National Dog Day

Today is National Dog Day! While I may have cats currently, I am in fact an equal opportunity pet enthusiast. For many years my family had Miniature Schnauzers and I still harbor an enormous soft spot for that breed. Dogs do so much for their humans, so it is only natural that we take some time today (and every day!) to celebrate and love our canine companions.

My parents now have two rescue dogs: Chiquita (aka Chica and Pretty Girl), a Kooikerhondje, and Chiya, a Tibetan Spaniel.

Look how cute they are! Chica is an extraordinarily good girl with great manners and an earnest, loving personality. Chiya is a sassy little diva. Both are highly snuggleable, as I can attest.

In addition to their two cats, my Aunt Rebecca and Uncle Jan have an unlikely trio of rescues: a Border Collie (Legend), a Great Pyrenees/Lab mix (Storm), and a Great Pyrenees (Kuma).

Legend is…enthusiastic to say the least. Who could resist that face?

Storm is a big, lovable galoot. His tail can clear a coffee table in one swipe. He thinks he’s Chiya’s size, which leads to hilarity.

Kuma (Japanese for “bear”) looks like a canine polar bear! Check out that fluff!

Do you have dogs? What do you love about them? Please share in the comments!

Sweet Mau

Mau is a pretty cute cat, though I might be biased. It’s now been about 10 days since his dental surgery and being toothless hasn’t negatively affected his quality of life.

“This bed is so cozy!”

Aaron and I have noticed that he has become more playful and bats both crinkle balls and plastic springs around the house. Mau’s favorite toy might be the laser pointer, however, as he chases after the red dot with more gusto and stamina than either Garrus or Charlie. It’s highly amusing and delightful to watch all three cats skitter about the house trying to pounce on the elusive red dot. If I can, I’ll record a video of a play session and share it here on Purry Home Companion!

“Mama, I found a box! It’s such a nice box.”

Look at these handsome boys! I couldn’t resist snapping a photo when I saw them lined up like this.

Garrus and Mau demonstrate their nightly ottoman sprawl. Mau recently adopted this habit of flaunting his fluffy belly like this. It’s not a trap. I repeat: it’s not a trap!

Foster Anniversary

At last year’s Clear the Shelter event (held on Saturday, August 19th), our lives changed when we decided to foster two tabbies. We had not fostered before but Aaron and I decided jointly that these boys really needed us.

Aristotle was gaunt, pitiful-looking, and had patchy fur due to overgrooming. Because of his severe stomatitis, he had (understandably) a poor appetite.

Tink, then two years old, had spent cumulatively 18 months at the shelter (partly in foster care). He had been adopted and returned three times, and had recently lost his buddy cat Pan. While he had been successfully paired with a new buddy, Tink was decidedly not doing well in the shelter and spent 95% of the time hiding.

Both cats were skittish, extremely shy, and wary. They needed a lot of TLC and a quiet respite from the shelter. In our care they made noticeable improvements, especially because we were patient and made an effort to gain their trust. Only two weeks later they moved in! Since we brought them home during the Clear the Shelter event, the adoption fees were waived.

A year later, they are very different, and much happier, cats. They are no longer so skittish and timid. Charlie (formerly known as Tink) blossomed into a perpetually sunny, friendly, and affectionate cat. He squeaks! He flops! He snuggles! Garrus (formerly known as Aristotle) underwent dental surgery to treat his stomatitis and is now a much healthier cat with bunny-soft fur. While still on the reserved side, he now asks for visits, bats at crinkle balls, and chases after the red dot with gusto.

As you can see, Charlie and Garrus are not concerned. They may, however, be only slightly overloved in our house.

International Homeless Animals’ Day

In 1992, the International Society for Animal Rights created International Homeless Animals’ Day (IHAD), celebrated worldwide. This year, the 27th annual International Homeless Animals’ Day will be observed on Saturday, August 18th.

Photo courtesy of Pexels

This campaign is intended to raise awareness of the plight of thousands of homeless and abandoned animals across the world and educate the public about pet abandonment, feral animal overpopulation, and the benefits of neutering/spaying pets. Check out ISAR’s website and Facebook page for more information.

Photo courtesy of Pexels

Clear the Shelters!

Clear the Shelters is an nationwide pet adoption drive that began in 2015. This year it occurs on Saturday, August 18! A number of shelters may expand this drive to the entire weekend. More than 150,000 pets have found homes as a result of this campaign!

“Don’t you wanna take me home? We could snuggle.” Photo courtesy of Pexels

Across the country, NBC and Telemundo stations are teaming up with hundreds of animal shelters to spread the word about this adoption drive. Check out this neat map that shows all the animal shelters nationwide participating in the event. You can also spread the word in your local community by word of mouth and on social media using the hashtag #cleartheshelters.

“I’ve been adopted!” Photo courtesy of Pexels

Toothless

Last week was a rather hectic. I was out of town for several days, and during that time Austin Pets Alive! contacted me to schedule Mau’s dental surgery. Aaron dropped him off on Thursday evening and we picked him up the following day. All things considered, Mau’s surgery went well. Due to the severity of his dental disease and multiple abscesses, all of his teeth were extracted. Now we have a toothless cat!

When we brought Mau home, we gave him some peace and quiet by putting him in Aaron’s office for a few hours so that he could get his bearings. He walked a little unsteadily and seemed subdued, which was totally understandable, so we kept an eye on him. At the same time, he was not interested in having lap time or a snuggle.

Mau insisted on claiming the cat tree cubby as his R&R spot and being a hidey cat. Charlie seemed to be thrown off by Mau being so close to “his” spot on the platform above the cubby.

Mau seems to be recovering well after his surgery (or weird alien abduction, as it must have felt like to him). We’re continuing to give him wet food but no longer with antibiotics or other foul-tasting meds, which makes him a happy boy. We think that the antibiotics caused diarrhea, so we are giving him probiotics (Fortiflora) mixed into his food to counter that. Although he’s supposed to be on wet food for the immediate future, he still beelines toward kibbles and tries to eat them whenever possible. We separate Mau from Charlie and Garrus at feeding times or else everyone attempts to eat all other food except their own!

Mau appears to be feeling better and hides less in the cubby. Now we can all adore his handsome face!

Mau the Beautiful

Mau is doing well on his regimen of antibiotics and painkillers. His coat is getting healthier and he eats up to two cans of wet food a day despite his dental issues. We brush him frequently and there are far fewer mats as a result.

Much to our delight, he has started to show a more playful side by chasing after the red dot and batting the crinkle ball and spring around. Oddly though, he only plays with the latter toys when no one else is around! When he wants to explore, though, there’s no stopping him. He really wants to be friends with Charlie and especially Garrus. In a few ways, he does not act like a senior cat! Above all, Mau is a lovey-dovey lap cat who complains when he is left alone or denied access to said lap.

Aaron took two fantastic photos of Mau. Of course I immediately wanted to share them because they show how beautiful Mau really is.

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“Hello. I am Mau and I am incredibly gorgeous. You should pet me.”

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“Oooh! What’s over there? I wanna go on an adventure!” I love the expression on his face in this photo. Mau really is a darling cat and not just in terms of looks.

DOGust and Universal Birthday for Shelter Dogs

Happy DOGust everyone! And, whew, it is HOT. So obviously it’s time for indoor parties. Do you throw birthday parties for your pets? I have friends who celebrate their dogs’ birthdays. However, if you don’t always know your dog’s birthdate. Thanks to the efforts of the North Shore Animal League and the ASPCA, the month of DOGust and the Universal Birthday for Shelter and Rescue Dogs came into being!

Photo courtesy of Pexels

At a loss at how to throw a DOGust-worthy “pawty”? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. If you’re going to have any outdoor activities, do it early in the morning and in the shade. Dogs can get overheated and sun- or heatstroke.
  2. Offer lots of water to human and canine guests to keep them cool and comfortable.
  3. Don’t forget refreshments. Peanut butter treats would be a good idea, or, for the ambitious, a bone-shaped puppy cake.
  4. Provide splash time in a kiddie pool and lots of toys so everyone can play. If some want to play inside, that’s okay too.
  5. In lieu of presents for your pup, request that guests make a donation to a local shelter or rescue group. This can be cash, supplies, time, or skills!
  6. For party favors, all the canine attendees could get bandanas.
  7. Remember to take plenty of snazzy photos!
  8. Have fun!

Photo courtesy of The Dodo