Horses Are Too Big To Follow You Everywhere? Try Their Miniature Counterparts!

Are you an ardent lover of horse? But there is a chief problem as you cannot accommodate them in your house. But you can’t afford to renounce your desire as well. Try miniature or mini horses. If you are a lover of dogs too it serves double purpose as it is of only a dog’s size.

Not every horse lover can afford to own a horse. Several constraints other than costs discourage people from owning and buying horses. These include space, time taken to tame it and the risks involved in riding a horse. Moreover all the members of your family will not like the idea of owning a horse. People prefer to buy a miniature horse for the reasons stated above. The number of people gathering around miniature horses for sale has increased substantially.

Mini horses are small horses used for domestic purposes. They are considered to be advantageous than a dog or a horse. These horses are docile and will mostly be preferred by everyone. Their size resembles a dog while the face and other physical features resemble a horse. Miniature horses are gaining vast popularity and are also posing to be a strong competitor to dog and horse.

Mini horses are definitely suited to be guide animals. They don’t cause any harm or injury to you or others or to property unlike dogs. Neither are they frightening or gigantic like horse. They are more matured and guide you through the path smoothly. Moreover it senses for danger and makes sure that you travel in the safe path. They are very calm by nature and do not cause any disturbance or make unnecessary noise and you can shop without worrying of whether it will be a nuisance.

Do you have an interesting pet story you would like to share with other pet lovers? Why not create your own website with Living Years Pets; an easy to create, affordable and highly engaging website to celebrate your beloved pets. It will allow family, friends and colleagues, from around the world, to communicate and frequently relive precious memories forever.

Your pet cats Egyptian ancestors

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After the pyramids and the kohl painted eyes, almost nothing evokes more awe and mystery than the fascination ancient Egyptians had with cats.

They were not only the most popular pet in the house, but their status rose to that of the sacred animals and then on to the most esteemed deities like no other creature before them.

Cats domesticate the ancient Egyptians

Although no one can pinpoint the time exactly, we know that the cat was domesticated in Egypt, probably around 2000 B.C., and that most modern cats are descendants of the cats of ancient Egypt. One reason it is difficult to say precisely when domestication occurred is that the ancient Egyptians did not distinguish between wild and tame cats in their descriptions of them. There was one word for cat-and that was miu or mii, meaning “he or she who mews.”

So then how did domestication of the cat come about? Dogs, associated with hunting, had actually been domesticated thousands of years before, according to archeologists. But cats, being the aloof, aristocratic creatures they are admired for, apparently took their time in fully befriending the ancient Egyptians.

There is a cat known as the African wild cat (Felis silvestris libyca)-one of the closest wild relatives of the modern cat. It is larger than the average domesticated cat of today. The feline’s tawny, yellow-gray fur, long tapering tail and striped markings, affording it ideal camouflage among the rocks and sand of the desert. This cat is known as a predator-a hunter of small game-rather than a scavenger. The other cat native to Egypt is the swamp or jungle cat-(Felis chaus), but it is the wild cat which is believed to have been the cat to “domesticate the Egyptians.”

In the villages, the greatest danger to Egyptian households were the numerous poisonous snakes, rats and mice which attacked food supplies in the home and the village granaries. The wild cat, it is assumed, strayed into the villages and hunted down the vermin, keeping them at bay. It’s easy to imagine the grateful Egyptians leaving out scraps of food to encourage the wild cats on their vigils. A symbiotic relationship occurred between animal and human. Next, the felines found their way into the Egyptian homes, spent some time there, allowed themselves to be tamed and raised their kittens in a human environment. As soon as the Egyptians began supplying the cats with food, thereby significantly changing their diet, and breeding them for certain characteristics, the cats were domesticated. They were perfect pets-playful, intelligent, affectionate and helpful to the farmers who sustained life in ancient Egypt.

City Seeks to Evict Bicycle-Riding Rooster

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Mr. Clucky is a hit among tourists and locals on Miami Beach, but now his ways of early-dawn crowing have landed him in the hot seat. He’s been served an eviction notice by the city.

The plucky Mr. Clucky was just another site in the long line of Miami Beach eccentricities, but now the bicycle-riding rooster has gone from a famed tourist attraction to an infamous nuisance.

Thanks to Mr. Clucky’s habit of 6 a.m. crowing, owner Mark Buckley was ticketed by a code enforcement officer on May 27 for keeping a farm animal.

“People seem to love Mr. Clucky. They love to hear him crow,” Buckley said in an April ZT Pet News interview. “It’s kinda something different for them, kinda bringing a little nature to the beach.”

That public sentiment might have changed since the city received a complaint and went to investigate. Now Buckley faces a $50 fine, as well as an order to get rid of the famous fowl.

Mr. Clucky draws a crowd not only because of his ability to perch on a bike’s handlebars while cruising through popular outdoor retail areas, but also due to his activism.

Mr. Clucky was named Miami Beach’s “Activist of the Year” by MetroMix Magazine in 2008.

The honor comes after Mr. Clucky’s involvement with several animal welfare causes, such as leading the “Walk for the Farm Animals,” joining a local eighth grader’s protest against Kentucky Fried Chicken’s alleged torture of animals and being the mascot for Critical Mass, Miami’s Earth-friendly activist and bike riding enthusiast group.

The celebrity bird was also grand marshal of last fall’s King Mango Strut in nearby Coconut Grove.

But the work Mr. Clucky and Buckley do in volunteering — with organizations such as EarthSave and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals — is something near and dear to their hearts.

“I found Mr. Clucky in my neighborhood in Miami Beach,” Buckley previously told ZT Pet News. “He was hurt in the bushes, his beak was cut off to his face and he had a cut on his head.”

Buckley says he believes the rooster escaped from some sort of religious ceremony. He nursed him to recovery and the pair have been best friends for the past three years.

Now their friendship hangs in the balance. Buckley could receive repeated citations and higher fines if he doesn’t comply with taking Mr. Clucky out of the city.

But officials say an arrest is not likely.

Ironically, Buckley joked with ZT Pet News in April that he wished he could train Mr. Clucky to “stop screaming early in the morning and sleep a little later.”

Although Buckley could not be reach as of press time, his Web site indicates the duo plan to fight city hall for Mr. Buckley’s right to remain a Miami Beach resident.

For more information on Mr. Clucky and Buckley’s petition to the city of Miami Beach, visit

Ferret Housing

So you’ve decided to add a ferret to your family, but where would he like to sleep? Where will you keep him when you’re not home? Read on to learn more about how ferrets like to live.

In the den

Ferrets’ ancestors were den animals, so the home you create should be like a den, too. Use a wire cage that’s at least 18 inches long, 18 inches deep, and 30 inches wide. Many ferrets prefer bi-level cages that feature stairs or ramps that they can climb, and shelves or hammocks where they can perch. Avoid aquariums, which provide poor ventilation.

Because ferrets are accomplished escape artists, the cage should feature a secure latch and openings no larger than one inch by two inches.

Since wire flooring is uncomfortable to a ferret’s feet, place linoleum tiles on the floor or line the cage bottom with soft material such as washable carpet. Not all materials will work, however: Wood flooring is difficult to disinfect, newspaper will blacken a ferret’s feet, and both cedar and pine chips hold in bad odors and may even cause respiratory problems.

Place the cage away from direct sunlight, in a cool, shaded area where temperatures range between 55 and 70 degrees. To clean a ferret’s home, wash cloth bedding with a mild detergent and hot water, then disinfect the cage.

Teach ’em litter-acy

You can save time cleaning a ferret’s cage by simply teaching the animal to use a litter pan. Find a small cardboard or plastic tray that is three to five inches high to serve as a litter box, and secure it to one side of the cage, away from sleeping and eating areas.

Clumping litter will irritate a ferret’s eyes and may cause respiratory problems, so fill the litter tray with one inch or more of pelleted litter products made from paper or plant fibers. Ferrets aren’t as fastidious as cats and may not cover their waste regularly, so you will probably need to scoop the litter more often.

Show ’em a good time

Like cats, ferrets enjoy their naps and will often sleep 15 to 20 hours a day. But when awake, ferrets like to be active, so the more you entertain them, the happier—and less mischievous—they’ll be. Ferrets love to crawl through almost anything, including PVC piping, cardboard boxes, paper bags, clothes dryer hoses, and even denim blue jeans. Safely secure a toy to the top of the cage, and your guest may be content to bat the object around for a while.

Out of the cage

Ferrets are social creatures who enjoy visiting with people, so let them roam frequently in a secure area outside of their cages. Although they have a great sense of smell and acute hearing, ferrets have limited vision, which means you should avoid sudden movements and speak in a gentle voice before approaching.

Because ferrets have fragile skeletons, be sure to handle them carefully. Never pick up a ferret by the tail; instead, let the ferret come to you, then lift him from behind using two hands—one to support his chest and one to cradle his hips. 
You can also grasp the scruff of a ferret’s neck and support his bottom with your hands. Remember, too, that ferrets are known to nip. If you point a finger at a ferret or poke him, he may think you’re an enemy or a source of food.

Clean up

To put it kindly, ferrets don’t always come up smelling like roses. A ferret’s sebaceous glands, which are used to mark territory, secrete oil with a natural musky odor, and the animal’s anal scent glands can spray just like a skunk’s.

You should spay or neuter your ferret to minimize odors, and also change the bedding frequently. Bathing a ferret with kitten shampoo, ferret shampoo, or diluted baby shampoo can also help. But too many baths will only force the animal’s scent and oil glands to work overtime.

Ferrets are prone to ear mites, so every few weeks their ears should be cleaned with a cotton swab soaked in a cleanser purchased at a pet supply store. Like dogs and cats, ferrets are prone to fleas and ticks, but a veterinarian should help you meet their needs in that department.

Do you have an interesting pet story you would like to share with other pet lovers? Why not create your own website with Living Years Pets; an easy to create, affordable and highly engaging website to celebrate your beloved pets. It will allow family, friends and colleagues, from around the world, to communicate and frequently relive precious memories forever.

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Slobbery Kisses from ‘Man’s Best Friend’ Aid Cancer Research

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Fido’s wet licks might hold more than love. They could provide the DNA keys to findings new treatments for rare cancers and other diseases in both dogs and human patients.

The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and the Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) have created the Canine Hereditary Cancer Consortium, a program designed to study naturally occurring cancers in dogs to better understand why both pets and people get sick.

“Rare diseases in humans also show up in dogs. By studying the DNA of canines, we expect to more quickly discover the genomic causes of disease and more quickly find ways to better treat dogs, and people,” said Dr. Mark Neff, director of the new TGen-VARI Program for Canine Health and Performance.

Using voluntarily donated saliva, blood and tumor samples from many breeds of privately owned dogs, researchers hope that by studying canine cancers they can pinpoint the causes of human cancers. The goal is to translate that knowledge into therapeutics useful to both veterinarians and clinical oncologists.

No dogs will be harmed and many should be helped. Nearly half of all dogs 10 years and older die from cancer. Dogs will be treated as patients at veterinary clinics nationwide. The research is endorsed by the American Kennel Club and by the Morris Animal Foundation. Samples will be gathered with the consent of owners and veterinarians.

In addition to cancer, TGen and VARI eventually will study neurological and behavioral disorders as well as hearing loss and other debilitative conditions in dogs that could relate to people.

The cancer research will be supported by the recent approval of a 2-year, $4.3 million federal stimulus grant to the Canine Hereditary Cancer Consortium, which includes TGen and VARI in partnership with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the University of Pennsylvania, Michigan State University, dog breeders and veterinarians.

The public-private program also is funded by $1 million in grants from businesses involved in pet care — $500,000 from PetSmart, and $500,000 from Hill’s Pet Nutrition.

“We’re proud to be part of such an innovative approach that fully supports our mission of providing total lifetime care for pets, and one that will offer hope to people and dogs who are suffering from these illnesses,” said Phil Francis, Executive Chairman of PetSmart.

Neil Thompson, President and CEO of Hill’s Pet Nutrition, said support of cancer research in dogs “goes hand-in-hand with the company’s mission of enriching and lengthening the special relationships between people and their pets. Maintaining the health of dogs goes beyond good nutrition. We support this research and the hope it provides, which will ultimately benefit dogs and dog lovers everywhere.”

Through the federal grant, researchers also will draw on experts at the National Cancer Institute’s Pediatric and Genetics Branches and Comparative Oncology program, including Dr. Paul Meltzer, Chief of NCI’s Genetics Branch. Dr. Meltzer and his colleagues will use gene expression profiling to identify genes involved in osteosarcoma to determine if the same genetic markers, alterations, and targets found are also found in human osteosarcoma, and in dogs. Comparing data between humans and dogs has the potential to significantly advance understanding of this cancer.

Dr. Meltzer indicated he is hopeful the study will pinpoint the genetic causes of osteosarcoma, as well as identify individualized treatment options.

The program’s “bark-to-bedside” approach represents an unprecedented alliance of veterinarians, basic scientists and private practice clinicians, non-profit research institutes, universities, industry and government. The project also will involve TGen Drug Development Services (TD2), a subsidiary of TGen, which will seek partnerships with pharmaceutical companies.

Why study dogs?

Dr. Jeffrey Trent, President and Research Director for TGen and VARI, said that it is difficult to study rare cancers in people, because there is insufficient data. But by studying similar types of cancers more prevalent in dogs, researchers should be better able to help those who currently have little hope.

“There’s no question that you are doubly-cursed if you get a rare cancer. You may have a very difficult disease course, and you have very little information about how to guide the physician, and what treatment would be best. For some of these rare cancers, we don’t even have consensus on what the best treatments might be,” Dr. Trent said.

For example, children with osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer, still often results in the loss of limbs.

“Many rare human cancers are very common in dogs. We’re excited about the idea that we may be able to identify areas that could be mutually beneficial — that could help the canine patient and can help the human patient with these various cancers,” Dr. Trent said. “The unique and exciting aspect of this is that it’s a rare occasion where industry, academia, government and the private sector are joined together in a common goal of obtaining information to advance both pet and human health.”

Study will investigate many diseases

The study is focused on sarcomas, those cancers that originate in the connective tissues such as bone, cartilage and fat.

“The sad reality of sarcoma, because it is such a rare human disease, is that very few scientists take the time to do any research on it because it is not possible to get the number of samples you need for those kinds of studies,” said Dr. Nick Duesbery, co-director of VARI’s Center for Comparative Biology and Genetics.

The project began with the study of hemangiosarcoma — angiosarcoma in humans — a cancer for which there are currently no effective treatments. These tumors start in the lining of blood vessels and in the spleen. They are highly malignant and can be found most anywhere in the body.

Although rare in humans, these tumors are relatively common in certain breeds of dogs, such as Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds and Clumber Spaniels. After as many as 150 years of breeding, there are few genetic variations in these dogs, making it easier to identify the few genetic differences that can affect cancer susceptibility and response to drugs.

Study initiated by VARI

With the support of the American Kennel Club and the Clumber Spaniel Health Foundation, VARI in February 2008 began to study hemangiosarcoma in Clumber Spaniels. Researchers are using new genetic technologies developed at VARI to create genetic screens, diagnostic tests and treatments for hereditary canine cancers. VARI is analyzing the DNA and RNA of Clumber Spaniels, looking for genetic patterns that eventually could indicate if a particular dog is a carrier of a

defective gene that could cause cancer.

With the addition of TGen and federal and private funding, the program is expanding to study four other cancers among as many as 20 breeds of dogs.

In the first two years, the project also will study osteosarcoma, oral melanoma, malignant histiocytosis, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Information from these studies will be used to develop diagnostic DNA tests for larger groups of dogs, enabling researchers to look for genes that influence cancer.

“We’ve got an incredible advantage here with the dogs, because these diseases are much more common in dogs than they are in humans. We can get some insight into the biology. Our strongest hope and desire is that we can translate that into therapies we can use for people,” Dr. Duesbery said.

Do you have an interesting animal fact you would like to share with other pet lovers? Why not create your own website with Living Years Pets; an easy to create, affordable and highly engaging website to celebrate your beloved pets. It will allow family, friends and colleagues, from around the world, to communicate and frequently relive precious memories forever.

Finding a Wild Baby Rabbit: What to Do?

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If you happen to spot a wild baby rabbit in your yard, your first instinct might be to “rescue” the poor, defenseless creature and care for it in your home.

However, to ensure the little bunny’s best chance for survival, the best action you can take is to leave it alone. It is important to note that wild baby rabbits are not suitable pets and should not be thought of as such.

Rabbit nests are often built in plain sight, sometimes in the middle of a backyard.

They are constructed of fur, grass, and brush. Mother rabbits will only spend a few minutes a day nursing their young; the rest of the day, the babies are on their own in the nest.

Baby rabbits, or kits, have less chance of survival if they are removed from their nest or if you move the nest elsewhere. That said, if you have already picked up a baby bunny, you can return it to it’s nest – the sooner, the better. The rabbit mother will still accept the kit even if it has been handled by a human.

If the nest is destroyed, you can rebuild it and move the kits into it. You can also move a nest within a few feet of where you found it if it is located in a dangerous spot (such as where a lawnmower is often used).

In the case where the mother of the baby bunnies has been killed or there are no signs of her for several days in a row, it is acceptable to call a wildlife rehabilitator. Wildlife rehabilitators have been trained to take care of wild animals that are injured or otherwise cannot care for themselves.

Bizzare baby bird: can you guess what type of bird I am?

Image courtesy of You Tube.

The baby bird in this video is described as “very rare, both in the wild and in captivity.” Living Years would like to know, can you guess what type of parrot this vocal little baby is?

Check out the mystery bird’s video on YouTube by entering “What bird am I going to be??? Baby bird” into the search engine and then post your answer right here on the Living Year’s Pets blog.

Do you have a special pet video you would like to share with other pet lovers? Why not create your own website with Living Years Pets; an easy to create, affordable and highly engaging website to celebrate your beloved pets. It will allow family, friends and colleagues, from around the world, to communicate and frequently relive precious memories forever.