Saturday, October 27, 2012

An Opportunity Knocked

          LoL by: Unknown (via Catasters)        

...and I took it. I could not be more pleased.

Have you ever wanted to set up a WordPress blog/site but found it too confusing and just gave up? Or are you like me, who has used it for years but still gets into trouble trying to make changes?
Just when I think I know what I am doing, something goes wrong. I even have a name for my foibles. I call it the Internet Twitch, which is just a little more dignified than having to admit I get frustrated and push buttons I have no business pushing. When I am working with one of my WordPress sites, I can turn a 15 minute task into eight or more hours of trying to fix the dreaded 'twitch' action. So, who ya gonna call?
I am excited to tell you I found the perfect solution. I want to share it because I cannot believe I am the only one out here causing myself unnecessary grief. If you are fine, you may have a loved one, a blogging pet, or an acquaintance who could benefit from this review. No one asked me to review the company. I am a very happy subscriber.
Just who are these wonderful people?
outstandingSETUP is a small team of WordPress experts dedicated to making it easy and enjoyable for you to own and run a WordPress website. Founded in 2011 by Danny Cooper, outstandingSETUP has grown to host and support hundreds of customers and their websites.
What do they offer you?
WordPress without the worry - they are the only hosting company built for WordPress beginners. For me, the best news of all is that they will help you even if you choose not to use their servers. The price is so affordable at $19.00 a month, it is well worth peace of mind, and getting great results. All of their packages contain everything you need to be publishing online right now. WATCH THE VIDEO  to learn more.

The only disclosure I have to make is that the price will increase within the next 30 days and I do not want you to miss this opportunity if you can benefit from it.

I am on my third month as a subscriber of outstandingSetup and every contact I have made with my assigned WordPress expert has been easy, worry free, time saving, and awesome. Correspondence is done through email. You write for help and they answer in short order. One of the most impressive things is you are not sitting there waiting for long periods of time. Once they are on your case, they are on it. They stay in touch until your requests for help are accomplished.

I definitely give them the rating of 10, which stands for Outstanding!

This post provided by Jobi Harris, whose website,
features original paintings of pets, and who is a member of the Crafting for Animals Guild.

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Pot-Bellied Pig in Georgia

"Come here, quick!" my husband said, as he stood at the motel window, holding the curtain back.  I hurried over to the window, and lo and behold, there was a gentleman in the parking lot, walking his not so mall pet pig!  I rushed to get my iphone, opened the door, and hustled out to the sidewalk behind the motel, still wearing my pjs, and said to the man, "May I take a picture of your pig?"  He smiled and said, "Of course, you can!"  And then, brave as can be, I asked, "May I touch him?"  "Yes," he replied.  I touched that pig on his back and on his head and felt his bristly hide.  A neat experience, and one I had never had.

Not knowing much about pigs as pets, I googled pet pigs, and found out some interesting facts.  Most of the information referred to pot bellied pigs, and my husband assures me that was indeed a big pot-bellied pig that we saw as we were passing through Georgia on our way down to Florida for our granddaughter's birthday celebration this past April.

Did you know that pigs can live 15-20 years?  That is one consideration if a person is thinking about having a pot-bellied pig for a pet.  Some folks get pets, tire of them, or because of other valid reasons, take them to shelters.  Not all get adopted as we know.  So, getting any pet means a long and loving commitment.

Most of us have a vision of pigs eating slop and snorting, and rolling in the mud.  But, it is very important to feed a pet pig the right food.  If they eat anything and everything, they will gain weight here, there, and everywhere.  Fat around their hearts is harmful to their health.  Fat hanging over their eyes can cause them to be blind.  Also, since they have short legs, being overweight makes it hard for them to walk.

Just like your dog or cat, pigs should be spayed or neutered.  When pet pigs become adults, their strength and hormones can make them hard to handle.  They also need vaccinations to protect them against disease and their hooves must be trimmed regularly.

Where do pet pigs sleep?  They like being outside, but they like being warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  So, providing them with a heater when it is cold, and a fan when it is hot, will make them comfortable.  They also like to burrow down into a pile of straw to sleep.

Are they loving animals?  The information on the site I visited said indeed they are.  Some can be real babies and even like to be on their owner's lap.  They can be very lovable and are sensitive.  Ignored, they might act the same as a toddler who is ignored and exhibit less than acceptable behaviors.

Pet pigs are interesting and cute.  I have no idea if they like to be hugged, rubbed, talked to, or patted.  But, I learned a lot after this chance encounter with the pig at the motel, and respect those who have chosen to make a pot-bellied pig a part of their families.

This post written by Pam Todd, whose Bags and More by Pam shop features hand-crocheted items for people, pets, and homes.  Pam is a member of the Crafting for Animals Guild on Art Fire, and a supporter of the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Ahh! A Day in the Life of a Vet Technician!

As a veterinary technician, parts of my job are down right dirty. One aspect that gets the most laughs is trying to collect a free catch urine sample from dogs in order to complete an urinalysis. I try to make it a joke with owners about the situation, and it's pretty funny because you can imagine having to chase a dog around with a small bowl as they pee.

One situation I find that I can always laugh at is one of the big dogs recently, who also had the kids present. Both daughters were extremely interested on how I was going to get a "pee sample" from their dog. I told them we have a fire hydrant out in the yard that does the trick pretty well for making dogs go to the bathroom, and that I was fast on the draw with my collection bowl. They kept questioning me, and the power of the fire hydrant. I told them it had a magical doggy smell, and we had pretty good success. They then wanted to see how this magic works. Sure enough, their dog took a big sniff of the fire hydrant and felt the urge, and I was my normal quick on the draw. The mother asked if I frequently got peed on doing this part of the job, and the older daughter thought that was really gross. We were on our way back into the clinic, and realized the younger daughter was still in the dog yard. She was sniffing the fire hydrant, with big noisy inhalations, and then told us as only kids can say it "This fire hydrant isn't magical, I can't smell anything. Doesn't make me want to go to the bathroom!"

Back in the exam room, the father of the family showed up to help with the child shuttle services, and the older daughter promptly announces to him that her sister had just smelled the fire hydrant. He wasn't sure what to make of the comment until the wife explained how it happened that their youngest kid was smelling the fire hydrant at the vet. Now he announces himself at the clinic as the dad of the fire hydrant sniffer!

Please enjoy! This is one of the heartwarming parts of working my job, as well as humorous.

This post was written by Lindsey, owner of Cardstock Equine, and a member of the Crafting for Animals Guild on Art Fire.  Lindsey designs and makes cards for all occasions, and you can see them at her online studio: and on Etsy at

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Rescued Dogs Rescuing Our Veterans

Recently I saw a short TV segment about dogs who were paired with veterans with post traumatic stress disorder.  The TV clip showed the dogs and their veterans in a room participating in different kinds of obedience training.  Individuals and their service dogs were also shown at home and out and about.  There were all kinds of dogs being paired with veterans.  The dogs had been rescued from shelters where they had been on the list for euthanization. This touched my heart more than I can tell you.  To think that the dogs had been saved and were in turn saving the emotional and physical lives of wounded veterans.  The effect that the dogs had in calming and helping these people through stressful situations was amazing.  The idea of being responsible for the dog, and sharing love, was helping these veterans in more than one way.  This program, being done by Morgan's Dogs, is different than others that train dogs to work with veterans.  In this program, the veterans and the dogs are trained together, and the veterans do not have to wait for a dog that may be in training for two years. These are full service dogs and can accompany their veteran partner anywhere he or she goes.  What a beautiful concept:  rescued dogs rescuing veterans from their trauma and making their lives as civilians calmer and easier.  To read more about this wonderful project, click here:

This post prepared by Pam Todd, a member of the Crafting for Animals Guild on Art Fire, and whose studio, Bags and More by Pam, features hand-crocheted items for people, pets, and homes.  Pam supports The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee, and plans to become a supporter of the program described above.  Veterans have done so much for us.  What an opportunity to do a little something for them.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

To Cat Lovers Everywhere!

Jobi Harris, of Water Color Your World, and who paints fabulous portraits of our furry family members, has called our attention to this contest being sponsored by Purina. She has posted it on her blog, Ask Fisher.  Now, we want to share it, too.  If you have a cat story to tell, now is your chance.  Details of the contest follow.  Wouldn't it be fun if one of our Crafting for Animals Guild members wins?  Good luck!

Purina® Cat Chow®Real Stories Project

I have news!
Dear Friends,
Have you heard the news? Purina Cat Chow has announced their Purina® Cat Chow®Real Stories Project. They are searching nationwide to find cat stories that tell everyone about the special relationships cat people have with their cats, how we are always there for our people, and how we are a big part of their lives.
Cat people all over the United States are going to crank up their video equipment, cameras, and laptops to tell Purina Cat Chow how we cats are important to them. Oh, I know…if your people are anything like mine, they love to tell everyone they know (and do not know) about us anyway, but the people at Purina Cat Chow are offering them a unique opportunity to do so. Seriously.
Please tell your humans as soon as possible, that I have posted this important press release:
Five Grand Prize Winners to Each Receive $5,000 and Have Their Cat Relationship Story Told through an Online Video; More than $30,000 in Total Prizes to be Awarded
ST. LOUIS (JUNE 6, 2012) – Every cat owner has a story – from how you came to own your first cat to the way she greets you at the door every day – and now you have a place to share the once-in-a-lifetime events and everyday moments that make your relationship unique. Purina Cat Chow announces the launch of the “Purina Cat Chow Real Stories Project Contest,” a nationwide search to find, showcase and celebrate cat stories that highlight the special relationship between cat people and their cats, as well as the many ways our cats are always there for us. Purina Cat Chow is asking you to share your story for an opportunity to be one of five grand prize winners who receive a $5,000 cash prize.
From now until July 31, you can participate in the Purina Cat Chow Real Stories Project Contest by submitting your cat relationship story. Five grand prize winners will each receive a $5,000 cash prize, a one year supply of Purina® Cat Chow® brand cat food for one cat, and have their cat relationship story told through a Purina Cat Chow brand online video. The winners’ videos will be shared online with the Purina Cat Chow Community on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
“We believe the best stories come from real life, and every day we are inspired by the stories shared by our cat-owning community,” said Vincent Biroscak, Purina Cat Chow brand director. “The Purina Cat Chow Real Stories Project furthers our commitment to unite the community of cat owners by collecting and celebrating their cat-relationship stories. Every cat owner has a story unique to them and their cat.”
Purina Cat Chow is committed to telling and highlighting the real stories of everyday cat people. Purina Cat Chow recently launched a new national TV advertising campaign inspired by stories of real-life cat owners and new product packaging featuring five owners and their cats.
To enter the Contest, cat people are invited to complete an online entry form, select a theme that best describes their story, options include: My First Cat, Why I’m a Cat Person, Forever a Cat Family, How We Found Each Other, Generations of Care, Always There for Me, and Memories. Upon selecting the story theme, cat people shall submit a brief written entry (600 characters or less) about their special relationship with their cat including a description of how he or she is always there for you. People may also include an optional photo or video (two minutes or less) that supports the story.
Purina Cat Chow will also recognize the cat relationship stories of five runners-up with a $1,000 cash prize each and one year supply of Purina® Cat Chow® brand cat food for one cat. In addition, 40 stories will receive an honorable mention and a $100 gift card. In total, the Contest will award more than $30,000 in prizes.
The Purina Cat Chow Real Stories Project is looking for stories about the comfort, support, friendship and connection that describe the cat-owner relationship – from head butt greetings-at-the-door moments to the way she wakes you up in the morning. People may also submit their story at the Purina Cat Chow Community on Facebook, or at Purina® Cat Chow® on You Tube.
The entries will be evaluated using the following criteria:
    Originality in describing your special relationship with your cat(s) (30%)
    High quality storytelling captured in the essay and/or photo or video (30%)
    Effectively demonstrating the Purina Cat Chow brand belief of “always there for you” (40%)
Following the story submission close on July 31, an independent panel of judges will narrow the stories down to 10 finalists. Consumers will be asked to vote on their favorite stories from Aug. 28 – Sept. 18, 2012, at Your Cat Story, at the Purina Cat Chow Community on Facebook, and at Purina Cat Chow on You Tube, to help identify the winning stories. The winners will be announced on or about October 1, 2012.
About Nestlé Purina PetCare and Purina Cat Chow Brand Cat Food
The North American headquarters for Nestlé Purina PetCare is located at Checkerboard Square in St. Louis, Mo., where Ralston Purina was founded more than a century ago. Nestlé Purina PetCare promotes responsible pet care, humane education, community involvement and the positive bond between people and their pets. One of the leading global players in the pet food industry, Nestlé Purina PetCare is part of the Swiss-based Nestlé S.A. – the world’s largest food company. With nutrition for each life stage, Purina® Cat Chow®brand Cat Food offers a family of products with 100 percent complete and balanced nutrition for physical health and well-being. For more information on Purina Cat Chow, visit
No Purchase Necessary to Enter or Win. Open only to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., 18 years of age or older at the time of entry (19 years of age or older if resident of AL or NE). Entry period ends at 11:59:59 a.m. ET on 7/31/12. See Official Rules for details. Sponsored by Nestlé Purina PetCare Company, Checkerboard Square, St. Louis, MO.
# # #

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Visit to Zoo Atlanta

Last month I visited Zoo Atlanta, where I took tons of pictures (like I always do at zoos). For some reason, quite a number of them struck me as perfect candidates for funny captions, so I wrote the captions and created a slide show to share the fun. I hope you enjoy it!


Obviously, it was all in fun -- but something that isn't "fun" is the conservation status of many of the animals in my show. For example:

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED: facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild
Western lowland gorilla
Giant panda
Sumatran tiger
Sumatran orangutan

ENDANGERED: facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild
Komodo dragon
Bornean orangutan

VULNERABLE: facing a high risk of extinction in the wild
Rothschild giraffe
African lion
Aldabra tortoise

- Zoo Atlanta website:
- IUCN. (2001). IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1. IUCN Species Survival Commission. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. ii + 30 pp.

If you are interested in contributing time, energy, or money toward the conservation of any of these animals, there are many wildlife conservation organizations you can support. Biologist, ecologist, and science writer Laura Klappenbach shares her list of the Top 10 Wildlife Conservation Organizations on

I send a portion of my royalties from my children's book Big Cat, Little Kitty [ ] to The Snow Leopard Trust []. 

I also send 25 percent of all of my jewelry sales to the Humane Society of Central Illinois, where I used to volunteer. 

Scotti Cohn
Jewelry by Scotti

Sunday, June 17, 2012

From Heartbreak to Healing: a review

From heartbreak to healing
From Fisher and staff at

My friends, I want to to tell you about a beautiful book, “Bill at Rainbow Bridge”. Anyone who has loved and lost a pet will find an inner peace in the writing of author, Dan Carrison. It is easy to identify with the loving connection between Bill, an English bulldog, and his human, a grown up married man named David.

“Bill at Rainbow Bridge” is a small book of 90 pages. The book introduces the reader to the Rainbow Bridge through the eyes and feelings of Bill, who reacted to his new surroundings by thinking of it as, “a dog park like no other!”

My friend Fancy, also at the Rainbow Bridge. I hope she meets up with Bill.
Back at home, David struggles with depression over the loss of his best friend, Bill. Rationalizing his emotions is impossible. How can any other person understand? David’s caring wife eventually suggests he go to counseling to help cope with his loss. He agrees and moves on to a grief-counseling group.

Throughout the book, we are taken from Bill’s experiences at the Rainbow Bridge to David’s experiences with people who really care and understand his grief – and back and forth between the two.

Carrison gives us much more insight into the Rainbow Bridge. Pet people have their own ideas of the Rainbow Bridge, but I for one, will forever see it through the eyes of Bill and David.

I highly recommend reading this book. I also recommend you have a box of tissues ready and waiting when your book arrives. After reading the book, you will probably want to keep a few copies on hand to give to friends who are struggling with their loss. None of us who love and are loved so dearly by our animals need to ever feel like we are alone.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dan Carrison is a well-known author whose books – published by AMACON and Barnes & Noble – have appeared in 23 printings and in 7 languages. He has been a nationally syndicated columnist with The New York Times Syndicate, and he is the founder of 
Ghost Writers In The Sky. Dan is also an unabashed pet lover. To learn more about the author, the book, and to make a purchase, go to Bill at Rainbow Bridge.

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR: Illustrator, Peg DuVal, has worked with clients around the world. She illustrates and designs books, corporate identity packages, and original art for clothing and posters. Her current paintings and graphic design portfolio can be seen at
Peg DuVal-Art.

My disclosure: I was honored to be asked by Dan Carrison to review “Bill at Rainbow Bridge”. Aside from a copy of the book, any other compensation I received is non-material, emotional, and priceless.

Ask Fisher is Jobi Harris, whose original animal paintings and portraits may be found at  We appreciate Jobi's willingness to be a volunteer blog writer for the Crafting for Animals Guild.