Figurines

K-9 Kreations has a selection of more than 40 dog breeds. One of their signature products is their hand-painted dog statues. These lifesize dog statues are up to 29 inches tall and have the same colorful, highly realistic detail as the smaller "animal figurine" versions. They feature exceptional quality and craftmanship, and they are weather resistant, so they are suitable for both indoors and outdoors.

Every animal figurine captures the breed in its finest form, using dog show winners as models. The dogs are beautifully colored of hand-painted cast resin wih glass eyes.

Information on Sandicast animal figurines can be found in a separate article featuring Sandicast

K-9 Kreations Dog Breed Figurines

Some Interesting Information About Zebras

Here are some Zebra facts and statistics:
·Zebras are capable of running 40 mph.
·Live in stable family groups of up to 17 animals headed by a single stallion. Members recognize each other by sight primarily, but also by voice and smell.
·In the wild, Zebras live about 20-30 years. At the zoos, Zebras can live up to 40 years.
·Zebras have shiny coats that dissipate over 70 percent of incoming heat, and some scientists believe the stripes help the animals withstand intense solar radiation.
·The Zebra's black and white stripes are a form of camouflage called disruptive coloration that breaks up the outline of the body.
·The Zebra is the only grazer to have both upper and lower incisors; it can thus snip the grass blade (rather than yanking it out), exposing the tender under grasses for others. The antelope of the plains rely on the zebra to open up the grasslands for them, removing the tough outer layers to expose nutritious parts.
·At first glance Zebras in a herd might all look alike, but their stripe patterns are as distinctive as fingerprints are in man.
·Zebras have their own smile, a bared-teeth grimace that is a greeting and helps prevent aggression.

Equus Grevyi (Grevy's) and Equus Zebra (Mountain Zebra) are endangered; Equus Quagga (Common/Plains Zebra) is not endangered, but population is in decline.

To help conserve the Zebra population:
1. Help protect its habitat and ensure a place for it. Zebras have lost much suitable and expansive enough habitat, due to the rapid expansion of human populations.
2. Aid in the conservation of the wild prey base. Let your elected representatives know your views on protecting endangered species and wild habitats.
3. Humans hunt them for sport and their skins. Please do not buy products made from wild animal parts.
4. Educate everyone about the need to conserve biological diversity, and the predators' unique role in a healthy ecosystem.

Shop for Zebra Collectibles

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Conversation Concepts Animal Figurines

ConceptsConversation Concepts' animal figurine selection is quite large. They offer 120 dog breeds, 12 cat breeds, 80 animal species and 12 horse breeds.

Each animal figurine is made of stone resin, and they are highly detailed and hand painted. They carefully reasearch each animal before their artists create the animal figurine. As a result, their sculptures display life-like realism.

Along with the figurines, Conversation Concepts also manufactures angel ornaments, devil ornaments, magnets, jewelry, and more.

Information on Sandicast animal figurines can be found in a separate article featuring Sandicast

Conversation Concepts Dog Breed Figurines

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Sandicast Animal Sculptures

If you're a serious collector of animal figurines, you are most likely familiar with Sandicast.

Sandicast's animal figurines include 77 different dog breeds, 10 different cat breeds, more than 15 different Safari/Jungle animals, 4 types of wolves, 18 different North American animals, and 6 different Nautical/Marine Life figurines. In all, Sandicast's collection of figurines consists of 600 different dogs, cats, and wildlife in various sizes, ranging from 1 1/2 inches to 33 1/2 inches tall.

Sandicast Artist Sandra Brue has a unique style and ability to capture the personality and inner spirit of each animal with unmatched realism. Sandra studies and works with live models when creating her sculptures. Sandicast animal figurines often take months to complete. Sandra's passion for perfection requires countless hours of painstaking attention to detail. Her Jack Russell Terrier Original has 65,358 individually sculpted hairs! She never compromises their integrity for the sake of being commercially "cute."

For more exotic animal figurines, she is allowed to go behind the scenes at the San Diego Zoo. There, Sandra usually gets face-to-face with elephants, koalas, lions, and pandas. At the zoo, she met her 2 1/2 month old Tiger Cub model, "Chuffer." He was constantly batting his paws at Sandra and it took a few assertive "no's" to keep from being mauled by his sharp teeth. Sandra sculpted her African Collection Hippopotamus while actually inside its enclosure. Standing a mere six feet away from tons of muscle, Sandra says, "I felt an instant respect for these magnificent beasts." After experiences like these, going to the local cat shelter to create animal figurines is tame stuff! When sculpting cats, Sandra may visit a breeder or use a friend or neighbor's cat.

Read Entire Sandicast Article

Sandicast Animal Figurines