Monday, September 19, 2011

Science Diet Senior 11+ Age Defying Cat Food

I am still recovering from my eye surgery and not feeling so good today, so I agreed to let Iris do a guest post.  She is a cat, true, but she has been around here almost as long as I have so I guess that earns her some privileges.  Take it away, Iris!


I'm Iris, a gray tiger cat that Dad rescued from a drainage ditch and brought home to Mom.  I was already a few months old when Dad found me but I'm not sure exactly how old I was.  But I have lived with Mom and Dad for 15 years so that makes me a senior kitty and leader of the pack around here.  Bob thinks he's in charge but I just let him think that to keep peace and quiet in the house. 

I asked Bob if I could type with Mom today since he wasn't feeling well and I had something I wanted to share.  I just had to tell everyone about this new food that Mom got just for me and Bitty Kitty. 

Mom is a BzzAgent.  She says she started doing this a few years ago because money was tight and she was tired of wasting it on stuff that didn't work.  She said being a BzzAgent allowed her to try products before she bought them.  And it gave her the chance to share the good ones with her friends.  Now that things are easier, she says she still does it because she likes the opportunity to try new products and tell others about them.

A while ago, Mom got a chance to try a new cat food made just for us senior cats.  It's called Science Diet Senior 11+ Age Defying Cat Food.  I'm pretty finicky about my food so I was not excited about trying something new and I let Mom know by taking my time sampling it.  Don't tell Mom, but I really like it!  It tastes great.  And even though it's only been a few weeks, I already feel different.  I don't sleep as much and yesterday I even went out to hunt with Bitty Kitty.  I was so grateful I brought a frog in for Mom as a treat.  She didn't seem to like it much though.

Science Diet Senior 11+ Age Defying cat food provides breakthrough, tailored nutrition for cats 11 and older.  It has everything we need for a healthy and happy life.  It fights 4 important signs of aging in as little as 30 days.  Typical signs of aging include more accidents in the house, sleeping more, less agility, and less interaction with owner.  It also contains an exclusive antioxidant bundle which helps defend the body and brain against aging.  Age Defying is also rich in Omega-6 fatty acids to help promote soft skin & radiant coat.

Not only does it taste good, it's also got small kibble so it's easier for me to chew and digest.  At my age, sometimes those harder pieces in other cat foods are difficult for me to eat.

Mom says Dr. Karen has this cat food at her clinic.  She said she also saw it at PetSmart.  I am glad there are places that she can buy this close by.  I would hate to have to go back to my old cat food once we run out of our sample. 

Take my advice.  Try this cat food.  Even Bob likes it.  I caught him stealing some this morning.  Of course, I made it clear that would not be allowed! 

P.S.  Mom has said that I will have a column of my own on Bob's new website.  Can't wait to share more tips and recommendations with you!  See you soon!  Thanks Bob!  This was fun!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The AKC Responsible Dog Owner Pet Promise

Are you a responsible dog owner?  Take the AKC Responsible Dog Owner Pet Promise!

1.  I will never overlook my responsibilities for this living being and recognize that my dog’s welfare is totally dependent on me.

2.  I will always provide fresh water and quality food for my dog.

3.  I will socialize my dog via exposure to new people, places and other dogs.

4.  I will take pride in my dog's appearance with regular grooming.

5.  I will recognize the necessity of basic training by teaching my dog to reliably sit, stay and come when called.

6.  I will take my dog to the vet regularly and keep all vaccinations current.

7.  I will pick-up and properly dispose of my dog's waste.

8.  I will make sure my dog is regarded as an AKC Canine Good Citizen® by being aware of my responsibilities to my neighbors and to the community.

9.  I will ensure that the proper amount of exercise and mental stimulation appropriate for my dog’s age, breed and energy level is provided.

10.  I will ensure that my dog has some form of identification (which may include collar tags, tattoo or microchip ID).

11.  I will adhere to local leash laws.

Post your name and your dog's names in the comments if you are a responsible dog owner. 


For more information visit or call 212-696-8228.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Are You a Responsible Dog Owner?

It's Responsible Dog Owner Days!  All month, we will be announcing events, writing about responsible dog ownership, and we are even hosting a contest!

Mom and I think that everyone should learn to be a responsible dog owner - and the earlier the better.  So we are hosting a contest for kids ages 5-18. 

Design a poster showing what it means to be a responsible dog owner.  The kids who draw the winning designs will each receive a cash prize, a T-shirt designed by PopArtDiva, and a bag of Beefie Boots for their dogs (my favorite).  All posters will be displayed on the new It Should Be a Dog's World website.

I am very excited that Mom has agreed to let me do this.  The people who had my dog mom were not very responsible and that is why I wound up in a shelter.  I was lucky and Mom and Dad adopted me and they take very good care of me.  Now I want to help you teach others what it is to be responsible. 

Official contest rules:

1.  Contest is open to all kids ages 5 - 18.
2.  Poster must be about responsible dog ownership.
3.  Poster must be an original design. No previously published or copyrighted material.
4.  Entries can be submitted by mail or email.
     Mail entries to:  It Should Be A Dog's World
                             12688 Oak Valley Drive
                              Rogers, AR  73756
                              Attn:  Poster Contest


   Email entries to  All entries must be in jpg, gif, bmp or png format, 8 MB
   maximum size.
5.  Entries must be received no later than September 30, 2011.  Winners will be announced on October 15. 6.  Winners will receive:  1st - $75, commemorative T-Shirt, bag of Beefie Boots
                                      2nd - $50, commemorative T-Shirt, bag of Beefie Boots
                                      3rd - $25, commemorative T-Shirt, bag of Beefie Boots
All entrants will be recognized on It Should Be a Dog's World.
7.  All entries become the property of WealthTogether, Inc. (That's my Mom!).

I can't wait to see all the posters!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Responsible Dog Onwership Days

While I was in the pound, I saw many dogs come in that were not treated responsibly by their owners.  And I see more out here.  Dogs that are allowed to run free with no tags that were picked up by animal control and brought to the pound.  Mom and I sometimes see dead dogs on the side of the road where they were hit by cars.  Dad told me that one of the stray dogs here was shot by a neighbor because he was allowed to run and would chase the neighbor's horses.  We get to run in a big fenced yard so we are safe and don't bother anyone else.

Dad has a friend whose dog is so fat he can hardly walk.  When we visit Dad will tell him he needs to stop feeding Butch ice cream and chips.  But Dad's friend says he hates to see Butch begging and he likes his treats.  Dr. Karen told Mom to put me on a diet when I was only a few pounds overweight.  I wonder what she would say about Butch!

These are just two examples of irresponsible dog ownership.  To help put an end to this kind of behaviour the AKC is once again hosting Responsible Dog Ownership Days.  AKC invites and encourages all dog and pet-related organizations to commemorate AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Days by holding a community event that publicly promotes responsible dog ownership anytime during the month of September.

We will be doing our part.  Throughout the rest of the month we will be writing about responsible dog ownership, sharing news of events being held, and listing ideas for events to help others get involved.  And Mom has even said I can host a contest!  I'll be sharing more about that tomorrow.

Last year, more than 550 dog clubs and other organizations hosted events reaching millions of dog lovers and potential pet owners through extensive media coverage. Dog lovers also posted thousands of "Acts of Responsible Dog Ownership" on Facebook and Twitter. 

We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to interact with the public and gain positive exposure for your club, breed and the AKC. Your participation will help this worthwhile program continue to gain momentum each year, benefiting dogs and dog owners everywhere!

For further information about AKC RDO Days please contact Stephanie Smith at 212-696-8228 or  And stay tuned to this blog!



Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bobcat Fever

Mom and I spent the a lot of time this weekend missing Mittens.  We also did some research on bobcat fever, the disease that killed her.  Since we had never heard of it before, we want to make sure that others who may not know of this illness get the information to keep their cats safe.

Bobcat fever is also called cytauxzoonosis.  Only cats can get it.  They get it from ticks.  Once the tick bites a cat, she will start looking and acting sick in about a week.  Cats die pretty quickly after they start looking sick.  Mittens died only 3 days later.  

The only way to tell if your cat has bobcat fever is to take her to a vet.  The vet will take some blood and look for the bug that causes the illness.  

When a cat has bobcat fever, she gets depressed, withdrawn, and doesn't move much.  She has a fever and doesn't eat.  One of the articles Mom and I read said "the disease rages through the body attacking blood vessels in all organs; heart, lungs, liver, kidney, spleen. Under such systematic attack the liver & kidneys quickly overload with damaged blood cells & the body becomes jaundiced. In the end phase, the cat begins to vocalize frequently & at greater & greater length, a heart-rending agonal cry, hemorrhages, & dies."  (The Helios Project).  

The sickness is passed from bobcats to our cats by ticks.  The bobcats don't get sick (I don't understand why.  That doesn't seem fair!)  Only our cats get sick. 

Bobcat fever has been reported in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois (southern),Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas & Virginia.

Dr. Karen told Mom we should keep our cats inside since it is the only way to be sure they don't pick up any ticks.  But Mom said most of our cats are strays that have been out on their own so long, it's almost impossible to keep them in.  One actually ripped through a screen to get out.  Since that is not an option, Mom said we will use the best tick killer and tick repellant we can find.  And since even that is not a guarantee, the cats will get the same daily combing that we (Oscar, Austin, Ginger, and I) get before bed.  Dad combs each of us with a fine-toothed comb.  Now he will comb the cats too. 

Mom and I hope this information will help other cats.  The only good thing is that Mom made the choice to let Mittens go to sleep before she got to the end of the illness where she would have been in lots of pain.  If you have any other questions about the disease, Mom and I found a great website called The Helios Project.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

In Memory of Mittens

Mittens, one of our cats, died last night.  I know I always say I don't like cats.  But Mittens was different.  I actually did like her - sort of.  She was pretty pitiful and I felt sorry for her at first but then I got to like her.

Mom found Mittens stuck in a tree on our property.  She was up there for 3 whole days!  Every day Mom and Dad would go out and try to coax her to come down but she wouldn't.  Then on 4th day it was storming bad here.  Mom could hear Mittens crying from the tree.  She was very upset and she looked at me and said "Bob, we are going to get that cat out of that tree before she dies up there!"  The next thing I new she was dragging Dad's big ladder down over the hill to the tree.  Now Mom hates ladders almost more than anything so this was a pretty big deal!  I went out the pet door and over to the fence in my yard so I could watch.  Mom set the ladder up against the tree and started up.  I could hear her talking to Mittens but I couldn't hear what she was saying.  Then there was a loud thunderclap and I heard Mom holler at Mittens that it was now or never and if she wanted to be safe and warm she needed to come down.  Mom reached up and Mittens jumped!  I thought she would get hurt but she didn't.  I guess everything they say about cats landing on their feet is true.  Mom came back down the ladder.  By now it was raining pretty hard.  She called Mittens and this time the cat actually came to her.  Mom brought her to the house, dried her off, and gave her some food. 

Mom and Dad spent the next few days trying to find Mittens mom and dad.  But no one claimed her.  Since we live at the end of a dirt road in the country with lots of woods, animals get left out here all the time.  Mom said someone probably left Mittens on the road.  Mom said since she was clever enough to find her way to our house, she could stay.  She was black except for white booties on her front feet.  Mom said since we already had a Boots, we would call her Mittens.

Mittens had some problems.  She never meowed again after her days in the tree.  And she couldn't purr.  She tried.  Sometimes you would hear a small sputtering sound.  But she never actually purred like Puck or Peasebottom.  But she loved it when someone showed her some attention.  She was afraid of most of the others and would only eat if Mom put her in the pantry with a bowl of food.  But she would curl up on the chair with me to sleep.  At first I didn't like it, but later it was nice to have someone to snuggle with - even if it was a cat.  Mom loved her too.  I think Mom loved her almost as much as she loves me.

Mittens would always get up with Mom for breakfast.  But a few days ago she didn't come to eat.  Mom looked for her but wasn't worried.  She thought maybe Mittens was just off playing or sleeping.  But that night Mittens was in the bedroom and was just laying still.  Mom thought maybe she didn't feel good.  She told Dad to help keep an eye on her and see if maybe she needed to go to the vet.  The next day, Mittens was up and around and Mom thought everything was good again so she stopped worrying.

Last night, Dad came home from work.  Mom had gone grocery shopping and so I was waiting for him.  He came in and I barked to let him know he needed to come to the garage.  Mittens was laying in the garage and wasn't moving.  I knew she was in bad shape.  Dad took one look and called Mom and told her to come home right away because Mittens had to get to the vet. 

When they came home later that night, Dad was carrying the empty cat carrier.  I knew Mittens was gone.  Mom said she had something called Bobcat fever.  Mom said she had never heard of it but the vet said you get it from ticks.  I was worried that I might get it but Mom said only cats get it.  She said the vet told her that it's very hard to diagnose and most cats die once they get it.  Mom said she had the vet help Mittens go to sleep because she was suffering and Mom did not want her to suffer anymore.

In memory of Mittens and to keep other cats from getting the same thing, Mom and I are doing some research on bobcat fever.  We will be sharing what we learn here on this blog.

I miss my friend Mittens.  I hope she knew how much we loved her.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Choke Leashes

Mom and I were out walking today in the park and I saw a dog with a leash I had never seen before.  It was all one piece - no collar.  And every time the dog ran a bit ahead, his dad pulled on the leash.  This made it tighter around the throat of the dog and of course, he would stop.  Mom said these are choke leashes.  She said some people use them for training.

When we got home, mom said she wondered if these were safe for dogs.  She was still pretty upset by the thought of tightening a leash around the throat.  So she did some research and this is what she found.

Most people use choke leashes because it allows them to control their dogs with a tug of the leash.  They are often used to control big, strong dogs like Ginger.  They are also used to control more "aggressive" dog breeds like Maggie, a Doberman that belongs to our friend, Chris.  When tugged, they put pressure on the dog's throat.  This will make the dog stop whatever unwanted behavior it is doing.  (I would think so.  Squeeze my throat and I will stop what I'm doing too!)  Mom said most trainers say they are safe if used correctly, but can be harmful in not used correctly.  She said they can actually damage the trachea of the dog.  And there is a lot of potential for abuse since you can use them to basically choke a dog. 

I have never had a choke leash or a choke collar.  Neither have Ginger, Oscar, or Austin.  We all learned to walk on a leash using Easy Walk harnesses.  Well, all of us except Ginger.  Mom had to use a pinch collar on her.  It looked awful with those big metal prongs, but Mom said that it only pinched the back of Ginger's neck when she tried to lunge or pull and wouldn't actually hurt her.  Mom said Ginger was a big dog and could hurt someone if she didn't learn to obey.  And since she had been abused before Mom and Dad found her and brought her home, she sometimes got scared or mad and didn't want to behave.  Mom said if she didn't learn she would probably be put to sleep and we were her last chance.  Fortunately, she did learn and now she is just a big baby.  Even the cats like her!

Anyway, Mom said that choke leashes are not something she would recommend since there are other alternatives available.  I am glad.  I wouldn't want to learn something by being choked if I forgot.  Try the Easy Walk harness or if your dog is big and scared like Ginger was, use the pinch collar.  These are both better ideas than a choke leash or a choke collar.