Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Black cats at Halloween. Are they really in danger?

A few years ago I visited an animal shelter looking for a pet to adopt. I struck up a conversation with one of the workers and somehow we got on the subject of black cats. She mentioned that they do not adopt black cats around Halloween. I asked why. She informed me that sometimes they are used in satanic rituals. I had never heard of such a thing.

I've thought about that statement over the next few years. I began to wonder just how at risk black cats really were around Halloween. I decided to do some research.

What did I find? I found out that at least in the last 2 or 3 decades there have been no documented cases of Halloween related cruelty to black cats. I did come across several stories involving cats and satanic activities but in each of those cases there was no concrete evidence to prove it. They appear to be merely urban legends.

Most animal shelters have no restrictions on cat adoptions around Halloween. they say that black cats have a difficult enough time being adopted that preventing them for unfounded reasons would only add to the difficulty.

It seems that people that are cruel to animals don't care what time of year it is or what color the animal is.

So if you own a black cat the possibility of it being stolen and used as a sacrifice or mistreated in connection with Halloween is very remote. However, a little caution never hurts either.

We wish everyone a happy and safe Halloween.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

What's in a name?

You've probably heard of a Labradoodle or maybe a Puggle or a Chorkie but have you ever heard of a Bascottie or a Buggs? How about a Schnoodle? These are all names you can find on the American Canine Hybrid Club's list of officially recognized mixed, or "hybrid", breed names.

Saint Berdoodle
(Saint Bernard & Poodle)
As the interest in hybrid dogs increases so does the number of names on the list. And the list is getting pretty long. New hybrids are being created all the time. According to the ACHC if you are the first to create a new hybrid you can submit a name for it. If chosen, the name will be used for all successive litters of that particular hybrid.

This sounds like an opportunity as exciting as naming a new planet or discovering a new kind of dinosaur fossil. There are probably hundreds of breeders out there right now looking for a combination that hasn't been done yet and hoping to be the first to create and name it.

A Ba-Shar (similar to Clyde)
Our family has owned hybrid dogs. We had a Basset Hound and Shar Pei mix. He was the coolest looking dog ever. We named him Clyde. We didn't know it at the time but according to the list he was a Ba-Shar. Our current dog, Oreo appears to be a combination of perhaps Border Collie and some kind of Terrier. There doesn't seem to be anything listed for that.

One good thing about creating hybrids is that it's an opportunity to eliminate or at least reduce the chances of the dog having one or more of the health problems attributed to certain breeds. Bulldogs are known to have respiratory issues, German Shepards often suffer hip dysplasia, and Dachshunds have back problems. Through cross-breading many of these issues can be eliminated. And on top of all that, many of them are just so darn cute.

The American Kennel Club recognizes hybrid dogs. They have a special website specifically for registering mixed breeds. It's called AKC Canine Partners. They can even compete in the same events as purebred dogs.

(Chihuahua & Miniature Schnauzer)
If you know or suspect you have a hybrid dog but aren't sure what breeds are involved you can find out easily enough by purchasing a DNA Test Kit. Simply swab the inside of your pet's cheek and mail the sample into a lab where they will test it and send you the results in 2 to 3 weeks. We have tests available for purchase on our website.

Let's have some fun. The following is a list of hybrid breed names from the American Canine Hybrid Club's website. See how many you can figure out. If you get stuck the answers are listed below or you can look at the ACHC list.
1. Boxador
2. Bullhuahua
3. Chiweenie
4. Chonzer
5. Chug
6. Dorkie
7. Giant Schnoodle
8. Mastador
9. Peke-A-Poo
10. Raggle
11. Rottle
12. Saint Berdoodle
13. Schweenie
14. Snorkie
15. Taco Terrier

It seems that Poodle combinations have the cutest names. If I could create one I'd breed an American Bulldog with a French Poodle and call it a Canoodle. I like the sound of that.

As I asked in the title of this post, what's in a name? For a mixed-breed dog the answer is...everything.

(just kidding)

1. Boxer & Labrador Retriever 2. Bull Terrier & Chihuahua 3. Chihuahua & Dachshund 4. Bichon Frise & Miniature Schnauzer 5. Chihuahua & Pug 6. Dachshund & Yorkshire Terrier 7. Giant Schnauzer & Standard Poodle 8. Labrador Retriever & Mastiff 9. Pekingese & Poodle 10. American Rat Terrier & Beagle 11. Poodle & Rottweiler 12. Poodle & Saint Bernard 13. Dachshund & Shih Tzu 14. Miniature Schnauzer & Yorkie 15. Chihuahua & Toy Fox Terrier

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! From all of us here at Peticular Fashions


Wow! Doesn't it feel like the year went by so quickly? It just zoomed by. Yet when I look back on it I realize that we actually got a lot of stuff done throughout the year.
Let's take a quick stroll down the Peticular Fashions memory lane.

Early in 2012 we decided to change the clothing provider for our store. We just felt that the quality wasn't what our customers expected. So we decided to become an Amazon affiliate instead. That opened the door to a whole range of clothing and accessories, toys, food, etc. for all types of pets.

We also redesigned the site that gave it a more visually
appealing look as well as easier <-- navigability and we added 4 times as many products as we had before with plenty more being added all the time.

All in all we feel the pet store is moving in the right direction and getting better every day.

On our home front many changes happened. The biggest is that we packed up all of our belongings and moved two states away. A difficult decision it was but one we feel was right for our family.

And perhaps the best news of all, we added a new member to our family.
A little four legged bundle of joy named Oreo. He was given to us by some friends and he is a welcome addition. He is lovable and smart and full of energy.

So that's a recap of our 2012 year. We would love to know all about your year and what exciting things you're looking forward to in this new year, 2013.

From our family to yours, Happy Holidays and we wish you the very best throughout the new year. Welcome to 2013!!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Huh? Who said that?

Imagine you're walking through the woods minding your own business when suddenly you hear a voice. You turn and no one is there. You hear it again. Still no one. Where is it coming from? Is it in your head? Did you imagine it? Is it the voice of God? No, not this time. You look up into the trees.
There you see a bird perched on a limb. And it appears to be talking to you.

Seems this sort of thing has actually occurred, particularly in Australia. We read an article about it. What is happening is people like to keep birds like Amazon parrots and African greys as pets. They care for them, feed them, and teach them to mimic simple words like "hello", "good-bye", and sometimes other colorful phrases that would not be appropriate to share here. Despite the care these birds may receive some of them manage to escape to freedom.
Once outside they join their wild counterparts and eventually these birds pick up on the words and phrases and start saying them also. In addition to this the offspring of the escaped birds also can learn them. It becomes a part of the flocks "language" and can even be passed on to other parrots or cockatoo flocks. Evenually an entire forest could be alive human language.
So next time you're on a stroll and you hear a strange voice, consider looking up. There just might be a bird up there and it might have something important to say.

Here's a short and humorous video we found on how to train a bird to talk.

Launch video in new window

Monday, August 13, 2012

It's Almost Football Season!!

September 5th is the beginning of the 2012 National Football League season. The 93rd regular season. The time of year when the sale of chips, beer, and universal remote controls skyrocket. 
A time when two complete strangers can talk for hours about who has the best stats and which team will go "all the way".  It is also a time when you can see grown men cry. Ah yes, football season. There's nothing like it.

Do you ever take a break from the action and look around the field at the other sights?  If you did you would of course see coaches and cameramen and cheerleaders but there is another important member of the team that is sometimes neglected and forgotten. Yes that's right. The fearless team mascot.

Every team has one. We particularly like the ones that have a dog as the mascot. It seems like there are a lot of them in college football. That's awesome. But did you know that only one NFL team does. Can you guess which one? If you guessed the New Orlean's Saints then you would be correct. Gumbo the dog is one of two mascots for the team (the other is Sir Saint). He is a "Saint" Bernard and he wears the number 00. Of course he's not a real dog, just someone dressed up in a suit. However at one time their mascot was in fact a real St. Bernard dog and he would roam up and down the sidelines wearing Saints pet gear.

Of course you don't need to play football or own an NFL team to have your own mascot. You can dress your pet up in your favorite team gear. Just in time for kickoff we have some great football gear for your pet. Everything from team bandanas to football play toys.  We even have some very cute college football cheerleader outfits. Head on over to PeticularFashions.com and get them now so you'll be ready when the first whistle blows and the pigskin flies.

Have a great season!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Is your pet the next big star?

It seems there have been numerous movies over the past few years that feature pets. A good pet movie is fun to watch. We are often amazed at how talented the animal is. Perhaps you've looked at your pet and said, "Fido, (or insert your own pets name) you can do all that stuff. Why aren't you an actor?"

Want your dog to be the next Lassie? We've done a little research and found the basics your dog would need to get into acting, whether it be a movie, television show, commercial, or print advertisement.

First and foremost your pet must be well trained in basic obedience skills. These are things like sit, down, stand, stay, come. Most importantly they must be able to perform these while "off-leash", from a distance, and amid distractions. You can imagine how chaotic it can be on a movie set. The director would not be too happy if they had to keep reshooting a scene because your pet was easily distracted or wasn't used to being given direction from several yards away.

A good foundation for these skills can be learned through training provided by organizatione like the American Kennel Club. They have a class called Canine Good Citizenship. Successful completion gives your pet a CGC certification. It is also highly recommended that your pet take additional classes, or receive extensive training to learn additional skills beyond the basics. The more your pet can do, the better your chances of finding an acting job.

Secondly, you should contact a talent agency that works with animals. Unless your neighbor is a film director or the head of an ad agency, finding work for your pet on your own will be very difficult. Leave it to the professionals to represent your dog and find the right opportunity.

Thirdly, patience. You may think you have the cutest dog in the world but that doesn't mean he or she is a shoe-in for an acting role. The expression "it's a dog eat dog world" fittingly applies to the competitive nature of the animal acting business. There is good news though. Often in movies several dogs are hired to play the role of one character. This allows the production crew more flexibility because it is often difficult to find one dog that has all the skills the movie requires, plus using more than one animal makes it easier on the pet as it isn't required to perform in every scene the character is in.

Another fortunate aspect of animal acting is that there usually isn't any specific breed used. As long as your dog has "The Look", it doesn't matter if it is a pure-bred or a mutt. Labs, Golden Retrievers, Chihuahuas, Jack Russell Terriers and Bulldogs have always been popular breeds but there are still plenty of movies, tv shows, commercials, and advertising that use others. Just hang in there. Persistance pays off.

One concern you may have is how safe your pet will be while "on set". Anytime an animal is involved in any kind of production a representative from The American Humane Association Film & Television Unit is there to ensure the safety of the animals.

So if a future in acting is what you see for your pet we wish you all the best. We hope the information we've provided will get you started on the path to fame for your pet.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Does Your Pet Have Pearly Whites?

Were you aware that February is Pet Dental Health Month? Well, it is. Several veterinarian groups have teamed up to make sure that pet owners are educated about the importance of your pets dental care. We want to do our part as well.

Did you know that Periodontal Disease is the most common disease among dogs and cats?
It is mainly caused from a build up of plaque, which creates infection and destroys the gums resulting in the loss of the tissues and bone that support the teeth.

What are some signs that your pet might be suffering from Periodontal Disease?
Look for things like tooth loss, bad breath, going to his or her bowl but not eating or swallows food whole instead, dropping food out of mouth, excessive drooling, yellow/brown crust on teeth, bleeging gums, or subdued behavior.

It is occurs more often in smaller dogs, certain breeds of cats, and older pets. Poor dental hygiene is often the cause but some pets also have a congenital predisposition to dental disease. This is why you should have a dental health plan in place for your pets.

One important step we recommend is brushing the teeth with a toothbrush and specially formulated toothpaste.

Talk to your veterinarian about additional steps you can take to ensure your pet's smile is always a healthy smile.