Column 1 Pet Animals

Resources for Speakers - Anecdotes About Pet Animals

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Extracts from books on Pet Animals

After Pets Die

Dutch artist Bart Jansen showed off his latest creation, which was quickly an Internet sensation: He had his pet cat Orville (who had recently been run over by a car) stuffed with arms spread like an airplane (a "helicopter," Jansen said) and mounted a radio on the carcass so that he could control its flight. Jansen showed off Orville at the Kunstrai art festival in Amsterdam in June.

The Downside of Cats

Cat litter in the kitchen? Bad news. Toxoplasma gondii, a species of protozoa present in cat litter, kills three hundred and seventy-five Americans a year, and perpetuates itself through cat feces in a freaky way: when rodents eat toxoplasmii, their brain chemistry is changed so that they develop an attraction to the smell of cats.

Women with high levels of toxoplasmosis antibodies were significantly more likely to have baby boys than baby girls. In most populations, the birth rate is around 51% boys, but women infected by this cat parasite had up to a 72% chance of a boy.

Shoot Cats

Melbourne guy advocated shooting cats - argue that they decimate native birds - too many kind-hearted spinsters for the suggestion to get much support, but could change if cats turn out to be a vector in spreading bird flu (if cats eat dead, infected birds, and don't get sick before they pass virus on to owners)

Kill Cats

J.C. Maxwell, inventor of color photography and founder of theory of electromagnetism, killed a lot of cats by throwing them out of windows to find the precise height from where the cat couldn't land on its feet anymore.

Smart Dogs

Red, a greyhound at Battersea pet home, got out of his cage each night, (he was smart enough to watch keepers open his cage, and figured out how to do it himself) went to kitchen, then released mates - staff finally set up surveillance cameras bc couldnt figure how dogs getting out

Reincarnate As a Dog?

Would you come back as a dog? Joe Bennett, a correspondent for a Christchurch, NZ paper, pointed out that many of qualities we value in humans are exhibited full time in dogs, and most of the things we dislike, never are.

Dogs Are Smart

Dogs are not so silly. They've got it easy, just a bit of human worship and fetching the paper and they got it made. Silly humans get squat from God, all that sucking up and not even one scooby snack.

During an interview, Marlon Brando was asked: "Don't you realize you're thought of as the greatest actor ever?". Brando turned to his dog Tim and replied "Tim is the greatest actor ever. He pretends he loves me when he wants something to eat".

In pre-electric light America, gas company monopolies were so hated that there was a thriving business in 'gas dogs' - dogs trained to bite anyone who got close enough to the meter to read it. Leased out to houses when reading due.

Going To The Dogs

It's the latest trend in pet fashion in China: dyeing pets to look like something different -- from pandas to tigers to Haibao, the blue Gumby-like mascot of the Shanghai World Expo.In the window of the Ruowen Pet Spa in downtown Beijing, a white poodle has been dyed to appear as if it is wearing a bikini. Next to it is Raphael, named after a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. His fur has been shaved and dyed green. Yes, just like a turtle.

Sex Doll For Dogs

The Brazilian company Petsmiling has created a prototype DoggieLoveDoll in three sizes, designed as a "mountable," anatomically-correct sex partner for male dogs. It was introduced at the Pet South America fair in Sao Paulo in July, according to Associated Press photos.

Prison puppy raising program

Leader Dog's prison puppy raising program pairs Future Leader Dogs with model prisoners who have demonstrated they can be trusted to provide 24/7 care to a puppy for up to a year. Puppies raised in prison experience a higher success rate of becoming a Leader Dog and being placed with a client who is blind than those raised in a home setting. The program now places about 100 puppies per year with inmates. There is a marked reduction in the rate of recidivism among prison puppy raisers and they express pride and gratitude for the chance to give something back to society.

In 2012, beekeepers in France were confused to discover that their bees were producing blue and green honey. Investigations later found it was the result of bees foraging in the waste from an M&Ms factory.

All Golden Hamsters in captivity today descend from a single brother-sister pairing, found in Syria in 1930. The captured litter began with eleven, but the rest either escaped or ate each other.

Male baby chicks are useless - they aren't going to lay eggs, and they don't grow fast enough for meat, so they are killed on day they are born by fed into blender.

Londoners freaking out about a cat killer haunting the suburbs, decapitating hundreds of cats a year. Bizzarely, he hung around after killing them, waiting until blood congealed before ripping their heads off. In fact, they were cats killed by cars. Foxes then arrived for an easy meal, but bcthey have weak jaws, they pull prey apart by grabbing head and tearing.

Animal Owners

A British survey found 90% of pet owners bought their pet a xmas present; 60% gave them a card as well

Animal Owners

Dogs and other pets manipulate human responses that evolved to facilitate human relationships. Generally pets trick the owner into establishing a parent-child relationship, enabling pets to elicit caregiving from humans.

This is discussed in detail in the article: Archer,J. 1997: Why do people love their pets? Evol. Hum. Behav. 18, 237-259.

Wanted: attractive, fun-loving male to share long walks in the country, cosy evenings by the fireside and an interest in cats. Long, floppy ears preferred. No fleas. The Kennel Club is taking a lead from the singles scene and launching an internet dating service for dogs. But unlike computer matchmaking for people, the unromantically named Mate Select will seek to pair up couples who are the least similar.Pure-bred dogs are prone to inherited diseases, so the club wants to maintain pedigrees while ensuring that pairs are not too closely related. Bloodline data for pedigree dogs, already held by the club, will be used to compare potential mates for genetic diversity, the rule of thumb being that more diverse parents are likely to produce a hardier litter.

Hampshire fire service was called out four times to rescue a Shetland pony that was supposedly sinking in marshland beside the river Test, near Southampton. When rescue crews reached the scene, they discovered the pony just had very short legs.

Petting a living animal has long been known to lower blood pressure and release a flood of mood-lifting endorphins. But for various reasons - you're at work, or you're in a hospital, or your spouse is allergic to dogs - you can't always have a pet around to improve your mental health. So researchers at the University of British Columbia have created something called "smart fur." It's weird-looking (essentially just a few inches of faux fur) but its sensors allow it to mimic the reaction of a live animal whether you give it a nervous scratch or a slow, calm rub. Creepy? Yes. But effective

Cat Man

There was no one more different from us than Dennis Avner, last reported here in 2005. Having transformed his body through surgery, tattoos, and implants, he had almost completely adopted the persona of a cat ("Stalking Cat," as he was known in the body-modification community). Mr. Avner had tiger-stripe tattoos covering most of his body, dental implants sharpened to points to resemble tiger teeth, and metal-stud implants around his mouth to hold his long, plastic whiskers. Ear and lip surgery had made his head more cat-like, and special contact lenses made his eyes appear as ovals. Mr. Avner passed away in Las Vegas in November at the age of 54, reportedly of suicide.


Horse owners will have to sign a pledge not to eat their animals under new EU legislation, it has been reported. The rule, aimed at continental Europe, where two million horses are reportedly eaten every year, will still have to be signed in Britain. The Horse Identification Regulations, which will come into force at the beginning of next month, is partly to stop vets' drugs from entering human diets

Horses have the largest eyes of any land mammal, have excellent day and night vision, but they have two-color or dichromatic vision. Their color vision is somewhat similar to red-green color blindness in humans, where certain colors, especially red and related colors, appear as shades of green.

Rental Pet Animals

Japan has rental pets - both for people in small apartments, and for bachelors looking for ice-breaker to meet girls

(see also Meeting Women

When You Lose Your Pet

Britain also has a Hotline for bereaved pet owners

Taking Your Pets With You

A terminally ill woman is having pictures of all her beloved pets tattooed on her body - so she can 'take them with her' when she dies. Jayne Jubb, 47, who shares her home with more than 20 animals, including raccoons, a piranha, snake and a fox, has already had half of them drawn across her neck, arms and back.'When I was diagnosed with lung cancer and told I didn't have long to live I knew it would be my animals I'd miss the most,' she said. 'So I came up with the idea of getting all the animals tattooed over my body.'My husband thought I was a bit crazy at first but I've always liked tattoos and this seemed like a good way of keeping my pets with me forever.'

Translate Animal Speech

Bowlingual and Meowlingual - little devices that convert dog or cat noises into human speech: "I've just chewed up yr shoe and I'm still hungry"

Miniature Pigs As Pets

Mini pigs popular pets in Japan Potbelly Pigs known for sweet nature intelligence and cleanliness

Keeping Snakes As Pets

The British Federation of Herpetologists announced in November that the number of reptiles kept as pets in the UK is probably greater than the number of dogs (8.5 million to about 6 million, with cats at 9 million). One benchmark the Federation uses for its calculation is the booming sales of reptile food, such as locusts, frozen rodents, and crickets (now about 20 million a week)

Tortoises As Pets

Andrew and Maria Bowie had no idea their Sulcata tortoises -- Spike and Spot -- would end up the size of a hubcap. "We didn't know they would get that big in eight years," he said. When they bought them, he said, both of them fit in the palm of one hand. "I like them a lot," Andrew Bowie said, "but they don't give you any love. They just want food."

Domestic Animals As Aid for Africa

Send A Cow program. Started with Poms sending pregnant cows to Ugandan families (in the cooler uplands). Milk from the cows gave families better health and a surplus to sell; manure greatly increased the fertility of the fields. First calf had to be given to another needy family and so on. Now spread to Rwanda, where the calf born to Hutu family must be given to Tutsi.

Show Cows

University of Wisconsin veterinarians said that they now have the technology to detect the fraudulent use of three udder-beautifying schemes employed on show cows at dairy exhibits. Forty percent of a cow's grade is on how full, symmetrical, and smooth her udders are (but unlike in, say, human beauty contests, cow udders are important only for their milk-producing potential). Tests of the milk can detect whether saline was injected into the udder, and ultrasound can reveal whether the udder has received isobutane gas "foamies" or a liquid silver protein that does for the udder what Botox does for human wrinkles.

Baby Tigers As Pets

Baby tigers in apartments - 10,000 kept as pets in US - only 7000 in wild

Tropical Fish Pets

Glofish - tropical zebra fish with red florescent gene from sea anemone

Kama For Cats

A few animals were rescued from an early-morning fire at a Humane Society shelter in Oshawa, Ontario, in December, but cats suffered heavy casualties, with nearly 100 perishing. The Fire Marshal's office said the blaze was probably started by mice chewing through electrical wires

Rich Dogs

World's richest animal an Alsatian left $100m in 1992 by his German countess owner - trustees subsequently tripled the bequest

Skateboarding Animals Dogs

Widely circulated pic of skateboarding dog in NY city - bandana and sun glasses

Downside of Pets

Doctors in China reattached woman's lips after her dog bit them off - in habit kissing dog - family spent 40 mins trying to get dog to cough up

Domesticated Dogs

Empathy experiment which shows why dogs successfully domesticated - put 2 bowls behind a screen - when screen is removed, animal has to choose which one has food in it
- stage 1 choose at random; both dogs and chimps 50% success rate
- stage 2 experimentor pointed or even just looked at correct bowl - dogs 100% right, chimps still 50% - also wolves only 50%

Attitude to Pets Animals

Changing attitude to dogs - up until 150 yrs ago dog was either food or an outside watchdog - only very recently valued for companionship

Looking After Your Dogs

A British surgeon will spend an estimated £250,000 ($370,000) to equip her luxury home in the Cotswalds with a state-of-the-art, three-room suite for her two Great Danes, including cameras so that she can monitor them via the Internet while she is away. Instead of an ordinary dog door, a retina scanner will control entry, and rather than rely on human stewards, the big darlings will be dispensed filtered water and dry food automatically, in self-cleaning bowls. A temperature-regulated saline spa is available for relaxing dips before turning in for the night on sheepskin-lined dog beds.

Falling Out Over Pets

In the Kings Creek area north of Lenoir, N.C., according to sheriff's deputies, two feuding families created a ruckus in May after a dog killed a neighbor's cat. When the cat's owner found out, he shot the dog dead. When the dog's owner found out, he shot the cat's owner and the man's young daughter. Deputies were called, and when they arrived, the dog's owner shot both of them, but one got off a return shot, fatally wounding the dog's owner (and completing the chain!).

Getting Rid Of An Unwanted Pet

A CraigList job vacancy ....

My deceased aunt gave my two kids a Cocker Spaniel a few months back. The dog has been a terror and become overwhelming for me. I am a single father raising two young children. I cannot face telling the kids that the dog must go. I have found a good home for the dog, and just need someone to transport the dog, and play the villain.

Premise: You will be the dog walker hired by daddy (me) to walk Skittles. I will introduce you to the kids, and you will tell them you are going to help Skittles get her exercise when Daddy is too busy to walk her. At that point you will walk Skittles to your car and take her to her new family 20 minutes from my place. Then return holding just a leash. The story will be that Skittles broke free of the leash and took off. At this point prepare for crying, things being thrown at you, and possibly cursing. My kids are young and dramatic, their girls.

Pay will be $500. The job will take roughly 2 hours at best.

This job is ideal for an actor looking to diversify their role base, or someone who genuinely likes to make children cry. Acting experience is a plus, but not necessary. Please inform me of any prior experience in this kind of situation.

Wild salmon flesh is red because of pigments in the krill they eat. It is the same pigment that turns lobsters and flamingos red/pink. If this is not supplemented in farmed salmon, their flesh will be the normal gray of other fish. This is why farmed salmon says, "color added".

Lighter Conversation Starters Chat Talking About Pets Animals

Dogs think they're human; cats think they're god
Cats - the other white meat
I love cats too - lets swap recipes
What do you do if cat spits at you? Turn grill down
Did you know the best things in life really are free? So which kitten wd you like?
What do you call a dog with no legs? Doesn't matter what you call him, he still won't come
What's brown and walks up stairs backwards? Corgi with a hard-on
What do you call a dog with 5 legs? Pitbull terrier
What's difference between a poodle and rottie humping yr leg? Rottie gets to finish
Half Lab, half Rott - still tear off yr leg, but it'll bring it back to you
Half Collie, half Rott - after it mauls you it goes for help
Got new dog - half poodle half rott - not much of a guide dog, but it's a bloody vicious gossip
Had a dog named Carpenter - kept doing little jobs around house
Great watchdog - so far watched someone steal car, watched garage burn down and watched someone nick lawnmower
My girlfriend thinks I'm handsome, but that's because I feed her guide dog
Washed dog other day and it killed him - well it was either that or the spin cycle that got him
Vet/taxidermist - either way you get yr dog back
My goal in life is to be as good a person as my dog thinks I am
My dog is worried about state economy bc dog food up to $3 can - that's $21 in dog money

Irishman out duck shooting didn't have much luck - not throwing dog high enough

Young city guy visiting farm - farmer busy so gave him gun and told him to go out shooting for couple hrs - comes back all flushed and enthusiastic "That was GREAT!" he says, "Got any more dogs?

Farmer's son doing famyard imitations at school talent quest - "Shut the bloody gate" "Get the bloody tractor" "Where the hell's the dog?"

Where do you get virgin wool? Ugly sheep

Farmer getting worried that prize bull losing interest in job so vet mixes up tonic - next day telling his mate how well it worked - Within half an hr bull had serviced 8 cows "Crickey" says mate "What's stuff called?" "No idea" says farmer "It's got no label. But it tastes like peppermint."

Little Johnny's digging big hole in garden - neighbour leans over fence "What are you doing?" 'I'm burying my bird' "Why such a big hole?" 'He's inside yr fucking cat'

2 women in vets with dogs; both same problem: dog keeps trying to hump them - "so what are you getting? Tranquilizers?" "Oh no I just want his claws filed"

2 guys in vets with dogs "My dog attacked my wife" "So yr getting him put down?" "Hell no, I'm getting his teeth sharpened"

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