I really hate doing dishes. If I can’t put the dish in the dishwasher, it might sit in the sink forever waiting for me to hand wash it. I put all sorts of things in the dishwasher that probably shouldn’t go in the dishwasher because I don’t want to hand wash in the worst way. I don’t put knives in the dishwasher. I’ll put the butter knives from the silverware set in the dishwasher, but not the cutting knives. I don’t know if it’s because the washing action in the dishwasher is supposed to dull the blades, or if I’m … Continue reading

Leapin’ Lizards! A Study in Pet Teamwork

As I touched on in My Life With Cats, I was born into a family of dog lovers. My mom’s never spent much time around cats. (Tabby and Mr. Meow have since seen to it that she’s become a non-cat convert though.) And she certainly hasn’t spent much time with both cats and dogs in one household. I’m well aware that it’s possible for cats and dogs to get along, but my mom’s still trying to understand how it is they all get along. It’s simply amazing to her that not only do Murph and the cats tolerate each other, … Continue reading

Monitor Lizards

While monitor lizards are not the best choice for beginners, they can be an intelligent and interesting pet for skilled reptile hobbyists. Monitor lizards get their genus name — varanus — from an Arabic word that means “monitor”. These lizards have an occasional habit of standing on their two hind legs. It seems like they are monitoring their surroundings! Legend says that monitor lizards rear up to warn people that crocodiles are nearby. Across the board, monitor lizards are known for their intelligence. Rock monitors at the San Diego Zoo can distinguish numbers up to six. Nile monitors cooperate while … Continue reading

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs

  “Once upon a time, there were three hungry Dinosaurs: Papa Dinosaur, Mama Dinosaur . . . and a Dinosaur who happened to be visiting from Norway.” Sound familiar? What? You mean you didn’t know that… “One day—for no particular reason—they decided to tidy up their house, make the beds, and prepare pudding of varying temperatures. And then—for no particular reason—they decided to go . . . someplace else. They were definitely not setting a trap for some succulent, unsupervised little girl. Definitely not!” Clearly, this is not a regurgitation of the original fairy tale featuring a curious golden-haired lass … Continue reading

The Animal Kingdom’s Rides

Today I’m returning to my profile of Disney’s Animal Kingdom to look at its rides. At first I thought the Animal Kingdom wouldn’t have any, being more like a zoo, but no, it’s still a Disney amusement park so there are rides. Expedition Everest is one of the park’s two roller coasters. It takes riders – big kids, teens, and adults – to the top of a mountain and into the home of a Yeti. The coaster careens in and out of the mountain, plunging riders into darkness, then light, then back again. At one point it even seems that … Continue reading

Download Children’s Books to Your NOOK for Free!

The NOOK is the eReader that is from Barnes & Noble. Some versions of it come in color. Did you know that you can download children’s books to your NOOK for free? This both safe, and legal, to do if you download the ebooks from the Barnes & Noble website. Digger the Dinosaur is written by Rebecca Kai Dotlich. The pictures are by Gynux. You can download this ebook for FREE to your NOOK right now. This book is from the “I Can Read!” series, which means that it is designed for new readers. Digger the dinosaur wants to go … Continue reading

Spring Break Snapshots

Tis the season for family getaways. Many schools around the nation are gearing up for spring break, and families are following suit. Now is a great time to drive or jet-off to your favorite recharging spot. For most people that means escaping to the sun, sand and surf, though any place that allows you to become one with nature is a prime choice as temperatures becomes more tolerable. If your spring break plans include visiting our nation’s natural treasures, don’t forget your camera… and your lenses. This is especially critical if you are planning a trip to major landmarks, such … Continue reading

Signs Your Pet Might Be Unwell

I’m a bit of a worrywart when it comes to my pets. I fretted when both of my cats entered our house for the first time and didn’t seem to eat for a few days. One thing I’m always concerned about is how to tell if my pets are feeling ill. Humans can complain of their symptoms and ask for help, but our pets don’t have that option. Veterinary doctor Eric Kane published some advice on about how to tell if your pet might be feeling unwell. The main tool to employ is common sense: keep an eye on … Continue reading

What to Consider When Getting Another Pet

Room for more? Most pet owners are animal lovers and that often means we want multiple pets. We know, however, that we can’t be pet hoarders; we have to draw the line somewhere. How do we know where that line is? I’m thinking about getting another cat. Cole gets lonely both overnight (cats tend to be nocturnal) and when we are away for long. My dog Chihiro doesn’t play with him as much as she used to. The perfect solution is another feline companion. But how to know if that’s the right thing to do? When thinking about getting an … Continue reading

Updated Pet Store Ban Initiated in San Francisco

A year ago this month I wrote about how some cities across the country were thinking of initiating a ban on dog and cat sales at pet stores. The purpose of the move was to strike a blow to puppy and kitten mills, which sometimes supply to pet stores. Animal rights advocates also hoped to encourage prospective pet owners to consider adopting a homeless pet from a shelter. According to the LA Times, in San Francisco at least the ban never took place, though it was never completely withdrawn. Proponents of the ban tried to expand it to include fish … Continue reading