7 Reasons Why Horse Ownership Is Great

While it’s true that keeping your own horse is expensive and hinders traveling, the pros outweigh the cons.  If you make the commitment to buy a horse, you won’t regret it.

Admittedly, you can enjoy many of these benefits listed below by simply leasing/borrowing a horse, or taking riding lessons.  You can have a lot of fun that way; I would know.  But it’s not quite the same as having a horse to call your all own.

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1. A Unique Bond.  The bond between horses and humans is different from the connection between pet and owner.  Equine expert and blogger Anne Leueen put it best when she wrote: “The great thing about riding a horse is it is the only sport where your partner is a member of another species.  And a species that is not a natural partner with a human[, at that].  Dogs and cats are predator animals just like humans.  Horses are prey and we are their natural enemies yet they choose to work with us.  This is such a special and unique opportunity. ”  In theory, horses and humans should never get along.  One is a prey, the other is a predator; furthermore, we don’t speak a common language.  Yet it does work, and it is beautiful.

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2. Happiness.  This is sort of hard to describe if you have never felt it in connection with a horse before.  It’s something about that feeling of freedom as you gallop through a field, the wind whipping through your hair, that feeling of accomplishment as you soar over a jump you never could before, that feeling of warmth in your heart when your horse comes running towards you after you called his name, like he couldn’t wait to be with you again.  For us equestrians, horses = happiness.

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3. Growing Together.  This is one of the benefits that you can really only experience with your own, personal horse.  Anne Leueen provides multiple examples of this.  “When I was a teenager I used to do eventing.  One day, while on a cross country course, I realized my horse was not having his best day.  …  I knew my own horse well enough to know he was having an off day, not because there was something wrong or because he was behaving badly, but [just] because I knew him that well.  You cannot get to know a lesson horse that well.”  Leueen also mentioned a more recent example with her current horse, Baisini.  “[When I first got him,] Biasini was a nervous horse and often spooked.  After I had him for a year he began to trust me and became less and less nervous.  He will still startle at things from time to time but it is over much faster.  He needed his own personal owner.”  So you can help your horse improve, but it actually works both ways.  If you are a nervous rider, having a horse that you know and trust will help you gain the confidence that you previously lacked (http://bit.ly/2GmE1Ne).

 

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4. Helping the Socially Awkward.  I owe a thank you to the 3 Wild Horse blog for helping me realize this (http://bit.ly/2GmE1Ne).  Horses can help you make friends.  Think about it.  Introverts usually have a hard time connecting with others because they don’t know what to say.  Yet if they meet someone at a barn, they can know exactly what to talk about: horses!  Instantly, you both have something in common.  Or, if both of you are introverts who hate talking, then don’t; you can bond over just doing things together.  Just ride down a trail, side by side, silently enjoying the scenery.

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5. Physical Fitness.  I can personally vouch that this is true.  Back when I was taking riding lessons, I think I was in the best shape of my life.  I got stronger through lifting heavy hale bales, convincing stubborn horses to lift their legs (so I could clean their hooves), and, obviously, through riding.  Horseback riding is a workout, but it doesn’t feel that way, which is why it’s the perfect way to keep that New Year’s Resolution to lose weight.

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6. Improving Your Mind.  It sounds like something cheesy one’s parents might say, but owning a horse truly does sharpen your mind/character.  Having a horse automatically turns you into a hard worker.  Every day, you have to feed your horse, muck out his stall, groom him, exercise him, turn him out to pasture, or bring him in from turnout if the weather is bad, and more.  Having an animal who depends on you can (hopefully) make you into a more responsible person.  If your equine develops a bad habit, you can work on your creative problem-solving skills.  Furthermore, riding a horse might make you more independent and confident.  The list could go on; the benefits are as various as the situations that cause them.

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7. Having a Buddy.  Finally, it’s important to remember that the bond between you and your horse is special.  When the horse is your own, “you can spend time with the horse that is not just riding the horse: taking the horse and hand grazing him, grooming, and just observing.  The horse will learn to trust you and you will learn to trust the horse.  There is nothing to replace this.” (Leueen)  Like snowflakes, no two bonds are alike; it’s shaped by what you bring to the table and your horse brings.  The wonderful part starts when you begin to build memories together.  Now, horses aren’t humans, and they aren’t just big dogs or cats either.  The horse-human relationship is one-of-a-kind, and you can only truly experience it by trying it for yourself.

 

 

And that’s the list!  Special thanks to Anne Leueen for helping me with this post.  If you enjoyed it, you should go check out Anne’s blog, the Horse Addict (https://horseaddict.net/).  It’s a high-quality blog which includes interviews with professional equestrians, historical horse tidbits, articles “written” by Anne’s horse, and much more.  I genuinely like it, and if you love horses, I think you will too.

See you next week!

Sources

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How to Free Your Cat from a Tree

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First of all, DON’T call the fire department.  In most cases, they won’t help.  They can’t divert resources to help animals when there might be humans in danger.  An off-duty firefighter might be able to assist you, but officially, they can’t help.

Here’s a better alternative:

  1. Call in a Pro Tree Climber.  Try searching the yellow pages, or calling your local Humane Society, Animal Control, or vet to get ideas.  Naturally, professional climbers will cost you, but the safety of your sweet kitty is well worth it, right?
  2. Bucket Truck.  If you call a tree cutting service, then they might bring out their bucket truck to help — for a price, of course.  Back in December, this very method saved a cat in Long Island who had been trapped in a tree for almost a week.  (https://nwsdy.li/2H803V4)  However, this way should be more of a last resort, as the noise and movement of a bucket truck could scare the cat and cause it to climb up higher to get away.  This would make it even harder to rescue.

    Of course, there are plenty of alternatives to calling in the professionals.

  3. Ladder.  Actually, the ladder is for the cat, not you.  I’ve seen my own cat often run up and down ladders when I walk away from them for a few minutes.  Just remember that it helps to have the ladder placed at a gentle angle.
  4. Carpet-Coated Ramp.  If you are a person who’s handy with tools, you can make a wooden ramp for your cat to walk down.  Yet the slope must be even more gentle than it was for the ladder.  Also, the ramp must be wrapped with carpet that won’t come off; otherwise, your cat will have nothing to dig their claws into and brace themselves on the way down.
  5. Motivational Meal.   Sometimes, all it takes is a little encouragement.  Sometimes (but not always) kitty is too scared to come down, and some tasty tuna might be just the deciding factor that she needs.   You should try calling the cat also.
  6.  Climbing Up Yourself.  If the tree, the weather, and your health is stable, then it might work to bring Fluffy down yourself.  Before you go up, get a helper and something to put the cat in, like a cat carrier or a pillowcase.  The scared feline might claw you or squirm, which makes this route safer than trying to hold the cat in your arms.  Tie a rope around the container securely.  Put on gloves, jeans, and a long-sleeved shirt to protect yourself from the rough bark and the panicked cat.  Climb up to the kitty or use a ladder.  Once you reach her, place her gently but firmly into the container.  If the cat is safely inside, lower it down to your helper.  Phew!  Made it!

If none of these ideas are appropriate for your situation, then search the Internet — it’s full of creative ideas, and I may have missed some.  (Just be careful, as some of the suggestions are bad ones.)

I hope this helps.  Good luck!

And remember: this is not how to get your cat down, but it’s still hilarious.  Enjoy!

 

Sources

Cat Stuck in a Tree: Should You Worry or Not?

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“Ever see a cat skeleton in a tree?”

This sentence implies that the treed cat will simply come down when he wants to, that cats always find a way.

It’s a lie.

Those who repeat this myth haven’t taken the time to seriously consider the issue.

Admittedly, no, I have never seen a cat skeleton in a tree.  Then again, squirrels and birds live in trees, and I have never seen one of their skeletons up among the leaves either.  And they are in trees much more often than cats.

That is because of gravity.

When an animal is dying, they become too weak to hold on any longer, and their bodies fall to the ground.  Or, in the very rare event of the body becoming wedged in the tree, it will be eaten and removed by vultures or other wild animals.

Yet most cats won’t die in a tree.  After waiting a while, most will jump or fall if they are not rescued first.  Before that happens, they may stay in the branches for several days; there have even been cases where the poor kitty was trapped for weeks.

And the longer they are up there, the more they are suffering.  The feline has no food, no water, no safe place to sleep without fear of falling.  If the weather is overly hot or cold, they can suffer or even die from exposure.

No, it’s not a lack of motivation to come down; they simply can’t, or are too afraid.

You see, kitty claws curve backwards.  This is great for climbing up trees, but bad for coming down.  The only secure way for a cat to come down on its own is for it to climb down butt-first.  This method is scary for the cat, and many won’t do it.  Others do eventually figure it out, but are too weak by that time to come down safely.

I must admit, some cats do save themselves, and some have fallen from up to a hundred feet and lived.

But the danger is very real.

Yes, you should be worried about your cat.  Don’t panic, keep a level head — but be worried.

Next week I will post a practical guide to bringing a treed feline back to safety.

Unless, of course, your cat is trapped in a tree right now.  If that’s the case, then you must act, pronto!  Save him!

Read One of These If Your Cat Is Stuck in a Tree

13 Beautiful Dog Photos That Belong in a Museum

1.  What a pretty puppy!  He has such a unique coat, with all of its colors and patterns.  I wish I could see more of it.  And what an interesting position, too.  It’s rare to find our fun-loving pups looking so serious; he appears to be contemplating the meaning of life.

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epicantus (https://pixabay.com/en/animal-dog-window-home-looking-272473/)

2.  You’ve seen this face before.  It’s when Fido is trying to be obedient and sit still, but what he really wants to do is jump up and eat that treat you’re holding.  What makes this picture unique is the background and the unusual arrangement.  The background of the stone walkway is almost the same color as the dog, yet the photographer cleverly manages to make him stand out.  Furthermore, the photographer obviously resisted the typical urge to center the subject, and so the result is much more interesting.

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George Hodan (http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=222559&picture=dog)

3.  Again, what a lovely dog, and what a soulful position!  Props to the person behind the camera for catching this high-energy Husky while he was in this pose.  The mood feels sad, as if his owner had just left for work.  Who says animals don’t have feelings?

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PensiveYumi (https://pixabay.com/en/dog-husky-beautiful-pet-animal-2224169/)

4.  For starters, I have two questions.  a. What kind of house backs right up next to the beach?  and b. When can I come visit?  All joking aside, however, I liked this one because of how the tile colors match the beagle’s coat.  Plus, the paw-prints in the sand are cute.

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riosfernando60 (https://pixabay.com/en/dog-lines-beagle-eyes-beautiful-2209295/)

5.  This photo is simple, yet striking.  Everything is black, except for the yellow and blue in the canine’s eye.  As all good photos should, this one tells a story.  I can just imagine the scenario: a child hid in a closet, and his curious dog is dying to know what’s going on in there, so he shoves his nose in.  The child laughs before letting him inside.

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Aline_vieira (https://pixabay.com/en/dog-eyes-friend-animal-canine-2663810/)

6.  To me, the fog feels mysterious, but the presence of the cute Skye Terrier prevents it from being creepy.  I feel like this dog is saying: “Well, what are you waiting for?!  Let’s go exploring!”

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gypsyschnecke (https://pixabay.com/en/dogs-animal-pet-yorkshire-terrier-2270032/)

7.  If the previous picture was taken at the start of an adventure, this one is right smack in the middle of one.  Yes, sled dogs running through the snow is always dramatic and beautiful, but this photo is especially so with its sparkling tree and just a hint of the mountains in the background.

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cocoparisienne from Pixabay.com (https://pixabay.com/en/dogs-huskies-animal-dog-racing-2921382/)

8.  The gorgeous picture you see below was taken by @karen_kipp, and we follow each other on Instagram.  This collie belongs to Karen’s neighbor, whom she dog-sits for sometimes.  Collies are such beauties…

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@karen_kipp on Instagram

9.  Here is another great one from Instagram.  The dog is called Henry, the cat’s name is Baloo, and they are good friends.  The human couple who owns them traveled to Colorado to take these amazing pictures.  It has make them Instagram-famous at 274 thousand followers, and the fame is deserved, in my opinion.  Not only are the photos splendid, but who ever heard of a cat and a dog who loved each other as much as these two do?

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@henrythecoloradodog on Instagram

10.  Another perfect shot from @henrythecoloradodog.  It’s like a painting…

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@henrythecoloradodog on Instagram

11.  Unlike most of the previous photos, this one is both beautiful and cute.  The photographer who took this is Alicja Zmyslowska, from, not surprisingly, Instagram.  This is her most popular post; everyone loves it, myself included.

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@alicjazmyslowska on Instagram

12.  Another still from Alicja Zmyslowska.  This time it’s her own border collie, Cirilla, posing in a field of lavender.

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@alicjazmyslowska on Instagram

13.  Can you guess where this is from?  Yup.  It’s Instagram.  The Italian photographer Claudio Piccoli specializes in action shots of dogs.  That’s his job, and he’s pretty amazing at it.  This dog is leaping over his human’s back to catch a Frisbe, and Piccoli caught it at just the right moment.  It’s crystal clear, too, which is very hard to achieve with fast movement like this.

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@claudiopiccoliphotographer on Instagram

It would seem that dogs look good from almost any angle!

So, did you agree with my picks?  Which one was your favorite?  Let me know in the comments, and I will see you next weekend.

Until then: stay fuzzy, my friends!

Low-Income Preacher Fulfills the Dreams of His Horse-Loving Girls

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When I was growing up, I was horse-crazy.  One Christmas, when I was eight or nine, I was writing my Christmas list.  After scribbling down requests for books, doll clothes, and Breyer horses, I calmly added to the list: “a pony”.  Those were my exact words.  I didn’t care what color or age it was, I just wanted a pony — any pony.

Sadly, I never got one.

After all, we lived in the suburbs; you weren’t allowed to raise chickens, let alone have a pony in your backyard.  And to my parents’ credit, they did pay for expensive riding lessons for many, many years, so I am not in any way blaming them.

Be that as it may, I still feel a little sad knowing that I can never say: “I had my own pony as a kid”.

That is why I was delighted to read this article from Reader’s Digest.

Two girls, Brenda and Jacy, wanted a pony.  But their father was the pastor of a small-town church, and couldn’t afford such a thing.

Yet, since they had their hearts set on it, he decided to look around and see what he could do.

One day, he revealed to his daughters that their neighbor, Mr. Dubbs, was getting a pony for his granddaughter, and was willing to let them ride it.

The two were ecstatic!  They had a pony!  So what that it wasn’t technically theirs?  So what that they didn’t know how to ride?  So what that the pony would try everything in his power to throw them off?  They had a pony, and that’s all that mattered!

The pony, whose name was Blackie, slowly taught them how to ride.

A few years later, they were becoming too big for Blackie.  So, secretly, Mr. Dubbs bought them each a horse.  He didn’t ride, and his granddaughter had lost the horse-fever long ago.  He merely bought the horses out of the kindness of his heart.

Brenda and Jacy didn’t know any of this, but nevertheless, they were over-joyed to each have a horse to call their own.  Brenda took the palomino, whom she called Maize, while Jacy rode the sorrel.  The sorrel’s name was Rex.  “To say we were in heaven is an understatement”, Brenda writes.

Tragically, after two blissful years, Mr. Dubbs passed away and the horses were sold off.

“We were heartbroken.”

But that was not the end.

Their father, the pastor, found a way, yet again.  Another kind-hearted neighbor lent them his two horses — Dolly, another palomino, and Sparky, a paint.  Brenda and Jacy had lots of adventures with these horses, including one time when Brenda’s horse got scared and galloped away.  Brenda had to walk 3 miles to find it again.

That was many years ago, but the equine enthusiasm lives on to this day.  Nowadays, Brenda still rides, and she is even passing the love of horses on to her own granddaughter, who is herself learning to ride.

Despite now owning two quarter horses and competing professionally, Brenda still often pauses to remember how she got here.  “[W]ithout the generosity of others, this unlikely cowgirl would still just be dreaming….”

So I propose a toast — to kind people.  To dreams.  And most of all, to horses.

Cheers.

 

Source

10 Weird Facts about Dogs

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NOTE: I meant to publish this post last week, but due to some kind of glitch, it was not, and I only realized the mistake today.  So enjoy a double serving this week, and things will be back to normal next Saturday.  Happy reading!

  1. Floppy Ears Make It Harder To Hear.  According to How to Speak Dog, it’s like the dog is wearing earmuffs!
  2. Rear Leg Extension.  I owned a black Lab/Chow Chow mix when I was growing up, and she had the strangest reflex.  She would roll over for me to rub her stomach, and whenever I would scratch the top of her back leg, she would extend it, stiff as a board.  I’ve done a little research on this odd behavior, and it seems that no one really knows for sure why dogs do this.  It’s just a reflex they have, like a human kicking when the doctor taps their knee with a mallet.
  3. Lassie Was Always Played By Male Dogs. The iconic collie – Lassie – her very name means “girl”.  Yet, strangely enough, she was always played by male dogs in all of her live action appearances to date.
  4. Butt Sniffing.  This action is not only weird, but it’s gross and embarrassing.  Yet it’s perfectly normal in your dog’s mind.  A dog’s sense of smell is far stronger than a humans, so that is the world they live in – the world of smells.  Every dog has glands in his rear which contain his own, personal scent.  So dogs greet each other by sniffing that area.  Unfortunately, there is no way around this behavior, so just grin and bear it.
  5. Eating Grass. Grass acts as roughage, clearing a dog’s system out.
  6. German Shepherds Are Born With Bent Ears That Stand Up As They Mature.
  7. Tail Chasing. Why do dogs do this?  Well, it’s rarely because they want to.  A dog who does this probably has excess energy, and is looking for a way to vent it.  A canine in that situation often resorts to destructive behaviors – like tail-chasing.  It can become an obsession; he may even bite his own tail.  If your dog chases his tail frequently, you should probably give him more exercise.  If that doesn’t work, visit the vet.
  8. A Labrador Retriever’s Webbed Feet. That’s right, Labs have webbed feet.  The breed originated from Canada, around the Labrador Sea, where the dogs were trained to leap off boats to collect nets for fishermen.  The webbing helped them swim better, as did their thick, otter tail.
  9. The world’s tallest dog is a Great Dane named Zeus, who was the size of an donkey.
  10. Avoid Tug-of-War.  Some say tug-of-war is a classic game of bonding between a dog and his owner.  Or is it?  Dog trainer Sarah Hodgson disagrees.  In her book Dog-Perfect: The User-Friendly Guide to a Well-Behaved Dog, she writes about how most dogs take tug-of-war as a struggle for dominance.  If you lose, your pup will think that he is now leader of the pack.  He may start to disobey your commands.  Of course, some dogs don’t take it so seriously; they take it as a game.  In any case, owners just need to be aware, and to think before they tug.

Which fact did you think was the craziest?  Do you have any more to add to the list?

And if you are in the mood for more animal tidbits, consider reading my other posts from the Weird Fact series.

Fun fact: A horse’s teeth take up more room than their brain does.  Yes, it’s true.  Read more here: https://fuzzyfanaticblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/29/10-weird-facts-about-horses/

As for cats, did you know that many are lactose-intolerant?  So a saucer of milk could lead to — er — the runs.  More surprising facts found here: https://fuzzyfanaticblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/07/11-weird-cat-facts/

See you next Saturday!

 

 

Sources

Horse Behind War Horse Movie Finally Gets His Recognition

War Horse movie

Many of us horse-lovers have watched or at least heard of Steven Spielberg’s film “War Horse”, released in 2011.

But you may not have heard of Blackie.

Blackie was the real-life equine who inspired the movie.  Or rather, Blackie was the horse behind the book, which led to the play, which then became the movie.  But enough of that, back to Blackie.

This incredible horse survived some of the most desperate fighting of WWI.  He lived through many battles, including “Arras, the Somme Offensive and Ypres, where he suffered severe shrapnel wounds” (http://bit.ly/2kdPkyI).

Tragically, his owner, Lieutenant Leonard Wall, died from that same shrapnel which exploded out of a German shell.

Yet somehow, Blackie pulled through, and even continued fighting.  He served until the end of the war.

After the war, Lieutenant Wall’s mother arranged to bring Blackie home.

When Blackie arrived home in his old pasture, it was a triumph over the odds.  Untold numbers of horses served in WWI, about 8 million of which were slain during the conflict due to wounds, starvation, and disease.  Even after the firing stopped, it was too expensive to ship the horses back to England, so many were sold to European slaughterhouses, where they met a horrible fate.

But, thankfully, not Blackie; Blackie made it safely back to his home turf.

Back in the UK, Lieutenant Wall’s mother lent Blackie out as a lesson horse to a riding school for a little while.  A few years later, Blackie was retired to live at Horses’ Rest in Liverpool, in accordance to what Wall had written in his will.

After having lived a full life, Blackie passed at the ripe-old age of 37.  Wall’s mother again followed her son’s will, and had Blackie buried with all of Lieutenant Wall’s medals.

That was in 1942.

Almost 75 years later, in 2017, Blackie finally gets the recognition he deserves — although posthumously.  Historic England has finally granted Blackie’s grave in Halewood, UK “heritage site protection” (http://bit.ly/2kdPkyI).  This means that the grave will be preserved for future generations to see.

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Blackie’s tombstone, courtesy of Heritagecalling.com

Unfortunately, Historic England currently has no plans to recognize any more war horse graves, but at least it’s a start.

 

On a side note, what did you think of the movie?  Let me know in the comments, because I would love to hear from you!

Come back next week for a list of strange, yet hilarious, facts about dogs.

 

Sources

Transforming Your Fat Cat into a Lean Lion (Cat Playtime Part 3)

Maybe you can relate to this: You realize that it’s been a while since your cat exercised.  So, to get your cat running around, you bring out the fake mouse.  Energetically, you throw it all over the house – up on furniture, down the stairs, everything.  You feel you did a rather good job and you might even have worked yourself into a sweat.

But your cat looks like this:

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Mittens seems to be rather unimpressed by your antics; or, at best, she was mildly amused to see you flailing about.  In either case, she never chased the mouse, never moved a muscle.

You were hoping for something more like this:

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But sadly, that isn’t the case.  You give it one last try, and Mittens responds with a bored stare before yawning and walking away to somewhere quieter where she can sleep.  You give up in frustration.

This pattern continues for a long time, maybe even years.  Over time, you slowly stop playing with your cat.  A small voice in the back of your head tells you that you need to play with Mittens more, but when you do, she engages for about 10 seconds at best, and then no more.

The results of this unfortunate pattern look like this:

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As you may have guessed, I’m speaking from personal experience.  I love my tortie kitty Autumn, but there’s no denying that she’s lazy.  And fat.  I’ve tried playing with her countless over the years times, but after she left the kitten years, she just didn’t engage.

Why is this?

Well, there are many reasons why this may be so.  If you haven’t read it already, then I recommend that you read my post “Cat Playtime Part 2: What to Do When Kitty Won’t Play” (http://bit.ly/2En0hX1).  In it, I go over 9 things that might be causing your feline’s lethargy.

Although it would take too long to review them all here, reason number 9 is: “your cat might just be lazy”.  I followed that statement by saying: “if this is true, then there’s almost nothing you can do to fix the problem”.  I wrote that article back in October, and am now typing this post just before January.  During the time in between, I have learned a critical lesson: there is something that you can do about a lazy cat.  

Here is the key: when your cat gets “the zoomies” (zipping around the house for no apparent reason), join in the action and chase her around the house like you would run around with a dog.

Just remember that while a dog may be content to run from you for 5 minutes straight, a cat will quickly become bored if she doesn’t get to chase you back.

To let her chase you, run around in random directions at random speeds.  If she runs at you, run away.  If she crouches in a hiding spot, pretend not to see her and walk by (cats love ambushing their prey).  In short, act like a scared prey animal.

Although this may not work for every feline, Autumn loves it.

A word of caution before we go on: my cat has never hurt me intentionally, but it might be a good idea to wear jeans while you do this.  And of course, it goes without saying that if your cat has aggression issues, then do not let him play with you like this, because it’s too dangerous.

After your cat chases you, switch roles.  You are the hunter now.

It’s like tag with only two people.  You might also try throwing in some peek-a-boo, hide-and-seek, or even regular cat toys into the playtime mix.  Stir up a new combination each time.  The goal is to keep it fresh, since this type of cat gets bored easily.

Just as a kitten can help an older cat become re-energized, so you too can get your lazy, fat cat to move again.

You can do this.  

Good luck.

 

If you missed the earlier posts in this series, here are the links.

Part 1:

https://fuzzyfanaticblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/08/cat-playtime-part-1-why-and-how-to-play/

Part 2:

https://fuzzyfanaticblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/15/cat-playtime-part-2-what-to-do-when-kitty-wont-play/

Happy reading!

Guest Blog: 10 Things to Avoid on your First Trail Ride.

A guest post by yours truly on Anne Leureen’s blog Horse Addict. It was great working with her to bring you this article, which I think all horse-lovers will enjoy.

HorseAddict

Today I am posting a Guest Blog by Gayle Jorgenson of The Fuzzy Fanatic

Gayle writes about dogs, cats, horses, and occasionally humans. Her blog is entertaining and lively. This blog post is essentially a beginners guide to going on a trail ride. I can tell  you that  knowing horses and trail riding as I do her advice is sound and practical.

10 Things to Avoid on Your First Trail Ride

By Gayle Jorgenson

When I was 11, I rode in my first trail ride.  I was assigned a young, brown-and-white horse named Taboo for the ride, which was to be a group outing.  Up until that point, I had ridden exclusively in a fenced arena, so I was nervous, and I think maybe Taboo was also.

Whatever the reason, it didn’t end well.

During a stretch of trail through corn fields, Taboo started cantering without my permission (I had…

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Horse Fleeing California Wildfire Is Saved

The wildfires of 2017 costed 2 billion to stop — the costliest year yet (http://bit.ly/2eYQlHV).  And that was back in September.  One can only imagine it’s much worse now, what with the recent wildfires in California.

As many of you may know, on December 7th, a prominent race-horse facility housing about 450 horses fell victim to the flames.  A minimum of 46 horses were killed.

Tragically, when a horse is terrified, it does not behave rationally.

However, a human who is in the right place at the right time can step in and turn the equine away from certain doom.

Gina Silva was just such a person.

As a Fox 11 News reporter, she was out in Sylmar, CA covering the wildfires there, when she stumbled upon a trapped horse.

Somehow, as the horse fled the flames, it fell and got pinned between a hard place and another hard place — as in, between a metal fence and a concrete wall.

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Photo Credit: @ginasilvaworld on Instagram

When Gina saw this poor animal kicking the wall, trying but unable to escape, she called the LA County Fire Department.  She also informed the public of what was happening on Twitter (@ginasilvafox11), and filmed the event live.

Then others took up the baton.

A local vet saw the segment on TV and drove to the site.  He tranquilized the horse, which calmed its fears and enabled rescuers to work around it without danger.

Then other viewers arrived, and so did a small team from a nearby fire department.  With everyone’s help, the wall was torn down and the horse was freed.

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Photo Credit: @ginasilvaworld on Instagram

He was taken to a close-by animal hospital to recover.  Thankfully, he quickly regained his strength in a few days and was sent home.

Turns out, the horse’s name is Kenny, and he is 23 years old.  That’s about 65 in human years!  What an adventure for this senior!  He was lucky he didn’t get colic from being on his back for so long.  And yet, judging by the picture below, he is none the worse for wear.

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Photo Credit: @p3pirate on Twitter

So please: if you ever see an animal in distress, follow Gina’s example and run to help it immediately.  Be the Good Samaritan.

The owner will thank you, the pet will thank you, and who knows — maybe I’ll write about it, too.

 

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