Friday, November 30, 2012

Happy Birthday Mark Twain

Today marks the 177th anniversary of Samuel Clemens,AKA Mark Twain father of American literature and animal lover (here is the link to our review of Mark Twain's Book of Animals, a great read for any animal lover or Twain fan  link)

I have been studying the traits and dispositions of the "lower animals" (so called) and contrasting them with the traits and dispositions of man. I find the result humiliating to me.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Wordless Wednesday-Chillin' With Dad

Monday Mischief-Union Square Holiday Market Foodie Adventure

On Sunday we packed up Weasley to go to the Union Square Holiday Market that pops up every November and December.   Its an expanded version of the regular Farmer's Market with lots of nice shops and tasty foods.

Weasley is such a calm commuter now that he stayed perfectly quiet in his stroller on the crowded path train:

The market was all decorated for Christmas Weasley posed by the trees and listened to the Carolers

It was very crowded and filled with plenty of interesting smells.

We saw a couple of dogs at the market, including this cute Frenchie named Leo.

There was a stand of fancy loose teas, they must have had about 60 different kinds.

There was some nice food too, we tried a feta stuffed  pretzel from Sigmund's Pretzels,

an Earl Grey Macaron from a stand whose name I forgot (the french cookie kind not Macaroons which are those coconut things) that really did taste like Earl Grey tea , Captain Picard's favorite  and mine too,

 a waffle from the Waffles and Dinges Cart, it was the one that won the Food Network Throw down from Bobby Flay,

 and best of all a delicious French Style Hot Chocolate from No Chewing Allowed, they put a truffle at the bottom 

and it comes in a cute cup.   Its thick and rich, well worth the five dollars.

There were a lot of clothing and art stands and some really cute wool ornaments, but it was so crowded I couldn't get a good picture.

My favorite stand was Hazel Village where they make these really cute stuffed dolls.  They can be monogramed and you can customize the outfits.  I was sorely tempted to buy one and took their card for future reference.

Weasley was very tired out when we got home, ready for a nap.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Babar

November marks the 80th anniversary celebration of the American publication of the classic Babar children's book.  

I loved these books when I was a kid.  Weasley and I stopped to check out the window display at Books of Wonder in Manhattan that celebrated the King of Elephants.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Christmas is Coming

Thanksgiving is over and at Urban Hounds we are already thinking.....Christmas.  For breakfast mom made one of her favorite Holiday treats Cowboy Christmas Breakfast.  

Cheesy, Eggy, Fattening and Good!

Then the pugs headed to Pet Smart to get their Holiday photos taken, Bob and Norbert have a great picture from last year.   The pictures where taken by Champion Pet Photos and they will be on our Christmas Card this year.  After the pictures we went shopping in Pet Smart

and Ping got this cute Grinch Hat.

Then mom started some of our Holiday decorating.  She put out the vintage Santa and Choir boy christmas cards she bought on Etsy from the store Vintage Junque  They are really cute, if you like retro things like mom does (warning mom included lots of pictures, she really loves these cards)

Mom really  likes this one, patriotic choir boys

The personalized breed stocking is from the In The Company of Dogs, Bob and Weasley both have one.

The cards on our mantle, you can see Bob's stocking a little too

The one where Santa has a martini is mom's favorite, perfect Holiday Cheer.
We are participating in the blogville Christmas card exchange again this year so mom wanted  a way to display the cards we receive.  So she made a card wreath.   You need a wooden embroidery hoop, mini clothes pins, wood glue, and ribbon.   You glue the mini clothes pins in different directions around the embroidery hoop so that one card will face and the next will face out.   

Let it dry for about half and hour and then hang from a ribbon and clip cards on as you receive them.  So far we have Sugar's card and we will add more as they arrive.

We are going to spend the rest of the day watching our favorite funny show Mystery Science Theatre 3000, or MST3K.   It premiered Thanksgiving weekend in 1988 when mom and dad where ten years old.     Here is a Christmas clip, its not one of their best episodes but it is Holiday appropriate.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

10 Reasons for Pet Owners to Be Thankful in 2012

1) Dogs and cats are living longer.  The old 7 years for every year math is out the window.  More and more vets are seeing dogs living into their mid teens and sometimes late teens, and some cats into their late teens or early twenties due to a stronger human animal bond, more responsible pet ownership, better vetrinary care, and better nutrition.   article link

2) Pet owners live longer too.  A research study that followed 4,000 cat owners over ten years found that owning a cat can significantly reduce your chance of dying of heart disease, with cat owners being 30% less likely to die of the disease.  Here is a link to a slideshow of 27 ways pets can improve your health from Web MD link .

3) Better Veterinary Care.  Just 20 years ago nearly every Veterinary was the equivalent of a general practitioner, today there are are oncologists, dermatologists, and brain surgeons to name a few.  In 1995 just 15% of Veterinary school graduates went on to post graduate study and specialization, today the number is about 40%.

4) Improved cancer care, for pets and humans.   Today there are more Veterinary oncologists and more pet owners seeking cancer care for their companions and this has lead to improvement in care for both species.   Veterinary oncologists can try experimental therapies on their patients that wold not be permitted in human treatment.  The results can be used to benefit care for both species.  Article Link.

5) Better Food. These days the role of nutrition in human health is better understood, and the same goes for the health of our pets.    There are more and more choices of high quality nutritionally optimal pet foods and more information about how to find them.   There  is a wealth of information on the raw food diet and home cooking, and specialities in pet nutrition are available online.  Here is a link to a Q and A with a pet nutritionist from the New York Times.

6) More information.  I can't imagine that even fifteen years ago a main stream, non pet focused news paper would feature an interview with a pet nutritionist but these days the Times and many other publications frequently run stories on pet health.  The internet provides owners with information at the touch of a button.   

7) More and better dog training.  Today more owners are enrolling their puppies in dogs in basic classes, the classes are more readily available, and they are far more likely to  use effective, positive, rewards based methods then the old school punishment and dominance approach.   There are also more qualified behaviorists available to help dog, and cat, owners deal with serious problems.

8) Pet adoption is on the rise.  While there are still far to many dogs and cats euthanized each year, 3 to 4 million in the US alone.  Education and out reach have increased adoption rates and euthanasia rates are decreasing across the country.  In 1970 an estimated 20 million dogs and cats in shelters where euthanized and the number was about 3 million in 2011 (article link)

9) More pet friendly employers.  Today some lucky pet owners can take their dogs to work with them.   Companies are finding that workers are happier and more productive with dogs in the office and companies like google and Ben and Jerry's allow owners to bring their pets to work.   (link).

10) Pets really are family members.   Pet ownership in the US is at an all time high with nearly 2 out of every three households in the US having a pet in residence.   During the recession where spending in nearly every other area has decreased, spending on animal companions increased significantly.   In 2011 owners spent $50 billion on their furry family members. link

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Birthday Baby Cat

Today is our feline sister Baby's guestimated 12th birthday, she is a lovely cat but camera shy, here is rare photo.

 Baby is named after the tiger in the film Bringing Up Baby.  

Here is a you tube tribute clip.

 I sure love my little tiger Baby and hope for 12 more years with her.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tasty Tuesday-Turkey Stuffing Muffins

Its two days until American Thanksgiving, and we all know what that means for the lucky dog.....FOOD.

Now our momma is too lazy to roast each us a Turkey of our own, like the lucky dog in the above post card (though she has promised to give us a taste of the family Turkey).  Anyway mom had to make something tasty just for us, so she came up with these super easy meat muffins.

Turkey Stuffing Muffins

1 1lb ground turkey
1 can pumpkin (plan not pie mix)
1 10 oz package frozen green beans
1/2 cup Stove top stuffing mix or 1/2 cup cooked Quinona (the Quinona  is healthier and of course necessary for dogs who are grain intolerant)
1 egg, beaten

Preheat the oven to 350.  Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl until thoroughly combined.   Oil 12 muffin cups or a loaf pan and spoon in the meat loaf.  Bake 25-30 minutes until cooked through.  It's that easy!  

Happy Thanksgiving!


Bark Box Review

Plenty of pups have already reviewed Bark Box  the awesome NYC based subscription service that allows you to sign up for a monthly surprise package for your dog or dogs and support animal rescue in the process.  We signed up three months ago and since we are such a wide variety of canine sizes in our family that we could have ordered one of each sizes of the Bark Boxes, but that was beyond our budget.   So we settled on the Just Right size for dogs 20-50 lbs, our pugs are all in that weight range and Bob weights 55 lbs.  We just kept our paws crossed that some of the toys and treats would be appropriate for big guy Norbert and so far each box has had something that is perfect for him.

Norbert's favorite Bark Box toy so far is the Crinkits Water Bottle toy which is a sort of rubber casing for a water bottle, he is crazy for it and the size was right for him.

Our November Bark Box came on Saturday and we had such fun opening it and playing with the contents  (please excuse the blurry pictures we were inside and mom didn't put the flash on.)

 We got a cool piece of antler on a little rope that Weasley went crazy for, a plastic treat bone toy, some apple and bacon biscuits that everybody loved, and a pumpkin smoothie treat, plus a bunch of coupons for cool things like Dog TV and treats.   Get your 'rents to sign you up for Bark Box today!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Toto

link to picture

Today, marks the birthday of Terry, the dog who gave the ultimate canine tour de force performance as Toto in the Wizard of Oz and forever entered our national imagination becoming a symbol of the canine/child bond.   Born in 1933 Terry was owned by the famous dog trainer Carl Spitz who founded one of the first American dog training schools, The Hollywood Dog Training school, in 1927.  At the time The Wizard of Oz was made Terry was already a star having appeared in six films, including Bright Eyes  with Shirley Temple.  Terry was payed a 125 dollars a week for appearing in the Oz film, more then some of the human actors, and about five times the weekly salary of the average American during the Great Depression.  Of course like everyone involved in the film Terry will be forever associated with The Wizard of Oz and her role as Toto eclipsed all of her other work.  Spitz even officially changed her name to Toto in 1942.   

Terry, or Toto, died in in 1945 having made fifteen films, the last of which was Tortilla Flat based on the novel by John Steinbeck.  Toto was originally interred in a cemetery on Spitz's ranch, but eventually when the Ventura Freeway was expanded the property and cemetery where destroyed.  On June 18, 2011 a permanent memorial to Toto was erected in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery