Tuesday, June 29, 2010

For Those K-9 Fans

While many of you know - we also raise and show German Shepherds. we got a copy of this video and watched it tonight. It was really really good. A documentary on the work these dogs do.

I can't say enough about how much dogs do for us - military, police, herding, protection, tracking, search & rescue, drug detection, bomb detection, seeing eye, hearing ear, mobility assistance, seizure detection, autism spectrum assistance and I am sure there are at least a dozen more "professions" I am leaving out. But just wanted to share - if you get a chance to get this video or view it, I think it is well worth your time.

And if you want a good read, and a good cry I highly recommend John Burnam's book Dog Tags of Courage. I was privileged to meet the man in 2008 during  the Phoenix Veteran's Day Parade our family participates in yearly - The War Dog Memorial Entry as supported by Jim Frost a former Vietnam K-9 Handler. Amazing experience when a grizzled veteran breaks down in tears and reaches down and encompasses your dog. It is humbling - breath taking - and never to be forgotten.  I have been honored beyond words when this has happened to us during the course of the parade not just once but 2 times. And another former handler had never had another dog, or handled another dog since he was forced to leave his behind "in country" until he was loaned one of our Shepherds to walk the parade route with.  He was in tears that first parade, and so were we. 

A crucial part of our history that should never be forgotten. Again - I heartily encourage all to obtain a copy and read it.

Ask me again why I am dedicated to the German Shepherd.

The Showing of Cats

The showing of cats - or any animal for that matter, is not for the feint of heart.  It requires long days spent pouring over show entry information, learning judges, learning your particular breed, learning how to groom not just well but exceptionally well, learning show etiquette and rules. It requires a dedication to the chosen breed in learning its individual standard and how that is applied in the judges eyes to the cat. It requires learning how to put 2 individual cats together both on paper in pedigree then in the fact of producing kittens to have a next generation to show. Showing cats (or again any animal) requires that animal to be in top condition not just physically but mentally. Health is a must. Care is top priority.  Socialization is a must. Proper equipment must be maintained. And let's certainly not forget the vast amounts of time time and more time needed to accomplish all of this.

Now, all that being said - how much does all this cost?  Well lets work backwards. Let's say you already have a cat in top form ready to show. Entries run from anywhere from as little as $45 to as much as $120 for a single show for a single cat - averaged out that is $82.  Now you have a single Sturdi (trademark) cage is around $110 so right there you are at right around $200 for a single cat in a single show in a single cage.  Did you drive to the show? How much was gas? Was a hotel stay required? What about registration in the individual registries such as CFA and TICA?

Did you buy a shampoo or several shampoo's for your show kitty? What did you feed your show kitty? What did you bath your kitty in ?

Did you vaccinate your kitty , take them to the vet for just regular check ups? worming? heart worm testing? Felv/FIV testing?

How long have you had your kitty and been preparing it for this show? Presuming it is a kitten it must be a minimum of 4 months of age to even be in the show hall in any reputable association.  As we all know Meow mix vs a diet of say Orijen or Royal Canin produces vastly differing results in body condition, weight, coat and the overall "feel" of the cat. Yet Meow mix is what $5? a bag - vs $15 for Royal Canin? Hmmmmmmmmm.. could it be a case of you  get what you pay for? And then there is all the toys - litter, litter pan(s), scratching post, bed's, carriers etc.  And all of this does not include the cost of the cat itself. "But your are a breeder" you say. You didn't have to buy this animal - you bred it.  Well that being the case, then those costs just tripled. No I didn't have to "buy" that kitten. But I did "buy" it by caring for its parents in the same fashion as described above for their lifetime as well first. I was there when it as born. I held it when it was wet and squirmy.  No I didn't "buy" that cat in the classic sense of the word - what I did do was pay for it with sweat, tears, work, work, dedication, time and more time.

Then I get inquiries from people, under the auspices of being a breeder,  who have never shown a cat in their life and who have no idea what makes a Siberian unique except to say that they can put 2 animals together get babies and sell them. Well shit - I knew I was doing this the hard way. But then I can look at my cats and myself and know that what I do - I do for the preservation of the breed. So that this breed will be around for a long long time. So that my pets are loved, cherished and cared for in a healthy manner. That what makes this breed unique remains a vital essence of the breed. And to work only with breeders who believe in the same ideals.

Silly me.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Kender's t.v. watching

Enjoying a little t.v. time - or maybe that is nap time - I am not sure , but whatever the case may be Aslan is enjoying it. What a big big boy for just 13 weeks old!
Looky Looky - how cool is this?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

New Grand!

Well - pending CFA conformation - it will officially be 
CFA GRAND PREMIER Kender's Anna Maria.
At only 9 months and 3 weeks ! Just a baby!

Proctor & Gamble Co. Iams Brand Recall

Well Here we go again. Kinda. This is a strictly voluntary recall by Proctor & Ganble of their Iams brand CANNED ONLY cat foods. And it is for a deficiency, not a toxicity.  However - my faith in this brand name is gone folks.  You are welcome to read the article here - http://www.avma.org/petfoodsafety/recalls/2010/iams_cat_food_100609.asp

and below it is cut & pasted  -

Procter & Gamble Company recalls specific lots of Iams canned cat food
June 9, 2010
The affected Iams canned cat food is:
  • Iams ProActive Health canned Cat and Kitten Food, all varieties of 3 ounce and 5.5 ounce cans, with "09/2011" and "06/2012" date stamps on the bottom of the can.
The date stamps are found on the first line of the two lines stamped on the bottom of the can. All cans of this food marked with these two date stamps should be discarded.
This recall is limited to only Iams canned cat food in North America. No other Iams pet food is involved. Iams Veterinary Formula cat is NOT included in this voluntary recall.
Clinical signs of thiamine deficiency would be limited primarily to cases where pet owners have been feeding only canned cat food. Common symptoms may include anorexia, excessive salivation, generalized weakness, ataxia, ventriflexion (head and neck excessively curving under the body), tremors and seizures.
Veterinarians with suspected cases or who need further information should call the company's veterinary line at 800-535-8387. Pet owners can call P&G toll-free at 877-340-8826 for further information.
View the statement from Procter & Gamble.

I will say that at this point  - this cattery will not be using or recommending the Iams products as an alternative to our kitten homes. We typically give samples of the 2 types of dry food (at this time it is Royal Canin & Orijen) we recommend and include a list of about 4 that we find acceptable on our go home sheets.   We also feed and recommend the Before Grain products as well. But have always included the Iams/Eukanuba on the list of acceptable products.  This is no longer the case.

Since the massive recall of 2007/2008 including most brands of pet foods and every single pet food manufactured by Menu Foods  - including Iams, Nutro, Science Diet to name a few. Our faith in these maufacturers is completely gone. It obviously it all about the money and not the product or health of the pet. Why else would you allow such a company who also mass produces such products as "Ole Roy to produce what is supposedly a premium food - as self marketed?  Following the FDA's link is quite the eye opener into ALL the foods recalled in North America - http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/newpetfoodrecalls/

But suffice it to say - Kender will no longer feed or recommend under any situations/circumstances the IAMS name.