Monday, January 31, 2011

Meet Sebastian - A Hearing Alert Dog In Training

This amazingly adorable and talented dog is not only a beloved pet and model for mom Erika at Sew DoggyStyle, he is also a rescue AND is being trained to be a hearing alert dog. This is a beautiful story that Nanny thought should be told in Erika's own words:

"I found him at the shelter on Dec. 24th, 2009 and I adopted him as my Christmas present to myself (we just celebrated our one year anniversary!).  I was told he was around 2 years old.  We had an immediate bond.  I started noticing Sebastian was very observant, obedient, and seemed to be more intelligent than other dogs as he was catching on to little tricks super fast.  I decided to sign him up for obedience school to make sure he reached his full potential.  Then it hit me that maybe he could even be a hearing alert dog.  I was born with a hearing loss and I can't hear high pitched sounds (like the fire alarm, some phone tones, and even other things like water boiling).  Hearing dogs are supposed to "alert" you by touching you with their paw when they hear certain sounds.  I'd never had a service dog before, but I thought I'd give it a try with Sebastian.  He is still considered "in training" and is being taught new things every week.  I think it is the duty of all dog owners to recognize the full potential of their pets and to keep their minds stimulated with new things ever day.  It's amazing what dogs can do when given a chance."

Watch for Sebastian this week as his sweet little face will be my profile pic on my blog, Facebook, Twitter and Google Buzz.
Much love
Nanny McFur

Rockin' the shades


Monday Meowsings

If cat's could talk, they would give us the silent treatment.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Update: Abigail's Week With Nanny

Nanny enjoyed having Abigail represent her this week. Lots of folks commented on how cute her pictures are.  I learned a lot about this little cutie.  Her favourite food is Fancy Feast Chicken, and her favorite toy is Bird on a Stick. She also enjoys hanging outside in sun puddles in her Kritter Kondo cat enclosure.  Thanks again to Lisa at Kritters That Twitter for allowing me to include Abigail in Spend the Week with Nanny McFur.

Lots of Love,
Basking in the sun



Sunday's Child January 30, 2011

And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

<br/><a href="" target="_new"title="Kitten Wants to Save Friend">Video: Kitten Wants to Save Friend</a>

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday Meowsings

If your cat is scratching at the furniture, place a scratching pad or post beside it. Now the cat now has two things to scratch on!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday's Child January 23, 2011

And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Meet Abigail

This little cat is not only pretty she is also very smart. She has her own Twitter account (@KritterKondo). This very affectionate 7-year old tabby also has a 14-year old tuxedo kitty brother. Abigail belongs to Lisa who is the author of the pet blog Kritters That Twitter

You will see Abigail this week as Nanny's profile pic on Facebook, Twitter and Google Buzz.

Much love,
Nanny McFur

Pet Bloggers: send me your pet pics and info for Spend the Week with Nanny McFur and, just like Kritters That Twitter, get a free link to your site.

My Snoring Cat

There is a loveseat right beside my desk. Miss Kizz likes to lie on the back of it and take swipes at me every time I walk by. Mostly she sleeps there and, when she does, she snores so loudly I can hardly hear myself think. Seriously. It is loud enough to be heard at the other end of the apartment. You would think it was coming from an old man, flat out on his back, with his mouth hanging open. (My apologies to all old, snoring men.)

The experts say that this is normal. Normal? Both dogs and cats snore and it is not something their pet parents need to worry about. The only time we need to take notice is if the pet is coughing and/or wheezing when they are awake, if they have discharge or a productive cough, if they seem to be having trouble catching their breathe or appear to be short of breathe. Of course, if you are in doubt always, ALWAYS consult with your veterinarian.

So I will put up with my snoring cat and hope that someone comes out with some little kitty nasal strips.

As always,

Friday, January 21, 2011

Update: Chester's Week With Nanny

Chester is such a handsome cat. You may not be able to see in his photo but he is a dark grey tabby with aqua-marine eyes and a little pink nose outlined in black. He is the oldest boy in a 3-cat family - no longer the "alpha male" since his younger brother came along. Nevertheless, still a handsome and charming member of the family.

Watch next for Abigail to spend the week with Nanny McFur.


Enjoying the ear scratch

Relaxing in the laundry basket

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Grand Kitty!

This pic is so awesome, I had to share.

My baby and grand kitty

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Nanny Chronicles January 18, 2011

This morning I saw my neighbour taking his dog out for a potty break. My neighbour is blind and his dog is a guide dog. He chose a spot for the dog to "go" and took off the harness, leaving the leash on. I watched as he ran his hand along the dog's back, then gave him an affectionate pat, then repeated this until he knew the dog was squatting to pee. After the dog peed, he repeated the procedure. When he knew the dog was going to poop, he pulled out a waste bag. After the dog had finished he leaned down and picked up the poop with his hand inside the bag, being very careful not to leave any behind.  He twisted and tied the bag, put the harness back on the dog and went back inside. The entire procedure took about 5 minutes.

I'll admit I know very little about guide dog training but I found this to be very impressive. All dogs I have known go through a lot more fussing and much more time walking before they even begin to consider pooping.  When it comes time to pick it up, the dogs I know are not too patient about waiting.

I know guide dogs and family pets are apples and oranges but think about those super cold days - don't you wish your dog had that kind of training? - even just a little?

Lots of love,
Nanny McFur

Monday, January 17, 2011

Monday Meowsings

You have to marvel at a cat's ability to stay right in front of you when you are walking. If you try to step around them, they course-correct like a furry little guided missle without having to look back so they stay under your feet.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday's Child January 16, 2011

And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Chester Spends the Week with Nanny

Chester is 11 years old like his sister Angel. He too was adopted from the Toronto Humane Society but they are not from the same litter. He was chosen from all the other kittens because he was so playful and funny to watch. When he was brought home, he got into everything within reach. His new pet parents built "steps" from books so he and his new sister could reach the couch. As an adult, Chester likes quiet play, often carrying a toy in his mouth and making a funny crying sound. Watch for Chester to follow Nanny this week on Facebook, Twitter and Google Buzz.



Sleeping with his brother

Update: Angel's Week with Nanny

It was nice to have Angel's pic for my profile pic this week. She is such a sweet little cat and many people remarked on how cute she is. This coming week, watch for Chester who just happens to be Angel's brother.
Lots of Love,
Nanny McFur

love the little white socks


For my fellow pet bloggers. You can include your pet(s) in this weekly feature. Your pet's photo becomes my profile pic here, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Buzz. I will include a link to your blog. A little cross promotion can go a long way. Just fill in the contact form or email


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Kizzie's Hair Raising Experiences Part Three

The first time Kizzie got a "lion cut" everyone made a lot of fuss saying how cute she looked. I wasn't so convinced. While I was happy she was mat-free, I wasn't too crazy about the look. For this cut, they leave the head and chest, shave the body and tops of the legs and also the tail. They leave little "boots" on the bottom of the legs and a tuft at the end of the tail. Kizzie has black and gold fur but her undercoat is a deep grey so, to me, she looked like someone had put together pieces from two different puzzles.  It all went well though and she didn't seem to mind. Then I moved to a different city ...

I have purchased every grooming tool on the market except for the Furminator to try and manage her grooming at home. Nothing has worked. So every spring she is all matted again. I found a groomer in our new home town who worked out of the store where I was buying my cat food. They said yes, they do cats, and the price was right so I made an appointment.

There was a tiny room at the back of the store with a half door on it. Inside it was maybe 5 ft wide and 7 or 8 feet long and there was a shelf on the long wall just inside the door where I was asked to place my cat. The groomer informed me that I had to stay and hold on to Kizzie because she was deathly alergic to cat scratches and bites and she needed to be hospitalized whenever this has happened. Wonderful. I asked if she would rather not do the job and she said "oh, no. I'm ok as long as the cat doesn't scratch me" Hmmm. Shortly after we arrived, a woman dropped off a little dog that the groomer promptly ignored. She allowed the dog to roam around this teeny space with me, my sister, the groomer, and the cat on the shelf.  Kizzie didn't like the presence of the dog roaming around on the floor where she couldn't keep an eye on it.  The groomer got out the clippers and began shaving Kizzie and that is when my cat "lost her shit" as my youngest daughter would say. I don't ever want to see her in that state of mind again. She became so violent that I was actually afraid of her. 

"Maybe we should not go through with this", I suggested. I didn't want to be responsible for hospitalizing the woman after all. Her solution was to hand me a pair of oven mitts that were caked in other animals' fur to hold on to the cat without being bitten. I can just imagine all the smirks out there right now. When it became clear that I could not hold on to this now criminally insane animal even with fur-coated oven mitts, I made her stop. However, she had managed to shave her whole one side across and down in one large pelt that was left hanging from her body and suggested we take her to a vet, have her sedated, and bring her back to finish the job. What?

I needed a new vet anyway so I took her to one I knew of. The vet examined her to make sure she was not ill, weighed her, and prescribed some medication to calm her. He advised not to take her back to the groomer but to wait a couple of days for her to recover from the trauma. The same vet has a retail side with a groomer and I made an appointment to bring her back in a few days. I was told to give her a pill before bringing her in which I did and I dropped her off feeling more confident that they would get the job done safely.

Then I got the call. They couldn't manage the sedated version of Kizzie and wanted my consent to take her over to the vet side and have her put right out. Again - what? This was a cat that had up until then let me bath her in the sink. I decided it might be the most merciful thing to agree so we could get this over with and not cause any more trauma to the cat. When I brought her home, she was so heavily sedated she was staggering around like a drunk and walking into things. She had the same lion cut as before but now because she was much older and out of shape, her belly covered her back feet when she sat down. When she walked, it swayed to and fro like an udder.  Not a pretty picture.

Today, I try to manage her at home. I purchased clippers that I use for bigger mats and they work fairly well. I would still like to try the Furminator though.  Anyone tried that little gadget?

Much love,
Nanny McFur

Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday Meowsings

A cat is highly skilled at holding its vomit until it reaches:

a) carpeting
b) upholstered furniture
c) the nice clean placemats on the kitchen table; or
d) all of the above

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday's Child January 9, 2011

And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Angel (aka "Stinky") Spends the Week with Nanny

 The first pet of 2011 to (virtually) spend with week with Nanny McFur is appropriately named "Angel". This 11-year old cat has got to be the world's sweetest, loving most cuddly animal ever. She is a little bit of a thing, never really growing beyond what looks to be about a one year old, and so cute. She was adopted from the Toronto Humane Society which at the time was offering any cat with any black fur for half price. They said that cats with black fur were more difficult to adopt - strange, huh? Angel chose her new pet parents. When they were looking at another cat, her new mom felt a paw touching her hair from a cage above. She took one look at her and it was love at first sight. Angel earned the nickname "Stinky" when she was a kitten and didn't clean herself properly after using the litterbox. She did learn to clean herself but the name stuck and she even responds to it when called. Watch for "Stinky" this week on Facebook, Twitter and Google Buzz.


My dad

We love each other

For my fellow pet bloggers. I would love to include your pet(s) in this weekly feature. Your pet's photo becomes my profile pic here, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Buzz. I will be happy to include a link to your blog. A little cross promotion can go a long way. Just fill in the contact form or email

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Nanny Chronicles January 4, 2011

Yesterday was a dog walking day. I love these little dogs. One is a Schnoodle and the other a Shorkie and they are both about as cute as the day is long. The little Shorkie, however, has a habit that needs to be broken - he likes to eat his sister's poop.  Their owner has talked to their vet about it and they have tried different things. One theory is that if you can make the poop smell bad to the dog, the dog won't want to eat it. HA! One suggestion they tried was feeding Certs candy to the dog whose poop was being eaten. Of course, that did not work but her breathe was minty fresh.

When we are on our walk and his sister gets in position he runs to her backside, tilts his head almost upside down and opens his mouth wide to catch it before it even hits the ground! This could be funny if it wasn't so disgusting (o.k. it is a little funny). My response is to place my leg between them and say "NO".  It stops him but he will try again the next time.

This is weird behaviour, isn't it? Have you had any success breaking this habit? Please share.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Monday Meowsings

How is it fair that when I overeat I can't do my pants up but when my cat overeats, she still fits into her fur? ... just sayin'

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Kizzie's Hair Raising Experiences Part Two

The first vet we had for Kizzie said she was a little overweight and so she wasn't able to reach around to groom herself. He suggested keeping up with brushing her to prevent matting and if necessary to find a qualified groomer to take care of mats.

Anyone who has tried to find a groomer for a cat is now thinking "ya ... good luck with that ..." I have found that most groomers are reluctant to take cats because they are very difficult to manage.  From the cat's perspective it is them or you in a battle for survival and if you know cats, the cat always wins. Always. After calling everyone in the small town we lived in at the time I received a recommendation from a friend who took their dog to a "nice lady who worked out of her home". She agreed to take Kizzie.

Acting on recommendations from the groomer and also from other cat owners I knew, I decided to get her "lion cut". I thought she would look so cute done up that way and the mats would be all gone. When I returned to pick her up the groomer explained that Kizzie was terrified of the clippers and so she only shaved out the matted areas and left the rest so as not to traumatize the cat. That was good of her to think of the cat's general welfare. However, because she was shaved down on both haunches and the remaining areas were left with long hair, my cat's first hair cut turned out to be a mohawk! Funny but effective.

Kizzie did eventually get that lion cut but I will save that story for the next installment.

Much love,

Sunday's Child January 2, 2011 - Precious!

And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Veterinary Legacy: Happy New "World Veterinary Year"

Veterinary Legacy: Happy New "World Veterinary Year": "2011 is WORLD VETERINARY YEAR.  January 1, 2011Surprise your veterinarian and her/his staff by wishing them a Happy World Veterinary Ye..."