Meet Snow

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Meet Snow

Who is Snow?

Snow is a cat who was found to have burns on his head and neck.

What kind of cat is he?

He is believed to be an oriental long hair.

Below is a picture of what he should like if he did not have the burns on his head.

Below is a picture of what he did look like a few hours after being captured.

Where was he found?

We got a call about a hurt cat in someones yard and that is how we found Snow- we searched the neighborhood that night and couldn’t find him so we set up a live trap hopinghe would be hungry enough to go in it- the following night we got him. As soon as we saw his condition we knew he was coming home with us. He looked at me and that was it- I knew he was afraid and in pain but still let us pet him through the trap and I could tell he was asking for our help:( I knew that most other people in our situation would have had him euthanized but from the moment we got him out of the trap he showed us what a fighter he was. This is a cat that wanted a chance to survive.

We agreed that we would not let him suffer, but as long as he continued to fight for us, we would fight for him. And he did! And is still fighting! I’m unsure about what our plans are for adopting him out. He is FIV positive and has shown signs of disliking other animals- we are trying to work on that now. Obviously I am completely attached after everything we have gone through with him. He is the face of our rescue!

I also have to be unselfish in my decisions regarding his future. If it turns out that he will do better in a home with no other animals then we will have to make the decision that’s right for him. But I will say it would have to be the absolute perfect home! Many people have been trying to profit off of him (mostly other rescues) and I fear that someone may try to adopt him just because of his fame:( But I also know alot of people who have stood by our side since day one rooting for him! I think if the right adopter comes along- I’ll know it!

He is a video of him a few in his original condition.


He had surgery May 1, 2012 below are some of the pictures from his first surgery

Snow in surgery getting sutures.

The vet techs wrote on his shirt.

Post surgery back at home.

Snow’s sutures were removed about 3 weeks ago. He’s doing much better.

Below is a link of him post surgery coming home.


Will the people who did this face charges?

Yes. They have not yet found the person(s) responsible.

Anyone who may know the identity of the person who burned Snow is asked to call Sterling Heights police at 586-446-2801. Paws For Cause is offering a $1,000 reward for an arrest and conviction.

How is his recovery going?

He is  pretty much has recovered at this point- he still has some scabs that will eventually fall off, but his hair is already growing back. As far as his digestive problems go- we are in the beginning stages of figuring out what is causing that. Still waiting on the results from his fecal panel. No conditions other than the FIV as of now.

What is FIV?

FIV stands for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. It’s a lentivirus, meaning that it progresses very slowly, gradually affecting a cat’s immune system. It is passed through blood transfusions and through serious, penetrating bite wounds – mainly by stray, intact tom cats. The most well-known lentivirus in humans is HIV. But the two are not at all the same, and you can’t get FIV from a cat. In fact, the only thing about FIV that you can catch is a bad case of the rumors.

Facts about FIV

1. The Feline Immuno-deficiency Virus is a slow virus that affects a cat’s immune system over a period of years.

2. FIV is a cat-only disease and cannot be spread to humans or other non-felines.

3. FIV cats most often live long, healthy, and relatively normal lives with no symptoms at all.

4. FIV is not easily passed between cats. It cannot be spread casually – like in litter boxes, water and food bowls, or when snuggling and playing. It is rarely spread from a mother to her kittens.

5. The virus can be spread through blood transfusions, badly infected gums, or serious, penetrating bite wounds. (Bite wounds of this kind are extremely rare, except in free-roaming, unneutered tomcats.)

6. A neutered cat, in a home, is extremely unlikely to infect other cats, if properly introduced.

7. Many vets are not educated about FIV since the virus was only discovered 15 years ago.

8. FIV-positive cats should be kept as healthy as possible. Keep them indoors and free from stress, feed them a high-quality diet, keep and treat any secondary problems as soon as they arise.

Despite what many people think, cats with this condition can live perfectly long, happy, healthy lives.

As long as cats with FIV are not exposed to diseases that their immune system can’t handle, they can live perfectly normal lives. And they can only pass the virus on to other cats through a serious, penetrating bite wound. So unless your cats at home routinely tear each other to pieces, it’s not a problem.

(Taken from http://www.bestfriends.org/theanimals/petcare/cats_fiv.cfm)

For more information on FIV:


or talk to your vet.

Where did the name Snow come from?

The name was picked on a wim. We brought him through the ER vet the night we got him and the woman behind the counter asked what his name was and “Snow” immediately came to mind. I’m not sure why, it just seemed to fit perfectly.

What can someone do if they see a cat that is hurt like Snow.

If someone finds an animal in extreme condition like Snow they need to start by exhausting all their rescue resources! Shelters will almost 100% of the time euthanize, as will Animal Control- they just do not have the time or resources…or compassion.

What is Trap, Neuter and Release?

This process involves trapping the cats, getting them neutered, eartipped for identification and vaccinated for rabies, then releasing them back to their territory. This effort also involves providing shelter and food for the cats on a daily basis as well as educating the community on the benefits of TNR versus euthanasia of feral, unadoptable colonies.


Snow’s Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/TheStoryOfSnow

Snow’s Chip In Page: http://pawsforthecauseferalcatrescue.chipin.com/snow-a-poor-abused-kitty

Other articles written on Snow:




Author’s Note:

I wanted to take a moment to thank to Laura Wilhelm-Bruzek for answering my questions about Snow and for her dedication to Snow as well as Paws for the Cause Feral Cat Rescue. Not only is she taking care of Snow, but also running his facebook page and trying to get some other non-Snow related issues resolved.
I would also like to thank those who have donated money, items to Snow and others at Paws for the Cause already. As well as the vet team that operated on Snow and are making sure he recovers fully at gets the help he needs to live a normal cat life.
All photos and videos have been used with permission. 

If you know of a animal worth writing about send me a comment and a link to their page and I’ll gladly do an interview, I’m always looking for more material for Animal Articles. Thank you  =^.^=

Meet Moki the Wobbly Cat


Moki The Wobbly Cat

Who is Moki?

Moki is a cat.

What makes Moki so special?

He suffers from an undiagnosed medical condition that causes him to not be able to move like normal cats, hence the name “Moki the Wobbly Cat”.

Below is my interview with Moki & his mom.

I have read a little bit about the condition that you have Moki, but I would like to know what happened on that fateful day that changed your life and how did your mom get involved? (This may have been covered already but I couldn’t find the post about it)

It’s actually kind of a long story so I will sum it up as best as I can. It was the height of kitten season when Moki was found left in a box along with another feral kitten, on the door step of the feline only, free roaming, no-kill, rescue/shelter, I was volunteering at. I lived out in the country at that time and I already owned six other cats so I really wasn’t looking to foster any. I was taking some vet assisting classes at that time so my volunteering was based primarily on helping to clean up after and generally take care of the cats. The shelter had been really hard hit by a large number of kittens that year and we were beginning to have trouble finding foster homes for them all, particularly the feral ones. Because foster homes were getting harder and harder to come by, Moki was being housed at the shelter until we could find a placement for him. It only took a matter of days for me to fall madly in love with Moki and his feral ways as I went about completing my volunteer duties. With that said, despite already having six other cats, I decided to bring Moki home on a foster basis.

When I brought Moki home he was a normal feral kitten. He did all the things which a normal, feral, cat does. He hissed and scratched, hid and ran, played and jumped. After about six days of being in my care, Moki started to develop what appeared to be an upper respiratory infection. It didn’t seem like anything to be too worried about at first so I just took him to my vet and got him some antibiotics. Over the next couple of days while on the antibiotics Moki’s symptoms got increasingly worst. It was at this point that Moki was seen by the shelter’s vet. While under the care of the shelter’s vet, Moki continued to decline and a decision was made to move Moki to an emergency veterinary hospital. The shelter vet didn’t think that Moki was going to survive and by the time he was admitted to the emergency veterinary hospital I was told that he wouldn’t make it through the night and that I should therefore say my goodbyes.

Despite the warnings I was quite ready to give up and neither was Moki. As I handed him off to the emergency room vet, Moki mustered up all his energy to lift up his paw and reach across the exam table for me. I discussed several different treatment options with the ER vet some of which they didn’t want to perform because they didn’t think that they would help. By about midnight of that night I got a call from the vet at the ER hospital letting me know that Moki was showing no signs of improvement, so she was going to go ahead and try some of the things which I had requested earlier that afternoon. I should mention at this point Moki’s WBC (white blood cell count) was 0.7 upon being admitted to the ER. He wasn’t at deaths door, he was by all practical purposes dead.

While I awaited the dreadful call from the vet that late that night, early the next morning, which would tell me of Moki’s passing, the call never came. What I did receive was a call from the new ER vet who had come on shift early that morning. The new ER vet was reading Moki’s medical file and was greatly confused. The symptoms listed in the file didn’t match anything like she what she was seeing in the animal whose cage the file had been attached to. She wondered if maybe someone somewhere in there haste had attached the wrong file to the wrong cage so she asked me to come down to the hospital to verify that Moki was indeed the same cat whose medical file she was looking at.

Overnight Moki had made a drastic recovery. That recovery was not without severe side effects however. While Moki had survived to tell his tale, he did so at a high cost. He was now neurologically impaired.

What exactly is the condition called? Is there anything a cat guardian (cat parent) can do to prevent it? Are there any support groups or places to go to get monetary help for the therapy and vet visits if a pet parent finds out their cat has the same condition?

Moki’s medical condition doesn’t have a name. When he was released from the ER hospital the vets there thought that Moki had a condition known as cerebellar hypoplasia. As a result of this belief and the severity of Moki’s neurological condition, the ER vets told me that Moki would never sit up on his own again or be able to walk. Further they told me that Moki most likely would not be able to eat without a plate of food being held up to his face. Within a matter of a few days Moki was proving them wrong. Not only was he eating from a plate placed on the ground, he was sitting up and starting to take his first couple of steps.

At this point I should probably mention that the evening that Moki was admitted to the ER I made a promise to him that should he survive, he would have a forever home with me. Ok, so where were we? Oh ya, as the days went forward Moki and I began working with my regular vet who suggested that we take Moki down to UC Davis. It took us about a month to get into UC Davis and once there his medical file was immediately referred to one of their veterinary neurologists. The neurologist suggest that we have both an MRI and a CSF Tap preformed on Moki to see if we could figure this thing out. A few months went by before Moki was brought back to UC Davis for his MRI and CSF Tap. In the end these tests along with every other test that we had conducted on Moki came back clean. UC Davis at first purposed that Moki had CH (cerebellar hypoplasia) but by this stage I had already researched CH well enough to know that that was an impossibility since Moki was born completely normal and his symptoms didn’t develop until well after his cerebellum was already fully formed. When I pointed this out to UC Davis they realized that they had made and mistake and had forgotten to make note of that fact in his medical file. After realizing that Moki was born normal and lived the first several months of his life as a normal healthy cat, they too agreed that Moki’s medical condition could not have been caused by CH. In the end as it turned out, no one knew what they were dealing with and to this day they still don’t.

With that said there is no real way to tell other cat guardians how they could go about avoiding what happened to Moki since no one really knows exactly what Moki has. Additionally there are no support groups, because Moki’s condition is so unique that to date, nothing like it has been recorded or reported anywhere in the world.
As for financial support, there are several options available to pet owners to help them cover the cost of their veterinary bills. The first option would be to speak with their own vets to see if the vet will allow them to set up a payment plan. If this is not an option, then Care Credit might be, so they should try to apply for a line of credit through them. If both of those methods fail then I would advise pet owners to try contacting one or more local agencies which may be able to help them cover the cost of their pets care. Pet owners can find a list of agencies which help with veterinary expenses on the Humane Societies website or by referencing this link:http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/trouble_affording_pet.html

Scout’s Fund is another great resource should for pet owners residing in the CA bay area whose pets need physical rehabilitation. Right now Scout’s Fund is a small local non-profit but in time we plan on growing it state-wide and then eventually nation-wide, so definitely bookmark and keep checking back. There website can be found at:http://www.scoutsfund.org/.

Finally, if all of those options fail I would advise pet owners to try setting up a fundraiser for their pet. There are a lot of great fundraising websites out there and several people have been successful when it comes to fundraising money for their pets medical needs, myself included. Some of the fundraising websites that you might want to look into are as follows:


There are several other free and low cost fundraising websites out there for individuals, all you have to do is a internet search to find them.

What types of therapy do you do and how long have you been doing it? Which is your favorite/lease favorite?

I do both physical rehabilitation and veterinary acupuncture on a weekly basis. Please note the very distinct words “physical rehabilitation,” and “veterinary acupuncture.” In many states there are very specific laws pertaining to the use of the term “physical therapy.” In many places, physical therapy is actually a protected term reserved for human forms of therapy. Physical therapist undergo advance levels of training. They hold masters degrees and PhD’s in their field of training, so the term is protect in most states and rightly so. Physical rehabilitation specialists on the other hand are most commonly licensed vet techs and vets who have undergo an additional level of training in the art of physical rehabilitation, or in other words, in applying physical therapy techniques to animals. Some physical therapists have entered into the world of physical rehabilitation as well and these are the individuals who you most commonly see heading up a team of other physical rehabilitation specialist under the guidance of a veterinarian.

As for veterinary acupuncture, the regulations pertaining to it also vary by state. While some states require that only a licensed vet can administer acupuncture to animals other states have no requirements pertaining to who can and cannot administer veterinary acupuncture. Most schools which teach veterinary acupuncture however require that their students be licensed vets. With that said if you are considering having your animal seen by a acupuncturist it is important to inquire whether or not the acupuncturist is also a licensed vet, or truly a veterinary acupuncturist.

As for Moki’s own personal experience with these two treatment commodities, Moki has been seeing a small animal physical rehabilitation specialist on and off again since 2008. I should note at this point that due to Moki’s medical condition there have been several times over the years in which he has had to stop his physical rehabilitation treatments. These breaks in his physical rehabilitation have ranged from anywhere to a few months to well over a year. With that said I should also point out that most animals do not require the kind of extensive physical rehabilitative care which Moki does, and therefore the length of treatment varies greatly depending upon the animal’s condition.

As for seeing the acupuncturist, Moki has been seeing a veterinary acupuncturist since Dec 23, 2010. Again the length and number of acupuncture treatments vary by a particular animal’s medical condition. With that said, Moki enjoys all of his treatments. Like anyone else he has his good days and his bad but in the end he seems to know that these treatments are helping him and he always feels so much better afterward. We have also seen vast improvement in his medical condition as a result of these two combined treatments.

Do you have sisters/brothers that help cheer you on?

Moki sure does. He started out with six other adoptive sibling as I mentioned earlier. Unfortunately three of these have since past away, one, Orange Boy, stayed behind with my ex-boyfriend when I moved out. (He moved with us at first but was really unhappy living here, and my ex-boyfriend missed him so much that we thought that it was best that Orange Boy continued to live with him. My ex and I continue to remain friends and Moki still sees Orange Boy from time to time.) So that leaves us with Mini Munch and Little Kitty, the two sister who live here at the house with Moki. Little Kitty is getting up there in age, she is 15, so we sometimes refer to her as grandma kitty, but you would never know it judging by the way she acts. She behaves like a cat half her age. As forMini Munch, she is six, just one year older than Moki, and she is very close to him. You can constantly find her cheering Moki on in just about everything that he does.

Author’s Note: A huge thank you goes to Moki and his mom along with all the vets, vet techs and everyone involved with his care. The video and photos were used with permission.  =^.^= 

Meet Penny the Blind Cat


Meet Penny the Blind Cat

Another couple has welcomed a blind cat into their home.. below is my interview with them.

Was Penny was born blind?

Penny was not born blind. She was taken to a shelter and she kept getting infections in her eyes. So after some surgery they removed her eyes and now she’s the beautiful blind kitty we know today.

Is there anything extra you did to prep your house for when she first came home?

When Penny came home, it didn’t take her long to start jumping up on furniture or finding her litter box! What took the most time was letting her know that things were safe and okay. The first time that Penny’s “mom” met her, she bit her! Penny was in a shelter for five years and lots of other cats would try to play with her but she didn’t like it. She was very nervous and would scratch herself all the time.

Is there any extra care that you have to give her, like cleaning eyes or being careful when she’s around?

The only extra care that she receives is some medicine. No cleaning necessary other than what a cat with eyes would need (clipping those claws!). Penny knows where her litter box is, where her huge water bowl and food are, and especially where mom is when she sits down to knit!

Does she have any siblings (other cats/dogs/etc in the house?)

Penny doesn’t have any siblings, since she prefers the company of mom and The Strange Man (Jocelyn’s boyfriend Tim). We don’t think that has to necessarily do with her being blind but being a tortoiseshell cat. They’re very possessive!

What is her  favorite sleeping spot?

Her favorite sleeping spot is right on mom’s belly, nudging her face into mom’s. But Penny likes to sleep all over the place and part of the game coming home is guessing where Penny will be next. Is it the bed? Her cat bed? The couch? Futon? Maybe her secret space in the closet? It’s always a fun game to figure out where she is.

Where did you adopt her from?

Penny was adopted from Red Door Shelter in Chicago, IL.

Does she have favorite toys?

Penny doesn’t play as much as she used to, being an old lady (we think she’s at least ten) but she sure loves to sleep, eat all her food in the morning, and cuddle with mom. She LOVES cuddling!

Any tips for people considering adopting a blind cat or any special needs cats?

And how it changed your life by adopted penny?

A good tip for adopting a blind cat or special needs cat is that they can be just as fun and exciting and loving as any cat who can see. They’re beautiful and fun and can give so much love. It’s the best thing to happen to our little home here in Chicago and we love Penny every single day.

Thanks to her parents for letting me bombard them with questions about Penny and for letting me use the pictures for this article.

Want to see more pictures check her out at http://www.facebook.com/BlindPenny


Miss Penny passed away on 11/10/2012.  This article is dedicated to the loving memory of Miss Penny the Blind Cat would brought love and laughter to her mommy and the strange man for nearly 4 years. Fly free little one to the Rainbow Bridge.

Cynophobia (abnormal fear of dogs)

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What is Cynophobia?

Noun 1. cynophobia – a morbid fear of dogs

(taken from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/cynophobia)

I wanted to share my experience as someone who had it and how I overcame it .. along with some useful tips on overcoming the fear and general tips on approaching strange dogs.

When someone said dog.. this is what I pictured.

some snarling rabies infected animal foaming at the mouth trying to bite me and maim me to bits & pieces.

I was petrified of dogs.

I would look the other way as I had heard dogs can sense fear and will go running after you if you try to run away.

I would walk on the other side of the side walk.

I was simply pee in my pants petrified of dogs.

It all changed years ago on a walk with my mom in Germany a man had a German Shepard on a leash on the same side of the sidewalk. I tried my best to make myself small and I am pretty sure they both could sense how uncomfortable I was being so close to the dog.

He stopped and asked me if I would like to feed the dog a treat.

I shied away at first.

The guy insisted saying the dog was gentle and would not hurt and I caved.

He handed me a treat for the dog and I held it up just above the dog’s nose so he could sniff it.

The dog opened it’s mouth slightly.. I saw teeth and wanted to run away and the dog gently pulled the treat out of my mittened hand.

Now fast forward to me being in my 20s and having a roommate whose family lives on a small farm and has australian cattle dogs (blue tick heelers or austrialian heelers) and I end up having to confront my fears with her as well as her sister a half heeler who was extremely sweet.

and meeting a true blooded rottwieler and giving him the gift of an empty cardboard box (per his owner’s request) watching him tear that thing to pieces was frightening but he adored me because he got a box.

I’ve had dogs since then… met a few more and have grown to love and adore dogs and puppies alike. Especially puppy breath and their cute whining as they are practicing how to growl, bark and howl.

The way I got over my fear may not be the way everyone else can get over their fear, so here’s some help for those who are still petrified of dogs.
How To Overcome Fear Of Dogs

  • Dogs are lovable animals and loyal to their masters. They can have a fierce side but remember that they attack only when provoked.
  • To get rid of your fear, you have to be sensitive, knowledgeable, positive, careful, and responsible towards the animal.
  • Find out why you are scared of dogs. Remind yourself that dogs are the best friends of man, and repeat this in your mind every day.
  • Visit your local dog park. Watch the dogs and their activities from a distance for at least a few minutes. Do this activity for about a month.
  • Try to befriend a dog. You don’t have to hug or touch them instantly. A slow gradual process will help you. Choose a dog that you are familiar with like a friends pet or one that a family member owns.
  • You can watch a film on dogs, or look for cute pictures and images of puppies or dogs cuddling with humans, and indulging in playful activities. It really can have a positive impact on you, and your approach towards the dogs.
  • There are some people who like dogs but are afraid to touch or go near them. If you like dogs but the fear puts a barrier between you and the dog then you should collect information on dogs, and you will be surprised to learn a lot of positive qualities about them. Try to understand the nature, and behavior of the dogs, and you will learn to admire them.
  • Do not harbor any wrong impression about the size or the appearance of the dog. Dogs like Labrador may be large in size but they are one of the gentlest creatures. On the other hand, a Pekinese which is smaller in size can be very aggressive.
  • Start playing with puppies. They are harmless, small, with no sharp teeth, no growling, and no snarling. You will be surprised to find those puppies recognizing you within a few days of your friendship.

(Taken from http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/how-to-get-rid-of-fear-of-dogs-9247.html)

I have learned since then to appreciate the companionship a dog brings and have been a strong advocate of leash laws (Florida has a statue for it and occasionally you will see the sign posted about it).

For those that actually want to read the Florida statues that cover dog bite and dangerous dogs.. http://www.animallaw.info/statutes/stusflst767_04.htm (just a fair warning the summary at the beginning is better than the lawyerize actual statues)

I do believe that either people who are walking their dogs do the following:

1 -they forget that not everyone shares their doggy loving enthusiasm (example people who are scare of dogs or just don’t like them int their yards)

2-they are too lazy to put their dog on leash

Please dog lovers & dog parents remember that though your dog is your loving companion it may be someone’s worst nightmare to come up on the street with you and your unleashed dog.

Or if your dog decides to run into the street with a leash and a car comes by, it’s a driver’s worst nightmare to be the one that hits that dog.

Please please be a responsible dog owner and get your dog on a leash. It’s a lot safer for them and for you. I’ve lost a dog to a vehicle before, not for being on a leash but because she escaped her kennel. Not a fun thing to have to go through and I would never wish that on anyone. I certainly don’t want to be the one to hit someone’s dog or cat either.

I have also learned that some dogs just get a bad rap due to the media and well.. mainly the media.

Take pit bulls for instance:

Yes they are mainly the ones used for dog fighting (which is cruel treatment of an animal) and they are often the ones who are mentioned in attacks against people, but they are not all bad dogs.

Some of them are big sissies and will pee themselves if a stranger approaches.

Rottweilers also have a bad reputation for attacking people along with Akitas, German Shepards and other big dogs.

So before getting a dog check to make sure where you live doesn’t have a ban on a specific breed.

Home owner’s associations, landlords, rental management companies and even the US Army.. it’s best to ask first and there are some states and certain areas that have bans on certain breeds period.

Check out a general  list of what breeds are banned in the United States by State and locality here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breed-specific_legislation#United_States

In looking at the list the pit bull comes up a lot, it’s actually the most banned dog breed.


Mainly because of overpopulation and a few bad owners that use them for fighting, dogs need exercise and stimulation. Like children they need to have something to do or they will go a bit crazy and start chewing on furniture and ripping through things. Before getting a dog here are some things to consider.

There are four important things ( T-I-M-E ) to consider before you decide to get a dog home.

1 ) Time Commitment

2 ) Iintention and reason of getting a dog

3 ) Money; financial Commitment

4 ) Enviroment

TIME COMMITMENT :-Getting a dog is exciting but owing a dog is a long-term commitment as most dogs have a life-span of 8 to 16 years. So before you take the plunge, ask yourself if you have enough time in bringing up and training your dog. You will need to devote a lot of time and patience day by day, 7 days a week commitment. Will your lifestyle accommodate your dog? Do you always have busy schedule or travelling very frequent? More time and medical attention will be needed especially when your dog is older, are you willing to sacrify your time?

INTENTION AND REASON :-Many people getting dogs simply because they are cute and adorable, a nice present for their children and love ones and they always let their hearts rule their heads, they forgot the puppies will grow into bigger sizes and health problems that might arise when the dogs are older, some dog owners would then decide to sell away their dogs when this happens which I strongly discourage as this is an act of irresponsible. Ask yourself what is the intention of you getting a dog or more than one dog? Companion dogs for companion? For emotional support? To overcome your irrational fear such as fear in the dark or anxiety when being alone? Large dogs or Working dogs for protection and house watching? Top breeds for show purpose and enjoy the glory? Please refer to Dog Breeds where you can see all the different dog breeds from a-z. Whatever the reasons maybe I do believe having a good human-dog relationship can bring you therapeutic value.

MONEY AND FINANCIAL COMMITMENT :-Next important thing you need to consider is about the ongoing costs for food, nutrition, grooming, medical care, accessaries, agility training fees and kennelling fees for your dog while you are away. Can you afford it?

ENVIROMENT :-Giving your dog a comfortable space to live is equally important. Due to the size, activity level and temperament, some breeds need more space and fenced yard to run. Some breeds are smaller in size and more sociable maybe live indoor. Some working dogs are protective, powerful and aggresive may need to live outdoor with fenced to avoid possible of attacking stranger. So do you have a suitable place for your dog to live as part of your family? Do prepare a proper space well before getting a dog home and remember, it’s going to be your dog’s permenant place for him to sleep, rest, cuddle and hideout.

(Taken from  http://www.info-on-dogs.com/getting-a-dog.html_

In speaking of the Money Commitment (see above) here’s a great breakdown of what it costs to own a dog or cat.

Lifetime Expenses Dog or Cat

Adoption fee (at a shelter this includes spay or neuter fee)[Dog] $100[Cat] $85
Vaccines (two per year at $15/each) [Dog]$450[Cat]  $450
Heartworm test (one per year) [Dog]$25 [Cat] $30
Heartworm prevention pills (varies depending on size of animal)[Dog] $900 [Cat] $600
Leukemia test[Dog] n/a [Cat] $40
Leukemia prevention shot -one per year at $17/each[Dog] n/a [Cat] $255
Basic health exam (one per year at $30 per visit)[Dog] $450[Cat]  $450
Microchipping (implanted ID) [Dog]$30[Cat]  $30
Flea control (varies depending on size of animal)[Dog] $1,800 [Cat] $1,440
License ($10 per year if animal is altered) [Dog]$150 [Cat] $150
Food (dry – $182 per year) [Dog]$2,730 [Cat] $2,730
Grooming (brushes, combs, shampoo, nail trimmers, etc.) [Dog]$100[Cat]  $100
Cat litter ($60 per year) [Dog]n/a [Cat] $900
Litter box and scoop (1 per year at $10/each) [Dog]n/a [Cat] $150
Collars and leashes[Dog]$225 [Cat] $50

Total cost per year [Dog]$6,960[Cat]  $7,460

(Taken from http://www.sspca.org/page.php?sid=105)Please note that this list is based on a 15-year life expectancy and does not include all of the expenses you will incur. Don’t forget training, illness, toys, treats, bowls, bed, carrier, kennel fees, etc. It is estimated that the average cost per year of owning a cat or dog is about $1,000.

Author’s Note: I’ve got three cats, one who has a medical condition and requires a prescription which is $30 per refill and needs to see the vet on a follow-up. They are costly but the companionship an animal brings is priceless.

Here are some good tips on how to approach dogs:

The following tips on human body language are applicable when interacting with any dog, but are especially important when dealing with a fearful dog. Adopt these mannerisms and teach others who interact with your dog to do so as well:

1  Let the dog come to you. If your dog is frightened, she must be allowed to decide whether or not to approach. Don’t restrain your dog and force her to accept contact from others. Remember the “fight or flight” response; if you take away the opportunity for flight, your dog’s choices are limited.

2  Turn to the side. Facing a dog directly is more confrontational than keeping your body turned partially or completely to the side; even turning your head to the side will make a frightened dog feel less anxious.

3  No staring, please ! A direct stare is a threat in the animal kingdom (and on New York City subways!). It is perfectly fine to look at your dog; just soften your expression and don’t “hard stare” directly into her eyes. Do not allow children to put their faces near your dog’s face or to stare into her eyes.

4  Don’t hover. Leaning over a dog can cause the dog to become afraid and possibly defensive. The one time I was bitten while working in a Los Angeles city animal shelter happened when I went to return an adorable, fluffy white dog to her pen. While placing her on the ground, I inadvertently reached over her equally adorable little pen mateãwho jumped up and bit me in the face.

5 Pet appropriately. Approaching dogs by patting them on the head is ill-advised. Envision the interaction from the dog’s point of view; a palm approaching from above can be alarming. I do a demonstration with kids to teach them how to pet dogs properly. The child plays the role of the dog; I tell the child that I will pet him in two different ways, and he is to tell me which is nicer. First, I reach my hand slowly toward the child’s cheek and stroke it, smiling and softly saying, “Good dog!” Next, I bring my hand brusquely palm-down over the child’s head repeatedly, while loudly saying, “Good dog, good dog!” Kids almost invariably like the first method better. If dogs could answer for themselves, nine out of ten dogs would vote for the first method as well! It’s not that dogs should never be petted on top of the head, but that head-patting (or petting over the dog’s shoulders, back, or rump) should not be used as an initial approach. It is wiser to make a fist, hold it under the dog’s nose to allow her to sniff, then pet the dog on the chest, moving gradually to the sides of the face and other body parts, assuming the dog is comfortable. Likewise, a hand moving in quickly to grab for a dog’s collar is more potentially fear-inducing than a hand moving slowly to a dog’s chest, scratching it, then moving up to take hold of the collar.

6  Stoop, don’t swoop. Small dogs in particular are often swooped down upon when people want to pick them up. Fast, direct, overhead movements are much more frightening than slow, indirect ones. To lift a small dog, crouch down, pet the dog for a moment, then gently slip your hands under her belly and chest, and lift.

7  Watch your smile. While humans interpret a smile as friendly, a dog might not be as fond of seeing your pearly whites. A show of teeth is, after all, a threat in the animal kingdom. A friend of mine once accompanied me to visit the wolves at the rescue center. She patiently sat on the ground, motionless. Finally, a large, black wolf approached to investigate. Unable to contain herself, she broke out in a huge, toothy grin. The wolf darted away as though she had raised a hand to hit him. The lesson? Save the dazzling toothpaste smile for charming your dates and accepting awards. Smile at canines with a closed mouth.

(taken from http://webspace.cal.net/~pamgreen/interacting_w_fearful_dogs.html)

Found another one.. with some of the same tips but a bit different.

Whether you’re approaching a strange dog because it’s loose on the highway to help it, or whether you’re greeting a friend’s new pet, the following tips will help you to correctly introduce yourself to a dog you do not know.

Dog behavior is not the same as human behavior. Dogs read body language long well in advance of listening to words, so you’ll want to talk “dog” to the dog with your body language. When, from the dog’s point of view, you approach in a non-threatening manner, you are doing the dog a favor, especially if he has aggression or self-confidence issues. You can become a successful “human encounter” within the dog’s memory bank!

Avoid Direct Eye Contact
When you approach an unknown dog, avoid making direct eye contact. Dogs tend to interpret direct eye contact as a challenge. While dogs can be trained to accept direct eye contact, and while this is desirable in competition obedience training, direct eye contact is often interpreted by an untrained dog as a threat.

Get Low
To appear less intimidating, sit, squat, or get down upon your knees. The smaller a dog is, the more important it is for his handler to reduce his size. By appearing smaller to the dog, you also appear to be less of a threat.

Turn Sideways
Upon lowering yourself to the dog’s level, turn your body sideways. You have now communicated to the dog (in dog language) that you are NOT a threat, (no eye contact), and that you are not nearly as big as he first thought you to be. By presenting him with your side, (as dogs do when making a new acquaintance) you communicate your lack of threat. Facing a dog full front challenges him, (as does direct eye contact). When you down low and sideways, you communicate no threat, and can readily put out a hand for the dog to sniff.

Pet Down Low
After the dog has thoroughly sniffed your hand, pet his chest, first. Everyone’s first instinct is to pet the dog over the top of his head and shoulders, but many dogs are uncomfortable with this and will duck or back away from strangers who do so. In dog language, putting yourself over his head and shoulders announces your dominance over him. Many dogs are leery of allowing a total stranger to establish dominance over them. You will have more success if you first pet the dog’s chest,before moving up to his shoulders and sides. Pet his head last of all.

Speak Softly
As you’re petting, speak softly and soothingly to the dog. If you know his name, use it, and tell him things he’s likely to already be familiar with hearing such as, “Good boy,” or, “Good girl.”

Final Thoughts
Something else to remember when making friends with an unknown dog, is to simply be there, without challenging the dog in any way. Wait for the dog to come to you. Use this strategy when visiting friends. Dogs often prefer to observe a stranger at first, before sniffing them and finally coming closer in. When a dog does finally approach, offer your hand slowly, and if the dog permits it, gently scratch its chest. Oftentimes, when you then drop your hand, the dog will surprise you by then making the next move.

(Taken from http://brettwinn.hubpages.com/hub/Things-to-Know-About-Approaching-a-Strange-Dog)

When I approach dog or cat I always let them sniff me my hand first, it gives them a chance to interact with me on their terms. Cats especially will decide whether or not they want to be touched by you, I do this with my own cats constantly to keep in practice. But this helps the animal decide whether or not they want to be touched and animals can decide whether or not they like you just by smell.

Also if the owner is nearby ask if the dog is friendly and if its okay to approach and pet. Some dogs don’t like to be petted just as some people don’t like to be touched.

Don’t let stereotypes and your fear  get in the way of missing out on a great friendship. But be a responsible owner and look into any restrictions on breeds make sure you have the time and commitment for your new family member.

funny dog pictures - Sorry my Pit Bull went against your stereotypes