Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Resolution to Promote Horse Slaughter is Defeated!

Barbaro enjoys a refreshing bath

The "Barbaro Effect" continues to weave its' magic. This incredibly good news, which was released on April 25, just four days prior to Barbaro's birthday demonstrates how dedicated his fans are to taking action to benefit all horses. I felt compelled to re-post the article below, to keep folks informed about the progress that is being made in the work that is underway to ensure the passage of H.R.503/S.311.

National Conference of State Legislators Defeats Resolution to Promote Horse Slaughter is Defeated!

April 25, 2008 (Washington, D.C.)  A renegade resolution to promote the continued slaughter of American horses for human consumption abroad was defeated at today's meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). The measure, offered by state Representative David Sigdestad (D-SD), urged the United States Congress to oppose the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, currently pending in Congress. AWI commends those state legislators who stood up in support of humane treatment of horses.

"The scheme was yet another dirty trick brought to you by the horse slaughter industry and its lobbyists. Contrary to their claims, the federal American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act has enormous Congressional and public support, and the current trend at the state level has also been towards the passage of laws that protect horses from slaughter," said Chris Heyde, deputy director of government and legal affairs for the Animal Welfare Institute.

The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (S. 311/H.R. 503), will prohibit the slaughter of American horses here or abroad for human consumption in Europe and Asia where it is often considered a delicacy. The Senate and House versions have 38 and 200 cosponsors, respectively.

Polls show the majority of Americans support an end to the foreign-driven trade, as do hundreds of horse industry leaders and organizations, humane groups and dozens of celebrities. As a result, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act passed the United States House of Representatives by an overwhelming margin in the 109th Congress and is up for reconsideration again. States are also weighing in.

"While the US Congress is considering a federal ban, California, Texas and Illinois have taken action to send this predatory business packing. South Dakota recently considered the issue when a bill authorizing state funds for the construction of a horse slaughterhouse was stopped in its tracks, yet here we have a legislator from South Dakota, Representative Sigdestad, offering a resolution that flies in the face of legislative trend and public sentiment," said Heyde. "We must enact the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act immediately to protect America"s horses from being trucked alive across our borders for slaughter abroad, and to further the will of those states that have enacted measures to end this barbaric trade."
In recent years, more than 100,000 American horses were slaughtered annually at three foreign-owned horse slaughterhouses operating out of Texas and Illinois while tens of thousands more were exported to Canada and Mexico for slaughter there. Last year laws were enacted in Texas and Illinois prohibiting the slaughter, thus shutting down the country's remaining domestic plants. Nonetheless, the industry continues to haul huge numbers of American horses over the border for slaughter where they may be stabbed in the neck to induce paralysis before slaughter.

"There has been a concerted effort by the misnamed 'Horse Welfare Coalition,' mentioned in Representative Sigdestad's resolution, to mislead legislators and the American public on the gruesome nature of horse slaughter. The fact is that this coalition was founded and is led by the very same foreign-owned companies that were previously slaughtering our horses here and are now trucking them over the border to Canada and Mexico to do the same, only under worse conditions. That the horse slaughter lobby claims to be working in the best interest of American horses by pushing for the defeat of a federal ban on their slaughter is disingenuous," said Heyde.

"We're just glad that reason ruled the day and the NCSL defeated the resolution."

Let's keep the momentum going, folks! Please continue to make those phone calls and help get these bills passed! Our beloved horses are counting on you!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

National Call In Day: In Honor of Barbaro's Birthday. Let's Get Those Phone lines Blinking!


Happy Birthday Barbaro!

Let's honor your special day by taking the immediate action that is crucial. Let's celebrate by making these phone lines light up brightly!

The Humane Society of The United States posted an urgent request this morning:

"Today is the National Call-In Day for Horses, in honor of
Barbaro's birthday! Time is running out for Congress to pass the
American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R. 503/S. 311) to end the transport to slaughter of American horses to Mexico and Canada.

"Let's light up the phones on Capitol Hill to send the message
loud and clear that we want a permanent ban on horse slaughter now.

Here's How To Help!

"When you call, you will speak to a staff member who will pass
your message along to your legislator. Remember to be polite and professional, and leave your name and address so it is clear
that you are a constituent.

You can say:

"Hello, my name is [your name] and I'm calling from [your town]
to urge [legislator's name] to co-sponsor the American Horse
Slaughter Prevention Act, H.R. 503/S. 311, to end the transport
to slaughter of American horses. We must end this cruel practice once and for all. Thank you."

"2. We are tracking the impact of your calls, so click here: Let us know you called your legislators:

"3. Finally, please tell all of your friends and family to call today and throughout this week.

"Your calls have made a difference in the past, so please make
the call today. Together, we can stop horse slaughter.


Wayne Pacelle
President & CEO
The Humane Society of the United States"

To contact your Representatives

To contact the Senate


Additionally, call Senator Craig (who is presently blocking S.311). Politely relay this message to his aide, "

“We ask that Senator Craig allow Bill S. 311, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, to move forward.”

Senator Craig: 202-224-2752
Toll-Free #'s: 800-828-0498 - - 800-828-1887 - - 800-614-2803


Your support is appreciated so much. Barbaro and all the horses thank you!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Goodbye To Patti: Experiencing Grief Upon the Loss of a Beloved Mare.


Over thirty years have passed since my first horse, Patti died in her 7th month of pregnancy.  While I have emotionally and intellectually accepted her death today and am able to talk about it more easily, whenever I do I open myself to re-experiencing the depth of love that I still feel for her, and the hole left in my heart ... it took me five years after Patti's death  to be able to write the original article, (which appeared in THE CHRONICLE OF THE HORSE in the April 15, 1983 edition).  It was the initial step in the long journey in learning to accept her loss, and being able to finally let her go. It was also a vehicle for me to be able to discuss how the loss of a beloved animal, who often is considered to be a part of our family,is often not considered to be as "important" as the loss of a beloved human being.

I was inspired to re-write the article this morning, since this is the week that many horse lovers are celebrating Barbaro's life, through sharing our enormous love for him, I remember all too well that sorrowful day, January 29,2007 when Barbaro died. I not only experienced a  powerful depth of sadness by his loss,  but I also re-experienced the overwhelming sorrow I felt  30 years ago when Patti also died so unexpectedly.


My lovely old mare was quiet and kind. She was responsive and affectionate. She seemed to have a special love for the physically handicapped children who rode her in complete safety and joy  during the therapeutic riding sessions provided by the Pegasus Riding for the Disabled program, at our barn.  My lovely old mare accepted my love without question or judgement. 

I was preparing myself for the fact that she was, in reality, getting on in years. She was 17 when I discussed the feasibility of breeding her with my vet. After the go ahead. I made the decision to breed her, so that we could pass on her legacy; her special disposition and quiet way of being, to a new life.

After finding the perfect stallion, a gentle Thoroughbred named Jolly Thief, we were thrilled that the breeding was a success. Patti was "in foal". The joy that I felt,  along with her many fans was indeed a tribute to our great love for her.

Through the winter months we waited and saw her grow round and full. We watched with delight her baby kicking within her, and felt life throughout her.  Death was an unreality, a never-thought-of event.  Life was good. Patti was lovely, fat and sassy. 

However, the words, "We lost Patti last night" still resound in my head as one of the deepest shocks and losses I had ever experienced.  No Patti, no foal, nothing remained.  We had been cheated.

Cultural and Social Responses

When death is expected and close by, people have the opportunity to prepare slowly and in various degrees to accept the inevitable event.  When the loss is a human being, we have been  conditioned to "understand" and empathize with the bereaved in social and work-related contexts.  Mourning behaviors can be expressed within cultural frameworks.  Volumes have been written on the subject of death.  Loss is very subjective and personal in the ways in which we experience it.

Existing social norms permit life disruption as a result of the loss of a significant other, but rarely the loss of  a pet.  The value of a pet's worth as opposed to a fellow human being is frequently questioned, and that loss is often described by those who do not understand, as "only a dog" or "just a cat", in contrast to the premium placed upon a spouse, child, sibling, parent or dear friend.  The importance of the animal-human bond is more often than not, played out as one which is secondary and, in fact by those who have never experienced the depth of feeling for an animal, can be often judged as a substitution for the more "appropriate" and normal inter-human relationship.

I experienced this phenomenon from the outset of my intense grief at Patti's loss.  Initially, my employer was sympathetic and supportive to taking time off work, but later inquired as to how I planned to account for the time - vacation, personal leave or a "sick" days.  How could this be resolved?  I was not sick, did not attend to personal business, and it certainly was no vacation! 

Had I been confronted by the death of my child, there would have been an established category to protect my right to mourn.  In attempting to enlighten her to the fact that Patti's death left me unable to adequately perform my job, I became very aware of the gap in our value systems, and in the general society's as a whole.

Well-meaning people, eager to comfort me, tried to minimize my loss and advised me to replace her as soon as possible.  The energy I expended in the desperate search for Patti's replacement I learned was an attempt to avoid the depth of pain I was experiencing..

Would these same people encourage me to  immediately become involved in a new relationship in the event of my husband's death?  I would think not.  A significant period of mourning, following the death of a human family member, is supported and encouraged by those with whom we regularly interact, yet the grief associated with the loss of a pet generally does not receive that same validation of feelings.  I realized then there is a huge need to educate people who are unaware of the magnitude of such a loss that grieiving cannot be categorized into what is allowed and "appropriate" and what is abnormal and "inappropriate".

After several months of searching for a new horse, I purchased a young gelding but was devoid of feeling.  I hoped that a relationship would grow; however, I could not be fair to him as I constantly compared him to Patti, and was frustrated by the fact that they were not the same.  She was unique to herself.  I sold him to a friend within several months, where he was able to receive the love he deserved.

A year later, while visiting a local stable, a small brown horse cantering in the ring with a young girl on her back, captured my eye. The little girl was laughing in delight, enjoying her ride and the glorious summer afternoon. I became fascinated and mesmerized as I  to watched the two  with intense interest.  I felt my hear open wide and beat quickly with anticipation.  I had long  stopped consciously looking for Patti, but I knew immediately that Patti had found her for me. Sweet and Low and I found each other.


I shared my life with her for many years.  She, too, was an older horse with a loving, quiet disposition.  She, too, assisted handicapped children to ride.  In fact, Patti and Sweet and Low were very similar nature, but when I compared them I found myself doing so based upon my affection for both rather than out of a sense of loss.  I derived pleasure from having the opportunity to have been able to share my life with two remarkable mares.  

I feel a strong need to share this knowledge with others which gives us the opportunity to talk about the need for society in general to give credence to the relationship that many people have with their pets, no matter what species. There should not be a distinction in the impact made upon us when experiencing the loss of a human being or a beloved pet. The need still  exists for further education so that these losses will be viewed with equal support and empathy which will enable the bereaved to work through the grieving process without judgement.

We cannot replace a beloved pet or human being.  The danger that exists when we attempt to do so is the potential loss of their individuality and the unique joy we experience with them.

Have you deeply experienced the loss of a beloved pet, and felt unsupported in your grief? How did you handle it? Please leave a comment and share with us.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Silent Sunday: Honoring Barbaro

I still believe in love at first sight. I am sure I am not only an incurable romantic when it comes to my love for animals, but I succumbed to the magic that Barbaro, the much beloved race horse exuded the moment he flew over the finish line, winning the 132nd Run for The Roses, the 2006 Kentucky Derby, by 6 1/2 lengths. His win was the biggest victory margin in a Derby since 1946.

I am a passionate horse lover but not as avid a Horse Racing fan as many of my friends,but the triple crown races, (Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes) always find me glued to my TV.  Barbaro's grace, strength and magnificent athletic talent captured my heart. My love affair with him began on May 6,2006.  He continues to remain embedded in my heart as well  in all the hearts of his fans throughout the world.060506_barbaro_hmed_3p_h2 
Photo by:Don Emmert

While all Thoroughbred's birthdays are recorded as January 1, the beloved race horse, Barbaro's actual birthday is April 29. So in celebration of his life, and to highlight the contributions he continues to make through the efforts of the FOB's (Fans of Barbaro) to help all horses in need, I will be posting entries about him throughout  the upcoming week.

Share with us, by leaving a comment, your thoughts about Barbaro and how he continues to have an impact on your spirit.

Watch this magnificent video tribute to Barbaro, created by phutc7274: "Barbaro... Simply The Best."

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Lucyfur's Adoption: A Miraculous Match

first pictures 036
It was heartbreaking for us to surrender our adorable Lucyfur to be re-homed last month. My husband and I adored her sweet purrsonality and her appealing little habits which were quite unique. Her deep throated purr, accompanied by incessant kneading and drooling especially endeared her to me. While she was very affectionate with us, she remained aloof from our two other kitties, never really bonding with them.

first pictures 198

Lucyfur seemed unhappy with them and kept to herself most of the time. It was also apparent that a difficult situation was developing  between Trouble, our white Oriental Shorthair neuter and Lucyfur, as they both began spraying in our bedroom.

After an exhausting and thorough search for answers to our kitty problems, assisted by our caring veterinarian, Dr. Erin Holder and  the enlightening session I had with Lisa Reber, an animal communicator, our concern about Lucyfur's discontent was validated. Trouble was telling Lisa that Lucyfur was very unhappy and longed to be an only kitty which would afford her the opportunity to receive undivided love and affection. She had no desire to live with other cats.

In an entry I posted earlier this week, Cats That Spray I wrote that  several people were interested in adopting Lucyfur. Since she is such a charming and coquettish kitty, I was not at all surprised that she was touching people's hearts. Several days later I spoke with Linda, the office manager at Florida Wild Veterinary Hospital. She informed me that a charming couple, who had no other cats, had fallen in love with Lucyfur and were  in the process of adopting her. Late yesterday afternoon, when my caller I.D. displayed the clinic's phone number, my heart skipped a beat. I was thrilled to hear Linda's voice informing me that "Lucy has gone to her new home."

However, there are some rather unusual events surrounding Lucyfur's adoption.It seems that her new "fur parents" have recently relocated from New York to Florida. We made that same move in 2001. Additionally they live in the same town as we do. 

The icing on the cake is that they wanted to adopt only one kitty. As far as I am concerned, I have finally come to the conclusion that my husband and I provided long term fostering for Lucyfur until her forever family made their presence known. I am so grateful to Florida Wild Animal Hospital for the loving care with which they provided Lucyfur during her transition time, and the people who have taken her into their hearts and home. Purrhaps one day we shall meet . . . could it be at the petfood aisle in our local shopping center?

Do you think that this adoption scenario is a  bizarre coincidence, or further evidence that our cats really find us through a mysterious process that we will never quite understand?

Leave a comment and tell us your thoughts.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Fabulous Friday on Frequently Feline: Meet Fluffy the Wonder Cat!

Fluffy on Couch 04-15-2008
Fluffy,(often referred to affectionately as Fluffykins), is a determined, feisty kitty, rescued and adopted by Laurentha. She is not only beautiful, but has named herself to be a spokespurrson for all pets considered by many folks to be disabled. She has no idea that she is "handicapped". Rather than focusing on her disability, she often is heard to profess that  it is ability that counts.

Incontinent due to an injury as a baby kit which caused hind end paralysis, Fluffy wears a diaper.  But this does not prevent her from being a mischievious rabble rouser. She can be quite the instigator to inspire her feline and canine pals to noisily tear around the house.

I had the honor and pleasure of interviewing Fluffy and her kitty servant, Laurentha almost two years ago as I was curious find out more about this delightful diva and her view on life. The interview can be read at: Interview With Fluffy and Laurentha.

Fluffy on Couch (2) 04-15-2008 
Fluffy has grown into a gorgeous kitty, who continues to reign her household with an iron paw. It is a pleasure to introduce her here as our Pet of The Week.

Leave a comment to give a "paws up" to Fluffykins and Laurentha to conCatulate them!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Horseback Riding Lessons at Their Feliniest!

It is my no means a secret that cats and horses are my passion. I have always felt that there is a connection between these two species. Many horses enjoy the companionship of a particular horse, and many barn cats are magnetically attracted to them  and hang out in their stalls. They also enjoy keeping "their" horses company when turned out to graze.

Even Barbaro, one of the most famous race horses in history,(for whom we will be celebrating his life next week) was happy to have one of his own feline fans.


I do have irrefutable proof  however, of what may appear to some folks to be the epitome of the "Odd Couple". But in reality, cats and horses have been buddies for eons.


Rhoda's photograph of one of her barn cats, Chung, with her equine pal, Sugar demonstrates their purrfect relationship.

Rhoda writes,"Guess Chung has been watching my daughter ride too much. He is now showing off how easy it is for a cat to ride bare back on Sugar.  Bare back riding is not only for humans anymore."

According to Rhoda, Chung is a furry to both her horses and her dog. Seems to me that Chung is kitty with excellent taste! Do you agree?

Leave a comment for Rhoda with your reaction to this most unusual riding lesson!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Cats That Spray: Update on Trouble, our Kitty

Of all the  agonizing and frustrating behavior problems which I have encountered over my years of self-imposed servitude to the feline species, inappropriate elimination without a definitive cause remains the most difficult one  with which I have had to deal.

first pictures 059

I have written about Trouble, our white Oriental Shorhair's recently found passion for anointing our box spring, mattress and the carpet under our bed with the accuracy which rivals the most skillful fireman's hose, and our unceasing efforts to find the answer to what is driving him to continue this behavior. It often feels to  me that I am on the quest  searching for  the golden fleece at times, ( no pun intended). I also wrote about my session with an animal communicator to assist in our search for an answer. I am happy to report that she was right on the money in her conversation with Trouble, as her suggestions seem to be panning out really well.

Since Lucyfur is seeking a more appropriate home, and is not living in our house, (several people are interested in adopting her), Trouble has quieted down significantly. He no longer paces and yowls, which is making my husband and me far less anxious. His spraying episodes have diminished substantially as well. He is no longer being treated with psychotropic medication, and the aggressive behavior between Trouble and Hush Hush has lessened noticeably.

first pictures 011

We began using a really promising herbal product called No Spray, available from Within a couple of weeks of adding a few drops to their water, the episodes of spraying decreased greatly, but have not ceased completely. We are continuing to test him further to find a definitive cause.

As many cat lovers know, the leading cause of cats surrendered to shelters is spraying. But with patience and commitment, we can keep our kitties in our hearts and homes.

Have you had a cat that sprayed? What did you do to get to the cause, and how did you handle it?  Please leave a comment.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Kitty Cure for Insomnia? A Picture is Worth. . .

I have been having difficulty sleeping for the past few nights. I am frankly exhausted by now.  Not wanting to take a sleeping pill, I thought it might be a good idea to consult with my cats for any assistance they might be able to PURRvide for me.


This photograph does have a somewhat hypnotic effect on me . . .

Are you getting sleepy too?  Leave a comment . . . or a lullabye, please!

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Art of Head Butting: Photo Needs a Caption!


There is nothing sheepish about these two adorable pals, who apparently seem to have the art of head butting down to a science.

Makes me wonder if Matty is learning feline "tricks" from his good feline friend, Lazarus. Their human mom, DBDustbuny, may know their secret, and purrhaps will share it with us!

What do you think these two are communicating with each other? I do think that a caption is needed here. Get creative and join in this mini-contest which closes on April 28. Winner's name and caption will be announced, of course.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Silent Sunday on Frequently Feline: Meet Mario

If I didn't know better, I would think that someone cloned our white Oriental Shorthair, Trouble.  When I ran across this cute video created  by Creepymonsterboy, I did a double trouble take, and immediately fell in love with Mario.

I do wonder what may be causing  Mario's deafness however, as Oriental Shorthairs do not have the same genetic makeup that predisposes them to deafness, even though frequently blue-eyed white cats are deaf.

Enjoy the video and marvel at our how much our cats really resemble each other.  Don't you agree? Leave a comment after you wipe your eyes!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Is Your Cat Multi-Lingual? If so, Services Needed!

As a fun "hobby" I have been participating in the cat's community on Yahoo Answers. It's quite habit forming, but a lot of fun. The other day I ran across a question and answer that just had me rolling on the floor, laughing out loud. I had to share the question and answer with friends, who also found themselves having a good belly laugh, so I thought I would share them on the blog this morning.


The questioner may be referring to a Russian Blue cat.

"I bought a cat from Russia and now I am having a communication problem. I guess it only speaks Russian because whenever I ask it if its hungry it doesn't reply. I asked my other cats to talk to it but they don't know Russian either. Does anybody know where I can find local Russian cat translators? I don't know what this cat needs and the language barrier is putting distress throughout my family of cats.

I am a 23 year old dude with a cat family and nobody seems to take this problem seriously. This language barrier is causing turmoil within my kitty family."

And the response by a very clever and resourceful Yahoo Answer cat lover.

"The Department of Homeland Security has cats from all over the world in place to help in situations such as yours. Because terrorists can look like anything or anybody, they and the Immigration and Naturalization Dept must be ready with Translator Cats(dogs are available). These cats are from Turkey (Turkish Vans), Iran (Persians), Tibet (Himalayans),Russia (Russian Blues), and other countries such a Singapore(Singapura) and even Britain (British Blues) for example.

Being that your cat is Russian, however, they may want to assure that he has the proper paperwork in order, or they may try to deport him, as often happens. You don't say where you are from, but if you are close to Brighton Beach in NJ (?) I believe there is a large Russian population that can help translate(this according to the Sopranos). They may exact a large price for the service...

I would just place a Black Russian or White Russian close by while you teach him American Sign Language, if he doesn't like the Vodka, you drink it and give him tuna and water...

This response was chosen as the "Best Answer" with the comment by the asker, "This was very helpful. I hope I can learn what my new Russian cat is interested in. Thank you! "

I thought that this was a most charming and creative interchange between two people who have a stellar sense of humor.  What do you think about their conversation? Leave a comment and let us know your reactions!

Friday, April 18, 2008

"101 Dalmatians" Contest: We Have a Tie!

As promised,  I am thrilled to announce the winners of the "101 Dalmatians". Congratulations to both of our winners. These charming entries showed creativity and a definite proclivity to see spots in front of their eyes.

So without further ado, here are the winning entries.

spotted grey

M00NLTSNTA's "peacock" spots that adorn her horse, Zane Grey, was quite catchy! I have seen dappled greys before but this one goes way beyond dappled. This photo "fix" is quite imaginative.


Of course, DBDustbuny's kitty, Dustbunny, wears her spots with pride.  I wonder what she would think if she saw herself in this creative fur coat, don't you?

In the "honorable" mention category, Spike, an 18 year-old Cockatiel, who belongs to Kim, while only sporting one spot on his adorable head, had to be included as it is so prominent.


Thanks to everyone who participated in our contest. The two first place winners will receive a copy of the excellently remastered DVD of this heart-warming film.


So let's lavish our winners profusely by giving them the Frequently Feline "thumbs up" by leaving congratulatory comments for them.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Fabulous Friday on Frequently Feline: One Day Early

Since I will be announcing the winners of the "101 Dalmatians" contest tomorrow, I was compelled to  post this weekly feature a day in advance.

Of course you remember Grace, who was featured as Pet of the Week last week, on our Fabulous Friday on Frequently Feline.

Well it seems that her "lofty" position has been rivaled by Linda's big boy, Simon who she adopted when he was 7 1/2 years old. Linda, a vet tech, has a heart as big as all outdoors. Simon had been signed over to the clinic where she was working. He had been put out as a declawed cat, taken to a "no kill" shelter but was almost put to sleep because he was a biter.

He was eventually adopted but developed a serious upper respiratory infection. When he was ready to go home, he needed a feeding tube but his owner was not able to deal with it, so she reluctantly signed him over to the clinic. Linda and Simon fell in love with one another instantly, and the love affair continues.


He now weighs 18 pounds. He is a "talker" which Linda so thoroughly enjoys. She only regrets that she did not have him as a fur kid since his kittenhood.

From his appearance, Simon is not at all shy about telling the world who he is. This is a lot of cat, don't you agree? I just love his pose. I wonder if he is recovering from a catnip hangover?  Let's conCATulate Simon  by leaving a comment for being our Pet of the Week.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Special Needs Animals: How They Contribute to Our Lives.

Shiloh: A special horse with Moonblindness

Janet Roper, an Animal Communicator with whom I became acquainted through the Internet, is a passionate animal lover and is also a dedicated musician. In addition to sharing her life with several furry beings, she has a lovely 16 year old horse named Shiloh, with whom she has shared her heart for 11 years. Shiloh is blind in  his left eye due to Moonblindness, a condition that can be caused by parasites, bacterial infection, virus or trauma.


Janet describes her relationship with Shiloh as the "love of my life!". She wrote that Shiloh said, "he wanted a blanket with yellow stars on it- You probably can't see the the stars, but they're there."

I have no question that Janet considers Shiloh to be both a pet and part of her family.

Shiloh often is a guest blogger on Janet's site! Please take the opportunity to visit her blog and see what he may have to say.


There is something very special in the relationship that we build with a "special needs" animal. In regard to horses, from my own experience sharing my life with two of them who had medical conditions resulting in lameness which could be controlled by special shoeing and prudent medication, I shorly came to  realize that the bond between us deepened as I provided the day to day care that they needed. Both of these horses may have ended up "down the road" had I not taken the chance to give them a second chance at a more tranquil and less demanding life. Both of these horses enriched my life deeply, as I feel that Shiloh is enriching Janet's.

Have you ever shared your heart with a special needs pet? If so, how has it enriched your life?  Please leave a comment and tell us about it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"101 Dalmatians" Contest Continues

The "101" Dalmatians" Contest will end in two days, so please get those entries in. Mail photos or icons to

DBDustbuny's creative submission had me laughing out loud. Now how did she get those spots on her kitty? spottedDustbuny

I love this unique and charming photo-fix, don't you?

Remember that the contest closes on April 17! I am looking to see more "spots in front of my eyes."

Monday, April 14, 2008

Help Rescue Group Buy Hay: Grab A Raffle Ticket!

Easter arrivals - Doc and Sundance

"It ain't just hay", is a common expression we frequently use to compare an object of high monetary value to what was, at one time an inexpensive commodity.

As horse lovers and owners know to well, the price of hay has recently risen exponentially. As a result of the high cost of hay, the rescue group, Beauty's Haven Farm and Equine Rescue needs our help to defray the cost of feeding their rescued horses.

Thanks to the Fans of Barbaro, Doc and Sundance were rescued from the auction circuit,(where they languished for awhile, showing signs of obvious neglect)by  Beauty's Haven Farm and Equine rescue where they have been given another chance at life. Doc and Sundance were Easter arrivals to the rescue.

The cost of maintaining  horses is very high. Beauty's Haven Farm and Rescue have given horse lovers a chance to help. They are holding a special raffle with the proceeds earmarked to defray the cost of hay. Each ticket purchased represents one bale of hay for their horses.

The drawing of the raffle will take place on April 26 during Barbaro's Legacy 2008 celebration day.

Each ticket is available for only $15 and offers those who participate the opportunity to win this beautiful prize, valued over $100.00. They are raffling an awesome LUSH “Think Pink” gift box full of natural and handmade goodies (No Animal Testing)



Tickets can be purchased by contacting their Pay Pal or you can  mail your donation to P.O. Box 53, Morriston, FL  32668.  Donations are tax deductible - they are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Let's help make this event a huge success!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Silent Sunday: Kitty and Catnip, 35 Second Party

There is nothing more enticing to most cats than a high quality fresh catnip.

Trouble, our White Oriental Shorthair obviously is delighting in the effects of this feline version of "whacky weed".

Do your cats enjoy a taste of catnip? How do they respond to it? Leave a comment and let us know!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Ziggy Stardust: A Happy Dog


I love hearing stories that talk about the very special bond between animals and their human caretakers, (who are often referred to as their "human parents").

I bet if I had the opportunity to be able to speak personally with this adorable pooch she would  have a lot to say about her wonderful life, surrounded by the many species, including cats, horses and the other variety of critters with whom she shares her loving home.

Livinginavandown's adorable "Chug", (a cross between a Chihuahua and a Pug) Ziggy Stardust, was one of the more fortunate dogs who received the gift of adoption from a Shelter to which she had been surrendered. Her owner considers her to be one of the best investments she has ever made by bringing this loving pooch into her heart and home. 

Ziggy Stardust  has made it perfectly clear to her human mom that she considers herself to be a "big dog"  while she carefully watches over her "mom". She is ever so protective of her during those special times that they share while Livinginavandown is out enjoying "our Earth Mother". Ziggy Stardust proudly wears the beaded necklace given to her as a gift. It makes her feel so darned feminine.Isn't she precious?

Have you ever had the opportunity to adopt a shelter dog? Leave a comment and tell us about your experience.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Fabulous Friday on Frequently Feline: Meet Grace


I just about collapsed in tears of laughter when I saw this photograph that Sondra sent me of her kitty, Grace. This is what Sondra wrote about the picture.

"I caught my 5-year Grace in this position during one of her afternoon naps in her favorite chair. She was not happy to be disturbed, but her position was so interesting that I couldn't help taking her picture.

"She sat there like this long enough for me to get 4 or 5 snapshots before going off in a huff to her alternate napping location, my king-sized Sleep Number bed! She prefers my husband's side of the bed because it's softer. "

I think that Grace's position in life deserves to feature her as Pet of the Week. Please add your congratulatory messages by leaving a comment for her.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Things We Learn From Owning a Horse: To Tickle Your Funny Bone

Having been owned by a few horses during my lifetime, when I ran across this little ditty, I nearly fell off my chair laughing. These words of wisdom are absolutely true. I hope they will delight you as much as they did me.


Kim and Raven enjoy a fun moment of bonding.

1. People who don't take care of their own horses will be the first ones to tell you how to care for yours.

2. You should never buy a cheap girth!

3. A handsome horse who's badly behaved will become a lot less attractive in about 15 minutes.

4. People who think they have nothing more to learn about riding, hit the ground the hardest.

5. Children and ponies are natural allies and often have identical dispositions.

6. The richest horse people most often look the poorest.

7. The closeness of a horse is one of the sweetest smells in the world.

8. A solitary ride through the woods is more beneficial then six months with the best psychiatrist.

9. The worse a person rides the more likely they are going to blame it on the horse.

10. The best thing about going to the barn first thing in the morning is that horses don't care how you look.

11. If a dealer insists a horse is worth twice what he's asking he's usually worth half that much.

12. The best way to appreciate how another person rides is to get on their horse, but it can be a quick way to get hurt.

13. It is not wise to argue with something that outweighs you buy 1,000 pounds

14. I'd rather have a horse with a perfect mind then a perfect head.

15. If you think you have left the water on in the barn you have, if you think you have closed the pasture gate, you haven't.

16. When someone asks you if you like their horse always say 'yes'.

17. The happiest people I know own horses, dogs, cats and at least one deranged goat.

18. If you're looking for the perfect horse you will never own one.

19. Owning a horse can either make a marriage or break it.

20. If someone says that horse has a little buck, it has a BIG buck.

21. If we need rain, schedule a show.

22. A clean stables and a sparkling horse are among life's great pleasures.

23. Even free horses can be too expensive. Especially, free horses.

24. A more expensive horse doesn't make a better one.

25. I will never ever have an empty stable and I have accepted that fact.

26. Losing a horse can break your heart, but it will have been worth it.

If you can't imagine life without a horse... DON'T

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Puppy and Kitten Mills: A Blight on Animal Welfare

EllieMae: A St. Bernard Puppy purchased from a reputable breeder. She is adorable and treasured deeply, by Vicki, her owner.

Several days have passed since I watched the Oprah Winfrey special program airing the frightening facts about Puppy Mills. The program left indelible images on my mind of the suffering and neglect that these baby animals experience and still continue to haunt me.

Oprah's show was deeply touching and informative. It was a vehicle which will hopefully will serve to educate the public about the plight of pet store puppies and kittens. The show focused on several stories, which brought to light the  horrific lives which Puppy Mill dogs and cats, considered only to be livestock by their owners, must endure.

Most of these breeding animals produce at least two litters a year, while at the same time are imprisoned in wire cages, not ever having touched their paws to the ground and are devoid of human compassion, a gentle loving touch, or the proper medical care and nutrition that they need.

The shocking fact that Oprah disclosed on the show is  that 95-98 percent of puppies and kittens for sale in pet stores have been obtained from these mills. Is it any wonder that these puppies and kittens often are very often sickly and unsocialized?

The follow up message that Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States made, is compelling. He said,"The puppy mill industry will thrive as long as consumers are kept in the dark about the “mass production” of purebred and designer dogs. With your help, we'll shed light on the cruelty of puppy mills and put them out of business for good. We can't do it without your help!"  He urged animal lovers to remain committed to stopping the business of Puppy Mills.

You can view clips of the show by visiting  Oprah's Past Shows.

What steps can you take as a concerned animal lover to help put an end to Puppy Mills?

  • You can adopt dogs and cats from shelters instead of purchasing them from a pet store.
  • You can contact  a purebred rescue group to find the breed of dog or cat of your choice.
  • You can purchase a pet through a recognized breeder who is committed to the safety and protection of their sale animals and will be supportive to you for the life of your pet.
  • You can educate your friends about how pet stores obtain their puppies and kittens and about the miserable lives that their mothers must endure.

Please take a moment to watch the video,When Dogs Bite, The Story of Penelope, A Puppy Mill Dog, uploaded to You Tube by reckless1962  and visit The Dog Liberator

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Seeing Spots Before Your Eyes? Meet Zane Grey!

Of course our "101 Dalmation" contest is still going strong.

Talk about creativity, this submission blew my socks off. I just love how the "artist" found some interesting "dapples" to decorate her beautiful horse Zane Grey, who is an 18-year-old Azteca, an Andalusian and quarter horse cross.spotted grey


So join in the fun and get those entries in, folks. I can't wait to see how folks will add inventive decor to the photos of their pets.

This certainly is a "horse of a different color," don't you think?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Elephant Art: Saving the Species


A friend sent a link to me yesterday to a You Tube video featuring artistic elephants. I was enthralled as I watched these gentle giants creating  fascinating "self portraits", yet part of me remained skeptical. After visiting snopes. com, I was thrilled to learn that the fascinating video was legitimate.

Artistic elephants are creating art for sale in both Asia and the United States These paintings are for sale to raise funds for a variety of elephant rescue organizations.

The number of Asian elephants are also diminishing. Groups such as the Asian Elephant Arts and Conservation project, is dedicated to help preserve the species and is one of the largest groups to promote elephant art as a fund raising project.

AEACP is a non-profit organization working with domesticated Asian elephants. It raises funds through both donations and the sale of the elephant's amazing artwork.

So touched by their horrific backgrounds and loving personalities, now supports, "Starving Elephant Artisans" by selling their paintings so they can continue to have a new life in Thailand.

Watch this elephant, rescued from abusive treatment in Burma, now paints an amazing self portrait. You'll be amazed at how his talent unfolds.

Were you fascinated by this "talent" and enthusiasm which was demonstrated by the artist? Leave a comment and talk about your reaction.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Silent Sunday: A Message To The Horse Racing Industry

If you are concerned about about the safety of our Race horses, please take a moment to watch this  heart-felt video plea to improve race horse welfare, created by wendyu1. Please be sure your speakers are on in order to hear the moving song Wendy selected for this video.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Animal Communicators: Fact or Fiction?

We were at our wit's end with Trouble, our white Oriental Short hair neuter. It seemed that there were no answers forthcoming about his continual spraying and piddling behavior. No matter what we tried, Trouble continued to anoint the carpet and our box spring, (thankfully still covered in plastic). We tried Prozac, with which our veterinarian had had much success in other cats with the same problem, but Trouble had a bad reaction to it, and, in fact became more anxious, prowling the house, yowling and pacing. We took him off  Prozac as soon as we realized that he was not responding well to it. I was on the phone with my Veterinarians constantly, wondering what was at the source of his upset which seemed to be increasing each day.


Since he had been diagnosed with Diabetes Insipidus, he was receiving his daily medication which was being administered to help his urine concentrate. It was supposed to help stop the spraying problem, but it had no effect on that behavior. We even boarded Lucyfur, our Tabby Domestic Short hair at our Veterinarian's clinic to try to ascertain if the interaction between Trouble and Lucyfur might be causing his increased anxiety. I got to the point where I did not know where to turn to get a solution to our puzzling problem.

A suggestion was made to me to consider consulting with an Animal Communicator. Initially I was quite skeptical about taking this step, but with all the emotional and financial effort that we had undertaken, with no major conclusive results, I decided that it was worth the small fee to go for it. I had little to lose and the possibility of much to gain.

One of my good friends had mentioned an animal communicator who had remotely "found" a Ragamuffin kitty who had escaped from her carrier during a security check at a large airport and who had been missing for days. Read about it at: Air Travel with Pets: Making it Safer 

I cautiously put a toe into the water and wrote to Lisa Reber, sending her photographs of our cats and a little about their history including the current horrendous problems we were experiencing. I did not want to give her too much information and did not go into great detail to make sure that the reading would be untainted. Within hours I received a response from her.We quickly scheduled a session for a long distance reading for Trouble. When she called to confirm the appointment, there was something in her voice that gave me a very positive feeling that she would be able to help. However, I still remained skeptical, of course.

Our appointment was yesterday at 2:30 PM. When the phone rang I was not sure what the outcome would be. Part of me "knew" that she would give me the information that we needed, but another part of me was highly critical of my taking this step. I guess this is a normal reaction for a skeptic.

To my great surprise our session totally blew me away. Lisa began her reading  by describing Trouble as a "flamboyant" kitty. She hit the nail on the head!  She continued the reading telling me that Trouble had a special name for me, "MoMa". He absolutely adores me, but had been rather frustrated trying desperately to communicate  with me. He was very happy and relieved that he now was having the opportunity to let me know what was on his mind.

Lisa informed  me that she "picked up"  that Trouble was in the first stages of kidney failure resulting from a high quality cat food which I had fed him quite a long time ago in order to perk up his appetite..He had grown finicky, refusing his regular diet. She explained that the food to which I had switched back then, was actually toxic for his particular physical make up. She was delighted that we had changed brands back to a grainless chicken or turkey formula. Since Lisa had no idea of his feeding history, I began listening more intently to what Trouble was telling me through her.

In her conversation with Trouble about Lucyfur, she learned that Lucyfur was not happy living with us. While she loved us, she was not particularly enamored of sharing her life with other cats, longing to be an only kitty, living with a male human companion.She had communicated that to Trouble. She had not bonded with Trouble or Hush Puppy (Trouble refers to him as Hush Hush) and was basically miserable in our home. My heart broke when she told me about her upset, and I immediately felt that I had let her down. Lisa reassured me that our home was not one that was meant to be permanent and that she had come to live with us temporarily. We were not her "forever home." and a more suitable one was waiting for her. I still feel guilty about it, even though she reassured me there was no need.

She had some things to tell me about my personal life that she learned about through her conversation with Trouble who was quite concerned about them. I won't go into them here, but I nearly fell off my chair when she raised his concerns. It came totally out of the blue and was so "on the money." Since Lisa had absolutely no idea about this "side issue" to which she brought to my attention, (along with some very realistic suggestions about how to deal with them) I can say it is that this information dissolved my skepticism completely.

Lisa also sent remote Reike healing to Trouble. I have to say that he has calmed down considerably in the past few days, no longer wandering around the house yowling and pacing. I am so relieved that he appears to be on the mend.


I talked with my Veterinarian last night. She agreed that he could be in the beginning of kidney failure and will be giving him supplements and herbal products to maintain his kidney health. I am much more optimistic that we are on the way to a successful result and that Trouble will shortly have no further need to continue his inappropriate elimination.

To read more about Animal Communicators visit Meet Our Pet Communicator and About Pet Communication

Have you had any experience with Animal Communicators? I would love to hear other stories about this fascinating means of communicating with our pets. Please leave a comment and tell us about it.


Friday, April 4, 2008

Fabulous Friday on Frequently Feline: Meet Hoppy!

I just loved this photo that Livinginavandown sent of her bunny, Hoppy, enjoying a quiet outdoor romp with her.

Isn't this little one adorable? I bet Hoppy is just thrilled to commune with nature with her loving companion.

Hoppy is my pick for Pet of the Week. Please congratulate them for their win, and leave a comment.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

"101 Dalmatians" Contest: Fun for All- Get Involved!


Dog lovers will simply adore the recently released re-mastered two disc- Platinum version of the classic Disney movie, "101 Dalmatians." Chocked full of interactive games, bonus features and other exciting goodies, this fabulous film is a must see!

I was on the edge of my seat as I watched the unfolding  story of the adventures of these spotted pooches. All my emotions were ignited as I became completely immersed in the story line. I laughed, I cried and I must admit that I even got scared when the frightening villainess, Cruella De Vil, stole the 15 Dalmatian puppies from their tranquil home, along with another 86 spotted sweeties, stashing them away in a secret location to fulfill her dastardly plan to turn them into a fur coat for herself. Could you imagine such a horror? Yikes!

But the fabulous Twilight Barkers network take action. I won't spoil the plot for you, but I have to say they are an impressive gang.

This is a wonderful movie that the entire family will enjoy. And for you cat lovers out there, you will get to meet a purrfect hero!

While the movie may be considered entertainment for children, this brilliant restoration of the art work and sound track of the original version, makes "Disney's irresistible tale leap off the screen" and will equally appeal to adults.

For a preview of this amazing film just to pique your interest, you can enjoy these delightful clips of the movie by visiting:  Meeting and Meeting Two . More at: The Plot and The Plot Two


In celebration of the release of the film, we are launching a two week long contest for our readers. Grab your creative hats, enjoy yourself and get involved. Winners will be announced on the blog, and will also receive a copy of the "101 Dalmations" DVD. You can create an icon that you feel represents the story, or grab a picture from the web which enchants you. You can even use a photo enhancing program that will let you put spots on your pets and submit the pictures. Let your imagination soar. I found some adorable photos that will put spots in front of your eyes.

Can you imagine? A Dalmations stethoscope cover!

Do you have a dog or puppy that could become the 102nd Dalmations?  Or. . . you can write about what you loved the most about the film. Submit photos to, or leave text comments on this entry.  Get your friends involved by sharing the link to this entry. We can have a lot of fun with this.

The contest closes on April 17 so get those entries in!  Please include your email address with your submissions, so winners may be contacted.

Good luck to everyone! 

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Kittens: Choosing the Best One!


Springtime often turns a feline lover's fancy toward thoughts of bringing a new kitten into their home.  Kittens are adorable balls of fluff that look at you with those trusting eyes, and purr their way into one's heart, however a great deal of consideration must be given to the appropriate age for a kitten to join your household.

I am often asked these questions, "At what age should I adopt or purchase a kitten?", or, "What type of kitten should I get?"

Reputable breeders agree that kittens should not leave their mothers until at least 12 weeks-of-age This extra time allows them to mature sufficently, to bond with humans, and to be fully socialized with their siblings.
RP Cathouse's classic red and white Maine Coon kitten at almost three months of age.

While 8 week-old kittens are fascinating, they have not been with their siblings or mother long enough to gain the skills that they need to adapt readily into a new household. This additional four weeks allows them to develop appropriate social skills, as they learn  to interact with humans and their litter mates. Additionally kittens' immune systems are still immature and need that extra time to develop more fully.

Read  more at How Young is Too Young?


Another important thing to consider is the type of kitten that will suit your lifestyle. Do you want an active kitty, or one which is a little more laid back? Longhair or Shorthair? How much time do you have to devote to the care and grooming of this new family member?  If you have children, is this the right breed? If you have other pets in your household, which breed is the most accepting of other species? A cat is not just a cat! The various breeds all have their individual qualities. You can read more about how to find a kitty that will fit into your lifestyle at  Choosing the Right Cat Breed.


Most kittens who are for sale or ready for adoption from a respected breeder have received their first vaccines. These first three months are crucial in the kitten's development into a happy and healthy cat.

If you wish to adopt a pure bred cat, rather than purchase, you can find out more information by visiting Cat Purebreed Rescue

Mixed-breed kitties make wonderful pets too. Please consider adopting one from your local shelter or veterinarian's office.

Remember to neuter or spay your kitten. Talk to your veterinarian about the most appropriate time to do this.

If you have adopted or purchased a kitten in the past, what were some of the things that you considered in choosing one? Your experience may help someone in making the best decision. Leave a comment and share.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Raining Cats and Dogs: A Curious Expression!

Some of the more frequently used expressions in the English language have always been a source of interest to me. I get a kick out of how some of them have evolved over the years.


The expression, "raining cats and dogs.", is one of course, that sparked my interest. My imagination could run away with me when I envision how this might appear. But I have to say that I am really not happy with the picture that comes to mind.  I mean, the thought of huge numbers of kitties and doggies falling from the sky,  just does not float my boat. So naturally I was compelled to research what might be the source of such an odd, but common weather-related description of a heavy rainstorm.


One of the most common ones I found was related to how, in times of yore, many houses of the period were constructed with thatched roofs in which domesticated cats and dogs would take shelter.

If the rain was sufficiently heavy, the animals might have been washed out of the thatch or take shelter quickly in another more suitable place so, if one stretched the imagination, it could appear that it was, in fact, raining cats and dogs.

Another possibility could be attributed to when, way back in history,  the streets of British towns were poorly constructed and as a result in a heavy downpour, the poor cats and dogs who were living in the street could easily drown, with their bodies floating down the street appearing as if they had actually fallen from the sky, similar to the "rain of frogs." .

If your curiosity has been aroused, you can read more about the etiology of this very common expression by visiting Raining Cats and Dogs written by Michael Quinion

What do you think about when someone describes rainy weather by using this expression? Leave a comment and let us know.