Boy's Mission To Pet One Million Dogs
Gideon Kidd, I've Pet That Dog
Gideon Kidd is 10-years-old and has a goal to pet a million dogs for his pet project. So far, the 10-year-old boy has pet more than 750 dogs. He's chronicled his journey on Twitter, garnering over 160,000 followers. He'll tell us how it's going since we last spoke to him in June.
So how does Gideon meet all of these people and their dogs? He tells us he drives around in the car with his mother. When they see a dog, they park and he gets out. Gideon approaches and asks the people if he can pet their dog and put them on his website.
At first people think its kind of like weird and are like, "What is this kid doing?" But after he explains himself, they are willing to participate.
However, Gideon doesn't get to pet every dog he sees, as some owners have turned him down. He thinks this is because people might think that they are being stalked. This is because they have to circle around the block to go back to where a person was walking. So when they finally park and get out, the person starts looking really nervous and kind of scared. Gideon says he has received some weird excuses. One person said that Gideon couldn't pet his dog because he was going to the bathroom. However, it is getting easier, as Gideon is starting to be recognized by the people in his town.
Gideon says he has never been bitten, as there is a proper way to do it. He says the first thing you need to do is to ask the dog's caregiver's permission. If they say yes, you put your palm out and approach the dog slowly. He says you never just run up to a dog and pet it all over, just let the dog come to you or slowly go up to it.
At home, Gideon has a dog-named Walter. Lucky for Walter that Gideon doesn't get tired of petting dogs all day and still has some pets left for him. Walter also doesn't seem to be jealous of all of the other dog-petting going on and doesn't seem to even smell the other dogs, according to Gideon. He also has two cats and at one time had a Venus fly trap. To care for them, Gideon explains that you put them out side and the bugs will come to them, as they need over four hours of sunlight. Gideon tells us his Venus fly trap passed away because they are really hard to take care of.
If you happen to be passing through Cedar Falls, Iowa with your dog, you should get in touch with Gideon and get your dog petted.
Rachel, Gideon's mother, has created a twitter feed as well as a website for Gideon. Every time he pets a dog, she takes a picture and posts it on his website. He currently has over 167,000 followers on Twitter.
A Remarkable Cat With Endless Loyalty
Sandi Ward, Something Worth Saving
By day, Sandy Ward is a medical advertising agency copywriter by day and and by night she writes some amazing novels. Her latest book, called Something Worth Saving, is a wonderfully touching novel about a fractured family and a remarkable cat whose loyalty knows no bounds, written from a cat's perspective. Sandi talks with us about her muse, a big black rescue cat named Winnie.
At home, Sandi has a big black cat named Winnie who is 10-years-old and who she rescued from her local SPCA. She tells us she took her kids to a really nice big new shelter on the Jersey Shore where they house hundreds of cats all looking for homes. That is where the met Winnie. Sandi says she was just the friendliest, nicest, sweetest cat that they saw there. She also has a little dog named Jasper. He's a little fluffy white Maltese and very cute. He's a sweet lapdog and a couch potato and he likes to power nap a lot of the time, with intermittent bursts of energy. She tells us her cat is quite a bit bigger than her dog Jasper.
When they first brought Winnie home as a kitten, she would try to cuddle with Jasper and he would just politely move away. Now, Jasper tries to get Winnie to chase him, but she's not that interested. She'll just ignore him.
Sandi's latest novel, Something Worth Saving, is actually from the cat's point of view. Sandi even states That Winnie was her inspiration. Winnie loves to just sit in Sandi's lap, or on her keyboard or just by the computer when she's working. Sometimes Winnie will even attack the paper coming out of the printer. So she's definitely an inspiration and probably Jasper is as well.
Just having animals and seeing how they interact with the family and the kids, it just drives home that pets are really a great support for any family. The family dramas in Sandi's book are about families that are under a lot of stress. She thinks sometimes people might forget that when they are stressed, that puts our pets under a lot of stress as well. They experience what we're experiencing, but that also makes them very empathetic companions and they can really be a great help and provide a lot of hope to people when things are going wrong in their families.
Sandi says writing from the cat's point of view started as an experiment. She just thought it might be an interesting thing to do, to write from an unexpected point of view or have an unconventional narrator telling the story. She says it actually works out really well and she enjoys it, because the cat's voice is how she imagines it to be, which would be very loving and very loyal to her family members. However, the cats are also a little bit sassy and sarcastic because that's how she imagines her cat's personality to be. This gives them a little bit of humor and they can make funny comments about what the humans are doing. Sometimes the people are doing things that the cat doesn't understand at all. Cats are great observers of what we're doing, whether we're being good or bad, or doing something smart or foolish. The cat is a good observer of everyone's behavior.
Something Worth Saving is about a boy and his cat and the story of a family undergoing some big changes. What is happening when the story opens is that you learn that the cat narrator, named Lily, is really worried about two family members in particular. The first is Charlie, who is 14 and he's the youngest of three teenagers. The first chapter is actually called a boy named Charlie because he's Lily's favorite person in the world. Lily notices that Charlie has some bruises on him and she suspects that he's being bullied maybe at school. So in that very first chapter, Charlie comes home from school early. He's been cutting out early a lot and Lily thinks that maybe he's leaving school early because someone there is hurting him. The reader also learns that recently the mom, named Kate, has kicked the dad, Jeremy, out of the house. Now Lily knows that mom has her reasons for kicking him out, but she also knows that dad really wants to come back home. Lily hopes that mom will eventually give in and let him move back. So the reader kind of goes on a journey with Lily, the narrator, to try to figure out what is actually happening in the family and how she can help solve things.
In Sandi's first novel, The Astonishing Thing, there were a few dogs, but the cat really just ignored those dogs. She wanted nothing to do with them. There was a little terrier that lived with the family who, she didn't even call him a dog she just called him 'not a cat' because he wasn't a cat, wasn't as good as she was. But in Sandi's new novel, she wanted to introduce a big strong dog. The dog in her new novel is named Gretel. She's a German Shepherd and is a retired police dog. Sandi feels if you look back in literature or in TV, sometimes there are these big, strong, heroic dogs who can do amazing things. They can pull someone out of a burning building or jump into a river and save a drowning child. However, a cat is a little bit limited. A cat is small and they can't always go into these great heroic actions. So Sandi wanted to introduce a dog who's really Lily's partner in helping out the family. So Lily and Gretel are friends, and Lily really admires Gretel's speed and strength even though Lily might sometimes make some jokes about Gretel because she is only a dog after all. Gretel actually plays a key role in this story and she's a major part of the plot. Sandi claims it was kind of fun to be able to have both the cat and the dog as part of her story.
Coyotes Stalking our Neighborhoods - Dr. Debbie
I just saw a scraggly coyote in front of my house this morning - the second coyote sighting in my neighborhood this week. I feared what could have happened if my 15 pound terrier was outdoors alone. Wildlife is beautiful, but when my little terrier, Boss, is in harm's way - my doggie momma protective instincts kick in. While not a threat to be exaggerated, the coyote nonetheless poses a risk to our pet's safety.
Coyotes are increasingly becoming a concern in urban areas - some are displaced by the urban sprawl that consumes their potential habitat. But other coyotes become urbanized savvy to living, feeding and thriving within city environments. Coyotes are born opportunists and dine on what they find available. They eat small animals like rabbits and rodents, but also consume ample vegetable matter with up to 40-percent of their diet consisting of seeds, grasses, fruits and flowers.
The most serious coyote concern for pets is injury and predation. As a veterinarian, I can recall many a client whose pet was brought in injured by unknown wildlife or whose cat just one day reportedly just vanished. While many might believe their cat was stolen, in reality these cats most likely fell victim to coyote predation. Likewise, small to medium sized dogs can be injured or lost to the same fate as their feline counterparts.
Steps to Keep Your Pet Safe
Whether you have pets or not, it's important not to feed coyotes. Intentional feeding of coyotes makes them dependent on humans and less fearful which increases the chance of an unwanted, dangerous interaction with people or pets. Just leaving unsecured garbage is invitation enough for these opportunists. Secure all garbage in closing containers and avoid leaving bagged garbage at the curb overnight. Pick up uneaten pet food as soon as your pet has finished eating.
Pet owners should take precautions to keep their household pets protected as well. Keep cats indoors and maintain all pets on leash control when outdoors. Ensure your dogs and cats are up to date on their rabies vaccines. Even indoor cats that do not venture outdoors should be current on this vaccine for both pet and human safety.
Besides rabies, keep your pets current on other vaccinations, deworming and preventatives as recommended by your veterinarian. Coyotes are known to harbor carry skin mites, canine distemper virus, canine parvovirus, adenovirus and heartworm disease. So even if your dog never leaves your yard, there is potential for infectious disease crossover between wildlife and your pet.
These wild canids are masters at adapting to their changing world, and it's unrealistic they are going away on their own. As humans we are the ones that need to change to make urban areas less appealing, removing easy feeding sites, and by raising awareness to the potential crossover between wildlife and pets.
Featured veterinarian known as "Dr. Debbie" on national pet radio program, Animal Radio. Ebook author of "Yorkshire Terriers: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; "Pugs: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; "Mini Schnauzers: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; and "Shih Tzu: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend." Dr. Debbie's books.
Animal Radio News - Lori Brooks
What Do Cereal and Dog Food Have in Common?
General Mills, the makers of Cheerios, Trix and Yoplait Yogurt products, is hoping pet food will help it fight lagging cereal and snack sales. If your pet eats Blue Buffalo brand, then this is good news for you. The company says it plans to double distribution of the product, expanding the number of places it's sold to include grocery stores, drug stores and big box retailers like Target. In addition to increasing distribution, General Mills wants to develop more Blue Buffalo wet food and pet treats, which is not a shock since pet food is growing faster than the human packaged food industry. Americans spent $32 billion on pet food last year.
New Jersey Bans Exotic Animals From Traveling Performances
New Jersey has become the first state in the country to ban elephants and other exotic animals from traveling performances, such a circuses. The governor signed "Nosey's Law" last month. Nosey, the elephant, which the law is named after, is an African elephant once owned by a Florida-based animal show operator. Advocates rescued her and she's became the face of the law that now makes it illegal to use wild and exotic animals in traveling shows. New York and Illinois have prohibited the use of elephants, specifically in traveling shows. However, the broader New Jersey ban defines exotic animals as any species of mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, fish, mollusk, or crustacean that is not indigenous to the state. It also applies to fairs, parades, petting zoos, carnivals and live events.
Chelsea Clinton Working on Book About Endangered Animals
Chelsea Clinton's career as a children's author continues with a picture book about endangered animals, titled "Don't Let Them Disappear." It's scheduled for release April 2nd, and will celebrate whales, tigers and other animals.
Millennials Chose Pets Over Children
A new study shows that the latest generation is no longer as interested in having children and the researchers are blaming it on their love of dogs. The study claims "millennials" are less likely to become parents of "human children" because they are instead focusing on their pets. Apparently 44-percent of millennials are unsure if they want to have children, but their rate of pet ownership continues to rise. Seventy-one percent of men and 62-percent of women between the ages of 18-34 own a dog, while 48-percent of men and 35-percent of women own a cat. These animals are acting as a substitute for children according to the study, which is suspected to be a side effect of the fact that this generation is half as likely to be married than the generations preceding it. "Pets are becoming a replacement for children," said psychology professor Jean Twenge. "They're less expensive. You can get one even if you're not ready to live with someone or get married and they provide companionship." Millennials are also getting their pets younger than Baby Boomers did. The average age for a millennial to get a pet is 21, where boomers waited until 29.
Convicted Deer Poacher Ordered to Watch Bambi Every Month For a Year
A Missouri judge has ordered a convicted deer poacher to watch Bambi at least once a month during the year he will be spending in jail. The man is actually one of four family members implicated in a three-year hunting operation that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of deer. The prosecutor said the family mainly stalked their prey at night, killing the deer and taking their heads and antlers, then abandoning the carcasses. The state's Department of Conservation called it a thrill and kill sport for the men. By the way, the one-year jail sentence was initially suspended in favor of a two-year probationary period. But the guy who now has to watch Bambi quickly violated the terms of his probation, leading the Judge to reinstate the original one-year sentence with the additional Bambi twist.
Leggings For Dogs
Women of all ages love wearing leggings, so why not try leggings for your dog? Apparently they can be a game changer when it comes to keeping dogs clean. One well-known brand of dog leggings is called Walkee Paws and they actually cover you dog's legs and feet! Then, they clip together across their back so they stay put. The part that covers the feet is a rubber-soled booty, which also keeps sensitive paws chemical free, clean and dry. The woman, who invented Walkee Paws, says the company is even considering making matching sets of human and dog leggings in the near future.
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