Zebra Stripes: Why?

Are you an animal lover? If you are checking out my blog the probability is high that you love animals.  Now if you are a dork, nerd or whatever about learning the why of things, read on.  I came across an article written by Dr. Becker at Mercola.com.  Yes they sell products but this veterinarian shares her perspective as a vet and fantastic insight into the world of animals.

Credit: thinkstock

Credit: thinkstock

Recently Dr. Becker shared an article she wrote recapping research done by several University of California Davis science departments. Why do Zebras have Stripes? According to Tim Caro in the paper published in Nature Communications,   Zebras have stripes to deter bites from blood sucking flies.

Have you ever been bitten by a horse fly? Aside from the very real concerns of the spread of disease parasitic flies, the bite is painful. I speak from experience.  As a young girl my parents brought Fairytale to our family. She was pregnant and when she had her foal we named him Fable. Ambling astride that kind and sweet buckskin, many a fly would just as soon bite me as they would Fairytale (her tail did had a sharp sting at the end.  I couldn’t resist 🙂 ).  But I deviate from the topic, no surprise but time to get my train back on track.

Back to Zebra stripes. Why do Zebras have stripes? Are the black and white designs for camouflage? Possible, big cat markings provide camouflage properties. Do the stripes carry a social purpose for mating or a group identity? Again, a strong possibility, just as Birds attract a mate with elaborate plumage or a male Mandrill baboons with the most colorful markings are considered attractive.  Orangutan males develop giant cheek flaps marking them as the main man.  Camouflage or social?

The UC Davis scientists say their research and experiments provide strong proof to their insect repellent theory.  Tsetse and horse flies seem to prefer a uniformly colored surface. The findings show a correlation between stripes and biting flies significant. Relatively little zebra blood was found in Tsetse flies compared to other equid species in Africa. Zebras are less susceptible to sleeping sickness.

What do you think? I am inclined to think the answer is a combination of all three and maybe other reasons humans haven’t even thought of as yet. However, if the stripe theory is valid why only black and white? Do Zebras just have classic tastes?

Now, the tsetse fly was naturally where my train of thought went next with some interesting detours about genetics and more.  Stay tuned.


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Filed under Animals

My Friend the Belly Band Queen

My sweet and talented friend Irene has a business to help you with house training or incontinence issues with your canine loved ones.  I need to order more, someone has developed a bad habit and I love the little pee pot. He needs some stylish duds.

You will be pleased with the product as well as supporting a small business start-up. I can recommend her product because I use her belly bands. Now I am going to order training pants & suspenders for my little squirm-a-worm – how he gets out of them I do not know.
While this seems like a bit of an advertisement, it really isn’t. I love her products and want to share.  Irene made all the belly bands for DFW Pug Rescue until recently, and they still use her original pattern – but I love her new stuff (especially the suspenders). And remember to BE THE CHANGE! 

Visit Irene at https://www.facebook.com/bellybandqueen or her email address is: bellybandqueen@yahoo.com


From her Belly Band Queen site:
I am making training pants for female and male dogs. And belly bands!! Using the training pants for males with smaller penis’ is a great alternative to the belly band that just does not want to stay on!  By using a sanitary pad with wings, on the inside of the pants, you are able to help your furry best friend get a head start on house training!
Training pants: Ex. Small to Large $15
Ex.Large-1XLarge $20
w/detachable bow $20 & $25
Belly Bands: prices starting at $15
Pug Charm hair or panty bows: $5
Suspenders: $15
Sizes for panties or pants:
XXSm: up to 3 lbs. Waist 6″-12″
Ex.Sm: 4-7 lbs. Waist 10″-13″
Small: 8-12 lbs. Waist: 13″-19″
Med: 13-16 lbs. Waist: 16″-21″
Large: 17-35 lbs. Waist: 18″-25″
Ex. LG: 36-55 lbs. Waist: 20″-27″
1XL: 56-90 lbs. Waist 25″-34″
Belly band orders are special made! I will need a measurement of your boy around his body where his “naughty bits” are!! Use a tape measure, or if you don’t have a tape measure, use a piece of string, but don’t pull it too tight!! Get me that number, and we are in business!
Choose some fabric, and you are ready!!”
As you can see the products are quality. Look at the  construction on this belly band for male dogs.



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Filed under Animals, Dogs, Reviews

Ground Hog Day & Super Bowl. Woof.

This morning everyone in the family is chilly.  Why does it keep getting cold?  And only 1 and 1/2 of us doggies like the cold. Jax may like the cold but Chester doesn’t anymore, he used to love it but he is still miffed about getting a shaving.024

“If he’d stop playing in mud and getting himself matted he’d have a coat.”  Mind your own business M.G.

“Wait did someone say chili?”  No we are all vegetarians. We strive to live cruelty free.  And that means no snide comments about your brother M.G.

Now the electricity just went off and on, we don’t know why and we don’t like when this happens.  There is a disturbance in the force, the TV stops making sounds and we were watching Animal Planet – Too Cute.

My friend Ku is getting rain and put on his raincoat.

Speedy is resting up for his big party.

Speedy is resting up for his big party.

Speedy asked us earlier in the week to go by his main blog, he is posting pictures of bunnies giving disapproving looks. And Speedy is getting ready for a big party to celebrate being with his mommy and daddy for 2 years. We are all happy for this cheeky rabbit and his family.

Well except the parakeets, they are very self-centered.

Hope shunning Happy

Hope shunning Happy

“If the saw the parakeets they would see Hope shunning and disapproving Happy.”

Bongo is worried no one will read his blog because of the Super Bowl and the Ground Hog.

I told him that I read his post, I read his Sunday school lesson and don’t worry about ground hogs and super bowls.  Today we watch the “Cute-a-thon” and the Puppy Bowl.

“Bowl? More food! Yippee, thank you. I am dancing on my hind legs here Mom, I want a bowl of food!”   “Me too!”  “Me too!” “Me too!” “Stupid kids, they hear the word bowl or treat and start jumping around like idiots.”

Ambrosia, don’t call your brothers and sisters stupid.  And it isn’t that type of bowl.  I don’t know why they call it a bowl, they just do.  We are going to watch puppies play games on TV.  And those puppies need homes, just like you did before I found you.

Now the Ground Hog is named Phil and he is from Punxsutawney.

We have relatives from Punxsy but they don’t live there anymore.  They probably moved because it is a difficult name to spell.

Phil has been predicting the weather since 1887.  Boy oh boy Phil is old.  I hope he is treated with special love and care. Phil is the official predictor of whether there will be six more weeks of winter.  Apparently there are logs of unofficial ground hogs running around and looking for shadows.

So today we cuddle and watch Puppies on TV.  The parakeets can watch as well but they just don’t care – they are too busy talking and singing.

And no M.G. don’t say anything. It is puppy bowl time.


Filed under Animals, Dogs

Helpers for the Special Needs Dogs & Cats

From the wheels used by Ricky Bobby rescued by HSUS to the pee pads at my back door, special needs can be met for our dog companions.  Not all disabilities are visible and not all involve mobility wheels.

Let me tell you about one of my special needs kids, and this isn’t about my sweet Sophie whose special needs were evident to the eye. Following are some touching tales and videos of other dogs. If you can’t glean the meaning of this blog I will tell you at the end.

My dog Jax has Diabetes Insipidus. This is a need not visually evident. He was in the home of a foster and the rescue group had deemed him ‘unadoptable’.  But his fosters loved him and knew otherwise, they had even taken him to TAMU for evaluation on their own dime and that deserves a big WOW. Diabetes Insipidus is a condition that presents with excessive thirst and urination, not enough anti diuretic hormone is produced.

Jax was a 6 month old pup and none of the treatments available helped. He was a pee-pot with little control. They needed to find my boy a new family for legitimate reasons and wanted to give Jax the best home possible. I went to their house to be interviewed and approved. I went outside and sat down on the ground. Jax ran around playing, urinated and went immediately to the water bowl. When he saw be he bounded over with enthusiasm and peed all over me.  His foster parents looked horrified waiting for my reaction. 

I hugged Jax and said, you just christened me.  Pee happens. I have tile floors and pee pads at the back door. As he matured his control improved though the health issue remains. Sometimes he has accidents, usually when he jumps, gets scared or excited he leaks. I don’t care, he can’t help his situation. And Jax is loving, loyal, well-behaved and a wonderful boy. I am grateful he is in my life and he certainly deserves love and care. All animals deserve love and care.

Pee happens. I have tile floors and pee pads at the back door.



From DFW Pug Rescue: One of our special rescue pugs, Chaplin, was adopted by VCA University Animal Clinic in Dallas, TX. He has neurological issues that we have been treating with acupuncture and intestinal motility issues that are treated with a combination of three medications and a special diet. One of our amazing volunteers offered to continue the acupuncture treatment; she picks him up at VCA and gets him to the acupuncture doctor when needed. 

Chaplin needs medication for the remainder of his life, as well as neurological check ups, so for the doctors and staff at VCA to assume this responsibility is nothing short of awesome!  He goes home with a member of VCA at night and on weekends. This is a video of him hanging out at the clinic, such a happy boy.This link http://youtu.be/cm-WF5op6yk shows the challenges Chaplin faced with mobility.
Do you remember my posts about sweet Rosie and Remember Rosie? Thank you Rosie and your Mom for helping bring awareness. Rosie was rescued from a puppy mill and had genetic disabilities.  But she was a joy and deeply loved, fun and playful.
Products To Help are Available!
Chaplin had a custom made wheels. But there are resources for our friends with disabilities. One of the most heartwarming sights I have personally seen was when I visited a friend at her apartment. A neighbor was taking is handicapped German Sheppard for a walk using a sling to help him down the stairs for his walk. Wheelchairs, slings, ramps, diapers, strollers, splints and more. For example: from Canada http://www.dogquality.com/, the U.S. http://www.handicappedpets.com/ and http://eddieswheels.com.
This is an ad for doggie wheels nevertheless is shows happy dogs given mobility again.

I didn’t forget cats. Bobby was left in a box on the vet’s doorstep as a kitten. He has spinal injuries and a broken tail. He walks strangely on his back legs and must wear bandages and care to protect his legs. The video is 9 minutes long but shows how he is enjoying life even though he walks a bit differently, playing and obviously loved. Napoleon has his own wheels.

This is a tearjerker. But Alera’s daddy gave her love and she had a good quality of life though short. The other link shows off her new wheels and how they are used. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=jNpCgZ3lJEM
Buddy Love aka The Bumblesnot
Bumblesnot is a 10 year old black pug rescued from a shelter in 2011. Click the link to learn more and follow his adventures on Facebook. When this boy was adopted he had some mobility issues with his back legs. Now he has his wheels and his family must suppress his bladder. But he is happy and loved.  If you click the video link know 1) It starts with loud music and 2) I’m not sure I care for the “proper care instructions”  are presented audio wise but you do learn more about the care of this disabled and lovable boy.

Raining Cats and Dogs by Peter Martz. Sounds beautiful but is so very sad. Claiborne Animal Shelter is a 501c3 organization run entirely from donations and volunteer labor. If you’d like to learn more about us, please visit http://www.ClaiborneAnimalShelter.com or visit us on Facebook!
12/26/13 to 1/10/14 After Christmas Special!

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Filed under Animal Welfare, Animals, Dogs

Make a Resolution to be Humane.

Make a Resolution to be Humane.
I am a vegetarian.  This is how I should have lived my entire life but I was blind. About a decade ago I finally stopped and asked myself where the supplies of food in the grocery store came from.  I immediately stopped eating other living beings.

I asked myself where the supplies of food in the grocery store came from.  I immediately stopped eating other living beings.

If you can be brave go to Meat.org and watch the video.

And you need to be brave to watch this video but the fact is this is reality of what humans allow by closing their eyes and remaining ignorant. The content is horrific and covers every living being humans eat. Content warning. But be brave and call for change.



Filed under Animal Cruelty Exposed, Animal Welfare