Dogs be like: Coffee…Go! Go! Go!

I’m not a coffee snob. But lately I’ve been drinking enough cups of Joe to know the difference between “battery acid” as one of my co-workers put it, and a genuinely fine brewed cup of java. I had one such cup as I neared the halfway point of my shift at work last night. It was strong in flavor, but mellow at the same time. It had me peppy. Correction, it had me revving and ready to go! go! go! It’s not my first time getting hyped up on caffeine, but having so much pent-up energy and no real way to a expel it put me in mind of some near and dear creatures I know.

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Of my three dogs, Jordi the Husky-mix is probably the most high energy and athletic dog. I take it for granted that I have such a wonderfully huge backyard to let him run around and play in. I assume that this is enough, or at least better than if I had a small yard or no yard at all, i.e. if I lived in an apartment. I let the dogs out regularly, at least three times a day. And they’re outside for a minimum of 10 to 15 minutes, but many times going on an hour.

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Koba Go!Go!Go!

Surely this routine of regular outdoor time is enough to work out any hyperactivity he must have? Surely he must be content with regularly romping in the leftover dried fall leaves and chasing the family of squirrels up trees? Surely he must be satisfied and exercised enough that he should behave like a perfectly good and well trained dog once he’s back indoors, right?

Well, after sharing my stories of various damaged furniture with coworkers and other dog owners, I’ve been receiving the same advice. His breed needs to be walked regularly. In my mind, he’s walking all the time. He walks around the house which is a large 4 bedroom home that he has nearly free reign of. And he has a quarter acre of backyard to run free in all the time. How can he not be exercised with all this walking?

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Meh, just open the back door. They’ll be alright.

Well, free time and structured walking are two different things. I know this, but it still doesn’t make it any easier for me to maintain a consistent walking schedule with my dogs. Between working 6 days a week and staying busy with my new online endeavors, I find it very easy to neglect this very simple dog-owner duty.

I’m about halfway through with the Cesar Millan, Be the Pack Leader book I mentioned in my last blog. And I have garnered lots of great insight, as well as the repeated advice to walk my dogs. Keeping dogs well exercised not only feeds their animal needs to be active, but it tires them out in a way that removes the need for destructive behavior. I keep reading this and hearing this and yet I’m not putting in the effort to walk them and wonder why me being out of the room for 15 minutes results in a 6 inch hole eaten into my bedroom mattress, or why two of my living room sofas have no cushions. None.

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R.I.P. Sleeper Sofa

Pent up energy from my dogs can only be expressed in so many ways. I guess I should be lucky that this energy isn’t expressed in a more violent behavior. Although my two boy dogs have had a few spats here and there, with the lack of regular exercise things could very well be more dramatic between them than it has been.

 

For the first time tonight I think I was actually able to empathize with them with that lovely hot cup of coffee from the work cafeteria. It made me feel so energized. So alive. So ready to move my feet and do something. Anything! And that’s probably exactly how my dogs feel on a day-to-day basis. Only caffeine is not the stimulus to their instinct to move. Where as I had the wiggles, and pretty much became a non-stop busybody the remainder of my work shift, the dogs have their own way of releasing their wiggles and need to go !go! go!

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Ahhhh!

This catharsis isn’t going to make an instant change in my routine, and I can’t promise that I’ll be training them like it’s the Olympics seven days a week. But I am definitely becoming more attuned to some of their basic needs and allowing myself to make more room for patience and understanding when their limited methods of expression are focused in a way that continually reduces my living room furniture.

Thanks for reading, be sure to check out my uploads at YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. Also check out my affiliate sponsored pet store at www.catsdogsharmony.com till next time keep the harmony!

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Who’s the real bully?

A couple of months back I wrote an article on a fight that broke out between my now one year resident Husky and the newly adopted bully pit. Because of his breed type, a lot of finger pointing defaults to the pitbull. I, being a novice dog owner, aligned myself with that philosophy and was determined to keep an extra careful eye on him and discipline him as necessary.

I’m so misunderstood

It’s become a regular routine for me to rotate the dogs. While I’m out of the house, one dog will be in my room while another is out back in the yard, or one will be in the garage while the other is free to run the house (usually Jordi, my Husky who has a very low prey drive and doesn’t bother the cats). Sometimes two are in a kennel and one is given free time. While I’m at home all three dogs are out and about with the cats in the mix. Cat and dog incidences are virtually non-existent, but I’ve continually been experiencing incidents between my two boy dogs about every other week. Biscuit, my bullypit just keeps bumping heads with Jordi. What could I do to get him under control, I thought? I’m always careful to give them individual treats and to separate them with this much territorial space as possible so they don’t feel the need to protect their food or themselves. But, even without the temptation of a treat to fight over, from time to time when my back was turned a scuffle would break out. It lasted no more than two to five seconds with me intervening with a shout or clap of my hands. Jordi my supposedly goofball would always look casual and innocent, while Biscuit was noticeably worked up with tense face muscles and keen ready eyes. The front of his muzzle was even flushed red. He was obviously keyed up and ready to rumble. But was he really the instigator?

Who, me? A bully?

One day Biscuit was confined to another room and Jordi and Koba, my German Shepherd-mix we’re free to roam in the living room.


I heard the tell-tale snap and growl from the adjoining kitchen. I quickly looked over and saw Koba cowering from Jordi as a leftover bone was being guarded on the floor. No doubt about it this time. Jordi, being bigger, older, and the alpha male of the three was showing his dominance and claim to the chew treat. Would I have come to the same conclusion if it had been him and Biscuit? Probably not, “Got to watch those pitbulls” you know? Fast forward to the next incident… I was laying on my bed with Koba and Jordi at my feet. I was checking my email on my laptop and my daughter was beside me playing on her phone. We heard a vicious snap and growl and both looked up expecting to see Biscuit, but he was in the garage. Koba again was on the receiving end of a show of Jordi’s dominance. Apparently she was too close to Jordi as he snuggled beside my feet. I’ve been noticing more and more lately Jordi becoming somewhat possessive which I hadn’t noticed in his character before. Of all 3 dogs, Biscuit has definitely been the most affectionate but since his arrival Jordi seems to be getting jealous? Or am I just anthropomorphosizing him? He’s definitely been trying to get closer to me, and sometimes physically blocks Biscuit from getting to me when I’m giving out pets.

Koba showing rare affection

In any case, the final show of aggression came when all three dogs were in my presence and I clearly saw Jordi bite Biscuit on the top of the head. I think there was a rawhide cow ear involved this time. But Jordi was the aggressor. A few days later and Biscuit has a small red scar on his muzzle where Jordi has bitten him over an unknown cause.

Everybody on my bed, as usual

The triggers are not always consistent and sometimes they’re not identified at all, but I have definitely discontinued my automatic blame on Biscuit as being the aggressive one in the bunch. Whether it’s jealousy, or instinctual need to dominate, or fight for something else other than attention, I am definitely seeing Jordi as less of a goofy get-along pal with paws and more of what he is. A dog. A complex and multi-faceted animal with unique needs and personality. Intelligence and primal instinct all rolled into one. As a side note, I’ve even caught Jordi snapping at one of the cats who approached to eat from one of their bowls while Jordi was eating from it. (some nerve!) That earned him a couple of hours of time out in the garage as well as ingraining it in my mind that my lovable blue-eyed,brown-eyed dog was no innocent angel pup.

Jordi and Tulip enjoying (?) each other’s company.

So the truth is out. There is a bully in my home, and it’s not Biscuit. It’s Jordi. This is an issue that I will continue to watch and intervene in as necessary. I will make sure that all the dogs get as much equal attention as possible and that their needs are met. It is my goal to do more research on dogs as a whole so that I can do more training for myself as an owner and give more personalized training and conditioning to my dogs. At the moment I’m reading Cesar Millan’s Be The Pack Leader * which is giving me helpful insight.

*Purchases made through affiliate link gives me a commission.

Because of the difference in their build and breeding I am still aware that one dog may have more capacity to cause damage but that doesn’t make him the more dangerous dogs. In order for them to live together in harmony, and show mutual respect for each other I’ve got to put in the work. I’ve got to make sure that Jordi and the other dogs recognize that there can only be one alpha. Me. And as far as everyone being so quick to caution me on watching out for the unpredictable Pitbull, I say don’t believe the hype. Open your eyes and open your mind and look at what’s really going on. The details are in the dog.

Getting used to each other day by day.

Thanks for reading, be sure to check out my uploads at YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. Also check out my affiliate sponsored pet store at www.catsdogsharmony.com till next time keep the harmony!

I’m ba-a-a-ck!

So sorry for the long absence. Time has really gotten away from me. It wasn’t my intention to neglect the site, I’ve just been stirring other pots so to speak. I’m not the type of person that dips her toe in to try something new. I jump in with both feet. Let me catch you up to what I’ve been doing lately.

I started this blog as a passion for my pets and my desire to share stories about them with the world. Immediately after, I began setting my sites on other avenues that I could create on.

I created an Instagram account just for them and have been uploading pics nearly daily. In order to do this I’ve been taking constant photos of them to find just the right pic to post.

I’ve also jumped into making YouTube videos! Just when I thought I couldn’t be more creative, I started recording my little fur babies and really throwing myself into the editing process and thumbnail creations. I tip my hat to the long-standing creators at YouTube. Putting up fresh, and exciting quality content is a lot harder and time consuming than it seems.

Finally, I’ve become very interested in becoming an entrepreneur and have been researching and developing a small, but useful I hope, website in the pet care niche. Ultimately I will be offering original merchandise and hand-picked pet care items, but for now I’ve done the next best thing and partnered with several affiliate brands to offer goods and services. I think you’ll like what you’ll find.

There are also several cool T-shirt creations I’ve designed to promote both my channel, as well as the brand that I’m creating around my budding business that can be found at Teespring.com.

Again, instead of starting one thing at a time, it seems that I’ve thrown quite a few balls into the air and have been struggling to juggle them. This blog-my flagship project, has been pushed to the back of the line. There are so many stories I have to tell and so many things to update on the site.

Please forgive me, and know that I haven’t forgotten about CatsDogsHarmony.blog. There is more to come, and I can’t wait to put it out there.

In the meantime, check out some of the links of my new endeavors below and let me know what you think. All comments, questions, concerns, and criticisms welcome. I aim to improve, and be the best I can be with my work.

www.CatsDogsHarmony.com

Instagram: CatsDogsHarmony

YouTube: Catsdogsharmony

Teespring.com: Type catsdogsharmony in the search bar

Thanks for your patience, and until next time, Keep the Harmony.

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IWAPBO #2

The American pitbull terrier was first recognized by the United Kennel Club, the breed was rightly seen as the perfect “nanny dog”

To continue the series on Pit-bull ownership, I offer another account of a dog owner and his bully breed. The Interview with a pit-bull owner series (IWAPBO) is my attempt at offering a more balanced story of a new world I’ve become a part of: the Pit-bull world.

My guest in this Interview is Gary C. from Kansas City, MO.

Catsdogsharmony: What makes Pitbulls (PB), so special?

Gary C: They’re unique. They’re smart. Historically they were bred to watch over children. That’s why they are good with them.

I did some brief research on this after the interview to verify this information. According to two different websites that I will quote below, this seems to have some merit. The first is from Alternet.com. Link here.

“For most of the 114 years since the American pitbull terrier was first recognized by the United Kennel Club, the breed was rightly seen as the perfect “nanny dog” for children because of its friendly nature, loyalty and stability. As the ASPCA notes, the pitbulls were “once considered especially non-aggressive to people.””

Apparently there are multiple types of PB breeds, and 2 strains in particular that can give either the more “aggressive” type that are trained to attack,  or the “friendlier type, according to the excerpt below from Pethelpful.com. Link here.

Unfortunately, the wrong kind of people are still finding the first strain of the pit bull dog attractive as guard dogs for illegal activities. They are stout built dogs with square heads and firms jaw lines and a very ominous appearance. In the wrong hands, the pit bulls are trained to protect their owners during illegal activities such as drug deals. They are trained not to let ANYONE come near their owners or their property. Many of them are not being trained to warn their owner or to keep the stranger at bay, they are being trained to attack and kill whoever or whatever comes near. They are being trained to be aggressive.

Now, back to the Q&A:

CDH:  Have you always liked PBs?

GC: Yes, I’ve always liked them. I like Pitbulls, and German Shepards.

CDH: So what made you decide to get one?

GC: I always knew I wanted one.

CDH:  How many PBs do you have? Names? Male or female? Purebred or mixed?

GC: I have one. Its a male, his name is Apollo. He’s a purebred, blue-nose.

CDH: Did you adopt or buy? How long have you had him?

GC:  He was bred. I picked him out of a litter of 7 when he was a puppy.

CDH: How old is he now?

GC: He’ll be 2 years old in December.

CDH: Is he an inside or outside dog?

GC: Inside, only goes out to go to the bathroom.

CDH: What personality does your PB have?

GC: Crazy! He just likes to look at me funny and smile at me. He loves to ride with me. He doesn’t tear anything up when he’s in the car, he just jumps in the car and looks around, ready to go.

He doesn’t like to be inside the house. When I let him out he really doesn’t like to come back in. I’ll call him, and he hears me but he looks around everywhere but at me, then when I call his name louder he eventually comes in. (Gary demonstrates by lowering his  head and looking left to right as if he’s trying to avoid looking at me).

Sometimes when me and my wife will be relaxing on the bed. If he’s up on the bed too he’ll try to wiggle between us if we getting too close, like he don’t like seeing us hugged up. (I laughed at this).

He can break out of his cage somehow too. I don’t know how he’s opening the door but he can.

CDH: What brand of dog food do you feed him, and how much does he eat?

GC: He eats 3 times a day. About 1 1/2 cup in the morning, then 1/2 cup for lunch and dinner. I feed him Purina One, Adult. I feed him dry food, but he gets wet food mixed in on the for breakfast and on the weekends. And sometimes I put in a raw egg too, to keep his fur looking shiny.  There’s a special shampoo I use for him too to keep his white coat from looking dingy. (He couldn’t remember the brand, but I did a quick search online and found that Walmart carries a brand called Healthy Breeds Pit Bull Bright Whitening Shampoo. This may be it.)

CDH: Do you feed him scraps?

GC: No, not really, only rib bones.

CDH: Is he allowed on the furniture?

GC: He’s not allowed on the couch, but we let him on the bed. My wife doesn’t mind, she treats him like a big baby. He likes to try to sit on my feet though! I’m like “get off my feet, your’e too big”, then he gives me a look when he walks away.

CDH: What kind of toys does he like to play with?

GC: He likes to chew on the rope and he likes (empty) water bottles. I’m looking for some other kinds he might like.

CDH: Have you had any bad experiences with any PBs?

GC: No.

CDH: How about other peoples negative opinions of PBs? Has anybody ever given you flak for having one?

GC: Nobody personally said anything, its just some places that don’t allow you to have them. Some apartment complexes won’t accept them, saying that they’re aggressive. My thing is, you’ve never met my dog. How do you know he’s aggressive? I can always put him up in another room if someone comes over or if maintenance needs to come in my apartment.

CDH: What about stories where a PB supposedly attacked someone?

GC: They might have been abused, used as fighting pits. The way they were raised makes a difference. With shelter pets you never know what their past was. And some dogs just don’t play well with others.

(I can attest to this. When my daughter and I were looking through the shelters there were some dogs we looked at that were NOT Pitbulls or any Bully breed that the shelter people turned us away from saying they were were aggressive or not suitable for households with other pets.)

CDH: What about attacks on kids/babies?

GC: Maybe the kid was grabbing on it in a way it didn’t like. Sometimes kids play rough. A dog can’t talk and say “stop”, it has teeth so it might bite if it feels threatened or in danger. Its only trying to protect itself. Also, I think the media puts too much attention on this breed. There are other dogs that bite and attack people, but you never hear about that. I’m sure somewhere a miniature schnauzer has hurt somebody, but you won’t hear about that in the news.

As for babies, there’s the noise.  Dogs don’t like certain noises, it gets them nervous. And certain (sporadic) movements.

CDH: Any advice for anyone thinking of adopting a PB?

GC: Go for it. Don’t believe the hype. I’m planning on getting another one myself. A girlfriend for Apollo. I want the same coloring. When they have a litter I’m hoping for a solid white puppy.

One thing you can try when they are misbehaving is to put some pennies in a empty water bottle or can and rattle it when they are doing something wrong while you’re saying ‘no’. They don’t like that sound, and they’ll stop whatever they’re doing.

End of Interview

So here is another point of view from a PB owner. I am continuing to educate myself about this breed and my dog’s particular quirks and needs. I always learn something new from hearing how other PB owners live with and take care of their dogs.

Hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t forget to check out my Youtube channel and Instagram page. You can also follow me @catsdogsharmony on Twitter.

Until next time, Keep the Harmony!

Origins: PJ (Pepper Junior)

“He followed me home ma, really!” This is the jist of what my son told me about the mystery cat I randomly met in my living room one day.

“He followed me home ma, really!” This is pretty much what my son told me about the mystery cat I randomly met in my living room one day.20161118_082823

Imagine, you walk into your living room after a long day’s work. There’s a stray cat peacefully sprawled over the top of your recliner. This is how I met PJ. He looked so comfortable and relaxed, as if he really belonged there. I approached him and asked who he was (because this of course is a perfectly normal thing to do when you meet someone new, even if that someone is a cat). He meowed back confidently, and it was love at first sight.

PJ aka Sticker aka Pepper Junior aka Fat cat is hands down (or paws down) the most affectionate cat I’ve ever had. Well there, was Pepper…

Ok, I really don’t like to talk about it but there has to be some history given, so I’ll make it quick:

Pepper was Honey’s litter-mate. He was the most affectionate cat I’d met before. He would head butt for attention, leap into your lap, then literally stretch his paws one each over your shoulder while resting his chin on your shoulder. He was the best. Pepper began urinating uncontrollably all over the place, including our clothes and I didn’t know what to do about it. I should’ve taken him to the vet, but instead I dropped him off at the shelter. Its the most regrettable thing I’ve done, and I fell very sad every time I think about it. I should have tried to help. I only hope he found a loving home that was able to give him the care he needed. Now that my dirty secret is out, I hope to never speak of it again. Back on to the story of Pepper Junior…
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I’m sorry Pepper. I miss you.

Now that the truth has been told, lets get back to PJ. PJ came to us in 2012. If I had to guess, I’d say he was 3-6 months old, still a kitten but old enough to have survived on the streets for however long he was out there.

I took PJ to the vet after being with us for a week and one of the first things they check for at these exams are microchips. PJ had none, so if he did have an owner, he wasn’t registered to any. PJ got his nip-and-tuck (my cheeky way of calling a spay/nueter procedure), all his shots and vaccines and was officially ours.

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Unlike Tiger, PJ has never really been interested in going outside. I mean, if I leave the door wide open for any period of time, he’ll probably meander over and find his way out the door. He’s never been an escape artist though. Actually, when I lived in my former apartments, the few times he did get out he got confused and went to the wrong door. My neighbors would call the number on his tag and I’d have to go get him. I thought cats could smell their way home?

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I don’t know you guys. It doesn’t seem safe out there…

PJ went through some of the same initiation as Tiger, with the hissing and claw bearing. But PJ is more introverted and mild mannered, so even though Tiger was compelled to show he was the Alpha-cat with some minor bullying, PJ settled in fairly quickly.

Being my son Jason’s cat, PJ would mostly sleep in his room. This in itself was an act of love, because if you saw how gross my son kept his room back then…well, I digress.

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That son of mine, being the teenager he was began spending more and more time out with his friends. He played with PJ and showed him attention, but when my son wasn’t around PJ looked lonely. I mean he actually looked like he missed my son. When my son moved out years later, PJ began to get weepy eyes. Now all cats will have some tearing of the eye ducts, but PJ’s seemed to be more emotional. When my son comes to visit, there is a look of recognition in PJ’s eyes as he smells his boy. And when Jason leaves, PJ walks around meowing for him and the wetness in his eyes begin again.

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Jason, is that…you?

Now that my son has been living away from PJ for a couple of years, PJ has taken the kittens under his paw for mentoring and companionship. When he’s in the mood, he’ll play with them. He gives and receives baths from them. He and Muffin have been seen snuggled up often. They have the same quiet and intentional demeanor. And of course when he wants close human companionship, he volunteers to be Keiko’s sleep buddy.

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You comfy Keiko?

PJ friendliness is appreciated by all. Even Honey doesn’t mind him hanging around. He isn’t super pushy with the leg rubs and lap jumps, but when he senses a good vibe about someone, he’ll give them a chance to make the first move. If all is well, he just might just get comfortable with them.

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PJ is my only adult cat that is comfortable around the dogs. He’s cautious, but courageous. With personalities like his, ,it makes it easier to achieve a sense of harmony in the house.

PJ Trivia:

  • He doesn’t like table scraps or even cat treats
  • His favorite wet food is Friskies Shreds, Beef in Gravy
  • Cat nip has no affect on him
  • He is the loudest of all the cats
  • He once got stuck on the roof of our duplex

That’s all for now. This completes my Adult cat biographies. I’m going in order from oldest/ most residence to youngest/least residence. Can you guess who will be the subject of my next Origins?

Thank you for reading my blog. Please consider subscribing, and sharing. Stay tuned for my next blog update.

Check out my YouTube channel, Instagram, and twitter: catsdogsharmony,

Until next time, try to keep the harmony.

PJ
PJ! (Pepper Jr.)

It happened again!!!

Biscuit just got into it with Jordy. Badly. I was out back watching them when it happened. I cannot identify the trigger. I do not see what caused it. I will not say it was unprovoked because the last time I used that word someone chastised me. The irony is I was out there with them getting ready to record them playing. Before I got a chance to turn the camera towards them the fight broke out. My reactions and the Aftermath videos are on my YouTube channel.https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnbg6ffeB6z7QHCKBZgB9IA

It’s been a month and a few weeks since Biscuit came home. He’s made great improvements and his behavior and reactions both to the cats and other dogs. I even took him to PetSmart on a leash and he behaved well around the other dogs that were there.

For the most part him and Jordy get along very well. Recently I’ve even seen Jordi licking Biscuit on the mouth which from what I read is a sign of submission. Jordi is the bigger of the two. He is also the gentler of the two but the fight that I just saw in him was extremely vicious. It took me over 5 minutes to break up the fight because neither would let go.

 

For about 10 seconds I was fully expecting one of them to stop moving… And I was mentally preparing myself to call Animal Control to pick up a dead body.

Biscuit is the more aggressive of the two and I thought he was the strongest but he has the most blood on him right now. I’ve got him locked outside the back door, the door is locked because Jordy can let himself in and out and I can’t afford to have them in contact.20171005_100117

Even as I was pulling Jordy back into the house Biscuit was trying to flank him and move in for more fighting. The whole purpose of this blog was to show how I could raise two species together in harmony.

Right now I’m having trouble even maintaining civility and control between two animals in the same species. This is full disclosure and open honest transparency. All is not well in paradise today. I’m not sure how this blog is going to turn out…

Kobas, Jordi and Biscuit chillin
This was just three days ago. This photo was completely natural and typical of the relationship.

Inquiring minds want to know…

…Are you a cat person, or a dog person?

Since starting my blog, I’ve become more open to talking about my pets and asking other people about theirs. A typical icebreaker question I start with is whether or not they are a cat person or a dog person.

This is a very important question, because rambling on about the latest cute or funny thing one of my fur babies has done can either be endearing to a fellow animal lover, or irrelevant to the person who just isn’t into them.

In today’s post, I’d like to discover what makes a cat person a cat person; a dog person a dog person; and how its possible (perish the thought!) that some people just aren’t as animated about animals as I am. So, are you a cat person or a dog person?

(image found at Threadless.com)

When I was a little girl I loved dogs. My mom told me I would approach any dog, big or small and try to make friends. I thought having a dog was the ultimate prize. We had a puppy for about a week when I was about 5, but I think someone at our apartments stole him. (I still think about you Reggie!) I had a beautiful white and brown Papillon when I was in junior high, but he was struck and killed by a car during a potty break. (Gizmo!) Between losing him and Reggie I never thought about getting another dog.

By the time I was in my late teens, I was ambivalent about dogs. If someone I knew had a dog I would pet it to be friendly, then forget about it the moment it was gone. By my early twenties I avoided dogs. The yipping and yapping, the barking and yarking, the licking and slobbery muzzles, the pawing and jumping up on me. It was just too much. And the smell…ugh. No dogs! No thank you!

“Ew!, Dog breath!”(image from www.humanima.co.uk/)

Well if you’ve followed my humble blog thus far, you know that much has changed since then.  I got a cat, and then some more and became a cat lover. Cats were the superior species in my opinion. Now my motto is “cats rule, dogs drool…but they’re still pretty cool.” Over the last several months of owning both cats and dogs, I’ve realized that each of these species effect me in a very different way.

I’ve mostly thought of myself as a cat person because of my laid back personality. Although I can be quite sociable and hyper at work,  I’m really an introvert who is more at ease being at home doing quiet things and pondering the meaning of life. The laissez faire attitude of a feline laying about mirrors this mood and maintains my sense of happy solitude.

(image from http://vibeke.holtskog.no/katten-i-klosteret/)

The warm vibration of a kitten’s body purring on my lap is relaxing in a way that is subtle, yet visceral. The kneading of their little paws on my leg took some getting used to, but with thick enough clothing its actually quite pleasurable, albeit awkward (is he having flashbacks of kneading for milk from its mother?).

(image from giphy.com,Looney Tunes Marc Antony and Pussyfoot)

Since Jordi came to stay, my bump-on-a-log modus operandi has taken a back seat. I’m more liable to want to do some yard work just to be outdoors and watch him and the other pups run around.  I’ve just become more active. This change has helped me both physically and emotionally. (One day I’ll share my depression story, and how my animals are helping me manage it.)

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Pure love and affection

The “always ready to go” energy from my dogs amazes me. Whether its day or night, when my dogs see me move, they are right there in tow. Something about that makes me feel special. That I would be that important for them to follow me  wherever I go, and the frenetic “welcome home!” wiggles and jiggles they do when I return home from an outing always puts a grin on my face.

Since adopting the dogs, my leadership skills have grown a bit. The need to be the alpha has guided me into presenting myself in a stronger way. I’m very self aware of how my posture, body language, tone of voice and volume affects the behavior of my dogs. A pack leader presence  is essential to maintain the respect of one’s dog, and is conducive to how I maintain the harmony I speak of in my site’s name. Some people do this quite naturally and I think that draws them being a dog owner. I’ve had to work on it, and I’m still learning how to be a better alpha.

“Either you lead, or I will lady!” ( image from  http://www.orgsites.com/az/mcl-tsn-007/_pgg6.php3 , Devil Dogs)

So its official, now I’m a cat and dog person. Although I felt a tinge of guilt in the beginning of my transition (I swear the cats all stared at me in silent judgment when I brought Jordi home) I am now completely accepting of my new cat-dog love.

(image property of Nickelodeon animation studios)

Yep, I love all pets. Although…I’m still squeamish when it comes to reptiles, arachnids, and snakes “it’ll bite me!”, birds “they’ll peck my eyes out!”, and little critters like hamsters, mice, and gerbils “they’re too small and quick, and they’ll bite me!”. But in general I can appreciate just about any creature big or small found in nature. Although butterflies have always freaked me out since I was a kid “it’ll flutter me to death!”

“Ah! There in my eyes again!”
(image property of Rebecca Sugar, Steven Universe[the most awesome show ever created, go watch it])

Thanks again for letting me share my blog with you. If you want to stay current on other posts about cat people, dog people, or my brood in general please consider subscribing. Also check out my Twitter feed, Instagram, and YouTube channel all under the name  Catsdogsharmony. Until next time, keep the harmony!

KJandPJ

 Personally, I think PJ could make a cat person out of anybody.
(PJ, Keiko, and Jason)

 

 

 

 

Origins: Honey

Honey’s personality can be described as either introvert or antisocial.

I promised to post a litter box cleaning tutorial next, but in the middle of recording my phone battery dropped to 5%  so I couldn’t finish it. I’ll make another attempt another day when my battery is full. In the meantime  I thought I’d post an origins series giving a little background info on each of my animals…

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I’m starting with Honey, who is the oldest. Honey aka Honeybun aka HoneyBunny is a multi-colored short hair tabby mix. She is mostly orange with browns, tans, and blacks throughout her fur. She has yellow eyes. She is 14 yrs old. I adopted her from the Michigan Humane Society back in  2004. I had just separated from my son’s father and divorce was eminent. There were other things going on at that time and I was very depressed. I had heard that pets can ease loneliness and depression, so I decided to get one.

My mom had actually adopted a kitten for my younger sister several months earlier (Chewy!) and she was very sweet and lovable.  Cats are much lower maintenance than dogs, so I thought a cat would be a good choice for me.

Honey’s shelter name was Wendy. She was caged with her litter mate (Peter Pan), who I ended up adopting alongside her. I personally think pets should be adopted in pairs so as not to be lonely, and to have someone to play with.  I wouldn’t, however, suggest adopting more animals that you know you can take care of. Honey and Pepper were best of friends and got along very well. For reasons I won’t go into here, Pepper was ultimately taken back to the shelter several years later. Honey was alone for less than a year before I adopted Tiger. She has adapted fairly well to the other additions to the family.

Honey’s personality can be described as either introvert or antisocial. She doesn’t really like people or other cats. She prefers solitude over being out in the open. She likes affection and purrs and drools when being pet, but is annoyed at being picked up. Even as a kitten Honey would hiss and spit at attempts at being handled.  She has bit me only a few times, and it was usually associated with being scared (around a loud noise or commotion) or being bathed.

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Honey tolerates being around Tiger and PJ,who are adult cats like her, but is easily vexed by the kittens. She will hiss at them or bop them on the head for good measure as if to say “Get outta my face you whipper-snappers”.Since getting my raised multi-feeders she has to eat in close proximity with the other cats and has no problems.

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She mostly avoids my daughter who at the age of 11 is still sometimes very loud and rambunctious, but will snuggle with her when she is asleep. Honey also likes to sleep with me from time to time. Honey tolerates the dogs from a distance, but hisses when they get too close.

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Scratches from Honey are common, but only because her claws are perpetually out. She has been skittish since kitten-hood and doesn’t trust being picked up, so she tends to scramble against the person picking her up with claws spread in attempts to hold on. Even when she jumps on laps her claws are passively out to keep from slipping.  Cats normally extend their claws  only when climbing, scratching(therapeutically) or fighting. The worst scratches I’ve received from Honey were during bath time  . She does NOT like being bathed.

As a senior cat Honey’s mews have become softer and softer. Now when she opens her mouth her “meows” are virtually silent. Her mouth opens, but nothing comes out.  The only time you really hear Honey is when she is locked in a room and wants to be let out, or is locked outside and wants to be let in. She is also pretty vocal at breakfast and dinner where her voice can be distinguished among the many mews in the kitty choir. as the food dishes are being set down. Because she is so skittish, Honey also makes “self-motivational” mews  and chirps before jumping on the bed or sofa as if to tell herself “I can make it! I can make it!”

Over the years Honey has lived up to my expectations. She has given me her own brand of love and affection and emotional support. She makes me a happy cat mom. She has been with me through many changes in my life. I’ve know her through 2 states, 2 marriages, many jobs and residences, and the birth of my daughter.

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I hope you enjoy the pics of Honey.  I also have pics of her as a kitten on another device that I will post when I can.  Until next time, may there be as much harmony in your life as possible.