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After more than 10 years of working in pet resorts, doing dog training, pet sitting and caring for my own household full of pets, I have lots of experience with pets of all kinds. I’m happy to share my knowledge with you!
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Chip and the Big Flush
Chip grabbed the tool box off his bed and headed out the door. “Bye, see you tonight,” he called to his three siblings.
Chip walked a few blocks to the office of Plumbers R Us. Today was his first day on the job. Graduating from CAT-U seemed like a lifetime ago, since Chip’s focus the past week was preparing for this job.
Chip found Mr. Hewey waiting for him at the front desk.
“Good morning, Mr. Hewey,” Chip greeted the plump black and white cat.
Mr. Hewey climbed off the chair and lumbered around the desk, “Hi, Chip. Are you ready for your first assignment?”
“Good, here are your jobs for the day. Normally, I try to schedule you 5 jobs each day, but since this is your first day, I started you off easy with only 3. I will be following you to each home and assisting you if needed. Any questions?”
“Good, let’s go.”
Chip followed Mr. Hewey down the street as Mr. Hewey explained, “The first client has a stopped-up kitchen sink. The garbage disposal has quit working as well.”
Chip nodded and rang the doorbell.
“Hello, I am Chip with Plumbers R Us. How are you?”
“Good, come on in,” a tan tabby replied as she stepped aside so Chip and Mr. Hewey could enter.
The tan tabby led them to the kitchen explaining, “My kitchen sink is stopped up and the disposal stopped working.”
Chip opened the cupboards and checked under the sink and then in the sink. “Give me a few minutes and I should be able to find the problem.”
The tan tabby nodded in pleasure and left the room.
Chip worked quickly as Mr. Hewey observed. Soon Chip exclaimed, “I found the problem.”
The tabby came back into the room, and Chip showed her the large glob of cat food that was stuck in the disposal and sink drain.
“I am going to dislodge this here,” Chip said, as he positioned the plunger over the sinks opening. He pumped it several times, before the glob came loose and Chip pulled back triumphantly.
He scooped the old food up and into the trashcan. He then ran the sink and turned on the disposal. The water ran easily and the disposal churned.
“You are wonderful. I can’t believe you fixed it so fast.”
Chip beamed at the praise.
After the tabby had paid Chip for his service, she lead him and Mr. Hewey to the door.
“Good job, Chip,” Mr. Hewey praised as they walked to the next job.
“Thank you, Mr. Hewey,”
At the next house, Chip knocked on the door, and a large black cat answered gruffly, “Yes, what do you want?”
“I am Chip with Plumbers R Us, sir. I am here to fix your toilet.”
“Oh, right. Come in.”
Chip followed the large cat through the house to the bathroom.
“The toilet is running a lot longer than normal every time it is flushed,” the black cat explained.
“Let me take a look at it,” Chip said.
The black cat nodded, but proceeded to hover as Chip looked for the problem.
“I found the problem,” Chip exclaimed, after watching the toilet flush several times. “I need to replace the flapper, so the water will stay in the tank.”
The black cat came closer to Chip and peered into the tank.
With a grunt, he backed away again, and Chip set to work
The client hovering made Chip slightly nervous, but he concentrated on his work.
Soon he had the toilet fixed and the toilet flushed and stopped much quicker.
“There you go, sir. It is all fixed.”
“Thank you. You are very efficient.”
It was only when Chip and Mr. Hewey were on their way to their next job, that Chip admitted, “The client hovering like that really made me nervous. I was waiting for him to argue with me about how to fix it.”
“You handled him well, and he was obviously impressed by you.”
The last job Chip had that day was at the house of a young calico mother. She greeted Chip and Mr. Hewey and ushered them inside.
As she led them to the bathroom she explained, “The shower has been slow to drain for a while but last night it stopped draining completely.”
As Chip listened and followed a trio of rambunctious kittens raced by them.
“I will take a look at it for you,” Chip replied smiling at the kittens as they circled him again.
“Leave Chip alone, please kittens. He is here to fix the shower.”
The kittens scurried into the other room.
“Sorry about that, they are so curious,” she explained to Chip and Mr. Hewey.
Chip inspected the water filled tub. He reached his paw onto the drain but the direct opening was clear.
“Must be a clog in the line. I will run the snake down it and see of that will fix it,” Chip explained.
The calico nodded and went to check on her kittens.
Chip got the snake from his toolbox and set to work.
He loved working the snake down the drain. He smiled feeling much more relaxed at this job. The tub slowly started to drain and after the snake went a few inches further, it drained normally.
Chip retracted the snake and monitored the shower drain. When the standing water was gone, he turned on the tub faucet and watched the water drain. When he was satisfied that the clog was cleared, he called, “ All fixed.”
The calico appeared in the doorway shadowed by her three kittens.
Chip smiled at her and said, “ I think have cleared the clog. Is this how it normally drains?”
Everyone watched as Chip turned on the tub’s faucet. The water poured out of the spout and flowed easily down the drain.
“That is wonderful. Yes.”
Chip shut the water off. After being paid, he and Mr. Hewey left the calico’s home.
“Good job today, Chip. I am very impressed with you. Are you ready for 5 jobs tomorrow?”
“Great. I’ll see you in the morning.”
Chip waved bye to Mr. Hewey and hurried home. He could not wait to tell his sibling about his first day.
Did you know?
Lots of common household items and plants are toxic to cats. Here is a list of top 10 toxins: poisonous poisons
- Spot-on flea and tick medications for dogs
- Household cleaners such a Windex and Bleach
- Antidepressant and stimulate medications
- Essential Oils- meant to be inhaled not ingested!
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Mouse and rat poisons
- Aspirin and decongestant medications
- Onions and garlic
- Adult multi-vitamins- will overdose a cat.
Pet Halloween Safety Tips
- Halloween candy is toxic for cats and dogs. Make sure to keep candy out of your pet’s reach.
- Keep your pets, especially black cats, in the house on Halloween night. This is the worst night of the year for cats and dogs being injured or killed by humans.
- When answering the door, keep your pets confined away from door so they can’t get out. Give your cats and dogs a safe place to hide away from the front door and costumed kids so they don’t get spooked.
- Keep glowsticks and candles out of your pet’s reach. These commonly go inside pumpkins and can injure cats and dogs. Keep lit jack-o-lanterns away from your pets.
- Keep fall decorations such as carved pumpkins, fall corn cobs, and haybales away from your pets.
- Keep electronic decorations off the floor and anywhere that your cats and dogs can get to. Some pets are attracted to the new object and chewing on these can cause choking, battery burns, or electrical shock hazards.
- Dressing your pet up in a costume is fun, but make sure you take the costume off immediately after showing your friends or taking the photo. Costumes can shift and create leg, tail and face injury to pets by restricting their movements. Also, if your cat or dog decides to chew the costume off, it can cause stomach blockages.
- Make sure your cats and dogs wear a collar with a current ID tag while you are having friends over or answering the door for trick or treaters. ID tags are the only way others can help return your pets to you if they get out.
Many dogs experience separation anxiety when left alone. They will often whine, bark, cry, howl, chew, dig, scratch at the door, soil the house or destroy your home and yard. We often unintentionally train our dogs to behave this way because whenever they throw this kind of tantrum when we leave, we quickly come back to reassure them, give them attention or even a bone or biscuit. If you do this, your dog will soon learn that he can control you with emotional blackmail.
Long, drawn-out farewells can create separation anxiety problems by first exciting your dog and then making the isolation more obvious when you’re gone. Just when he gets all worked up and ready to play, suddenly you disappear. With all this energy, your dog will either try his best to get you to come back or he will have to vent his energy in some other way. Since he can’t build model airplanes or invite his buddies over for a hand of poker, he does doggy things – like chew, dig and bark.
Perhaps it is not separation anxiety after all! We often think our dog is destructive because he is angry and spiteful that we left him, but he could actually be just trying to have some fun since there is nothing else to do. He may be relieved to be able to do those things he normally can’t do when you’re home. He may be thinking, “Thank goodness the owner is finally leaving! Now I can chase the cat, dig up the tomatoes, get in the trash, and bark at the neighbors. They never let me do those things when they’re home.”
Some dogs with separation anxiety are stressed, nervous and insecure when they are left alone. They express this nervous energy in typical dog fashion – chewing, digging, barking and house soiling.
To prevent separation anxiety, dogs need to feel happy, secure, and comfortable when you’re away. It’s important to give them things to do while you’re gone. Provide them with lots of toys, such as a Kong stuffed with treats, and chew bones. Often another companion pet can help alleviate the boredom.
Another way to prevent separation anxiety is to set aside scheduled time periods to give your dog undivided attention, play and exercise. A happy, well-exercised dog will usually sleep contentedly during the day while you are gone. Be sure that one of the scheduled play sessions occurs before you must leave for the day. Give your dog a chance to settle down before you leave and don’t make a big deal of your departure – just leave without any emotion or commotion.
If your dog is already experiencing separation anxiety, then gradually accustom him to your leaving. Practice leaving and returning several times a day until he gets used to your departures and realizes that you are not abandoning him forever. Gradually leave for longer and longer periods of time, but start out by leaving for just 5 minutes and returning again.
Megan’s Journal Kitten Growth and Development Release Video
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I’m Teaching Creative Writing Classes!!
Classes will be held at the Rosemeade Recreation Center at 1330 E Rosemeade Pkwy, Carrollton, TX 75007.
These class will encourage your child or teen to use their imagination and teach them the necessary elements for creating a great story. Your young author will learn the pieces making up the beginning, middle, and end of a story. There are no wrong answers in this class, just the possibility of coming up with the next best-selling story.
Young Authors: Mommy and Me
With the parent’s help, students will be encouraged to fill in the blanks to create a story as well as create a story behind a photograph.
No Class 11/28. Registration includes parent and one child.
Class # 170650-70 at Rosemeade Recreation Center For 4-6 year olds and their parent. This is a four week class starting 10/3/19 from 4:30pm to 5pm
Class # 170650-80 at Rosemeade Recreation Center For 4-6 years old and their parent. This is a four week class starting 11/7/19 from 4:30pm to 5pm
Your authors learn about outlining, generating story ideas, and writing in different genres.
No Class 11/28.
Class # 170655-70 at Rosemeade Recreation Center 7-12 year olds. This is a six week class starting 10/3/19 from 5pm to 6pm.
Teenage authors learn about outlining, generating story ideas, and writing in different genres.
No Class 11/28.
Class # 170660-70 at Rosemeade Recreation Center 13-18 year olds. This is a six week class starting 10/3/19 from 6pm to 7pm.
Why do cats drop their toys into their water dish?
Misty has always taken her toys or post it notes from my desk and dropped them in her water dish. She then attracts her brothers attentions and all five cats will attempt to fish the toy or piece of paper from the dish with their paws splashing water on the floor.
I was curious what instinct made Misty want to take her toys or my post it notes to the water dish, so I started looking into it.
I was surprised to find there wasn’t one definite answer. Scientists are guessing at why cats take toys to their water dish. There are several theories. One is that cats are using their fishing/hunting instinct by putting the toy in the water and pawing at it. Another theory is that cats view their food and water dishes as a safe place. Since domestic cats don’t have a ‘nest’, they use their food and water dishes as a safe hiding place for their ‘catch’. A third theory is that the cat is trying to teach it’s human to hunt/fish by showing off their skills.
Crate Train Your Dog
Growing puppies alternate periods of activity and rest throughout the day. There’s no reason they can’t do their resting in a crate, like a baby taking a nap in a playpen or crib. By keeping the puppy on a regular schedule of feedings and exercise, you can control his natural rest periods. If you put the puppy in his crate when he’s already tired and ready to settle down, he’ll get used to his new “bedroom” faster.
In the beginning, he should only be expected to stay in the crate for 2 hours at a time and overnight. During his periods out of the crate, your puppy needs plenty of playtime and attention. I like to give puppies at least an hour between crating periods where they’re played with, loved, allowed to explore and romp. This burns off their boundless puppy energy and helps them understand that crating is only a temporary thing.
Special toys and treats help make his “room” a pleasant place to stay. Give the puppy a small treat every time he has to go into his crate. Better still; toss the treat into the crate so he can jump in after it. (If you want him to learn to go in the crate on command, say “Kennel” when you toss the treat. He won’t understand right away but before long he’ll put three important things together in his mind – “Kennel” + Crate = Treat!)
You’ve given him a reward for going into the crate, now you need to give him an incentive to stay in there quietly. Make his “room” comfortable. Get him a soft but hard to destroy blanket or bed. Get him a selection of toys but don’t give them all to him at once, just one or two at a time. Rotate the toys. Puppies get bored easily and switching the toys around makes them seem new and exciting. Teething puppies love chew toys and all dogs love a sterilized beef bone with peanut butter stuffed in the middle. They can spend hours trying to clean it all out.
Dogs learn quickly when their behavior is associated with a reward. Behavior that doesn’t result in a reward often disappears when there’s nothing in it for them. It’s normal for many puppies to bark, whine, howl or throw tantrums when first being crate-trained. If you let your puppy out of the crate while he’s upset, you’ll be rewarding him for bad behavior. The next time he’s supposed to go in his crate, he’ll cry and bark again because that’s what got him out the last time.
For many puppies, just ignoring their complaints is enough to make them stop. If it doesn’t get them anywhere, they soon give it up and find something better to do like sleep or play with a toy. Stubborn puppies might need a harsh-sounding “No!” and a rap on the top of the crate to help them get over their tantrums. Whatever you do, don’t take him out of the crate until he’s quieted down.