Jul 31 2009

Treats Please!

I Love Treats!
I Love Treats!

Dear Wayside Bloggers,

Cole the dog here, asking for some help!  Wayside Waifs is running low on dog treats.  My friends and I REALLY LOVE our treats!  Next to going for walks and playing in the bark park, treats are our favorite.  If you can help us out, we would be so appreciative.  You can bring your treats to Wayside Waifs today until 8 pm, Saturday 12-6 or Sunday 12-4.  Come to the dog adoption area and say hi! 

Tail Wags,
Cole & Friends

Jul 24 2009

MEOWZA! Its Feline Friday

Bobby Flay enjoys a good stretch

Bobby Flay enjoys a good stretch

Today I learned that we have added more kittens to the cat adoption area.  Not only are they fluffy and cute, but very active!  Its great fun to watch them roll around and play with their toys, and anything else they can find.  Take Bobby Flay, yes this is his real name, he is quite the lover and loves to play.  Who could resist such a sweet face!
For those of you not familiar with Feline Friday, today only, you can adopt any kitten for only $60 and an adult cat for only $15.  If you find two adult cats, because cats really do best in pairs, you can adopt the second adult at no charge.  All of our cats and kittens are spayed or neutered, have all of their vaccinations and go home with a five pound bag of food. 
We’re open until 8:00 pm and hope to see you!

Jul 21 2009

Air Travel with Your Pet

If you’re traveling with your pet this summer, driving will be your safest bet. But sometimes you can’t help but bring your pooch on the plane. It’s crucial to get all the facts first.

There are three kinds of transport for a pet: in the cabin; as “checked baggage,” or the baggage compartment; or as cargo. Here’s how it breaks down:

Cabin Travel.    This is the most comfortable for both you and your pet. But the animal must be able to fit comfortably in a carrier that can fit under the seat in front of you, and the animal must stay confined at all times while on board. Most airlines have weight restrictions. This lets out a good number of dogs, though it’s ideal for cats. Most airlines accept cats and dogs; some accept certain species of birds, though often not “tropical” (read: parrot). Other exotics aren’t allowed. (No snakes on a plane.)

Baggage Compartment.   While baggage doesn’t sound comfy, the compartment is pressurized and in some cases climate-controlled. Air Canada’s website cautions that this type of baggage compartment is available only on certain aircraft, so it’s crucial to book ahead and make the proper arrangements. This will be the option for many dogs. Again, a securely closed kennel will be needed.

Cargo.   Some airlines, like JetBlue, won’t carry animals this way because their cargo area is not pressurized. Other airlines may have only certain aircraft available to keep your pet comfortable, including temperature control.

Now here are some basic rules for traveling by air with your pet:

  • Book as far in advance as possible, and confirm your arrangements a few days ahead. In most cases, you must make your reservations by phone, not online. Many airlines limit how many pets they can accommodate, especially in the cabin.
  • Double-check all rules and regulations regarding the size of the carrier allowed, the aircraft, and your destination. (Flights to Hawaii, for example, can’t carry animals in the cabin.)
  • Label your pet’s carrier, whether in the baggage compartment or in the cabin.
  • Don’t offer your pet any sedatives. The change in air pressure can affect how drugs react in your animal’s body and can cause health problems. Check with your vet for advice on your particular pet.
  • Be very careful when traveling with pugnose breeds of cats or dogs; seek the advice of your vet. These animals’ nasal passages make traveling by air dangerous, particularly in extreme climates. Some airlines restrict travel for these breeds.
  • Be prepared for extra charges, starting around $200 round trip.

While there’s plenty of information available to help you on your flight, be advised that unless it’s necessary, your pet may be happier staying at home. For more tips on flying with your pet, check out petswelcome.com  and the Humane Society’s article on the subject. And if you’re lucky enough to live in one of the five destinations served by new startup Pet Airways, your pooch can travel in luxury on a pet-only flight. Pet Airways is scheduled to begin service July 14 and hopes to expand their service to more U.S. cities in the future. Read more about the airline here.

posted by Claire M. Caterer

Jul 17 2009

Feline Friday!

It is going to be a gorgeous day!  In fact, a perfect day to come to Wayside Waifs and adopt a cat or two! 

Feline Friday is a promotion we run during June and July.  Cats breed when its hot and that is when our shelter becomes packed with cats and kittens.  We have over 300 cats and kittens in our care right now, looking for that purr-fect home.  Wayside Waifs opens today at 2:00, so come out and check out all of the beautiful cats and kittens in our cat house. 

You can adopt a kitten for only $60 and a adult cat, any cat over 5months of age, for only $15!  If you want to adopt a second adult cat, there is no charge.  HOLY MEOW!  I know it seems we are crazy about cats.  We’re not crazy, but our adult cats are competing for your attention with all of the kittens running around. 

Each cat and kitten has been spayed or neutered, has all their shots and comes with a five pound bag of food.  We also have a great selection of pet supplies (collars,  litter boxes, toys) for sale, at a better deal than what you would find at most stores.  More importantly, each adoption helps us to continue our work of saving more animals.

We hope to see you today at Wayside Waifs!

Jul 13 2009

Summer Reading with Barney

If you’re a dog lover, you may have laughed and cried over Marley and Me, a book by John Grogan (William Morrow, 2005) and then a film starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson (Twentieth-Century Fox, 2008). Suddenly animal stories sprang up everywhere, and you might have figured they were all pretty much Marley ripoffs.

Not so Mornings with Barney: The True Story of an Extraordinary Beagle, a lighthearted summertime memoir by Dick Wolfsie (Skyhorse, 2009). What makes Barney’s story unique is that he wasn’t just Wolfsie’s dog; Barney belonged to all of Indianapolis. 

Wolfsie, a sometime-TV reporter who drifted from job to job, found himself on the early-morning news hour of a local Indy TV station in the 1990s. Wolfsie’s segment was the three-minute fluff shoehorned in between the “real” news, weather, and sports. 

Enter Barney, a stray from Wolfsie’s doorstep who came to work with him every morning because he was too destructive to be left home alone. Somehow, Barney wormed his way on camera and became Indy’s most beloved news hound. 

Wolfsie captures Barney’s personality on every page, with short, snappy chapters bursting with funny anecdotes. Barney spoke to me because he’s all dog–not a dog trained to be a good person or a polite guest, but a dog who remained obstinately himself, whether baptizing a hotel-room rug or stealing a sirloin from a restaurant kitchen. You’ll swallow Mornings with Barney in a day or two, and yes, you’ll shed some tears–but this story is no tragedy. It’s just a great yarn about a one-of-a-kind dog who captured the hearts of thousands.

Below, get a taste of Barney’s antics–and then read all about them.

Jul 10 2009

Training with Kindness

How do you train your pets? Smack on the rump? The “evil eye”? A raised voice or fist? Here’s another question: How were you taught to train your pets? 

When I was a kid, the generally accepted method was still the rolled-up newspaper. When I cringed along with the dog, my mother said, “It doesn’t really hurt her.” That much was true; our dog was never physically hurt. But you know something else? She never was trained, either. Not even housebroken. 

Animal training methods fall into two camps: traditional, punishment-based methods and reward-based methods. Many of us use a combination of these. I’ve certainly spoken sharply to our dog, Eloise, commanding her to “drop it” (stuffed rabbit, expensive loafer, phone bill …). Her response? She’s a beagle; they’re stubborn. She either clenches her teeth, preparing for tug-of-war, or she dashes about the house in a merry chase. Usually I have to shake the treat box to get her to comply. 

If it’s one of my smart days, though, I’ll react very unemotionally when I see the Jimmy Choo hanging from her jaws. I take a breath, call her over with great excitement and joy in my voice, have her sit, and hold up my hand as if I’m grasping a treat (she knows that gesture). Calmly, I say, “Drop it.” When she does, loads of praise. 

Does it always work? Okay, remember … beagle. Of course not. But I realize I’ve set up the run-and-catch-me scenario over the course of five years. I know it’s an attention-getting device. It’s also a response when Eloise hasn’t had a good walk in a couple of days. I’m starting to think about the psychology of it.  

This handheld clicker sells for $1.49.

This handheld clicker sells for $1.49.

Karen Pryor, author of  Don’t Shoot the Dog! The New Art of Teaching and Training (Ringpress, 2002) advocates clicker training. A “clicker” is a cheap plastic handheld device that emits a loud click when pressed. (You can get them for under two dollars at pet stores.) A trainer uses the clicker to show an animal that it’s done something right. The animal quickly learns that the sound of the clicker is followed by a reward. Because the trainer can click immediately when the desired behavior occurs, the animal’s actions can be “shaped” to produce very specific results. 

So Eloise and I are going to give clicker training a try. We’ll report back to tell you how it’s going. In the meantime, log on here to read an excerpt from Pryor’s latest book, Reaching the Animal Mind. 

posted by Claire M. Caterer

Jul 6 2009

Those Lazy Days of Summer

Not a recommended toy for kitty. Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Not a recommended toy for kitty. Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

What did your cat do today? Let me guess. Long yoga stretch,  ear shake, house patrol (stop at litter box), drink of water, brief snack, catnap in a square of sunshine. Repeat.  

Sometimes I marvel at how much time our pets spend sleeping. Cats actually sleep about 16 hours a day, although a lot of the time they’re semi-alert while napping. Either way, they don’t look like they’re doing much.  

A boring life? Well, maybe. For the eight hours a day that your cat’s awake, she’ll want some kind of fun. Often that will be laptime or scratching-post therapy. But your kitty comes from a noble lineage of predators. And since most of our cats aren’t kept in the barn with a colony of mice, you need to help your cat satisfy that urge.  

For the modern housecat, the predator urge comes out as playtime. Your cat likes to stalk, pounce, chase, and fight. Not only does it release energy (which otherwise might be channeled into destructive behavior), playing stimulates a cat’s complex brain and provides needed exercise. And while a cat enjoys some playtime alone, his relationship to you will be enhanced through interactive play. Make a habit of checking out the toy aisle when picking up the catfood, and think about ways to vary your cat’s environment. If you’re convinced your cat “never plays with anything,” maybe you haven’t found the right kind of toy. Be creative and note what your cat likes to do–hide, run, stalk? Chase the sunlight rainbows from your prism chandelier? Coax him out of his summertime lethargy if you can. It will do you both good.  

For some great ideas on playtime for cats, visit Jackie Fuchs’s page on Examiner.com.

posted by Claire M. Caterer

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