Planning a Road Trip with the Dog


When the weather begins to moderate, we begin to day dream about vacation time. The days grow longer; daylight stays until almost 8 o’clock in the lower United States and we have “cabin fever.”What is “cabin fever” you ask? It’s not a real, physical illness, it’s a longing to get out of the house and plant flowers, take a long walk in the sun, build something, go fishing, etc. Most of us are disgusted with Winter. It’s so cold outside, the days are short, and our tempers get “short” too.

Family members begin to talk about where to go this summer. The kids want to go to a Theme Park; Dad wants to take a prolonged road trip,with a couple of fishing side trips along the way. Mom wants to go somewhere that doesn’t require her to do anything domestic. She wants to be pampered, she doesn’t want to cook, wash or iron clothes.

Then the kids ask, “Can we take Tops with us, please, can we?” Tops is their new dog. He is part Golden Retriever and no one knows exactly what else. He is a sweet dog, but how will he travel? Mom puts the kids off with a half-hearted, “We’ll talk about it later.” The last thing Mom wants to do is to plan a road trip with the dog.

Train Your Dog for the Trip

The begging, the tears and the shouts of joy are all over and it’s been decided that Tops will go on vacation with the family. Does Tops know about riding in a car? Someone in the family must take charge of his training.

1.Take Tops in to see the veterinarian. Tell the vet you’re going to be on vacation and you want to be sure Tops is healthy. Make sure he has a current rabies shot and any other shots he may need. Get a copy of Top’s medical record to take with you.

2. Make sure Tops is okay with riding in the car. Do some short practice road trips. Make sure none of these trips are to the vet. You want Tops to understand that riding in the car is fun and he may go anywhere with you. Take him places that are strange to him and where people that he does not know are shopping or visiting. Make sure he knows how to act in these instances.You will be his guide.

3.Tops is a large dog so you won’t have a carrier or a crate for him, but don’t let him roam loose in the car. All dogs should ride in the backseat. Keep a leash on him at all times. When you stop at a rest area, you don’t want Tops to bolt out of the car.

4. Stop about every two hours. Dogs need rest stops too.

5. Take dog treats and chew toys. Bring Tops’ favorite food, his favorite blanket or bed and his water bowl. Also bring his comb and brush. He will be getting out of the car into  some places that have weeds and high grasses and you will want to keep his coat clean.

Decide on places to see, Where to Sleep

You have the dates you are going to be gone, you have the dog trained, now where are you going? You have made arrangements to visit a theme park for the kids and the rest of the trip will be sight seeing with overnight stops at motels. Find out from the Theme park their rules concerning pets. Some will allow dogs on leashes while others have kennels for visitors to house their pets while seeing the sights.

Check with Motels about rules for pets. Some allow pets with no extra arrangements, others charge an additional fee for a  pet to stay in the room. A few motel chains do not allow pets in the room. Do not sneak your pet into the Motel, go on down the road to another facility. You can save yourself some hassles, it you decide how far you are going each travel day and make motel reservations ahead of time.

Traveling with a small Dog has a few different  considerations

Before we round out our story , we need to take a look at our friends with small dogs. If you are traveling by car, all small dogs should be confined in a crate or a small carrier. Put them on a leash so that when you stop for a rest, your little dog can’t get away. They should at all times be in the back seat,  All other considerations would be the same as for large dogs. Small dogs are more likely to be acceptable at most Motels.

Some rules are made to be broken, however. My mother had small dogs and the current family pet always rode in mother’s lap in the front seat of the car at all times. In their retired years, my mother and father drove all over the Southwestern United  States. Dad bought a GM pickup truck and a small travel trailer and  outfitted it with everything necessary for camping.  The little dog, sometimes two little dogs, were always with them.

Alternative Travel Vacations

Some people like to “rough it” and spend all their vacation time in the great out of doors. It’s called Camping. With the right gear, camping can be almost as easy as being in your own kitchen. However, everybody in the family should be in agreement about a camping vacation. If even one person is not happy about the choice then the whole vacation will be less than ideal.

But if everybody is “gung ho” about a camping trip, consider National Parks, and National Forests for your destination. All campgrounds have information on rules and regulations for campers, and if pets  are allowed.

 You would be wise to check early on campgrounds in popular areas. During summer months campgrounds in some areas are completely filled.

A good time was had by all

Our pets become part of the family. With a little training, your dog can be delightful company, especially for your kids during a long trip. Also consider that your dog can be a watchdog for your belongings. Most dogs bark when strangers approach, and that can be a good safety measure. Take the dog. You’ll all have a great time.

Color & Breed influences Cat & Dog Personalities-Part I Dogs


Some might disagree with me, but cats and dogs exhibit certain personality traits. Some cats are very friendly, some talk a lot, some always run away when they get the chance, some are aloof. Some dogs are friendly from the beginning, some are very shy, some like to bark nonstop. Most dogs are friendly, unless they have been traumatized by loud noises or mistreated. Gently turn down offers of cute puppies, breed unknown, in order to give yourself time to select one with the personality you want.

Now please don’t send me nasty notes telling me that I’m a snob about breeds, and that mixed breed puppies are wonderful dogs with great personalities. I agree.

Mixed breed dogs can be the greatest dogs around. I’m just giving you several things about dogs to think about. If you are adopting a dog for the family, especially a family with children, you might want to consider personality traits and compatibility before you bring the dog home. Remember, you will have that cute bundle of fur for about 10 or 12 years.

There have been studies on what causes certain cats and dogs to exhibit certain traits. It seems that color and breed influences cat and dog personalities. If you know what kind of personality to expect with the pet of your choice, you will have a better idea of what to expect of your new family member. Today we concentrate on dogs.

Part One

Dogs and Wolves Split

DNA studies of wolves and dogs point to a split into different species about 100,000 years ago. Domesticating dogs may have happened between 40,000 and 20,000 years ago. Researchers cannot agree, but some think that the domestication began in East Asia, others think it started in the Middle East, and others think there was a second domestication that took place in Europe. Whatever world circumstances were in place about 14,000 years ago that caused men and dogs to form working or companion relationships is still in place today. The bond between dog and human is unbreakable. One thing scholars do agree on is that most of the dog breeds we see today are recent developments.

Dog Personalities by Breed

I picked several dogs that have quite different body builds that exhibit personality traits a family might be looking for. In dogs, breeds usually hold to one color or one color combination. In mixed breeds a variety of colors can be exhibited.

1. The Newfoundland–is a giant breed. It is usually black and has a natural ability to swim. It has a very placid personality and gets along well with children. If you love to swim, the Newfoundland is a perfect companion. Just remember, this lovable giant will eat a large hole in your grocery budget.

2. The Pug--is a small dog- a member of the Toy group. Pugs are very social and they can form a special bond with children. They also will be a little easier on your grocery bill. They can have light colored bodies with black faces.

3.Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a medium size dog and is a good companion dog for the family as long as he is the only dog. The Staffordshire is not good with other dogs.

4. Labrador Retriever- the most popular dog around today. Usually come in black, chocolate and light cream or tan. They make wonderful family dogs, but they must be trained. They also are large dogs.




5. Keeshond- is a medium-sized dog with a  fluffy silver and black coat They are great with children and easily learn tricks. These are truly people dogs. They are an old breed. They once were companions and watchdogs on the barges and boats that traveled the canals and rivers of 17th and 18th century Holland.


6. Golden Retriever- large dogs. They are extremely intelligent. The Golden is a great dog for a family. They always make good service dogs. By virtue of their name, their coats are golden brown. However, they can have light, off-white coats too.



7.The Collie is a beautiful, gentle dog. A large dog with a gorgeous coat -light brown over all, and white on ruff, tummy and paws-who is well suited to families.



8. The Standard Poodle- A large dog that can come in several colors-black, white, gray. These are the wizards of the smart dogs. They are extremely intelligent and do well with all dog sports. Poodles are affectionate, patient, and make very good family dogs.


9. The Burmese Mountain Dog-another gentle giant. This dog can weigh between 98 and 120 lbs. when full-grown. They are good companions for children and they get along well with other pets in the family. The Burmese has a long shaggy brown, black and white coat.



10. The Bull Dog–a small dog that will become the clown in the family. They can be black and white, or light brown or tan and even white. They have a tendency to be stubborn, but they are also very docile and loyal, and do well with children.



I named just ten dogs out of hundreds of breeds. Some are large, some medium and some small. I know I left out quite a few breeds that are also quite good at being family dogs. These ten breeds have certain personality traits that you can depend upon. Families with children need pets that the younger members can enjoy. Dogs and children grow up together and it’s a wonderful experience. Children also learn that pets are dependent upon their owners for food, exercise, and health needs.


We often leave out the mixed breeds. Some of these dogs are wonderful with families and deserve a good home. If it is at all possible to find out the mix, it will give you a better idea of the personality traits you can expect.

My mother adopted a Keeshond/Irish Setter mix and as the puppy developed into a mature dog, we could begin to see how the two breeds melded together into a beautiful friendly dog. Her body build was more like the Setter- a little larger with longer legs and a longer coat.

But the Keeshond showed up in her coat color- the silver/ black with a thick mane. Her disposition was more like the Keeshond. All in all, she was a wonderful dog, very loving and smart.

Would love to hear from my readers. Let me know what you liked or didn’t like. Next time, we explore the personalities of cats by color.

Information for this article came from : The Thought Co.;; Dog Reflections, May 2008 by Dan;; Pet Wellbeing; Pixabay .com.

My-Pet-Toys-and-Stuff:Home Decorating With Pets in Mind

Decorating a home is more than deciding what you like and don’t like. If you are living alone, that makes the decorating decisions easy. But, rarely do most of us live alone. We may start out alone, but after a while, we add a partner, usually a husband or a wife, then comes children, and after that, perhaps a cat or a dog. All these live additions to the home create new ideas for decorating. I’m not talking about necessities, I’m talking about the additional things that turn an apartment or a house into a home.  Since the Christmas season is upon us lets consider home decorating with our pets in mind.

Home Decorating with a Cat

What we have said about cats in previous articles still holds true. A cat believes everything in the house belongs to her. She just gives us permission to use it. Therefore, she expects us to consult with her on every new item we bring into our living quarters. She must inspect it, smell it, rub her chin on it, give it a full body rub.

Watch her carefully, especially if the new item is a piece of furniture- the next move is to stand up on her hind legs and run her front feet over it. If she has claws, she needs to be discouraged immediately. (See-Train your Cat not to claw the furniture). If she turns around and walks away from the new item, she has accepted it. You may keep it.

What about Christmas Trees, plants, gifts, and all things glittery? Think “high.” Think, “no way she can jump from here to there?”  Probably best if you don’t insist on a live ChristmasTree. If a live tree is a must, then the cat will have to be locked in another room when everybody is gone, and when everybody has gone to bed. An artificial tree will be less stressful for everyone. Anchor it well, so there is little likelihood it will fall.

Decorate the tree as you usually would, starting from the top down. Stop decorating about 3 or 4 branches from the bottom, unless you don’t mind redecorating these branches several times a day.

Poinsettias are dangerous for cats. If you have a plant, keep it in a room that is closed off from the cat. Mistletoe berries can make a cat sick, actually, any plant with berries can be bad for a cat. Your furry friend will beg you for any tasty morsel from the dinner table. Don’t give her anything except maybe some turkey-no gravy -and check for bones.

Cats like to pull off ribbons from the presents, and tear off wrapping paper, too. Leave presents in the closet until time to open. Or, if you want presents under the tree before distributing them, put them out shortly before opening, so you can keep an eye out for the cat.

Home Decorating with a Dog

Dogs will do many of the things that cats do, but, if you have taken the time to train your dog, it will be easier to keep your dog away from decorations you want left intact. Make sure your dog responds to commands like : NO!, Stay Down! Don’t Jump! Drop it!, etc.

If you have a live tree, don’t let your dog drink the water in the container the tree is set in. The water may contain some chemicals to keep the tree fresh longer.

Some dogs, however, do like to chew on boxes, ribbons, tree decorations, strings of lights, etc. It is always easier to put hazardous things up or away from places where pets can get to them, rather than spend your days yelling at your dog.

Be careful what you give to your dog as a treat from the dinner table. Chicken bones and Turkey bones will splinter when dogs clamp down on them. If swallowed, these splinters could damage the intestinal tract.

Some vets suggest that dogs should not be given any bones at all, even those that are manufactured and packaged especially for dogs. Bones of any kind can cause choking, vomiting, damage to the mouth, or blockage in the digestive tract.(Check with your vet about bones for your dog). Just stick with some turkey meat, without the bones, if you want to include your dog in the feast.

Dogs will also eat anything left out and easily reached. Chocolate is especially dangerous for dogs. Put the candy box away after indulging in a few sweets.

Note: a few years ago, I had family over for Christmas dinner and we had a round of candies before we left to visit friends. Unfortunately, I left the candy box -lid on- on the coffee table. When we came home, the candy box was on the floor, with the lid off and quite a few chocolates missing. My poor dog was terribly sick. She survived after a very miserable evening. I learned from that incident to always put food away.

So How Can Pets and Decorations Co-Exist in a Household?

First of all, use some common sense when looking for decorations for the house. Don’t get a lot of things that dangle, or have gold or silver sprinkles. If you want live decorations -wreaths-trees, etc. watch your pets to make sure they are not ingesting pine needles, berries, bits of tree bark. If you have a live tree, be sure to sweep or vacuum the area at least once a day.

Keep plants away from pets. Watch for dropped leaves or flowers and pick them up immediately. Especially keep Poinsettias on a high shelf, where even a cat can’t get to. Empty garbage cans every day, even more than that if you are doing a lot of cooking or arranging bouquets, etc.

Artificial trees and wreaths and garlands are safer for inside decorating, if you have pets around. However, remember artificial decorations can be toxic, too. Some paints, glitter and glue can be toxic to pets and even children.


So when you are starting to decorate your home, don’t just “Deck the Halls with boughs of Holly” but rather “Deck the Walls—“high”. Put wreaths, garlands and plants up, out of reach. Sturdy your tree and don’t decorate the bottom three or four rows of branches. Keep your furry friends in mind when you decorate for any occasion.

My-Pet-Toys-and-Stuff:Which Pet for Our Lifestyle

cat and dog


When we were children, most of us remember having a cat or a dog around the house. We remember playing with them, chasing them and then laying down in a heap when we finally wore ourselves out. The years passed quickly and soon enough, we were married to the love of our life, going to jobs every day, planning and saving for the future, and thinking we were missing something.

A young couple, married about a year, decided that they would like to get a pet, a dog or a cat, they weren’t sure which. They had good jobs, and a nice ground floor apartment in a good neighborhood. There was a park about two blocks down the street, and a little strip mall across from the park. They weren’t ready for the house, and kids yet, but thought they’d like to have a four-legged, furry friend. But, which pet would best fit their lifestyle?

Since they lived in a small apartment, the husband thought that a cat would be the ideal pet. His wife, however preferred, a dog. So they decided to do some research, and come up with the pro’s and con’s of adopting either a cat or a dog.

Pro’s and Con’s of Getting a Dog


On the Pro Side

  1. Dogs Bark- can warn of prowlers or other emergency
  2. Dogs don’t need a lot of extra stuff- like litter boxes, etc.
  3. Dogs are pack animals- they welcome human company
  4. Dogs like to run and play- can help with daily exercise
  5. Dogs can be trained-To stay off the furniture
  6. Dogs will protect the family in times of crisis

On the Con Side:

  1. Dogs Bark- They can annoy the neighbors
  2. Can’t get a large dog-will have to get a little “yapper”
  3. Dogs can’t be left alone- they’ll tear things up
  4. Dogs have to be walked-in all kinds of weaher
  5. Dogs don’t always protect-some are too small or too friendly
  6. Dogs need a lot of stuff -leashes, collars, crates, dog beds

 Pro’s and Con’s of Getting a Cat

On the Pro Side

  1. Cats don’t bark-They are quiet creatures
  2. Cats are small creatures-Perfect for small apartments
  3. Cats are loners- they don’t mind being alone all day
  4. cats never have to be walked:provide a litter box 

   On the Con Side           

  1. Cats will get up on counters, no matter how much they have been “trained”
  2. Cats shed – You’ll have fur all over your furniture and carpets
  3. Cats swallow a lot of fur- which they regurgitate as hairballs
  4. Cats will shred your furniture-unless you declaw them
  5. Cats can’t be around babies- They get in the crib and smother a baby
  6. Cats sometimes ignore the litter box- and do their busines elsewhere

What’s Right and What’s Wrong about Dogs

Our couple took the time to visit with friends who had both dogs and cats. They got information about both animals that would help them erase some of their pros and cons. They found out how their friends dealt with certain oddities about each pet. They heard how each pet had made their owners lives much richer. They promised each other that they wouldn’t’t make up their minds until all the information was on the table.

First of all, Dogs bark. They can be annoying, if they just bark because they’re bored. 
Dogs can be trained to bark if there is an emergency, or if someone is hurt or some other action appears to be  
 dangerous. There are numerous stories told about how a family was saved because of a brave dog. 

Dogs are easier because they don’t need a lot of stuff. But a dog needs a number of things for his care. He needs a good collar; a collar that will not chafe the dog’s neck, but will remain snug. He needs a leash that will give the dog room to walk easily, but still gives his owner control. Dogs like their own bed. Some dogs are trained to go into a crate, when his master is gone. Obviously,the dog needs his own food bowl and water bowl.

The following is true. Dogs are pack animals. They like human activity and are fiercely loyal to their master or family. They look forward to that daily walk- and it can be a great way to get some exercise. Rainy days can be a problem, but most dogs won’t mind a little rain or snow. As far as giving a dog certain boundaries–with kindness and patience, dogs can be trained that some items are off limits. The size and breed, or mix, is up to the prospective owner. Consider the size of your living quarters, and amount of yard when selecting a dog. Use common sense; it probably is not wise to get a great Dane when you live in a two-room apartment with no yard.

What’s Right and What’s Wrong About Cats

Cats are smaller than some dogs and they are quieter. Meows usually do not rise to the deafening barks of some canines. Cats are good for small apartments. They usually sleep mos most of the day. However, be sure to leave them clean water and a bowl of kibbles.

Cats don’t need a lot of paraphernalia. They need a food bowl; actually two food bowls: one for kibbles and one for soft food. Cats need the variety of food, and they need lots of water. Some cats do not drink enough water. 
 Feeding them canned food gives them extra water. Cats need a litter box. Do’t get one too small.. Cats like to turn around and scratch around when attending to nature calls. Try putting the box in a semi-private place.

Would you want to do your business in public? 

Also, separate the food and water bowl from the litter box area. Cats don’t like to eat in the bathroom. 

Cats can be trained to stay off some areas. It takes a lot of patience.but they will catch on. Cats can be discouraged from getting on the furniture and scratching the furniture. They don’t have to be declawed. A good scratching post or “Kitty condo” will take care of most of their scratching. Trim their nails periodically.

Cats do have a problem with hair balls. Long-haired cats will cough up hairballs more often. There is a medication that can be given to cats that will dissolve the hairballs. Some cats actually like it so much that they will lick it off your hand.

This last “con” item is an old wives tale. Cats do not get into a baby’s crib to suck away baby’s breath. Actually, cats like milk; babies drink milk, and the cat is attracted to the milk’s smell. That is why they may get into a baby’s crib. They do not intend harm. Keep the cat out of the nursery.

Sometimes a cat will ignore the box. First, have the cat checked out by a vet. Some cats will ignore the box because they are sick. Cats will ignore the box if it is dirty. Scoop the box at least twice a day. Change the litter once a week. Wash the litter box before putting in fresh litter. Just use water. Strong soap and cleanser smells will turn the cat away from the box.

Final Decision on Which pet is best for our lifestyle

The last thing our couple probably will do is go check out some pets, both cats and dogs. Then they can make a decision. Ultimately, it will come down to an emotional decision. The one animal they cannot bear to leave behind will be the one they take home. They still have breed or mix to consider, and,in the case of a dog, the size. Maybe they will get one of each.

Would love to hear from my readers. Did you like the article? Did you get some helpful information? What did I miss?


My-Pet-Toys-and-Stuff-Why did we get a Dog?




According to Statista(The Statistics Portal), in 2017, about 89.7 million dogs lived in U.S. Households. In many households, this scene plays out. Little Jimmy comes home from school and confronts dad with this request: Dad, can we get a dog? I won’t go into all the details, but numerous questions have to be answered, What breed? where will he/she live? inside, outside, doghouse, garage, who feeds, walks, brushes, cleans up back yard, etc.? To which Jimmy answers, “I can.” Up until now, the lady of the house has been quiet. Now she says to Jimmy, and to her husband, “we”ll see.”

What Kind of Dog to Get and from Where?

Long after Jimmy had gone to bed, mom and dad explore the idea of adding a new member to the household. Mom knows full well who will ultimately be the dog’s caregiver. They called a couple of friends who already had dogs to get some ideas. They decided to go to the animal shelter and to a couple of rescue adoption centers. And they decided they might try to find a Golden Retriever. Since it was to be Jimmy’s dog, they wanted a gentle dog that would play with Jimmy and his friends but not hurt them. They also decided on a fairly large dog that might discourage people out to do mischief or break in the house.

The Dog’s History

The next day, mom went to see an old school chum who had studied to become a veterinarian. She really didn’t know anything about dogs and wanted to find out all she could before they committed to another house member for possibly ten years or longer. Her Vet friend gave her some background and sound advice on what to expect if a dog joined their household. He told her that dogs originated from the Grey wolf– that is where dogs got their excellent hearing and keen sense of smell. He also told her that dogs were communal animals, they ran in packs, they were usually not “loners.” Mom wasn’t sure what that meant. “Someone in the family needs to be the “Alpha dog”, the vet explained, “otherwise, your dog won’t know who is boss.”

Mon was getting confused, and she was beginning to wonder if a dog wasn’t just going to be a lot of trouble. Her Vet friend explained to her that all dogs needed to be trained and it was better if one member of the family was the “head of the pack,” the one person the dog would look to for commands. Actually, he told her that the whole family needed to be in on the dog’s training so everyone would know how to handle all situations. She wondered if Jimmy was old enough to actually be the “Alpha Dog.” The vet said, “If you think he is old enough, that would be a great idea. “Then the dog would be truly his.”

One more thing the Vet suggested to mom.”Depending on what you get, he said. “Have the dog (male)neutered or(female) spayed. Unless you are planning on raising litters of puppies.” She looked at him with daggers in her eyes.

Family Dogs

A goodly number of dogs are considered “Family Dogs. Mom came away with a list of “family friendly” dogs, some small, some large, some medium-sized. “Main thing”, her vet friend said, “Don’t be in a hurry-look over several dogs–take one home overnight.”

When dad got home that night, mom told him and Jimmy what she had learned from her Vet friend.” Wow!, that’s a lot to think about.” “What about it Jimmy, do you think you can learn how to train your dog, and properly take care of him?” Jimmy thought for a few minutes, and then said,”I think so, dad, after all I am 12, and you ‘ve said I have to start learning to be a man and take responsibility.” Mom said, “Well we will help you, after all the dog will be like a new member of the family-but you will be the dog’s “Alpha Male,” the one he looks to for guidance and for praise and love.

After dinner, they sat around the table and looked over pictures and read about the dogs that Mom’s vet friend had suggested. They finally narrowed down the list of dogs that they thought would work with their family to 6.

Their list included: Golden Retriever– a large dog with beautiful golden fur and listed as intelligent, kind, and friendly. Collie-a large dog with beautiful multi-colored fur and listed as gentle, loyal, intelligent and protective. Beagle-a smaller dog with an even temper, and is gentle, intelligent and determined. Brittany-a medium-sized dog with white and brown coat- is happy, intelligent, agile and quick. Maltese– a small, beautiful,fluffly dog -is playful, lively, docile, gentle. The sixth one--a Mix. After all they were going to check out the adoption centers and rescue places, so they just might find a good mixed heritage animal.


The Final Choice

They spent several days looking at dogs. They actually found a few purebred dogs, but they seemed a little skittish when approached by strangers. They were about to decide on a beagle mix when mom got a call from her vet friend. He had found a Brittany that the family had to give up, because they were moving across country. The dog had been well-cared for and was only about 2 years old. The family made an appointment to see her and fell in love. She was a well-mannered dog and had been spayed. Jimmy hugged her, named her Tippy and told his parents that this was the one.

A few weeks later, Jimmy started training sessions with Tippy and it wasn’t long until she knew sit;stay; go fetch; lay down. She never seemed to tire of chasing balls, fetching sticks, and wrestling with her favorite human.

Why A Story

This was a make believe family, but how they went about deciding on a pet, a new member for their family, was the right way to do it. They did some research, found the kind of pet they wanted, learned how to take care of a pet, and preferred to look for a pet that needed a home.

My first dog was a toy collie. She had a face like a full size collie, but she was about half the size and had a smoother coat. She was a sweet dog and very gentle.

My grandmother had only one pet that I know of–a little white Maltese. He lived to be 17. Every time I went to visit my grandparents, that little dog always sat beside me on the front porch.

My son begged for a dog when he was about 9. A little young to be the leader of the pack. My husband came home one night to tell me that one of the teachers at the Junior College had a dog he would give to a good home. The dog was a Brittany and was gun shy. The teacher wanted a dog to hunt, but since she was afraid of gun shot, he wanted to find her a good home. We went over to see her. She was so smart. She immediately sensed that my husband didn’t really care about dogs. She went over to where he was sitting, put her head on his arm and sat there until we left. We took the dog. My son named her Tippy. She lived to be 13.

Let me hear from you. I would love to hear about your favorite dog.


























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Anytime you see a link that looks like… or… it can be assumed that it is an Amazon affiliate link.

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These affiliate links work the same way: if you click the link and buy the product, then the blogger gets a percentage of the sale or some other type of compensation. Things like e-book bundles, e-courses, and online packages are usually affiliated links, as well. Again, prices are not different if you use these affiliate links. You will not pay more by clicking through to the link. These links are not “pay per click”, unless otherwise denoted.

What about sponsored content?

I do not write sponsored posts. I want to bring you real, unbiased information.  H owever, if a post is sponsored by a company and it is a paid sponsorship, I will disclose this clearly in the beginning of the post.


Hello, and welcome to my website. If you’ve stopped here, you must have an interest in pets, or maybe you have a pet of your own, or you’re wondering if there is anything here that will help you with your pet problem, or you are just curious. It doesn’t matter. Stop and learn about “people pets”. You will find some laughs, too.


I don’t ever remember a time when I didn’t have a pet, or there weren’t pets around the house. I was an only child, and grew up  in South Florida where the days were warm.   I played outside almost all day, every day.Since I was outside Mom expected me to check on the chickens and ducks, and gather the eggs.

On Saturdays the movie houses played a double bill–two westerns with short subjects and a news segment.  My dad loved westerns; you can guess where we were every Saturday evening. Of course, in westerns, there were always horses, cows, dogs, etc. Sometimes the horse or the dog was actually the hero, rescuing the master from sure death.

We had several cats during my childhood; I had a dog all during my teen-age years. I also remember having ducks, chickens and even a rabbit.  Since I had no siblings, the cat and the dog were often privy to my closest secrets. I doubt the cat loved to dance, but she did, anyway.

Seriously, I have loved cats and dogs and have lived with them all my childhood and adult life. I have learned what they like and don’t like, what makes them sick, what makes them listen to me, how they can be trained to be socially acceptable. Each species is unique. Cats have quirks that make them different from any other species. Same for dogs. They each relate differently to the one person or family that they live with. Animals have enriched my life. Home is not home without a four-legged creature around.


So many people misunderstand animals, and so many pet owners give up when reality doesn’t meet expectations. The number of cats and dogs that are euthanized each year is appalling. I believe people would be willing to adopt a pet or two if they could find the information they needed to take proper care of them l. I want to help people understand how to take care of a dog or a cat. Cats and dogs give unconditional love. They don’t care how you look, how old you are, or how many cars you have. They will love you, no matter what. People need the love of an animal. I want to help them find that love.


The purpose of this site is to bring pets and pet owners together in lasting, loving relationships.If you ever need help with your pet, or have questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,

Barbara Nelson

Who We Are -Privacy Policies

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At we are committed to maintaining the trust and confidence of all visitors to our website. In particular, we want you to know that My-Pet-Toys-And-Stuff is not in the business of selling, renting or trading email lists with other companies and businesses for marketing purposes.

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When someone visits My-Pet-Toys-And-Stuff, there may be an ability to submit comments on particular articles or pages. When comments are submitted, you are entitled to use aliases or information that completely hides your identity. When a comment is submitted, the relevant details (name, email, website) that you provide are stored. These details are stored so that we can display your comment back to you, and to anyone viewing the comment sections on the site. We do not verify information entered nor do we require verification.

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We may make changes to our Privacy Policy in the future, however, the most current version of the policy will govern our processing of your personal data and will always be available to you.

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My-Pet-Toys-and Stuff: Train Cats not to Claw Furniture

Why do cats have claws anyway? To answer that question, you have to approach it from the cat’s point of view. The beautiful little domestic cats that we are familiar with today, evolved from wild cats that lived in a hostile world. In order to live from one day to the next, wild cats needed tools to fight off enemies and to kill food. These tools were teeth and claws. Claws on the front feet were constantly sharpened on logs and tree trunks; hind claws were honed with their teeth. Instinct continues to drive the domestic cat to keep her claws sharp at all times. So, how can you train cats not to claw the furniture?

Remove the Claws

Your little cat is growing up and she is using your finest pieces of furniture to sharpen her claws. No matter how many times you yell at her, you throw something at her, you spray her with water etc., she will yield to temptation. It’s instinct – she can’t stop it-she has to scratch somewhere.

Many cat owners resort to having their cats declawed, either surgically or by laser treatment. Onychectomy, or declawing, “—is an operation to remove an animal’s claw surgically by means of the amputation of all or parts of the distal phalanges or end bones of the animal’s toes —amputation of the bone is necessary to fully remove the claw.”(Wikipedia)

The operation is common in North America- but declawing is considered animal cruelty in many countries. Another method of removing the claw is to use laser surgery. The laser removal of the claw seems to give the cat less pain, but regardless, the cat has lost the toe with the claw and the end result is the same.

Declawed cats must remain indoor cats- they have no way to protect themselves outside. Many declawed cats become biters when they no longer have claws.

Alternatives to Surgical Declawing

There are a number of ways to keep your furniture from being torn apart by your cat other than removing her claws.

Vinyl nail caps can be glued on over the regular claw. It is not a permanent alternative. The claws continue to grow and as the cat sheds her claws periodically, new caps must be glued on.

Regular nail trimming will keep the sharp nail ends from tearing furniture. If you decide to use regular trimming, you must learn how to do it without hurting the cat. Have your veterinarian get a professional pair of trimmers for you to use. They are not terribly expensive and will be cheaper than a Vet visit every six weeks. You only need to trim the tiny sharp end of each claw. You never want to trim so far back to catch the quick. If you do it correctly, your cat will eventually let you trim her claws without a fight.

Scratching Posts are a necessity for cats-with or without claws. Most scratching posts are a standard upright pole or post securely anchored on a sturdy stand and covered with carpeting. You should probably have more than one. Place two or three scratching posts throughout the house, so when your kitty gets the urge to hone her claws, she can readily find one.

If your cat is shy about using the scratching post, put some catnip in your hand and rub it around the post -top and sides. She should start scratching on it very soon.

Covering your upholstered furniture with vinyl slip covers will discourage your cat from clawing them. The smooth vinyl is definitely a deterrent. Most cats will leave it alone.

Trees, Condos, Scratchers and Posts

Cats like to climb, jump, and run. Cat Trees and cat condos are built to give cats an ultimate playhouse. And of course while they are climbing and jumping around, they also stop for multiple claw scratching. Some sophisticated cat trees have several ledges, stairs, ladders, tunnels, for curious cats to explore. Cats will tire after a while and find a ledge or tunnel to nap in. Elaborate cat trees come in various carpet colors, so, if you have to live with a cat tree in your family room, at least you can select one that will match your decor. Make sure whatever you get for your cat, or cats, is well-built and sturdy. Above all, you want your cat to be safe.

You can make a Scratching Post or a simple cat stand if you are handy with tools and happen to live near a farm or wooded area. Please have permission to gather or cut on private land. Find a short tree with a good size trunk (maybe 12 to 15 inches in diameter). You might be lucky and find what you need in a wood pile. You need about a four-foot-long section. Leave the bark on it. Your kitty will love it. Find a two by four or maybe a four by four square piece of wood. Nail it under one end of the log. Now you have a small angled log to set on the floor. Your cat will straddle the log, stretch out and hone her claws to her heart’s content. you can also build the standard upright pole. Wrap the upright pole with sturdy carpet and set it in a solid stand. Make sure the scratching post can withstand a cat pushing and pulling on it as she works her claws. If it should topple, she probably will never use it again.

Another Alternative

If you are looking for a cat to enliven your life, you might consider visiting a cat adoption center. You will find some beautiful cats that are just waiting for someone to give them a permanent home. You will find both genders, long and short haired, small and large, of all ages. Most of these cats have been given up for adoption because their owners could no longer care for them. Many of these cats have already been declawed by their former owners. You will be giving a cat a home, without having to face the clawing issue.

Training a Cat

Training a cat to do, or not to do something, is a daunting task. Cats are independent creatures and will do what they want to do. If what you want and what they want happen to collide, consider yourself a lucky cat owner. On a personal note, I have lived with cats all my life. I never had one of my cats declawed. I have pretty successfully used the alternatives listed in this article. For a number of years I have adopted shelter cats that have already been declawed. Cats are delightful creatures and are always ready with surprises. Your life with a cat will never be dull.

I would love to hear from my readers. E-mail me:





Play Time for Cats:The Best Toys for Indoor Cats


In 2017, the total number of cats owned as pets in the United States was about 95.6 millions. Around 68% of all U. S. households owned at least one pet, (Statista Accounts) and you’re just about ready to add your household to that percentage with your new best friend. You’ve adopted a cat and you’re about to introduce her to her new home. One thing you need to remember, once you’ve brought a cat into your home, she assumes everything she sees is now hers, and she is just letting you continue to live there.

However, your cat doesn’t always make the best choices of what she should play with and what she should leave alone. Choosing the best toys for your cat is your job.

Don’t You Become Her Favorite Toy

Your cat has razor sharp teeth and needle sharp claws and you don’t want to become her favorite toy. If you’ve adopted a kitten don’t let her start out biting, scratching and kicking your bare arm or hand. Yes, she is she is a cute little ball of fur now, and she can’t hurt you. But when she is a full-grown cat (nine or ten pounds) she can do some damage. Save your hand and teach her to play with a wand toy– a long stick with bells, feathers, cords etc.that you hold on one end away from those claws. She will love it. When you are through playing, put the wand toy away out of your cat’s reach.

Keep Your Cat Away From DangerousThings

Most people think that cats can’t be trained. They actually can, but it takes a lot of work. It’s faster and easier to train yourself. Put things away that you don’t want your cat to play with while you’re gone. Cats are especially attracted to potted plants because of the potting soil and green leaves. Some plants are dangerous for your cat to ingest. Put your plants on the porch or on a high stand or in another room with the door shut. Keep small things like bits of paper, crayon pieces, beads, etc. off the floor. Cats will end up swallowing them, and you’ll have a sick cat, or a trip to the vet.

There are times when you need to reprimand your cat. When she is about to get into trouble and you need to get her attention quickly, a loud noise will do the trick. Cats hate loud noises. A sharp, loud hand clap, or a rolled up newspaper slapped against a door or a wall will stop her at once. Then you can pick her up and move her to a safer place. One reminder: Never, never hit your cat. She won’t understand why you are hurting her.

Toys Cats Like

Cats like toys that are large enough to pick up in their mouth and carry around. Small toys usually end up under the couch. If there are large and small toys on the floor, your cat may often choose the larger one, especially if the toy has been laced with catnip. She can grab the larger toy in her mouth and carry it around, much like a cat in the wild will carry her kittens from one place to another.

Most cats go crazy with catnip. You might not think catnip is a toy, but it can be very helpful if you are introducing a new toy to your cat. Sprinkle a little catnip on the toy, rub it around on the toy and then give it to your cat. You’ll have immediate acceptance. If you want to give your cat a real treat, spread a newspaper on a hard floor and sprinkle loose catnip on it. Your cat will roll, tumble, toss and act sillier than you’ve ever seen before. Keep a broom handy. When she is through, you will have catnip everywhere.

Toys To Avoid

Especially avoid toys that have beads or buttons sewed on them. Cats will chew them off and may swallow and choke on them. Don’t give your cat toys that are stuffed with odd materials that she can tear apart and swallow. Cats like to play after you’ve gone to bed. They are night creatures. Nighttime is for hunting, daytime is for sleeping. Leave out some larger toys for her to toss around, and put up toys that have loose buttons and strings.

The Best Toys Are Homemade

The best playthings can be made from things around the house. Athletic socks get holes in the toe or the heel. Save a pair or two to make your cat a safe toy. One pair will probably be enough. Open up one sock and stuff the other sock in it until you have a nice big ball at the toe end. Leave enough room at the open end to tie an overhand knot. Your cat will play with it until it falls apart.

A similar toy can be made from lady’s hose. Save up several pairs that have runs in them. Then take one long hose and stuff it with as many hose as it takes to make a long, fat roll. Tie the open end shut with an overhand knot. You can tie cords in a couple of places to give it forms..Use overhand knots. Your cat will drag that thing all over the house.

Finding the Best Toys isn’t Difficult

Remember to select larger toys, select toys with no dangles or beads, put away household items that can be dangerous, and try your hand at making toys for your best furry friend. Your cat is a wonderful animal. She will give you years of love and delight with just a little care from you.