Dog Wrecks Soccer Player and Steals the Ball

 

dogandsoccerplayerCLEAR

Remember when Rally Cat ran on field during the Cardinals vs Royals game back in August?  Well, this dog is the spiritual successor to that cat.

Both animals invaded a sports event.  Both did not want to leave the field, and before they eventually did, they trolled a few humans first.

Rally Cat was a mackeral (grey) tabby cat who ran onto the baseball diamond; the Cardinals won the game.  Now he’s a sort of good-luck charm.

rallycat

Although he certainly did not bring good luck to Lucas Hackmann, the grounds crew member who picked him up.  Rally Cat gave Hackmann 3 bites for his trouble.  (Read more here: http://wapo.st/2jELIs7)

A similar event happened on November 9th, when a playful dog ran onto the soccer field during a match in Argentina.  Like with Rally Cat, this yellow canine saw fit to mess with the humans a bit.

First, the dog ran into a player’s legs from behind, causing him to trip and fall.  Whatahowler.com described this canine “player’s”  behavior this way: He “heinously tackled the man with the ball from behind to gain possession. It was a reckless challenge worthy of the red card….”  (In case you didn’t know, the red card is when a player is thrown out of the game.)

dogtripssoccerplayer

Without missing a beat, the dog rushed up to the ball and claimed it as his own!

After that, I almost expected the unknown canine to head for the goal.  But no, he did not.  He just cheerfully wagged his tail, guarding the ball, as the player he had tripped walked over.  The player picked Fido up and carried him off the field while the crowd clapped.

One would think that this would be the end of the dog’s antics.

Nope.

About 20 seconds after the next kick-off, Fido runs back on field, seemingly eager to join in the fun.  He dashes in front of the goalie, then lays down, perhaps hoping for a belly rub.

Instead, he gets carried off the field, for good this time.

The punishment for this double offense was, appropriately, several dog treats.

 

Thanks for reading.  Come back next week for a spoiler-free book review of Marley & Me, the hilarious yet touching novel about a dog as dumb as a post yet as loyal as Old Yeller.

Until then, enjoy the video!

 

Sources

Advertisements

The Man Who Listens to Horses Spoiler-Free Book Review

montyroberts
Image copyright http://www.srs.at

So I finally caught up with the rest of the world and read The Man Who Listens to Horses.  Yes, I know it was published in 1996, almost 22 years ago, but in my defense, I didn’t know it existed until last year.  Also, I didn’t know what I was missing out on.

As you may have guessed, I loved it.

But one caution before I begin the review: this book is not for children.  It deals with many adult topics like abuse, racism, mental instability, and death, to name a few.  So please: don’t go out and buy this book for your horse-crazy, eight-year-old daughter just because I said I liked it.  While you must, of course, use your own discretion, I would recommend that the reader be at least in their mid-teens.

With that out of the way, let the review continue!

The Man Who Listens to Horses was written by Monty Roberts, a man who understands the language of horses.  It’s not a spoken language; rather, equines mainly communicate through their bodies.  And here’s the surprising part—so can you.  You can talk to horses, once you have learned the language.  Reading this book will have you well on your way to doing just that.  In short, this book is a must-read for horse-lovers everywhere. 

Yet, even if you don’t particularly like horses, this novel will still make a great read.  It’s not some dry biography.  Although it is telling the story of Roberts’ life, it does so through gripping stories.  Sometimes you will laugh, sometimes you will cry; but always, you will be moved.

Horses may not be able to talk, but they don’t need to.  Monty Roberts will speak for them.  And no one, it seems, is more eloquent than him.

 

If you have not yet read this book, then I strongly recommend that you do.  Perhaps you’d like to buy it on Amazon?  https://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Listens-Horses-Real-Life/dp/0345510453

Or maybe you’ve already read this book.  In that case, let me know what you think!  But remember: be polite to other readers, and don’t tell spoilers, please.

Finally, why not give your horse an extra lump of sugar for Monty?

15 of the Best “If I Fits, I Sits” Cat Photos on the Internet

If you’ve seen this catchphrase before, then you know you are in for a hysterical time.

If you’re not familiar with the “if I fits, I sits” meme, then allow me to explain: cats choose the weirdest places to nap in, even if they don’t properly fit; this tagline celebrates the hilarious “parking places” that cats select.

In either case, consider reading until the very end, as these photos only get crazier as we go on…

  1. I just desperately hope that this shoe doesn’t stink.

Capture

2. Shopping list: Milk, eggs, bread, cat…

Capture3

3. The Leaning Tower of Pets.

Capture4

4. I don’t think this cat understands the concept of “if I fits, I sits”.

cute-little-animals-cutest-animals

5. That moment when you’re trying to get ready for work, but then your cat sits somewhere adorable, so now you have to call in sick.  You know how it is.

cats-in-sink

6. “Yeah, I’m in a trash can.  So what?”

Capture12

7. Is this blueberry or banana?

Capture8

8. Too cute!

Capture7

9. “Bacon now.  Petting later.  Me moving?  Never.”

pan

10. Peek-a-boo!

pringles kitten

11. But…  Why…?

fruitbowlcat

12. 3D printers are so realistic!

capture111

13. Because reasons.

cat in tree stump

14. So cats hate water, but they love thin, metal troughs that channel water?!  Cat logic.

cute_cat_sleeping_in_the_gutter

15. “Push me, slave!”

lion-sitting-in-a-wheel-barrow

Of all the pictures, which one did you enjoy the most?  Send me a comment and let me know.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next Saturday!

 

Sources

 

Note: If any one of these photos belong to you and you want it removed, please contact me.  If the request is legitimate, I will delete the photo.

10 Weird Facts about Horses

horse-1006356_1920

  1. Horses groom each other by biting. Technically, it’s more like nibbling, but it sure looks like biting, especially from far away.  If you look closely, you will notice that horses scrape each other with their teeth.  Perhaps this rhythmic scraping feels like a massage.
  2. Clacking.  You can see clacking when a younger horse meets an older one, and the youngster wants to show the elder that he means no harm.  Clacking looks a lot like the foal is chewing the air, and it’s a submissive gesture.  The foal is saying: “I’ll let you be the boss if you don’t hurt me.”  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stpYCZWXHhA)
  3. Their teeth take up more room than their brains do. This is not to say that horses are dumb, but I had to include this truly fascinating fact.  (Source: http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/features/9-fascinatingly-random-horse-facts-589133)
  4. Galvayne’s groove. This is a line that appears on the teeth of an older horse, at approximately age 10, and is perfectly natural, according to horse expert, Cherry Hill.  Starting at the gum line, it will slowly extend down the tooth as the years pass, until it reaches the end of the enamel.  Interestingly enough, after it is the longest, the Galvayne’s Groove will start to recede, vanishing entirely at age 30 (Hill).
  5. Foaming at the mouth can be okay. When many people see an animal foaming at the mouth, they instantly think of rabies.  Or perhaps you have seen dressage horses on TV drooling, and thought: “That can’t be good, I think the rider is hurting the horse.”  Fortunately, neither is the case for dressage horses.  It is simply a natural result of the bit in the horse’s mouth, which stimulates excess saliva production.
  6. Horses have to learn to like sweets. Once again, I point you to Cherry Hill and her book How to Think Like a Horse.  In it, she writes about how horses do not really care for sweets as a foal.  Yet as they grow older and are fed sweets as an occasional treat, they learn to associate the taste with getting a reward, and so they grow to like it.  It seems that sugar, for equines, is an acquired taste.
  7. They hate being dabbed on the nose. This comes as a surprise to many new horse owners.  The majority of horse books and movies always depict petting a horse on the nose as a sweet thing to do.  Plus, the velvety-soft muzzle is just begging to be stroked, right?  Well, no, not in your equine’s mind.  Most horses prefer a forehead or neck rub to being dabbed on the nose.
  8. Flehmen response. A horse’s sense of smell is stronger than a human’s, but even equines sometimes need to “get a good whiff” so that they can figure out a certain aroma.  “Getting a good whiff” is exactly what the Flehmen response is.  Your horse shows this behavior when he raises his head and curls back his upper lip.  Even though he looks like he’s laughing, he’s actually pinning the smell in his nostrils, behind his lip (Hill).  This enables him to process it better.  Many things can trigger this response, including (but not limited to) the presence of a horse that yours finds attractive.
  9. Arabians have 1 less vertebrae and 1 less set of ribs than other horses. This fact needs little explaining, as anyone who has ever ridden an Arabian knows that they are smaller than most other horses.  Still, as Yoda would say: “Size matters not” – for Arabians are beautiful, friendly, and tough equines.
  10. If a predator chases him but then leaves, the horse will follow the predator.  This bit of info was the most shocking to me.  I thought: Why on earth would a horse go after a predator?!  Wouldn’t the horse just run in the opposite direction, never looking back?!  Yet it is true.  Horse whisperer Monty Roberts wrote in his book The Man Who Listens to Horses about how horses often go into pressure, like leaning into the wind.  If you drive them away, they will want to be with you.  This, coupled with the equine’s natural curiosity, will cause horses to follow their own hunters.

 

And there you have it — 10 strange things that horses do.

Which one surprised you the most?  Does your pony or horse have any weird habits?  Let me know, because I would love to hear from you!

Seeing-Eye Dog Causes Panic at Airport

seeing-eye-dog-1576096-1599x1061

I heard another hilarious story on Car Talk about dogs.  I don’t know if the story is true or not, but it is hysterical, either way!

This story was read by Tom from a chain letter sent in by a listener, who apparently desired to remain anonymous.

He, the listener, once rode on a flight that was delayed forty-five minutes.

He took this in stride, but then the passengers were informed that the flight was going to be delayed yet again, another forty-five minutes.

Since it would be so long, the stewardess asked the passengers if they wanted to get off the plane.  Naturally, everyone wanted off.

Soon, the plane was empty except for a blind man and his seeing-eye dog.

The blind man had obviously been on this flight before, because the pilot walked down the aisle and addressed the blind man by name.  Then the pilot said: “We’re delayed again.  Do you want to get off?”

The blind man replied: “No, but maybe my dog would like to stretch his legs.”

The pilot smiled and agreed to walk the dog.

The pilot took the dog’s leash in one hand, and put on his sunglasses with the other.  Then the pilot walked out into the airport.

Everyone stopped.

And stared.

Picture this: a pilot, with sunglasses, walking a seeing-eye dog. 

The pilot looked like he was blind!

The letter stopped here, so we can only imagine what happened next!

I predict that mass panic ensued.

Click and Clack predicted: “Everyone scrambling, not just to switch flightsThey’re switching AIRLINES!” 

The story ended here, but I continued laughing long enough to attract the attention of bystanders.  With my headphones in, only I could hear it, and I probably looked crazy.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the episode as much as I did.

So the moral of the story is: think about your actions, because they may have unintended consequences.

Also:  Always listen to Car Talk.  Always.  (http://www.npr.org/podcasts/510208/car-talk)

Cat Playtime Part 2: What to Do When Kitty Won’t Play

british-shorthair-2374946_1920

Part 1 of Cat Playtime was about why and how you should play with your kitty.  If you haven’t read that post, please do so, then return.  If you’ve already read it, then you know how long to play, how to make your own toys, and what the secret ingredient to a successful playtime is.  You now know the basics of playtime.

But sometimes, the basics are not enough.  Sometimes, you’ve done everything right, and Mittens still won’t join in.  She just watches you wave toys around, with a bored look on her face.

Well, there are 9 possible reasons for this, so let’s go over them.

  1. You are using the wrong type of toy. Every cat is different, and each one has his or her own favorite toy.  Garfield prefers spiders.  Hugh the cat’s toy of choice was a laser pointer (Hugh was the inspiration behind Simon’s cat).  Grumpy Cat hates all playthings equally.  It’s up to you, the owner, to determine which toy suits your kitty best.  There are thousands of toys out there, but they all boil down to a few basic types—toys that act as fake snakes, or fake mice, or fake birds.  Buy one of each, and you are well on your way to figuring out your cat’s preferences.
  2. The toy is too close to her face. It seems counter intuitive, but cats are less likely to play when you stuff the toy right up in their faces.  Cats are farsighted, which means they have trouble seeing things up close, but objects far away are clear.  This makes sense if we consider the house cat’s wild ancestors.  In the wild, no prey would throw itself into the lion’s mouth.  Prey always stays as far away as possible.  Therefore, cats spot their target at a distance, then ambush it.  So move the toy away from Mittens most of the time.
  3. Your patterns are too predictable. If you drag a string from side to side, and that’s all you do, then your cat will be bored.  James Harriot once said that “cats are connoisseurs of comfort” and I would argue that they are also connoisseurs of mental stimulation.  So be creative.  Run the toy not just left and right, but also up and down, over and under objects, behind and in front of furniture.  Try varying the speed that you move the toy.
  4. You make it impossible for her to “win”.  Number 3 is due to not quite knowing how to play with a cat.  Yet this reason, number 4, is due to being too good at kitty playtime.  Whenever Mittens jumps at the toy, you always have it escape.  While this works good at first, Mittens eventually learns that there’s no hope in catching this prey.  Cats are smart.  When they know they’re out matched, they quit, saving their energy to hunt prey they can actually eat.  So it’s important for you to let your cat win sometimes.  Once Mittens has “killed” one toy, move to the next if she still seems playful.
  5. It’s the wrong time of day for play. This is strange, I know, but it’s absolutely the truth for my cat Autumn.  She will only play when she is in the magical mood, usually early afternoon or late at night.
  6. Your cat prefers playing in spurts, not constantly.  Again, this is the case for Autumn.  She will never play for the recommended 15 minutes straight.  She might play for a few minutes, then rest, then play a bit more.  She is like a sprinter, not a long distance runner.  You will need to puzzle out which type your own cat is.
  7. She is food-motivated.  Once more, let’s think about how big cats hunt in the wild.  Cats hunt because they need meat to eat.  So a great way to inspire your kitty to play is to feed her afterwards.  If this still doesn’t help, you might need to use an actual treat.  After letting her sniff the treat, have Mittens chase the treat through tunnels, upstairs, and on and off of tables.  Remember to give her the treat at the end, and this could be a great workout, for both human and feline.
  8. She has a medical problem. This may seem extreme, but lethargy could be a sign of an illness, especially if your cat always used to be energetic.  Like when you have the flu, and all you feel like doing is lying in bed, so too might your Fluffy lie around.  Of course, a cat who is growing older is a possible exception to this rule.  Thus, it’s important to look for other symptoms, but when in doubt, go to the vet.
  9. Last of all, your cat might just be lazy.  Thinking this about your cat should be a last possible resort.  For if this is true, then there’s almost nothing you can do to fix the problem.  Perhaps the only thing that might help is catnip.  Try buying toys stuffed with the plant, or buy a pouch of catnip and put an old toy in it.  Leave the toy in there several days before taking it out and hopefully playing with your lazy kitty.  However, I would recommend not using catnip very often; no more than once every few weeks.  After all, it is a drug of sorts. 

     

    There.  Hopefully this cat “troubleshooting” has helped you get your cat moving.  

    If not, let me know in the comments, and I shall do my best to lend a hand.

Cat Playtime Part 1: Why and How to Play

cat-783920_1920

Your kitty may be a domestic cat, but all felines still carry the instincts of their wild ancestors.  No matter how adorable she may look to you, kitty sees herself as a fearsome hunter.

So if your cat lives outdoors, she will kill the occasional, unfortunate bird or chipmunk.

If your cat is indoors, then they will find other ways to satisfy their instincts and vent their energy.  Usually, they will do this in ways that you won’t like, such as curtain-climbing or racing around the house meowing at 3 A.M.

To prevent this, (and to have the added bonus of bonding), you should play with your cat every day.  

While opinions vary, most experts agree that playtime should last at least 15 minutes.  Maybe longer, if you own a high-energy cat or a young one.

Furthermore, the time of day for activity varies from cat to cat.  For my cat Autumn, she is often playful in the early afternoon & late at night.  Figure out what works best for you and your cat.

One more step before you can play: toys.  There are swarms of toy available at the supermarket, and even more online.  Many of these are great, but you don’t have to buy any toys.  You can make your own at home.  An old feather duster could become a flying bird.  A little cloth pouch stuffed with cotton balls might serve as a mouse.  A piece of string or yarn will be the “snake”.  Laser pointers and little plastic balls also make good playthings.

A few words of caution, however.  Don’t leave string sitting around.  Most felines will eat it, which could cause serious problems as it tangles up inside their intestines.  Also, never let your cat play with cords; they could be electrocuted.  And of course, don’t shine the laser pointer in anyone’s eyes, kitty or no.

Now back to what I said earlier– you can either buy toys or make your own– it’s up to you.

But whatever you do, remember this key fact: play like you are a prey animal.  You can be a snake slithering across the floor, you can be a mouse darting along the baseboard, or you can be a bird fluttering through the air.  Whatever you do, make quick, little movements like you are prey that’s scared of getting eaten.  This means, when your cat zooms towards the toy, you make it “run” away.  Or if your cat catches the toy in its claws, have the toy struggle for a minute, trying to escape, before the cat bites and “kills” it.

After you are done playing, give your cats some treats, or feed her a meal if the time is right.  This mimics how cats behave in the wild.  They hunt their prey, kill it, then feast on its meat.  Your kitty will thank you for respecting her hunter preferences.

So there you have it– the basics of feline playtime.  Come back next week for part 2, where I’ll discuss more tips, including how to get your cat to play when she refuses to join in.

See you then!

The Jeans of the Eternal Dye: My Misadventures with Clothes, Colors, & Catastrophes

pocket-2324242_1920

As any women knows, finding the perfect pair of jeans is hard.  The fit, the shape, the color—everything has to be just right.

I haven’t mentioned this before, but I love jeans.  I love the fit, the color, the durability, all of it.  In fact, they’re the only pants I’ll wear (or the only shorts I’ll wear, if it’s summer).

This is not the case for my sister.  She hates jeans, says that they’re ugly and uncomfortable.  This is one of our many differences.

Which is why I was surprised when she can back from shopping one day with a dark-blue pair in her bag.

When I asked why, she said that these were an exception to the rule; they were made from a softer material, and she liked how they were dyed so very, very dark, almost black.

It’s the color which started it all.

You see, the jeans had so much dye in them, that the factory hadn’t gotten all the excess dye washed out of it.

So one day, my sister walked up to me and announced: “My legs are blue. 

“What?!”  I said.

She replied that the jeans’ excess dye must have caused it.

“Ready to audition for the Blue Man Group?”  I joked.

She laughed.

But as the days passed, things grew worse, and the frustration started building.

Her hands turned blue.  Her socks turned blue.  Her favorite chair turned blue.

Clearly, I decided, this must be stopped.  I would wash the jeans and get that excess dye out!

Well, I washed them.

And the jeans still leaked dye.

And my white washer turned blue.

Now, I wasn’t angry at this.  In fact, it made me laugh, and still does!  This, I thought, This is what great memories are made of!  It was so absurd!

At any rate, I had lost the battle, but not the war, and I didn’t intend on losing.  “Jeans, prepare to be vanquished!” 

So I washed them.  Repeatedly.

And they still leaked.

Undeterred, I planned my next move.  The previous summer, I had made some tye-dye shirts with friends, and I remembered how we had let the shirts soak in salt water to help keep the dye in.  I knew what I should try next.

I prepared a 5-gallon bucket, full of boiling-hot water.  After pouring in a big scoop of salt, I plunged the jeans in.  Using a heavy stick to hold the jeans down under the surface, I left the pants soaking overnight.

The next day, I washed them, several times.

And they still, still, leaked dye. 

So, bravely, I gave up.

My sister just can’t use those jeans.  They will forever spread their dye over everything in sight—the jeans of the eternal dye.

But I don’t mind, because without them, I wouldn’t be telling you this awesome story.

So until next time, remember: stay fuzzy, my friends.

Why Does My Cat Rub Against My Legs?

autumnX3
My cat Autumn

Is Autumn trying to trip me?

Well, no.  Unlike in the cartoons, your cat is not planning to make you fall on your face by wrapping around your legs the instant you walk in the door with an arm load of groceries.

Yet the cartoon has some truth in it.  Autumn may rub up against you when you walk in the door.

The reason she does this is because she is marking her territory.  When we think of animals marking their territory, we usually think of dogs spraying the fire hydrant.  But in reality, most animals like to mark their territory—including your cat.

Neutered cats don’t do it as much as untreated cats, but they still do it, and here’s how: Your cat has a gland at the base of her tail that contains her scent.  Other cats notice this aroma, but don’t worry; per my knowledge, no human can smell this scent.

When Autumn rubs up against you, your pants get her smell on them.  This smell marks you as her territory.

Cats may also rub up against walls, furniture, and everything in between for the same reason—marking their territory.  “Cats have scent glands located in their cheeks, forehead, chins, and at the base of their tail”, according to Dr. Jill E. Sackman, senior medical director for BluePearl Veterinary Partners’ in the Michigan Region (quote from PetMD.com).  So that is why they rub their faces, as well as their tails, against objects.

So let us return to the “just entering the door with groceries” example.  Autumn is thinking: what better time to re-mark her human then when you’ve come back from shopping covered in foreign smells?

It’s like she’s saying: “You’re my human slave.  Mine, and no one else’s!”  Personally, I find this selfish, but in an extremely cute way.  X3

6 Daily Steps to Cure Your Eczema

beautifulflower

Today is the first day in National Eczema Awareness Week; therefore, I thought it would be fitting to share my struggle with the disease.

In short, eczema is a skin condition where your skin gets really dry really easily.  Symptoms can include itching and scarlet patches.  Your skin may feel stiff with tiny cuts, or your skin can get rough and dry, or it can get all weird and bubbly.

I would know, because I suffer from eczema in my hands.  It’s worse in the wintertime.  The winter of 2016 was a bad one for my eczema—my whole hand turned red.

Then, in about 2 months, my hands were almost cured.  The photo you see at the top of this blog was taken in the spring of 2017.  And yes, that is my hand.  Isn’t it nice and natural-looking?

You, too, can have smooth, normal skin, without going to the doctor.

But how?

The short answer is: lotion.  A sea of lotion.  Swimming in lotion. 

The long answer is my mom saw how bad my hands were, and so she took it upon herself to smear lotion on my hands whenever she saw me.

Personally, I thought it was kinda hopeless, so I didn’t really bother to apply lotion.

But eventually, her determination wore off on me.  I started applying lotion on my own, every chance I got.  While talking to friends, while writing, while watching TV—essentially, every time I wasn’t eating.  I even smeared it on before showering.  This prevented the water from washing off what little natural oils I had.  After each shower, I put more lotion on to lock the moisture in.

I purchased some special lotions, but in my opinion, they only helped, they didn’t cure my hands.  The sheer quantity, the sheer oceans that I put on—that’s what cured it.

 

So here’s my advice:

  1. Buy yourself several varieties of lotion that is specifically meant for eczema.
  2. Place these bottles throughout your house, at least one per floor.
  3. Perhaps most critically, place another bottle where you spend most of your time. For me, that’s at my desk.
  4. Use gloves as much as possible. Whenever you are outside in cold weather, even if it’s only for a short time, protect your hands with gloves.  Wear gloves whenever you wash dishes.
  5. Wash your hands as little as possible (while still staying healthy, of course). After all, every time you wash, you are rinsing off precious oils.
  6. During the day, apply lotion just to the backs of your hands, that way your fingers are still free to do stuff.  I do this all the time, including before typing up this blog.  Remember, however, that you must apply lotion to all of your hand at night.  If you don’t, you will have smooth skin on the backs of your hands and rough, red skin on your fingers, as I unfortunately discovered.

 

So that is my recommendation.  Yet, naturally, if your doctor disagrees, go with your doctor.

If you suffer from eczema, then I wish you good luck.  You can read more about eczema here: https://nationaleczema.org/eczema/treatment.

If you do not suffer from eczema, and you just suffered through this blog in the false hope that it would be interesting, then maybe you have a friend or relative who suffers from this condition.  Perhaps you can pass this blog along.

Either way, this is a one-time thing, and I’ll be back to writing about animals next week.

See you then!