Sites to Sniff Archive

Rodent of an Unusual Size: Caplin the Pet Capybara

Capybara_65 Last week I posted a photo I received of a woman posing with her outrageous looking pet –  named Caplin – which was a fuzzy creature resembling a combination of a gargantuan Guinea Pig and humongous Hamster. Outfitted in a royal purple harness that's normally reserved for big dogs and larger animals, the fantastical creature looked like something out of the latest Tim Burton movie and almost certainly photoshopped. 

However, some cursory Googling confirmed otherwise! This enormous rodent was not a fake at all but something called a Capybara – the largest of all living rodents. Entering the world at less than 3lbs, the Capybara is a close relative of the Guinea Pig and grows to nearly 100lbs in their adulthood! Excellent swimmers and divers, Capybara's can stay underwater for five minutes and can even sleep underwater with only their noses poking out. They also communicate Caplin_profile_pool  with a variety of sounds including soft whimpers, clicking noises, purring and barking. 

Caplin the Capybara turns out to be somewhat of a celebrity Capybara, as he not only resides in a lovely ranch-style home in Austin complete with his own personal swimming pool, but he also has a website and more than 3180 Twitter followers.

Learn more about this fascinating rodent of an unusual size in the video below:

video caplin the capybara

Article reprint courtesy of Animal Planet's The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley

Funny Dog Video: Law & Order Theme Song Bums Out Dogs Across America

Dogs. DOINK! DOINK! Howling Dogs. DOINK! DOINK! These are their stories.

It all started when Knuckles the Jack Russell's parents noticed that each time he overheard the theme song of "Law & Order" on the television, he would begin to whimper and then forcefully howl his way through the opening credits while the theme song played on.

Finding his behavior nothing short of hysterically funny, Knuckle's parents did what any upstanding citizen would and should do…. they posted a video of him howling along to the song on Youtube. Since posting said video of Knuckles one year ago, and racking up more than 10,000 views, dozens of videos have since been posted of dogs with a similar aversion to the unmistakeable DOINK DOINK of the L&O theme song! 

Why they're howling: A thin plot-line? Volume too loud? An involuntary reaction?

According to ABC news and veterinary neurologist Susan Wagner, dogs are probably involuntarily howling at this song due to its higher-register notes in the iconic DOINK DOINK theme song. (I personally believe that it is the darkly criminal and somewhat upsetting story lines of the show that is totally bumming out these dogs.)

Dozens of videos reside on Youtube that showcase this hysterical howling…but my all time favorite is of the Doberman who is casually chilling in his Bark-o-lounger, complete with his cozy macrame blankie (and possibly a lap tray?) – it's awesome. Really. The second video is a mash up of a bunch of different dogs singing along, each one funnier than the next. ENJOY!

Article reprint courtesy of Animal Planet's The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley

What do the iPad and Puppies Have in Common?

Apple's newly launched mobile device – the iPad – is all the news lately, with industry thought-leaders and techno-nerds weighing in on the features of the new breakthrough gizmo.  Described as a "…truly magical and revolutionary product,"  by Apple Founder Steve Jobs, the iPad is being touted as a life-changing device that will impact the users in unimaginable ways. 

Life changing? Truly magical? Unimaginable joy?  

I'm sorry, but there are very few things in life that can bestow all these qualities and a  9.7 inch touch-screen device is not one of them.  If you, in fact,  are seeking something magical that brings unimaginable joy, look no further than the sixth annual display of canine cuteness that is Puppy Bowl VI.  

While the adorable puppies participating in Puppy Bowl VI will not help you record voice memos, update your Facebook profile or surf the web like the iPad can,  you indeed CAN play with puppies in direct sunlight and still see them clearly.

Learn more about Puppies, the iPad and Puppy Bowl VI in the hysterical video below and be sure to tune in to Puppy Bowl VI on Animal Planet on February 7 at 3pm!


Article reprint courtesy of Animal Planet's The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley

The Crazy Cat Lady Game

You indeed can have too many cats and still be a winner.

The Crazy Cat Lady Game Gift for Cat Lovers After taking in a healthy dose of music (and mud!) at the Austin City Limits music festival recently, my comrades and I enjoyed wandering Austin's fabulously quirky boho 'hood of South Congress, or SoCo.  It was there that we stumbled across the ridonkulously weird and wacky shop Monkey See, Monkey Do and discovered, among other things, The Crazy Cat Lady Game.

In this riveting board game you attempt to collect more cats than your fellow competitors as you, The Crazy Cat Lady, head out into the world (and around the board) to run some errands. On your journey you might visit the Pet Store, the Supermarket, the Vet or the Animal Shelter. But no matter where you go, you must be on the look out for more cats! Your ultimate objective is to possess the most cats when the Crazy Cat Lady returns back home. Gain more cats by landing on spaces like "Save a Cat Stuck in a Tree" and "Rescue Grumpy Old Cat From Pound." But watch out for spaces that take cats from you like "Beware of Dog" and "Kitten Distracted by Bit of Fluff." The Crazy Cat Lady Game is fantastic feline fun for the whole family.

Find The Crazy Cat Lady Game at either Monkey See, Monkey Do or online at

courtesy of The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley

Top Cat: Persian Puff Ball Wins 2009 Best in Show

Kuorii Gorilla of Cuzzoe

Did that furry toss pillow just meow at me?

The puffiest, poofiest, uber-fluffiest Persian cat you have ever seen in your life scratched out 650 other entries to land the coveted "Best in Show" prize at this year's "Catlanta" – the CFA International Cat Show in Atlanta held just last week. At only eight months old, Kuorii Gorilla of Cuzzoe (right) – nicknamed "Go Go" at home – is being touted as a "superb example of the Persian breed,” due to his massive bone structure, a round and smooth head, and over-the-top fluffy coat. 

When I first spotted this cat on CNN last night, it looked like the handler was petting some kind of fur throw or toss pillow – this cat is HUGE! 

Other finalists included a platinum Tonkinese male called "Purrtek's Syrah", a silver and white American Shorthair called "KCDancers Eye-of-the-Tiger", a Maine Coon called "Highlander Tony Bennett of Wenlock", and a Burmese cat called "Mar-chu Electra of Karleton".

Cat Agility Tourney?

In addition to the best in show contest, the International Cat Show also featured a kitty agility course which you simply have to see to believe. Check out the video below, and to learn more about Persian cats visit Cats 101 on Animal Planet.

Article reprint courtesy of Animal Planet's The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley

Serenity Meow! Cat Cafes on the Rise

Tokyo Cat Cafes
One of our globe-trotting friends always finds the coolest, most random out-of-the way travel destinations -  and this week was no exception when she sent us a note about the crazy Cat Cafes she found throughout the city of Tokyo.

Cat cafes you ask? Don't worry … they aren't serving up Cat au Gratin like some of Japan's less evolved neighbors out east, but instead the cat is celebrated and honored in these unique cafes.

"I'd like a decaf-capp, add one cat please"

In the densely populated and hustling city of Tokyo – where residents not only long work hours but tight and expensive real estate limit pet ownership – cat cafes are a cultural trend. There are at least seven of them operating in Tokyo, packing customers in at fees varying from $8 to $12 an hour. Given the busy lifestyles of Japanese people dearly longing for a moment of peace and comfort, these cat cafes offer them a dose of kitty calm and serenity along with their tea … and they don't seem to mind the staff dipping their whiskers in their tea or pouncing on their fur coat. (Of note, word is that in Cafe Calico, an upholstered reception chair no longer looks like itself.)

Vacuums are ever-present, everyone going in must wash their hands and use liquid sanitizers. Shoes must be removed (a Japanese custom in homes but not normally in public places).

Of the seven cat cafes in operation in Tokyo, the globe-trotters over at Spot Cool Stuff Travel have sniffed out  the top three cafes, which according to them are: The Calico Cat Cafe, Neko JaLaLa (means 'cat' in Japanese) and Nekorobi. Check out Spot Cool Stuff Travel for locations and details.

Everyone poops. Not everyone has a poop butler.

Doody Calls: The business of pet business

Dog_poop_signI recently came across a strangely interesting statistic stating that more than 300+ companies in the United States and Canada specialize solely in pet poop pick up and removal.…this according to the Association of Professional Animal Waste Specialists (yes, there is such an association…complete with a board of directors). Fondly referring to themselves as “entre-manures” these industrial individuals have created bona fide businesses based purely upon our pet’s “business,” – and considering that 62% of U.S. households own a pet, that’s a whole lotta business coming their way!

My initial assumption about these entre-manures is that they undoubtedly must possess 1) a shovel and 2) a sense of humor  – in order be in the business of “pet business.” Judging from their company names that I managed to scoop up after a bit of Googling, I was clearly accurate in my assumption. While it may appear that I am regressing to seventh grade in sharing my findings, given their ridiculousness, I just had to share these highly amusing and creative company names. Here are my top seven favorites…enjoy!

  1. Minesweepers Pet Waste Removal
  2. ScooperDude
  3. Doodycalls (we can only imagine how they answer the phone: ”Doody Calls!….hold please…)
  4. Dr. Doo
  5. Got Dooky?
  6. Scoopypoo
  7. Doo Bandits

So if you’re looking for a poop butler in your ‘hood, feel free to visit the Association of Professional Animal Waste Specialists for a pooper scooper near you!

Article reprint courtesy of Animal Planet's The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley

The Persuit of Cute: Top 5 Fave Time-wasting Websites

Louie-the-upside-down-pug-dog-breed-420x348 Easing back into the work-week after an extended weekend is never easy, especially if you’ve been in certified ‘vacation mode’ and possibly engaged in activities that perpetuate conversion of your gray matter into Jell-O Brand Jello.  After a three-day weekend of sun, fun and hot dog buns, digging back into the realities of life and work can be akin to a root canal.

We here at The Daily Treat and Muttropolis understand the pain of returning to work or school after vacation and would like to offer you some support during this difficult time.  To help ease your transition back into reality and ensure your brain isn't overcome by toxic work-related information, we highly recommend you punctuate your day with small bursts of joy by visiting the following hysterically pointless websites. As certified time-wasters, they are sure to put a smile back on your face and help you manage through what surely will be a challenging week. Good luck. Just do it.

Rotator-4 1) – Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like. I find that the dogs with flappy, floppy lips are truly the true contenders on this site and that an overwhelming number of the dogs resemble something from a Stephen King or Stephenie Meyer novel.

2) – Need we say more? It's about cats. And kittens. Who like sinks. And basins.

3) – Videos of everything from baby bunnies, hamsters, elephants, kittens and of course, puppies, struggling to stay awake and ultimately falling asleep.  One of my faves is the sleepy puppy video "Juno the English Bulldog takes a sitting nap." Be sure to stay with it 'till the very end for the crescendo

GHI-Schmoo 'do 4) Pimpyourpooch
Ever wondered what your Mastiff might look like with the Jennifer/Rachel flip or what your Dachsund might look like with The Donald's 'do? Well now's your chance to find the answer to that burning question. My dog Schmoo has always wanted to know what she'd look like as a blonde…(see pic at right) and now she's begging for Ken Paves extensions.

5) Yup. That's it. A site dedicated to the pleasure that Putty Tat's find in the confines of cardboard.


Blog reprint courtesy of Animal Planet's The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley.

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

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.