Monthly Archive:: August 2009

High School Mew-sical: Nora the amazing piano playing kitty

Nora the piano playing kitty 

Whining, pining, purring, pawing, meowing, growling and howling are but a few of the various strategies employed by our pets to gain our attention. But banging out a concerto on the piano? Now that's brilliant. Nothing would get my attention more than my dog Schmoo pounding out a rendition of "Chopsticks" to rally me up from my desk.

Well, that's exactly what Nora, the keyboard kitty is doing to successfully gain the attention of her owners, Betsy Alexander and Burnell Yow of Philadelphia, as well as 17+ Million viewers on YouTube!

Composing her work freestyle and without the aid of written music, Nora's compositions have been described as a cross between free jazz, Phillip Glass….and sCAT?

Not a Fake

This kitty with an unnaturally mew-sical ear began putting paws to the ivories after watching her piano-instructor owner, Betsy Alexander, teaching her students to play piano.

“This is her own thing -  it’s not a trick,” Ms. Alexander told reporters at MSNBC.  “It’s not something we taught her. She plays when we’re not in the room and she plays when we’re in the room. Sometimes she plays when we don’t want her to play. I can be teaching a child or an adult who is trying to concentrate and then Nora hops on the bench.”

Nora's true talents were confirmed when she visited NBC's TODAY show and performed live for Matt Lauer sans catnip or any camera tricks. Check out Nora's concerto pawformance below!

Blog reprint courtesy of The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley on Animalplanet.com

Funky dog breath be gone with Petzlife Oral Spray

Petzlife Oral Care for dogs Nothing can stop you in your tracks like a dog with seriously funky breath. Adorable as she is, my dog Lulu has absolutely terrible breath and I affectionately refer to her as "Public-restroom-breath" dog. She could literally stop an army with her breath. Truly. It's amazing that such a smell can emanate from such a darling creature.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show signs of oral disease by age three, often indicated by bad breath, a change in eating or chewing habits, pawing at the face and mouth and depression.  Besides causing receding gums and tooth loss, the infection may enter the bloodstream, potentially infecting the heart, liver and kidneys.

 On a mission to improve Lulu's oral well-being, I recently set out to find some natural remedies to improve her breath, and was thrilled to discover all natural Petzlife Oral Spray, made with specially formulated Grapefruit seed extract that can safely remove plaque and tartar, reverse oral disease, promote healthy gums, brighten teeth and kill the bacteria that causes bad breath. Petzllife oral care spray

Petzlife Oral Spray is perfectly safe for dogs, cats and even humans and there are no side effects. The main ingredient in is Grapefruit Seed extract, along with Grape Seed extract, Thyme oil, Neem oil, Rosemary oil, Peppermint oil, distilled water and grain alcohol. 

I just started Lulu on the program, so I'll keep you posted on her transformation from Fiercely-funky breath-dog to Funky-fresh-breath dog!

Article reprint courtesy of The Daily Treat at AnimalPlanet.com

Eliminate Grubby-Paw-Anxiety-Disorder with the Paw Plunger

The Paw Plunger

Are muddy, dirty dog paws the bane of your existence?  Take our quiz below to see if you suffer from Grubby Paws Anxiety Disorder (G-PAD):

  1. Do you occasionally avoid letting your dog outside because you know you'll have to wipe off all of his/her paws off before they gain re-entry?
  2. If you have a longer-haired dog, do you find mysterious debris, such as leaves and twigs, deposited in odd places throughout your home? 
  3. Are you embarrassed when guests see the condition of your paw-print coated floors in the light of day versus under the safe cover of dim nighttime lighting?
  4. Do you frequently suffer night sweats due to the regular sighting of dirty paw prints on your pillowcase, comforter or bed sheets?
  5. Are your car seats covered in dirty paw prints?

If you, like, uh, someone I know, answered a resounding YES to one or more of any of these questions, then you may be suffering from Grubby Paws Anxiety Disorder (G-PAD).

Hang on to your Mop-n-Glow: Help's on the Way

There is good news for G-PAD sufferers and help is now available to help lessen the effects of our condition. Available without a prescription in sizes for both small or large dogs, the innovative Pawplunger.com is a recent scientific development that can help lessen the effects of Grubby Paws Anxiety Disorder.

A fast and easy way to clean your dogs paws before they gain re-entry into your house (or car) simply Paw Plungerfill the Paw Plunger with water and the soft bristles inside the container gently yet effectively remove dirt and debris from your dog's paws.  It can also be used without water to brush off sand and dirt.

Starting at $24.99 for the small size, the Paw Plunger is available Muttropolis.com. Get one and GET LIVING! : )

Blog reprint courtesy of The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley at Animalplanet.com

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Adventures at Cardio Canine Class

Cardio Canine Class

                Team McCulley going for gold.

With summer upon us, it is most enjoyable to get our daily exercise in the fresh air of the great outdoors versus the stale air of the not-so-fresh gym. As well, I find that some of my most enjoyable workouts tend to be the kind that include friends, whether they be two or four-legged.

So when I spotted a new fitness concept called “Leash your Fitness” on the local news, I had to give it a try.  The only fitness concept of its kind in the Southern California region, Leash Your Fitness encompasses both you and your dog in a circuit style workout that involves cardio, strength, balance, yoga and dog obedience all in an hour workout – fun! 

After speaking with Leash Your Fitness founder Dawn Celapino, who is an ACE certified group and personal trainer, I was sold. So Zazou squeezed into his unitard and Schmoo threw on her legwarmers and off we went to our first cardio canine class.

The great thing about the class is that it not only challenged me physically, but the dogs were also challenged both physically and mentally. Schmoo and Zazou have never really done the whole “agility” thing (does counter surfing count?) and were initially unsettled with the idea of crawling through a tunnel or jumping over an obstacle. However, after a few pep talks, they couldn’t have been more pleased with themselves once they mustered up the mojo to tackle the tunnel and other major feats.

Little did I know that some of my best personal trainers are the ones curled up at my feet right now!

Check out our adventures with cardio canine class in this week’s video and watch it now>

Cardio Canine Class

Article reprint courtesy of AnimalPlanet's The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley.

The Swamp Cooler: A Cooling Vest for Dogs (not a backwoods cocktail)

Muttropolis Ruffwear Swamp Cooling vest for dogs
Zazou rocks the swamp cooler cooling vest.

With the temperatures rising during the summer, I'm always looking for ways to keep my pets cool, especially my crazy dog Zazou, who doesn't let 100 degree weather slow him down, despite my best attempts to get him to take a proverbial chill pill.

To beat the heat, many dogs need something akin to a personal air-conditioner, particularly active dogs that spend a lot of time outside in the heat, perhaps hiking and the like. Ruffwear's innovative Swamp Cooler is just that…a lightweight vest designed to help dogs both large and small stay cool, happy and active. Dogs can beat the heat and stay cool while you're hiking or biking, playing on the beach, boating on open water under full sun, or perhaps waiting for their turn during outdoor agility trials in the heat.

How the Swamp Cooler works:
The swamp cooler uses evaporative cooling to keep dogs cool in the heat and exchanges the dog’s heat with the coolness of the stored water.  The vest releases the heat as the water evaporates and the three-layer construction maximizes the cooling effects, with the top air-mesh layer generating evaporation and releasing heat. The middle layer absorbs and stores the cooling water and the bottom layer cools the dog.

Swamp Cooler Dog Vest - how it works

The light color of the vest reflects sunlight and ultraviolet rays for added sun protection! Starting at $52, you can find the Swamp Cooler Dog Vest at Muttropolis.com.

Article reprint courtesy of The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley at Animalplanet.com

It Was Just a Matter of Time: The Snuggie for Dogs

The Snuggie for Dogs

Fresh from the "Seriously!? Seriously." files, and just when you thought the Snuggie (or Slanket) had gone the way of the pet rock, brace yourself: Introducing the Snuggie for Dogs. Yes, you heard right, the Snuggie for Dogs.

Now your dog can be both warm and comfortable on the couch while being able to take a quick trip to the local dog park without having to take their blanket off. Its also a great gift idea for dogs who are Lord of the Rings enthusiasts and want to achieve the 'Gandalfy' look or who perhaps practice Buddhism. As well, given it's made of 100% synthetic mystery-material, the static charge generated by the Snuggie for Dogs can likely turn your dog into a super uber lint-roller and/or dust-bunny collection device. You'll never need to dust or vacuum your floors again.

As I understand it, the idea behind the original Snuggie is that it is essentially a blanket with sleeves and is open in the back, akin to a hospital gown. That said, the Snuggie for Dogs, as seen in the video on their site, is not "open in the back" but instead utilizes velcro closures to keep it on the dog. Call me crazy, but doesn't that make this something otherwise known a "dog coat?"

Regardless, you still need to watch the ridiculous video. Reason being, I had to watch it twice before believing that it was not a gag. This is an actual bona fide product….SRSLY. Enjoy!

Article reprint courtesy of The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley at Animal Planet.com