Furr'd Word

Firecrackers aren’t FUR-bulous!

Hobo KittyHere we go again….It’s the week of July 4th and the Bi-Peds are going firecracker crazy! I truly don’t get the joy of hearing loud noises and watching shiny, sparkly stuff in the sky. If I’m going to watch anything in the sky that makes noise, it’s going to be something I can possibly have for dinner….like a big, chirpy, juicy bird!….Anyway, for whatever reason, Bi-Peds are nuts about fireworks. This wouldn’t irk me so much if it didn’t lead to so much critter chaos in Bi-Ped City. So for all of you Bi-Peds out there reading this (and you know who you are), it’s time for  you to Critt-It (this is my way of saying go into “Critter Crusader” mode). You need to make sure your pets don’t get freaked out by the fireworks.

Did you know that animal shelters report a huge increase in shelter admissions during the few weeks before and after the 4th of July holiday? This happens because pets frequently run away when the crackle and boom of fireworks scare them. They dig under fences, bust through gates, jump through windows, climb over fences, and anything else they can do to try to run away from the noise that frightens them. Sometimes, pets even get lost or hurt.

Here’s what you can do to Critt-It:

  1. Spread the word that fireworks scare many pets and tell your friends what they can do to keep their pets safe.
  2. Don’t take your pet to the fireworks displays. You may like the sparkle-farkle and all that noise, but most likely your pets won’t.riley fireworks
  3. Talk to your veterinarian about ways to help reduce fear and anxiety your pet may experience when hearing fireworks.
  4. Make sure your pets are wearing identification and have a microchip so they can be returned if they do get lost  >> We’ll Cat-Chat about microchips a little later.
  5. Keep your pet safe indoors. Leave a radio or television on to buffer the sound of fireworks. Close the curtains or blinds to reduce the distraction of fireworks. It may help to turn the lights on too (so they don’t see all that “lighting-up” stuff going on in the sky).
  6. Never leave pets outside and unattended, even in a fenced in yard. Pets may panic, escape and then get lost or injured.

I’m telling ya, Riley used to go out of his Mutt-Nutty mind during thunderstorms AND fireworks! If it weren’t for his Puppy Dog Power Plan (yes, I’m serious…he has a Puppy Dog Power Plan), then he would be totally stressed out! A long time ago, he almost jumped through a window when fireworks were being set off. Believe me, dogs (and cats) can become amazingly strong and determined to run-run-run or get away from wherever they are when they hear or see stuff that scares the catnip out of them.

Time to Critt-It by spreading the word and preparing your pets for the fireworks.

This is Hobo Kitty…Meowing Out!

Hot Rod Has It!

BP-thumb-v1ADHD…hmmm…have you heard of this? Bi-Peds seem to talk about it a lot. I wagged my brain and tried to figure out what it stood for. How about “A Dog Having Doubts” , “A Dig Happy Dog” or “All Daffy Hounds Dream”? Nope, not even close. Apparently, it stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. That’s a mouthful. Big words that basically mean trouble focusing and sitting still.

You know what? I think Hot Rod probably has this. He has to be the busiest, non-stop, meow-moving, fast-flying feline I know. He can also have trouble paying attention. You know, not looking at you when you are talking to him, or being distracted by twisting his tail or wiggling his whiskers. I think the “H” in ADHD stands for Hot Rod.

Hot Rod on Rollerblades

HOT ROD

I'm the fastest feline in Sniff-It Park. CATchya Later!

I’m the fastest feline in Sniff-It Park. CATchya Later!

The good thing about Hot Rod’s ADHD is that when he exercises and gets his energy release in a healthy way, and when he really tries using his Critter coping skills, he actually gets more stuff done than I do on any given day. It’s like he harnesses this cool energy power and is able to get stuff done. In fact, he gets it “super done”!

But when he doesn’t exercise or play for awhile, watch out! Things get Critter Crazy! Some cats are like this and so are some dogs. We need a healthy energy-release (or “e-release”) every day, even if we don’t have ADHD. Some Critters need more e-release than others. For example, Retrievers and Jack Russell Terriers generally need more e-release than Bassett Hounds and St. Bernards. E-release needs are really important for Bi-Peds to consider before adopting a Critter. Some Critters end up in shelters because their Bi-Peds can’t handle meeting their e-release needs.

This was a day when I exercised my jaws instead of my legs. Uff-Wuff!

This was a day when I exercised my jaws instead of my legs. Uff-Wuff!

Every Critter has it’s own groove. Some groove high, some medium and some low. I’m a medium groover. As long as I wag around, walk a few blocks, or fetch a few sticks, I’m able to chill and I’m less likely to chew up Animal Gambill’s shoes (or dog forbid, the sofa). As for Hot Rod, he likes chasing the laser pointer and swatting around the feather toys. When he’s in Sniff-It Park hanging with us Critters, he might break out the roller blades. Better him than me. I tried those things out…ONCE! Uff-Wuff!

I tried to blame this on Hobo Kitty. I'll bet you can guess how that turned out - not fluffy, not fluffy at all!

I tried to blame it on Hobo Kitty. I’ll bet you can guess how that turned out – not fluffy, not fluffy at all!

Yep. Hot Rod definitely has ADHD. BDD (Big Dog Deal)! We all got something. It’s what we do with it that counts! When Hot Rod gets his e-release, he’s able to do a lot of amazing things I can only dream of doing…and I dream a lot!

As far as me? What do I have? Well, It’s pretty safe to say I have “mutt-nutty” covered! Although my anxiety gets the best of me sometimes…ok, more than sometimes. It actually helps me get motivated and get things done when I really work hard at moving it in a positive direction. Like I said, it just depends on what you do with what you got! And I got issues. No doubt! But I’m All Wag No Drag and I don’t give up!

This is Boss Paws – All Wag No Drag!

HOWL-a-What?!

fun pet blogThe Furr’d Word is now posting what are called “HOWL-oscopes.” The Bi-Peds have a very similar thing that they refer to as “horoscopes.” Apparently, horoscopes are advice and future predictions based on the birthdate of a Bi-Ped and the positions of the stars and planets. Now if that’s not Woof-Wacky, I don’t know what is, but the Critters of Sniff-It Park voted to make this part of our culture and then voted to call these predictions “HOWL-oscopes.”

The cats were a little miffed because they were shooting for the name “YOWL-oscopes” but they got trumped after us dogs ran a great campaign that involved getting all the birds and squirrels on board with our chosen name. The cats aren’t sure what we did to persuade the squirrels and birds, and we’re not talking. We’ll keep this in our bag of tricks as we vote on other stuff in the future. By the way, voting has a lot to do with my next book, but that’s a whole other story…literally. I’ll keep you posted on the chapter book release as we get closer. In the meantime, you can check out my picture book, Boss Paws and the Mystery of Bat-Cat. It can be purchased along with other cool stuff (like Boss Paws t-shirts) at http://bosspaws.com/shop/ Now, back to the HOWL-oscopes.

A HOWL-oscope is attached to a Sniff-It Park Zodiac sign which is based on a Critter’s birth date. My Zodiac sign is called “Broken Bone” since I was born between July 23rd and August 22nd. If you take a look to see which Zodiac sign this correlates with in the Bi-Ped world, you will find that I am a LEO! Are you kiddin’ me – a LEO! I am a dog for Ruff’s sake! Out of 12 Zodiac signs, mine had to correlate with a feline! Now if that’s not reason enough to dump this crazy Zodiacy-Horoscopy ritual, I don’t know what is! But hey, the Critters of Sniff-It Park voted that we should make this Bi-Ped ritual part of our critter culture, so be prepared to read all about some Mutt-Nutty HOWL-oscopes in the Furr’d Word from time to time. Uff-Wuff!

BP FWord brkn bone1 lg Since I’m here writing on the Furr’d Word blog, I might as well tell you what my HOWL-oscope is for today. Maybe you were born between July 23rd and August 22nd too. If so, listen up because that means your Sniff-It Park Zodiac sign is “Broken Bone” and things are about to get Fur-Funky for you.

 

HOWL-oscope March 26, 2015
“Broken Bone” (July 23-August 22) – Moving in the right direction is not in the cards for you today. If you wanna play it safe, make sure you resist every urge to take a right turn. Otherwise, you are tempting furry fate and things will get funky.

Well that’s a little too anxiety-provoking for me. As if I’m not neurotic enough, now I have to make sure that every time I want to take a right turn, I need to stop myself and basically turn left and make a circle in order to get to my destination (which I would have reached much more quickly had I just turned right to begin with). Uff-Wuff! Should I tempt fate, throw caution to the wind, and just take a right turn every time I have the urge? Hobo Kitty says I should. Easy for her to say, her HOWL-oscope for today is optimistic and positive. Her HOWL-oscope (which by the way she still insists is a YOWL-oscope, but whatever, the cats were out-voted)…anyway, her HOWL-oscope breaks down like this:

fun pet blog “Swat Monster” (yes that’s Hobo Kitty’s Zodiac sign) October 23rd to
November 21st: Today, you will see things more clearly than ever. Oh yes, this is the day to wag your brain about your goals and how you plan to reach them.

So I get the “ominous, don’t choose the wrong direction” HOWL-oscope and Hobo Kitty gets the “fluffy, see things brighter” HOWL-oscope. That’s great, the cat with one eye gets to see things more clearly than ever and the dog with a neurotic side gets to worry about walking in the wrong direction. Uff-Wuff!

I think I'll just sit here all day so i don't have to worry about turning in the "right" direction! Meanwhile, one-eyed kitty here gets to "see" more clearly than ever! HOWL-a-What?!

I think I’ll just sit here all day so I don’t have to worry about turning in the “right” direction! Meanwhile, one-eyed kitty here gets to “see” more clearly than ever! HOWL-a-What?!

Sometimes HOWL-oscopes are good, sometimes they are Wack, but one thing’s for sure, HOWL-oscopes keep Sniff-It Park festive! You can follow what’s up in Sniff-It Park here at http://bosspaws.com/, https://www.facebook.com/BossPawsRocks , https://twitter.com/bosspaws , or instagram.com/BossPawsRocks

This is Boss Paws – All Wag No Drag!

What’s the Furr’d Word?

BP-thumb-v1Boss Paws here. I’m going to be coming atya on a regular basis, sometimes a few times a week…so get your tail ready! I’m going to give you the scoop without the poop about everything that goes down in Sniff-It Park!™

As you may have guessed, I call this scoop the Furr’d Word™. The Furr’d Word is not only a blog, it’s the news feed that circulates throughout Sniff-It Park. So if something goes down, there’s no way all the Critters aren’t going to find out about it. I even bark about some of the crazy stuff that goes on with the Bi-Peds when I hang out in Bi-Ped City. Those Bi-Peds do some mutt-nutty stuff! I’m not the only one who has something to say about it.

Hobo-Kitty-thumb-v1You undoubtedly will hear from my partner in crime, Hobo Kitty. I can’t lie, she’s kinda gangsta. I can’t get away from her and there’s a whole story behind that, but apparently that’s going to come out in my chapter book. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, you can check out my picture book, t-shirts, and other cool stuff at BossPaws.com/shop

Now back to the Furr’d Word! Ok, Hobo Kitty just yowled at me and said I need to mix in some info about pet health, behavior, training, products, and pop culture. Hmmmm…what’s pop culture? I’ll have to wag my brain about that one. Anyway, fine…I’ll appease her by including some of that stuff. I don’t want to get on her bad side…even though I don’t really think she has a particularly good side. Uff-Wuff!

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Alright, so let’s start with pet behavior…in particular cats. Hey, Hobo Kitty, you said you wanted me to include this stuff, so here we go. Cats in Sniff-It Park hang out all over the place, but in Bi-Ped City, many of them chill indoors. Does this mean they never look outside or never have urges to go outside? Not a chance. And sometimes they may even let you know that they aren’t happy about what is going on outside. You know what I mean? I’m talking about spraying…and I don’t mean what you do to the car with a waterhose. Cats are known to mark their territory with urine. This can be caused by various things, but one thing that can trigger a pee party is seeing another cat or other furry critter outside the window. You might even see them do that funky cat-scratchy talk that apparently is their way of yelling at the other critters to get outta their yard.

Unfortunately, cats sometimes go further than talking and start the pee party in effort to claim their territory and let the other Critters know whose house it is. As you can imagine, the Bi-Peds are not a fan of this behavior. One way to try to end the pee party is by covering up the view outside. This can be done with what’s called “window film” which blocks the cat from seeing outside but still allows light to come in.

Cats are very complicated. Shocker huh? Therefore, there are several other reasons a cat may urinate or spray inside a house (or outside for that matter). A cat may be upset that the litterbox is not clean enough, she might be stressed about something that changed in the daily routine, she might be all furred up about moving to a new house, she might oppose furniture changes, and she might not be down with the introduction of a new pet or a baby Bi-Ped. She could even be urinating outside her box because she is sick. For example, she could have a blockage, a urinary tract infection, kidney disease, and mutt-mutt more.

A cat may spray or “mark” in order to create a familiar scent. She may also spray a Bi-Ped’s belongings in order to self-soothe by mixing scents. A confident cat might spray to display the winning of a confrontation with another cat. I’m not kidding – basically peeing because a battle was won. A not-so-confident cat might spray in order to warn another cat that she’s not happy. She may choose to spray instead of physically fighting with the other cat. In a nutshell, spraying and marking is a way of communicating. And yes, in all fairness, we dogs mark our territory too sometimes, although I don’t think we are quite as sensitive as cats. Hobo Kitty might disagree though. She tends to disagree with me quite a bit.

Anyway, it’s important to find the cause of the pee party in order to find the best way to fix the problem. There are lots of options that include visiting the vet to rule out a health condition. Although I don’t enjoy going to the vet, this is actually a good first step to take when trying to figure out what’s going on. If the vet doesn’t find a health concern, then decreasing stress may solve the problem. Oh, and FUR your information, here’s a TAIL TIP: Easing a cat into new changes can reduce the risk of marking and spraying that may result from stress. Spaying and neutering also reduces the risk of marking. It reduces the risk of getting some types of cancer as well.

OK, so you’ve ruled out a health problem, now it’s time to take action. Cleaning soiled areas thoroughly is a must in order to stop the pee party. Certain products help eliminate urine smell (i.e., Cat Odor-Off by Thornell, Nature’s Miracle, a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water can possibly help). Animal Gambill has used Cat Odor–Off as well as vinegar and water for particular situations when fostering cats in Bi-Ped City.

As mentioned earlier, restricting a cat’s view through doors and windows can help. Not seeing Critters outside can decrease anxiety and/or the desire to mark the perimeter. Pet pheromones (i.e., Feliway – which Animal Gambill has used at times as well) can help decrease anxiety and marking/spraying problems. Pheromones are funky, but cool. They are chemicals released by glands of an animal (cat, dog, etc.). Pheromones are a very important part of cat communication. They allow felines to attract mates, define territories, promote a sense of comfort, and let other cats know who and where they are. These pheromones are released from different parts of the body (i.e., forehead, cheeks, bottoms of the paw) and are present in urine. Products that contain pheromones can help decrease a cat’s urge to mark by calming and relaxing a cat naturally. Sometimes, however, a vet may prescribe medication to try to decrease marking, reduce anxiety, reduce aggression, and calm a pet.

Hobo Kitty never seems to get stressed, but she does like to show her confidence. I had no idea that cats sometimes spray in order to voice their victory after some kind of kitty argument has taken place. I hope this doesn’t become some kind of cat trend in Sniff-It Park. Uff-Wuff!

This is Boss Paws – All Wag No Drag!

Snow-cats, Car-banging and Animal Care

Time for a Litterbox Joke. That’s a joke so bad it has to be covered up. You know, like stuff that has to be covered up in a litterbox. Alright, here we BP-thumb-v1go.


Q: What do you call a dog who likes cats?

Think about it …Think about it …Ready for the punchline?

A: A Bow-Meow

 

Get it, not a Bow-Wow, a Bow-Meow. Hey, cut me a little slack, my brain isn’t wagging too well since coming in from the cold. Hobo Kitty dragged me outside to check out her snow-cat sculpture. No, I’m not kidding. She built a snow-cat. Take a close look at the picture of it. Can you guess what she made the whiskers, ears, nose, eyes and mouth out of? I’ll give you a hint, they’re all edible. She must have read my blog about the Super Bowl. Which, for the record, I have never heard back from Peyton Manning about my tongue-twisted comment. Now back to the edible snow-cat sculpture. Hobo is crazy if she thinks the squirrels are going to leave that thing alone. Those twitchy little dudes are serious food thieves. I can appreciate their skills though. They can hang upside down while scamming seed out of a birdfeeder. That’s Critter Crafty!

My tongue is thinking about snatching some of those orange whiskers. They look tasty!

My tongue is thinking about snatching some of those orange whiskers. They look tasty!

 

Squirrels may be crafty, and so are cats for that matter (can anyone say Hobo Kitty?), but sometimes they don’t think about what could happen to them if they curl up on warm engines in parked cars. Bi-Peds need to remember that warm car engines attract cats and small wildlife which are known to crawl up under the hood of a car. To avoid injuring any hidden animals, Bi-Peds are supposed to bang on the car’s hood to scare them away before starting the engine. I just hope they don’t forget to do that. I think I’m gonna make a few signs and post them around Bi-Ped City just to remind them. Being Boss Paws of Sniff-It Park also means keeping an eye on Bi-Ped City. I’m one busy bow-wow!

 

This is Boss Paws – Howling Out!

My Super Bowl…YUM!

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I hear that the Super Bowl is coming up this Sunday. Hobo Kitty said there’s some crazy cat halftime show and a Puppy Bowl on one of those animal channels. This just gives Bi-Peds another reason to stare at those thin, electronic boxes. But that’s a whole other conversation. Anyway, MY Super Bowl trumps both the Broncos and the Seahawks. I don’t watch the Super Bowl…. I eat it!! That’s right, I eat a Super Bowl of chicken, carrots, and cucumbers. Hobo Kitty and Ruckus think I’m out of my Mutt-Nutty mind because I eat carrots, but I’m telling ya, it’s better than that funky fish they try to CATch in Sniff-It Park’s pond. I also like bananas and peanut butter as a treat. YUM!

I just have to remember that not all Bi-Ped foods are safe for me to eat. Some foods I need to avoid are sugar, salt, onion, and garlic. These are foods that can make dogs and cats very sick. I did that thing called GOOGLING and found out there are actually lots of Bi-Ped foods that I need to stay away from: chocolate, grapes, raisins, avocado, apple seeds, alcohol, Boss tongue curl w food 1macadamia nuts, and Mutt-Mutt more. Bi-Peds need to be careful about what they give to us canines and felines. Bi-Peds may like candy, gum and sweets, but they oftentimes have something called xylitol in them. This is very toxic to dogs and cats. Even just a little can cause low blood sugar, seizures, liver failure and possibly death! UF-WUF! (Bi-Ped translation: “Oh No!”). You get the picture. Basically, some Bi-Ped foods are okay for pets, but there are many that are not! 

Now back to the Super Bowl. Check out my twisted tongue action after eating my Super Bowl of food. Peyton Manning’s football-throwing arm has nothing on my twisted tongue. I’ll bet my tongue could throw a football into next week! Try that Bronco Boy!

This is Boss Paws – Barking Out!

New Year’s Resolutions

Anyone wanna guess what the Furr’d Word is today? How about RESOLUTION… as in “New Year’s Resolution!” Boss Paws ResolutionHobo Kitty thinks that Bi-Peds are crazy for coming up with this annual test of will, but I’m game.  I figure if I can commit to wagging my brain every day, twisting my tongue to trap my scraps, and steering clear of canine catnip then it’s going to be a good year! Those are my resolutions. How about you? Any resolutions that will make your new year a Bow-Wow Blast?

This is Boss Paws – Howling Out!

Microchips are Major Life Savers

Hot Rod KittyHobo Kitty is always Cat-Chatting about something, but she hasn’t published anything in the Furr’d Word yet so I am going to beat her to the punch by writing a blog about microchips. I’m alot faster than she is about getting around to stuff….they don’t call me Hot Rod for nothing!

Here’s the “scoop without the poop” on microchips:

Microchips are tiny transponders that use radio frequency waves to communicate information about your pet. They are implanted just below the skin, usually between the shoulder blades. Sounds painful but I didn’t flinch when I had mine put in. I was too busy thinking about heading over to Sniff-It Park’s “Zoom Tube” water event. By the way, my tail tubed-it-up and I won!

OK, back to how the microchips work. Each microchip contains a registration number as well as the phone number for the particular brand of microchip that was implanted. When a pet is found, the pet is taken to a vet’s office or local animal shelter where a vet assistant or shelter worker uses a handheld scanner to read the radio frequency of the chip. The scanner then displays the information from the chip. The vet assistant or shelter worker then calls the phone number to reach the company that has the pet’s registration number and the pet’s home contact information. The pet’s owner is then called and the pet dances with joy…at least that’s what I would do. Of course I dance all the time anyway, so that’s nothing new.

If you’re wondering where to get a microchip, that’s easy. Many veterinarians and some animal shelters implant microchips for a small fee. But you have to remember something VERY important after you get your pet microchipped > you MUST register your pet with the microchip company by sending in the paper that includes your complete contact information (or you can register your information online at the company’s website). The company must have this information or they won’t be able to reunite you with your pet in the event that your pet gets lost. Some companies charge a one-time registration fee while others charge an annual fee.  You’ll receive a tag for your pet’s collar with the chip number and registry phone number.

Are you keeping up with all this? I am typing this stuff really FAST!

Dog getting microchip scanOh…one more important thing, you should still put identification tags on your pet. Even though microchips are a good identification tool, they are not foolproof. Plus, some people don’t know about microchips and, therefore, won’t take your pet to be scanned.

Annnnd, make sure you contact the company that your pet’s microchip is registered to if you change your address or phone number.

Microchips can help a lost pet get returned to its owner FAST! And I’m all about FAST!

There, that about covers it for me.

I’m Hot Rod…Zoomin’ Out!