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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.
I will never forget the morning my mom carried me outside, explaining, “You are going to get to stay in the backyard now, Lucky. You will have so much more room to hop and play.”
What? Outside? I have been indoors in a rabbit hutch my whole life. I don’t know how to defend myself outside.
Mom sat down on the patio with me in her lap. The sun was already high in the sky. A thousand strange smells filled my nose. I sat nervously not about to move from the security of Mom’s lap. My ears flattened against my back to shield them from a loud thumping and clanging noise that went past the other side of the fence.
“It’s just the garbage truck, Lucky. It’s alright. Come on, I will walk you around,” Mom said, placing me on the ground.
Mom stood up and took a few steps. I sat frozen in place for a moment, before deciding that it was better to follow her than stay by myself.
I hopped at Mom’s heels. As we left the patio, I froze again. Suddenly, I was next to a big body of water that stretched the length of the yard.
“Hop around the pool, Lucky. It’s not warm enough to swim yet,” Mom called.
I gave the pool a cautious glance and sniffed at the water as I crept to the edge. Nope. I am not going swimming.
I stayed along the flowerbed edge as I followed Mom around the pool.
As a branch brushed off Mom’s legs, it swung back into my face.
Pesky thing. I will get this off the path.
I easily chewed through the tomato plant branch, and was about to spit it out when, I realized this tastes delicious.
I watched Mom just up ahead of me as I munched on the branch. I then grabbed another branch as I hopped to catch up with Mom.
As I stopped at her feet, I noticed a small feathered creature walking under the brush just in front of where Mom and I stopped.
I stretched as long as I could to get a sniff of the new creature. Just as I was getting a whiff, the creature flapped and got itself up on the fence. I jumped in surprise and darted behind Mom’s legs.
“It’s ok, Lucky. It is just a bird,” Mom explained.
As I recovered from my scare, I grabbed a mouthful of the nearby bush. Hey, this bush is good too. I like this variety of treats. Maybe this yard won’t be bad.
We continued on around the pool. As Mom walked across the grass, to check on a spot by the fence, I took a mouthful of grass and a few slow hops on the grass.
The grass was soft and the sun was warm; the combination made me happy. I ran in a quick circle before frisking across the grass.
This is fun!
Mom and I continued across the grass, until we came to a big mound of dirt. Mom carefully stepped around it, but I sniffed it. As soon as I put my nose to it, dozens of tiny moving creatures came out of the dirt and crawled toward me.
I hopped back in surprise.
Mom knelt down next to me, “Leave the ants alone, Lucky. Let’s make sure none of them are on you.”
Mom brushed me off carefully, and then we continued back to the patio where we started.
“I am going to bring your food and water dish out here. I will be right back,” Mom told me.
I watched her disappear through the door to the house.
Who needs that old food dish when I have a whole yard of fresh greens.
I frisked off the patio and wandered through flower bed after flower bed, sampling each plant as I went.
As Mom reappeared from the house, I reached the grass on the backside of the pool, and I was frisking happily from one end to the other.
“You like it out here, don’t you, Lucky?” Mom asked.
I did another happy frisk and dashed, in response to show her my answer.
As I neared the bush again, the bird had returned. This time I was able to sniff him, and he eyed me without flying away.
I grabbed a mouthful of leaves and chewed thoughtfully. This yard isn’t scary any more. Now I have a new birdy friend, and all the fresh greens I can eat. I will like living outside.
Mom stayed outside with me awhile longer, but when she went inside, I barely noticed. I was flopped in the dirt next to the tomato plant. It’s shade was the perfect spot for an afternoon nap.
Yes, outside life is the life for me.
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.
Kittens explore the world with their mouths just like human babies. Using clay clumping litter with kittens under 8 weeks old is dangerous. This litter is highly toxic if eaten. The best litter for young kittens is recycled newspaper. These litters have newspaper that are pressed into inch long pellets, which is too large for a kitten to swallow. The newspaper won’t hurt the kitten if they chew on the pellets. The newspaper pellets should be placed in a low-lying open box/pan that is easy for the kittens to get in and out of. A rabbit litter box is a good height for young kittens.
To start litter box training the kittens, stimulate them to go potty in the box after every meal. Leave the soil pellets in the box, so the kittens can smell where they have gone before. Scent is a big part of litter box training. Some kittens will start pottying in the box very quickly, others take several days of repetition. Praise the kittens for successfully using the litter box. Don’t scold them if they go outside the box.
As kittens are learning to go potty without being stimulated, they will have very little warning that they have to go potty. Keep the litter box in the same room as the kittens at all times. The litter box should never be more than 10 feet away from young kittens.
Set up the room so that the litter box is at one end of the room and their toys and beds are at the other. Kittens naturally don’t like to potty where they eat and sleep. Placing puppy potty pads under the litter box will making cleaning up mistakes easier. Kittens will already have a natural drive to cover their potty, so allow the kitten to cover their potty even if they are scooping the litter pellets out of the litter box.
Clean the litter box multiple times a day, as the newspaper pellets will get quickly soiled. Kittens are naturally clean creatures and won’t want to use a dirty litter box. To clean the box, scoop out the soiled pellets and wipe down the sides with a damp paper towel. After a few times scooping the box, it will be time to dump the entire box and put fresh pellets in. Do not use scented soap or cleaners when you are wiping the box down, this hides the kittens’ scent. The kittens will go potty where they smell that they’ve gone before.
For kittens under 12 weeks old, it is dangerous to use clay clumping litter in the litter box. Remember, kittens still put everything in their mouths and clay litter is dangerous for them to ingest. After they have learned to use the litter box and are consistent with going on the newspaper pellets, transition them to a natural ground litter, such as corn cob litter. Initially mix the newspaper pellets and corn cob litter together, so the kittens don’t stop using the litter box. After a few days of them using the combination of litters, you can fill the litter box with corn cob litter only. This litter will have a similar texture to the clay clumping litter but is much safer for kittens if they do put some in their mouths. Corn cob litter will absorb odors and clump just like clay litter, so it’s easy to scoop. Corn cob litter allows the kittens to use their instinct to dig before they go potty and then bury their potty.
Clumping cat litters are those that are designed so that urine and feces can be removed easily from the box without having to empty the entire box. Most contain a material known as bentonite that allows the litter to form a nice solid clump as the litter absorbs liquid. It is important that the cat litter is low in dust. Cats naturally dig in the litter before and after they go potty, so they are very susceptible to inhaling dust. Cat’s respiratory systems are very sensitive, so inhaling large amounts of litter dust can lead to serious health issues. Look for litter that has 99% dust free on the packaging. Avoid litters that are heavily scented. The scents won’t hide the odor any better and can irritate cat’s respiratory system.
The pet stores carry a scoop-able litter that is designed for kittens. It is ground to finer size so it doesn’t irritate kitten’s paws. It also contains kitten-specific natural pheromones so kittens are curious to use the litter box. This litter can be used in the entire box or mixed in with other clay clumping litter.
Seven year old Henry was following his mom through the pet store one Saturday morning. As they approached the small animal section, a sign caught Henry’s eye and he froze.
When his mom turned around to find him, Henry exclaimed, “Look they are having a hamster derby here this afternoon. Can I enter Bucky, please?”
His mom studied the sign for a moment, “Alright, we can look into it, let’s get Bucky’s food first.”
Henry nodded and continued following his mom.
Once they were at the checkout counter, Henry asked the cashier, “How do I sign up for the hamster derby?”
The cashier glanced at Henry and replied, “ There is no sign up, just have your hamster here by 1 p.m.”
“Thank you. My hamster’s name is Bucky. He is really fast.”
The cashier smiled at Henry’s enthusiasm, before saying, “I can’t wait to see him run.”
Only then did Henry turn to ask his mom, “Can Bucky run in the race, please?”
His mom responded, “Yes. We better go eat lunch and get Bucky.”
As soon as Henry got home, he race to his room. “Bucky, guess what, you are going to run in the hamster derby today. We are going to the pet store after lunch. If you win, we will get a big trophy.”
Bucky poked his head out from under the mound of bedding where he napped. He stretched and yawned as he walked over to the cage door.
“You want a yogurt treat, don’t you?”
Bucky stood waiting as Henry fished a treat from the bag and handed it to him.
“Henry, come eat lunch,” his mom called.
“Coming,” Henry shouted back, before telling Bucky, “I will be back.”
After lunch, Henry balanced Bucky’s exercise ball in his lap as they rode to the pet store.
Bucky turned and roamed inside the ball, confused by the new surroundings.
Once the car was parked, Henry climbed out carefully carrying Bucky in his ball. As Henry led his mom into the pet store, he froze momentarily startled by the overwhelming sight of children and hamsters everywhere.
“Wow, look at all the people. Let’s go get Bucky signed in,” Mom said.
Henry nodded and followed her to the registration table.
It was not long after they got registered, that the first race began. Henry crept closer to the tracks as the store employee started talking, “ Welcome everyone to the first hamster derby. We have a 10 foot track set up for you today. There will be eight hamsters running at a time. The winner of each round will progress to the final run off. I have the participants divided into six groups. I will call the names before each race, and my associates will help you get the hamsters in place. Is everybody ready?”
Henry screamed, “Yes!”
The store employee read the first eight names.
“Good, we aren’t up first so we can watch.” Henry commented.
His mom stood behind him, “Why don’t you move up closer so you can see. I will stay right here.”
“Okay, thanks, Mom.”
“Do you want me to hold Bucky.”
“No, he needs to see too.”
Henry wove his way through the crowd of people to an opening that gave him a clear view of the track.
The first hamsters were loaded and at the employee’s signal, released.
“There are three hamsters aren’t moving off the starting line,” Henry whispered to Bucky, “Look, that black hamster is way in the lead.”
Henry stood and watched 3 more races, before Bucky’s name was called.
The store associate, took Bucky’s ball from Henry and placed it in the fourth lane on the track.
Henry stood directly behind the fourth lane of the track. “You can do it, Bucky. You will win, I just know it.”
As the associates started the race, Henry ran to the side of the track cheering, “Go, Bucky! Go!”
Henry bounced up and down in place. Bucky was in the lead. Suddenly, Bucky slowed his pace.
Oh, no. Bucky has stopped and is now heading back to the starting line.
“No, Bucky, you’re going the wrong way!”
Henry watched as Bucky was passed by the rest of the hamsters. Henry’s fist clenched at his side and tears welling up in his eyes, as he pleaded, “Please, Bucky, run the other way. You can do it.”
As if hearing Henry, Bucky turned in his ball and continued running in the original direction. Bucky picked up speed and quickly caught up with the other hamsters and pulled into the lead. He didn’t slow down, so his ball bounced off the other end of the track.
“Yeah, you won! You won!” Henry cheered.
As the pet store employee announced, “Bucky comes in first, Fluffy came in second, and Oreo came in third…”
Henry wove his way through the crowd, and collected Bucky from the employee.
As he walked back to his mom, Henry chattered excitedly, “I am so proud of you, Bucky. I knew you could do it. Now we are in the final race.”
Even though, Henry’s mom had seen the entire race, Henry could not stop himself from recounting the events to her. He was so busy talking about Bucky’s race, that he missed the final three rounds. Only when he heard Bucky’s name called by the store employee, did Henry turn around and hurry back to the starting line with Bucky.
Bucky was placed in the second slot on the track this time. Henry stood behind Bucky’s lane, explaining, “There are only five other hamsters running this time. I know you can win, Bucky. Just run your fastest.”
Henry moved to the side of the track, just before the six hamsters were released.
“Go, Bucky, go!” Henry cheered.
Bucky started running immediately, and this time he did not slow down.
“Bucky’s in the lead! Yes, he is going to win,” Henry cheered.
A moment later, Bucky was caught at the other end of the track, by the store employee.
“Bucky is the winner of our hamster derby,” The pet store employee announced excitedly, as he held Bucky and his ball over his head for all to see.
A cheer echoed through the store, as Henry and his mom wove through the crowd.
Henry grabbed Bucky and his ball from the store associate, “You did so good, Bucky. I am so proud of you!”
“Here is the trophy for Bucky’s owner, Henry,” the pet store employee announced.
Henry held Bucky in one hand, and the trophy in the other. He smiled proudly, as camera flashes came from every direction.
Another round of applause echoed through the store.
In a blur, Henry answered several questions about Bucky. All too soon, Henry was following his mom to the car.
“Thank you, Mom,” Henry said as he climbed into the backseat, with Bucky and his trophy.
As soon as they got to the house, Henry raced to his room. He rewarded Bucky with several yogurt drops as he place Bucky in his cage.
Bucky stuffed the yogurt drops in his cheeks and climbed down and under the bedding. He poked his head out, as he heard Henry say, “You were so fast today, Bucky. I am so proud of you. Your trophy will stay right here by your cage. Sleep well, Bucky, you earned it.”
Henry smiled at Bucky, as Bucky ducked his head back under the bedding.
I have the best hamster in the world, Henry thought as he tiptoed from the room.
Fourth of July is a holiday full of pool parties, cook-outs, and fireworks. But many of these same things can be dangerous for our pets. Here are some tips to help keep your pets safe this holiday:
- Leave your pets at home. The safest place for your pet is inside your home. Pets will be stressed by the noise of a backyard pool party or cookout. The large crowds and louder booms at firework displays can cause pets to panic and run away.
- If you are hosting a party, remember that alcoholic beverages are poisonous to your pets. Make sure these drinks stay out of your pet’s reach.
- Don’t give your dog scraps from the table during your cookout. Fatty meats are too rich for pets, corn on the cob could cause an intestinal blockage, and chocolate is poisonous to your pets.
- Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with an identification tag on them so they can be returned if they happen to get out.
- Fourth of July can mean hot temperatures outside. Make sure you pets aren’t left outside for extended periods of time or left waiting in a parked car.
- Be aware of matches and lighter fluid as these can be dangerous to pets skin and cause severe illness if ingested.
- Provide a safe space for your pets to stay during the fireworks. This safe spot could be a closet or a crate. Many pets have a favorite hiding spot that they go to for security. This is where your pet will want to be during the fireworks.
- It sounds like a cute photo opportunity to adorn your pet in glow sticks or glow jewelry, but these items glow because they contain chemicals inside. If your pet chews up the glow stick, the chemicals inside will be harmful to your pet. You pet could also choke on the plastic pieces.
- Be aware of matches and lighter fluid as these can be dangerous to pets skin and cause severe illness if ingested.
- Never use fireworks or sparklers around your pets. Your pets may spook and run away in panic. Or your pet may be curious about them and get burned or ingest the hazardous pieces.
- Keep your pet’s veterinarian number with you as well as the local after hours emergency animal clinic numbers. Contact your vet immediately if your pet exhibits unusual behavior.
In order to get your dog to stop this behavior you have to stop rewarding it. What do pet owners usually do when the dog jumps up? Usually they look at the dog and say something like “OK, Rover, OK, down, down, OK, good dog, go away now, enough, OK…” and may even pet the dog during the episode. All this attention is PURE REWARD to the dog, and only encourages the jumping up behavior. What needs to be done is the withdrawal of all attention. When the dog jumps up, quickly turn away from the dog, fold your arms, make no eye contact and say nothing. Once the dog has settled down THEN give it loads of attention and serious petting. The dog will need to learn this with every family member and everyone should act the same way to be consistent.
Once the dog learns that jumping up gets it NOTHING, the behavior should lessen or stop. Often the combined use of the sit command to refocus the dog’s attention is a great way to speed the whole process. As the dog is calming down, give the sit command and reward the dog for the good sit. This is especially good when you are on walks and the dog encounters a human it wants to greet. Just before it gets excited, give the sit command, then reward the dog with food, petting, toys, etc. Get the human to come down to the dog’s level and greet the dog that way. A dog that is busy sitting can’t jump up if it’s on a leash.
Benny Bunny loves to hop around the house and play with his dog and cat friends. Usually when Mom goes upstairs for bed, his cage door is shut. One night, the door to his cage was left open.
With the house dark and still, Benny tentatively hopped out of his cage. He sat on the floor, his nose twitching, and his ears listening for footsteps on the stairs. When the house remained still, Benny hopped across the floor to the living room area rug. After frisking across the rug several time, he moved into the guest bedroom. He hopped under the futon, and raced across the rug. He explored the kitty scratching post, and cat litter box. Then he frisked across the room again. It was nice to be able to hop and run without anyone else around.
Benny stretched out on the cool wood floor for a short break, enjoying the silence. The rest of the night, Benny frisked and explored. The night went quickly, and soon Mom came downstairs. Mom was very surprised to see him hopping toward her.
“What are you doing, Benny?” she asked. “Have you been hopping all night?”
Benny sat in front of Mom twitching his nose. He then gave a little frisk and hopped around the carpet.
Mom laughed and shook her head. “You’re so cute, Benny.”
She guided Benny back to his cage and secured the door behind him.
Mom disappeared to the kitchen and returned with veggies, and more hay.
“Eat your food, Benny,” she said, placing the food in his cage.
Benny glanced up at Mom as she locked the cage door again. He watched her walk away to care for the others, as he took a bite of his food. It tasted so good! He took another big bite. He hadn’t realize how hungry and tired he was, until he now. He could hardly keep his eyes open as he finished his breakfast. I hope my cage door gets left open again, Benny thought, as he fell asleep to dream about his night of partying.
Dogs engage in a behavior because it is a reinforcing behavior. For example: The dog jumps in the pool so as to feel cool, the dog scratches on the food bowl so as to get fed. Also, the dog stares at you and barks so as to get you to feed him from the table, or the dog jumps up on you so as to get your attention. These examples are about a dog doing something to get a desired consequence. At one point in their history, the action paid off with a desirable consequence to them, and so they do it again.
In dog training, we take advantage of this fact of life and teach the dog that a particular action on their part will result in a positive consequence. In other words, we reinforce that particular behavior. So, in training, we will be strengthening the behaviors we want by rewarding them with food, praise, toys etc.
When training your dog, you are essentially teaching him a new language- the language that will serve as a communication bridge between you and him. What this means is that you must always be clear and consistent. The rules being taught must always apply so as to not confuse him. Think of dog training as a black and white concept, as opposed to a gray one. Gray areas are obstacles to the bridge we are building because they don’t give the dog sufficient feedback.
The amount of time it takes a dog to associate the consequence of an action with the action itself is approximately 1.5 seconds. In other words, you have a 1.5 second window of opportunity to teach a dog something. For example: the dog sits beautifully, right after he is told to do so- the reward should come at or very close to 1.5 seconds so as to show the dog you are happy with his actions. The longer you take to react after this, the more unlikely it will be that the dog associates the action he preformed, with the consequence you provide.
When training your dog, there is really no room for anger. Anger tends to frighten a dog, which will only set you back in your training and get in the way of your bond with him. When the dog behaves in an undesirable fashion and we feel anger, then it is best to leave the training for a later time when we feel more even-tempered. It is important to have fun with your dog during training. Indeed, it requires discipline and attention on both of your parts, but it should be a happy, entertaining activity that you both enjoy. That will only increase the likelihood of your dog’s full attention during training and help strengthen your relationship