Friday, March 28, 2008

What They Say About Dogs

A few quotes about dogs:

"If dogs could talk it would take a lot of the fun out of owning one." - Andy Rooney

It would be so cool if dogs could talk. We'd finally discover what they thought about life and humans -- surprising, I'm sure.

"I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts." - John Steinbeck

Yes, we're nuts, but dogs are far too loyal and loving to feel contempt. Of course, if they could talk then we'd know for sure.

"If you are a dog and your owner suggests that you wear a sweater...suggest that he wear a tail." - Fran Lebowitz

Well, if you're a regular reader, you know how I feel about that.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Bunny Facts

Rabbit Resting in Yard
It's Easter -- a perfect time to learn some fun facts about rabbits:

The female rabbit can conceive a second litter while pregnant with the first. That's pretty amazing, but not an ability I'd be particularly keen on sharing.

Rabbits can see behind them without turning their heads. Interestingly, my daughter believes I can do this.

Rabbits have one of five different eye colours -- brown, blue-gray, blue, marbled or pink. I've always found those pink eyes a little freaky.

Bunnies are weaned at eight weeks. Remember when I discovered that tennis ball-sized bunny in the yard last summer? Apparently, he'd already been kicked out of the nest and was on his own.

Rabbits can suffer from heat stroke. It was a very hot day when I took the above picture of the rabbit in my yard. Since it's unusual for them to be out in the middle of the day, I figure he was probably cooling off in the shade of the cedars.

Good news -- rabbit droppings make excellent garden fertilizer. This means that not only will my gardens flourish this summer, but I'll be able to make money selling the poop the bunny has left in my yard.

Domestic rabbits can live 8 - 12 years, so if you're thinking about buying a bunny this Easter, you're in for the long haul.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Working With Animals

Chowder Long Haired Tabby Cat
I've decided to volunteer at my local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals -- if they'll have me. One reason I haven't done this before is I wasn't sure I'd be able to handle seeing the homeless animals on a regular basis, but I've visited quite a lot recently and survived. Did you know that you can volunteer to socialize with the cats? How purr-fect! Like a Walmart greeter of the animal world.

There are so many dedicated folks out there -- volunteers and those who have been trained and educated to work with both pets and wildlife. There's a North American website called It’s a job-matching site for all jobs related to animals, like training, grooming, veterinary medicine, caretaking, retail and zoo positions. Wouldn't it be wonderful to be paid for doing something you love?

Friday, March 7, 2008

How Do They Know?

I recently came across some weird animal facts. What really makes them interesting is that these details are even known. I mean, who took the time and trouble (and, in some cases, put undue stress on the animals) in order to discover that:

A homing pigeon won't find its way home if a magnet is attached to its neck.

An ant always falls over on its right side when intoxicated.

If a tiny amount of liquor is placed on a scorpion, it will sting itself to death.

A pig's orgasm lasts for 30 minutes.

Then there's the more mundane facts about animals:

Elephants are the only animals that can't jump.

A crocodile can't stick out its tongue.

Butterflies taste with their feet.

I have no idea if any of these are true. After all, I found them on the Internet -- not exactly a reliable source. If animals were able, what weird human facts do you think they'd list?

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Matilda, the Algonquin Cat

Matilda Algonquin CatI've attended two Backspace Writers Conferences that were held at the Algonquin Hotel in New York. The annual conference is a must-do for all writers -- an opportunity to meet other writers, editors and agents, and learn so much about the craft. Being at the Algonquin also gave me the chance to meet Matilda, the hotel's current resident feline.

In the 1930's, a rather tattered cat wandered through the front doors of the hotel. Given food, shelter and the name Hamlet, he opted to stay. Since then, all the male cats have been so named, and all the females have been called Matilda. Except for the dining area and kitchen, she has the run of the hotel, but seems to prefer the lobby area. That's where I found her.

Matilda liked to sleep on the baggage cart instead of her own miniature chaise lounge in the lobby. She wasn't all that interested in chatting, seeming far more keen on watching the comings and goings of staff and guests. However, she did allow me to take her picture.

Considering the price of a room at the Algonquin, I'd say that Matilda is getting a great deal. All she has to do is look good -- a job she does very well.

UPDATE: Click here for information on Matilda's birthday bash.