Cairn Terriers

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Gracie sunning on the deck

I have been proudly owned by two cairn terriers in my lifetime, over a span of 28 years, and fully expect to have the pleasure of loving at least one more.  Having recently lost our sweet girl Gracie I am still very tender-hearted, but wanted to write and expound on the attributes of these dogs, small in stature but so very big in heart.

Webster defines the cairn terrier as-

“One of the oldest of the terrier breeds, originating in the Scottish Highlands and recognized as one of Scotland’s earliest working dogs. The breed was given the name cairn, because the breed’s function was to hunt and chase quarry between the cairns in the Scottish highlands.”

Indeed, they are known for their ability to catch rats and small rodents.  I think one of my cairns’ favorite pastimes was chasing squirrels.  Thankfully they never quite succeeded in catching one, but came awfully close on more than one occasion!  We have always had cats, but cat chasing was reserved for the “outdoor” stray cats, and not our own.  The game was certainly in the chase, because our cairns were far too gentle to ever hurt any cat.  In fact they are perfect companions for other family pets.

And as you can imagine, going after quarry in the cairns would involve digging and a willingness to go underground.  For this reason cairns excel in earth dog trials, and are listed as one of the eligible breeds to compete in these AKC events.  While my girls never competed, my first cairn Tessa could turn dirt faster than I could with my best shovel.  If I could have just taught her how to dig where I needed a garden planted…

Cairns have a rough, weather-resistant coat that comes in a variety of colors, and can include any color except white.  Many are brindles, with a variety of colors in their coat.  They are one of the few dog breeds that are said to be good for folks that have pet allergies, registering on the “low” end of the allergic scale for most people.  I can attest also to their ease in grooming.  And hey, a little dog that I can bathe in the kitchen sink is the dog for me!  They average in size from about 12-17 pounds.

By far their greatest attribute, though, is their winning personality.  They are feisty, independent, extremely intelligent, and robustly active.  They are perfect as a child’s pet, because they can handle both the roughhousing and high energy level that children naturally have.  My first cairn played with the neighborhood children for hours, chasing a ball and going down the playhouse slide with the kids.  So cute!

Both of my cairns showed an absolute fascination with fetching.  Cairns learn quickly, and once taught will fetch a ball or toy for hours, so be prepared.  They do need to be actively played with and/or walked every day due to their high energy level.  They slow down a little when older, but not much.  That said, they rest as hard as they play, and are not nervous dogs that stay constantly underfoot.

Most famous cairn ever?  No doubt the dark cairn terrier that played Toto in the 1939 movie the Wizard of Oz.  And cairns have played in many movies.  In fact here is a list of just some of the movies they have played in.  See some of these movies and their adorable pups!

So, if you are looking for a small breed dog that’s easy to keep and has the most wonderful personality, think about getting a cairn terrier.  I promise they will win you over with their scruffy charm.  And if you have any questions about these great little dogs just ask.  I will be more than happy to respond!

“Remember, it is not how much you love, but how much you are loved by others.”-Wizard of Oz, 1939

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Discount Pet Meds

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I just received a notice in the mail from Walgreens Prescription Savings Club.  My prescription plan for Angel, or as we affectionately call her “Miss Big Kitty”, was about to expire and they wanted to know if I would like to renew it. Considering the savings are substantial, you can bet this is something I want to do!

Just as for people, you can order and pick up some pet medications (that are human equivalent compounds) through your local pharmacy, as long as your veterinarian will write you a prescription.  But here’s the part that a lot of people don’t know about.  You can also register your pet at some pharmacies for prescription discounts – just like you can for people who don’t have insurance or have inadequate prescription coverage!  And yes it can make a huge difference in the price you pay for your pet’s meds, whether they are generic or brand-name.

My discovery was simply by accident.  I was helping my daughter a year ago with some medical issues, and we registered her at the Walgreens Pharmacy in her town for their Prescription Savings Club.  In reading the brochure information about the savings club I saw that it mentioned pets, so asked the Walgreens representative a few quick questions, and they verified that my cat would be eligible for the discount.  The plan itself costs $20 per year, but the savings on the costs of Miss Big Kitty ‘s hyperthyroid meds is substantial.  My savings this past year alone have been around $59, after the plan cost, which is quite a bit!  The plan also gives you additional discounts on other Walgreen services/products.

CVS Caremark has an iSave program that saves an average of 31% off generic and 15% off brand name prescription drugs at any of over 65,000 participating pharmacies, nationwide.  Pet medications for seizures, infections, allergic reactions, heart conditions, pain relief, diabetes and thyroid conditions, and anti-depressants used to treat behavioral disorders in cats and dogs are just some examples of medication types that are covered under this plan.  Individual plans are $14.97/per month.

Walmart gives instructions to “bring in your pet’s prescription, or have your vet call it in”, but I could not find any information about offering discounts on those prescriptions.  Since Walmart has many generic medications for $4, I checked on their list to see if Miss Big Kitty’s medication – methimazole – was offered, but it was not, so I am not sure what the medication would cost with them.

Costco also has a Member Prescription Program that is open for Costco member pet meds.  You are advised on their website to contact your local Costco pharmacist for details.  The Costco Member Prescription Program is a value added benefit of a Costco membership, which starts at $55 per year.

I hope if you have pets on regular medications that you will do some research on your own to find the best cost solution.  For now, the Walgreens plan is the best choice for me.  And if you are already using a great pet med program, please let me know about it!

 

Eight Reasons Why Your Cat is So Vocal

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She’s hungry. Ok, so she’s really not hungry because you just gave her a treat 30 minutes ago, but hey that’s no reason to stop asking. And ask she does, with just the sweetest little “Feed me NOW” meows she can utter from her not-so-hungry round self. And then she adds emphasis by wrapping herself around your legs over and over again, to the point where you are certain tripping is inevitable. She literally leads the way to her food bowl as her meows become more plaintive.

She stares at the ceiling and meows repeatedly. You can’t help but follow her eyes. What does she see up there? Is she crazy? She continues to meow and stare, and you find yourself staring along with her. Seriously, WHAT DOES SHE SEE UP THERE??? You reason it must be a bug, probably a big bug, and your body prepares for a flight response. Hers prepares for a pounce response.

She’s being pestered by another cat, or the dog, or a child. She screams so loud that you are absolutely certain that there is a mountain lion in your house. You are so startled you spill your drink and have to gather your composure as you wonder how something so loud could possibly have come from her tiny little body. Naw…you must have imagined that.

She wants in, she wants out. She wants in, she wants out. She wants in, she wants out, and she is vocalizing her discontent with the idiot that randomly placed these architectural blocks throughout the house! They can serve no purpose.

She gives a low, almost inaudible growl. She is warning you not to move her from her current resting spot unless you have antiseptic meds and bandages close at hand.

She sees a bird or squirrel just outside the window. Ok, hunting time. Her jaw quivers and the chattering is incessant. You reason that those desk drawer glides really do need replacing, until you realize that your kitty is just doing a little impossible stalking of the outside critters. The chattering continues until the fortunate bird flies away or until the squirrel finds a bigger pecan tree. Life is bitter for an indoor cat!

She hisses, not unlike the classic Halloween cat, in fear or as a warning to other cats or dogs to keep their distance.

She wants affection, and gives a little “ttrrrrrr” when you pet her, or a “I’m just so happy you are in my life” meow. Now these are the best sounds ever, especially when followed by eyes that search your soul and a kitty blissfully curled up in your lap. Or maybe lying stretched across your chest. The house is peaceful and quite now, and all is right with the world. You decide that your kitty has the right idea, and join her for an afternoon nap.

Little Owls

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About a week ago my dog Gracie gave me a bit of a scare.  I turned on the back porch light and let her outside for one last time for the evening before going to bed.  It was about 10:00pm, and as soon as she stepped out onto our back patio and into the semi-darkness, she immediately took out after something she had seen.  She veered left and to some trees just off the patio.  We had a clay basin with water on the patio (with temps this week at 100 degrees), and I was sure something had been getting a drink when I opened the door to let her out.  I went out after her and didn’t see anything.  Afraid it might be a possum or who knows what, I got her back inside as quickly as possible.

After getting her settled in her bed for the night, I went back and turned on the patio light again, making sure all other house lights were off, and watched to see if whatever she was chasing might come back for more water…and they did.  To my great surprise, and enjoyment, a pair of tiny screech owls came to drink at the basin.  At first I thought they were doves, but the body shape was all wrong – and then one of them turned their head almost backwards to peer in the window at me!  Little golden eyes in the night, they made quick flights in and out of the trees to the water, and hopped and gave short flight on the patio chasing evening bugs.  I stood and watched them for about 15 minutes until they disappeared completely into the darkness.  I guess I always thought of owls as big birds, but these certainly were not.  Still, they are predators with talons, so Gracie had best leave them alone!

Solid Color Pet Beds

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I have just recently added solid color pet beds to my Shopify store.  I love these!  As with all my pet beds these are custom, and allow you to choose both the interior and exterior color of the pet bed.  With 32 color choices for the interior minky fabric, and 32 color choices for the exterior cotton fabric, there are a total of 1,024 color combinations!

These solid color pet beds blend beautifully with any decor.  And, since my minky and cotton fabrics are “matched” to each other (they use the same color chart), you can request that the interior minky pet bed sides be the same as the exterior color.  This way only the interior pillow cover is the same or a different color, and can be changed out later to one of many other colors.

This is a great way to change up your pet bed for the season…have a lime green color pillow cover for spring and an orange pillow cover for fall.  I do this myself for my little dog Gracie’s pet bed.  The exterior and interior sides are all an ash gray color, and I change out the pillow cover as I like.   So very versatile!  And yes, I am also now offering replacement/additional pillow covers in my standard pet bed sizes just for this purpose.  Enjoy shopping!

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