Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Thank you for a wonderful 2013.
Hope to see you here again in 2014! =D

Monday, December 30, 2013

Rare Breed Monday: Blue Lacy

Image from wikipedia.org
The Blue Lacy is the official state dog of Texas, and originated in the state in the mid 19th century. This is a working dog that excels at controlling rambunctious live stock.

The Lacys are allegedly a result of crossing greyhounds, scent hounds, and coyotes. They are known to be extremely intelligent and easy to train, but they do not like noise, and they're prone to become nervous if the environment is too loud. Reprimanding them harshly doesn't work well; they respond better to firm but quiet commands.

A Blue Lacy is quick, strong, agile, active, and alert. They were originally created to work feral hogs, but soon developed into a multitalented working breed for ranchers, cowboys, hunters, and trappers. They are bold and brave, and will protect their families and property.

Just like all working breeds they need activity and mental stimulation; if they get bored they might invent something to do, and these tasks are rarely jobs humans appreciate. They're well suited for agility, fly ball, and other active tasks.

This breed is hardy and requires little maintenance. The average life span is around 16 years. There are 16-year old Lacys still working cattle and hunting!

~ Maria Sadowski ~

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Whatever you celebrate this holiday, 
I hope you have a wonderful time. 
Take care and be safe.


~ Maria Sadowski ~

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Have a wonderful holiday!

We here at PlexiDor Pet Doors are closing for the holidays. 
The answering service at 1-800-749-9609 will remain available, 
and the office with customer service will be open again on December 26th. Until then, have a wonderful holiday!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Most popular kitty names of 2013

Vetstreet.com recently released their list of the year's most popular names for kittens. The list is made from a database of 425,000 kittens born during the year.

The most popular name for a girl kittie is Bella, holding the top for the seventh year in a row. The most popular name for boy cats is Oliver, who poked Max down to second place after five years at the top. Names on the move are Luna, Mittens, and Pepper.

Image from vetstreet.com

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

How many dog breeds are there?

It's not possible to put an exact number on the dog breeds of the world, because many varieties might be recognized by one breed registration group but not by another. The World Canine Organization (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) is the largest registry of dog breeds that's internationally accepted, and they have 343 breeds at the moment. 

These 343 breeds are divided into ten groups based on the dog's purpose, function, appearance, or size. Currently, the ten groups are:

  1. Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs other than Sweiss Cattle Dogs
  2. Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid Breeds - Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs
  3. Terriers
  4. Dachshunds
  5. Spitz and Primitive Types
  6. Scenthounds and Related Breeds
  7. Pointing Dogs
  8. Retrievers - Flushing Dogs - Water Dgos
  9. Companion and Toy Dogs
  10. Sighthounds
Each group is in turn divided into subgroups of dog breeds, and each has been assigned a country or region of origin. This isn't necessarily the country where the dog breed first appeared; it's often the first nation to have recognized and registered the breed.

~ Maria Sadowski ~

Monday, December 16, 2013

Rare Breed Monday: Kai Ken

Image from akc.org
The Kai Ken is a Japanese breed, rare even in its own country. According to the AKC, they developed as a wild breed in the mountains in the province of Kai, on the island of Honshu. The dogs were isolated by mountains and water, and are believed to be the purest of all Japanese breeds. The Kai Ken was designated a "Natural Treasure" in Japan in 1934, and is protected by law. 

The Kai is a natural hunter. They're intelligent and quick learners, and considered trustworthy and devoted guardians. However, their strong prey drive gives them a tendency to take off in search of game. They're excellent swimmers and climbers, and have even been known to climb trees to get to whatever they're chasing.

Kai Ken is a healthy, athletic, and sturdy breed. Their average life span is anywhere from twelve to over fifteen years. Many Kais are reserved with strangers, but they are also loyal to their families and love children.

~ Maria Sadowski ~

Friday, December 13, 2013

Pets do not make good surprise Christmas presents

Pets do not make good surprise gifts. All pets require care and attention. Getting a pet for Christmas can be a great idea if everyone agrees with the plan, but astounding numbers of cats, dogs, ferrets, guinea pigs, and other pets are dumped right after the holidays. 

Adorable, but should not come as a surprise.
I personally feel that a home is richer with a pet. There are many health benefits to having pets, and they can be a great way to teach children about respect and responsibility. Every pet deserves a good home where he or she is loved and receives proper care.

Some things to think about before getting a pet:
  • Different animals have different physical needs. Research the type of pet you're considering, and make sure you can meet them. Do you have the space? Enough money to get whatever equipment you need?
  • Are you prepared for a lifetime commitment? A guinea pig can live for five years. A dog can live for fifteen. Some parrots can live for more than 100 years. Can you deal with someone being dependent on you every day for that long?
  • Discuss the pet's schedule with the family. All pets require attention, care, and training. If you're getting a dog, he or she will need walks every day, whether it rains or not. Puppies need to go out right now, and not when it's convenient.
  • Make a budget for vet costs, food, treats, kitty litter, straw, and whatever else the pet might need.
  • Make a plan for emergencies. You need to have some funds set aside in case something happens and your pet needs sudden care.
  • A child should not be sole caretaker of a pet.

This list doesn't cover everything, but it's a good starting point for the family discussion.

~ Maria Sadowski ~ 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Why do cats ignore us?

Japanese scientists at the University of Tokyo have made a new study on cats and their interactions with humans. The result comes as no surprise to cat owners: cats hear us fine. They just don't care.

The study tested twenty house cats in their own homes and analyzed the cats' responses to calls from their owners - and strangers - through measuring ear, tail, and head movements, eye dilation, paw movement, and more. The cats did show a greater response to their owner's voice than to strangers, but couldn't be bothered with moving regardless of who called for them.

Every cat owner knows cats are independent. The interesting question is why. The study suggests the behavior might stem back to the early domestication of the species, which contrasts with the relationship between humans and dogs.

The website independent.co.uk writes, "Recent genetic analysis has revealed that the common ancestor of the modern housecat was Felis silvestris, a species of wildcat that first came into contact with humans around 9,000 years ago. As early societies developed agriculture, these cats moved in to prey on the rodents that were attracted to stores of grain. They effectively 'domesticated themselves'."

Dogs, on the other hand, were domesticated to work with humans and taught to respond to orders and commands. The cats never needed to learn.

~ Maria Sadowski ~

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cato the Husky goes on a crime spree

image from foxcarolina.com
You know that list Santa-paws keeps of who has been naughty and who has been nice? Cato is a husky from South Carolina who just made the naughty list. 

Fox News reports that Cato got off his leash and took off. Shortly after his escape, he robbed the local Dollar General store. The sneaky pup entered with some customers, helped himself to pig ears, beef bones, and treats, and buried his loot not far from the crime scene.

As punishment, he got to spend some time incarcerated at the pound, but has since then been released.

~ Maria Sadowski ~

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Donte's Den - constructing a doggie-haven in Florida

Donte's Den is a non-profit 501(c)3 project in Manatee county in Florida, aiming to rescue homeless dogs as well as provide care and housing for those whose humans have died, or are incapacitated. The vision is to be able to care for up to 100 dogs, in style.

Image from the Bradenton Herald

The dogs will be able to spend hot afternoons swimming in a 15,000 gallon pool. They will have private porches connected to clean and air-conditioned rooms equipped with toys and televisions. They will be coddled by volunteers, have access to veterinary care, and plenty of treats.

The main focus is on dogs whose owners are in care facilities or die as well as military personnel deployed abroad. They will also have a place for dogs abandoned and made homeless, and for these dogs, Donte's Den will actively search for adopters.

Construction starts in January, and is estimated to finish in October 2014.

To learn more about the project, visit their website through clicking here and read this article in the Bradenton Herald!

~ Maria Sadowski ~

Monday, December 9, 2013

Rare Breed Monday: Egyptian Pharaoh Hound

Image from akc.org
The Egyptian Pharaoh Hound was traditionally used as a companion for hunters from Malta. 

How the dogs ended up on Malta is a matter of debate. Some scientists say there is no DNA evidence for the breed being related to Egyptian dogs, others claim that the breed is related to domesticated Egyptian dogs with a lineage that can be traced to 3,000 BC.

Regardless of the breed's history, they are graceful, powerful, and fast. They make a pleasant companion dog who can be peaceful in the house and still loves to play outdoors. They need to live indoors with soft bedding and warmth.

The Pharaoh Hounds have a reputation for being naturally well-behaved and intelligent, but they like to chase things and should not be let off the leash. Even in a fenced yard, owners should be aware that the breed are excellent jumpers and can find a way out if it senses something interesting. They love children, but can be reserved around strangers.

A unique trait of the breed is its ability to blush when it's excited, giving the nose and ears a rosy hue.

The Pharaoh Hound needs little grooming, and the breed has an average life expectancy of 11-14 years.

~ Maria Sadowski ~

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Waiting for Santa Paws

It is December already, counting down to the Christmas holiday. Looking at the calendar on the wall gives me a twinge of panic. It's the first week of December, but the month seems almost over. It's almost 2014, and Christmas will be here before we know it. I imagine that my doggies wait for Santa Paws. They all get stockings and presents, and thrive on the extra attention. 

I go to a local dog bakery for some special treats. The doggies open their own presents, and for me it wouldn't be Christmas without them.

Do you include yours in the celebrations? Do you have holiday routines or traditions with the dogs? Something they have to have?

I sure wish my dogs could help like the guys in this video. (Sorry I couldn't find a version without commercial in the beginning.) Too cute! =)

~ Maria Sadowski

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Dog of the month: Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute is the largest and the oldest of the Arctic sled dogs. They have a quiet and dignified temperament, and are known for their loyalty to their owners. They were originally bred to carry large loads over long distances, but today, many are family pets.

This breed is athletic and enjoy sledding, weight-pulling, back-packing, jogging, and swimming. The Alaskan Malamute is a brown eyed, heavy dog, bred for power and endurance. They're known for being affectionate and friendly. They're intelligent and learns quickly, but can also be quite stubborn.

Average height is 23-25 inches, and average weight 75-85 lbs. They have a double coat, and the undercoat can be up to two inches long, protecting from harsh weather.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Rare Breed Monday: Löwchen

Image from akc.org
Löwchen is a German word meaning little lion, and this comes from the breed's traditional hair cut. The breed is mentioned in words and pictures as far back as the mid 15th century, and some 400 years ago, ladies at Pre-Renaissance courts would groom the dogs to resemble a lion. 

The haircut is believed to have originated to prevent matting and infestation. It also allowed the dogs' exposed skin to warm ladies in cold and drafty buildings.

In 1973, there were only 65 registered individuals. Since then the population has increased, but there's generally only a couple hundred new registrations each year worldwide.

These dogs are small, intelligent, and lively. They're known for being affectionate, curious, and willing to please. While they love having access to a yard for daytime play, they're not meant to be outside dogs, and they need to live with the family.

The coat requires a fair amount of brushing and combing. Clipping normally takes place once or twice a month, to preserve the lion trim. Their average lifespan is 13 to 15 years and they are normally 12-14 inches tall at the shoulder. 

~ Maria Sadowski ~