Tag Archives: animals

Thought Provoking & Challenging | Review of ‘Jurassic Park’ (Jurassic Park #1)

By Cynthia Ayala

Jurassic Park by Micheal Crichton
Ballantine Books
Image Credit: Goodreads

“A billionaire has created a technique to clone dinosaurs. From the DNA that his crack team of scientists extract, he is able to grow the dinosaurs in his laboratories and lock them away on an island behind electric fences, creating a sort of theme park. He asks a group of scientists from several different fields to come and view the park, but something goes terribly wrong when a worker on the island turns traitor and shuts down the power.” (Goodreads)

Published December 1991 by Ballantine Books Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton is the classic novel that spawned a franchise about dinosaurs and the will of man.
Continue reading Thought Provoking & Challenging | Review of ‘Jurassic Park’ (Jurassic Park #1)

Weekly Reading List #86

By Cynthia Ayala

Hey there avid readers! Can’t stay to chat its graduation day! Woo! I’m so excited, I’m so excited, I’m finally done with school. Woo! Now I just have to make it across the stage without tripping. Wish me luck and happy reading! Continue reading Weekly Reading List #86

Weekly Reading List #85

By Cynthia Ayala

Hey there avid readers! I hope that everyone is having a wonderful day. I’ve been a pretty busy bee working on a business plan for my bookstore/publishing house. Hoping it picks up soon so that I can really start just focusing on my novels. Of course I would never abandon my blog. Writing book reviews help me be a writer, it helps me be what I need to be to be a publisher. So with that being said, take a look at my latest reading list. Happy reading!

Image Credit: Goodreads

1. The Seer’s Spread (Beautiful Creatures: The Untold Stories #2)

by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

“Fate is a powerful thing…

Ethan Wate is still grieving the loss of his beloved Amma when he receives an unexpected gift–the old, yellow Whitman’s Sampler box that held Amma’s most closely guarded secrets. “One day I might let you have a look under that lid, Ethan Wate,” Amma used to say. “But today isn’t the day.”

Now it’s time for one of her greatest secrets to be revealed. In a long-lost letter, Amma tells Ethan the story of growing up as a young Seer with a remarkable gift for reading cards. But with a power that far-reaching comes responsibility, and Amma has been honoring her mission since before Ethan was born–to protect the Wate family at any cost. So when Lila Jane Evers enters Mitchell Wate’s life, bringing the whole Caster world with her, Amma turns to her cards. This time, it’s a the reading that will define the rest of her life–and Ethan’s.”

Image Credit: Goodreads

2. Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park #1)

by Michael Crichton

A billionaire has created a technique to clone dinosaurs. From the DNA that his crack team of scientists extract, he is able to grow the dinosaurs in his laboratories and lock them away on an island behind electric fences, creating a sort of theme park. He asks a group of scientists from several different fields to come and view the park, but something goes terribly wrong when a worker on the island turns traitor and shuts down the power.

Image Credit: Goodreads

3. Before the Claiming (Beautiful Creatures: The Untold Stories #3)

by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

You can’t hide from fate…

While looking through her grandmother Emmaline’s keepsakes, Lena Duchannes comes across a little blue book with a big history–a book that changed Macon Ravenwood’s life and saved Lena’s.

When Lena was a baby, Seer and gifted card reader Amma Treaudeau saw a terrifying future in the cards that sent her to Emmaline’s door. When a powerful Dark Caster sets fire to Lena’s house with baby Lena and her father trapped inside, Amma, Emmaline, and Macon vow to protect the child. Lena’s grandmother and her Uncle Macon whisk Lena away, protecting her and moving her to a new place at the first sign of trouble. But a Caster can only hide for so long, and Macon must rely on the teachings in an ancient book to control his Dark nature. Ultimately, it will be his job to protect Lena–and keep her from surrendering to a Dark fate.

#1 New York Times bestselling authors Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl revisit the events that would define Lena’s future in the third installment of Beautiful Creatures: The Untold Stories.

*Disclaimer: All synopsis are provided by Goodreads.

Too Cute – If Batman and Superman were Kittens

By Cynthia Ayala

Word of warning, be prepared to say “aww” a hundred times because not only are these possibly the cutest kittens ever (not cuter than my Mr. J the Kitten who thinks He’s Batman – yes, that is his full name), but they are also wearing capes and being adorable with their “mews” that will forever be adorable from any little kitten. Continue reading Too Cute – If Batman and Superman were Kittens

ASPCA study: "Pretty" pups picked first

BLOGGERS NOTE: Topics like this mean a lot to me, so I have to share them.  I hope many of you will take into account this study and share it with fellow animal lovers.

By Sarah D. Bunting | Animal Nation

The ASPCA is set to release a study revealing that “physical appearance” is the most important reason pet adopters give for choosing puppies from animal shelters.

Cats, meanwhile, could rely on inner beauty; the numbers showed that “behavior with people” was the most important quality folks looked for in a feline.

The ASPCA conducted the research from January to May of last year, gathering information at five shelters nationwide. Roughly 1,500 prospective pet parents answered questionnaires about their chosen pets, and how they decided that a particular animal was the one for them. The organization hopes to use their answers to make better and more frequent matches between shelter pets and people; understanding what factors go into the adoption decision is extra-handy for the front-line shelter workers, who can then supply additional information and insights about particular cats or dogs that might not be immediately evident to a first-time browser.

Dr. Emily Weiss, VP of shelter research and development for the group, welcomed the chance to “get inside the human animal’s head” – and not surprisingly, humans often reported wanting a sign from a cat or dog. Previous research confirmed that animals who came to the front of their cages to greet visitors had a much higher chance of getting adopted, and the new study establishes similar findings. Adopters were asked, among other questions, “What did this pet do when you first met him/her?”, and many respondents mentioned a specific social exchange – approaching, meowing, licking, and even jumping on or into the laps of visitors. Dr. Weiss noted that that kind of cue is key for the humans in establishing a connection beyond initial cuteness: “That interaction is important for the human animal—not just entertainment, but in choosing their next friend.”

Other interesting stats included the relative importance of age to prospective adopters – it ranked as the most important factor for kitten shoppers, while those looking for adult dogs ranked it much lower – and the fact that a puppy’s behavior with people, while less important (and presumably graded on a curve thanks to a lack of training), only lagged behind other factors by less than a percentage point. Some of the stats appear below, and you can read the entire study here.

SOURCE: Yahoo!

Kitten Gets New Legs and Lease on Life

BLOOGERS NOTE: This article was so touching, I had to share it, it made me cry and I wish I could adopt little Corky, however, I hope I will be able to donate money for little Corky.  I hope many of you feel the same way and do donate.  I know, I sound a little preachy, but this story just touched my heart so much.

By Lauren Torrisi | ABC News Blogs

ht_corky_the_cat2_jp_120420_wmainCorky, a stray cat born with a rare congenital birth defect was set to be euthanized in Fargo, N.D.  He was given a new lease on life when he was picked up at a local shelter, Cat’s Cradle, at the end of March.

Corky was born with a genetic deformity called bilateral arthrogryposis of the tarsus, where his legs were backwards and overlapping.

Cat’s Cradle co-founders Gail Ventzke, Amber Schaffer and Carol Stefonek fell in love with the kitten when they were scheduled to pick up two others.

ht-corky-the-cat-jp-120420-wblog-jpg_192557They took him immediately to get radiographs to see what they were dealing with and realized they needed to operate right away.  They called around to a “couple different vets and they didn’t want to touch him,” said Ventzke.  They took him to the Casselton Veterinary Service where Dr. Dan Burchill agreed to operate on the 8-month-old kitten.

Unaware of his condition, Corky was a “happy, healthy, engaging, fun cat who dragged his back legs around,” said Burchill.

After considering all options, like amputating him and putting him in a wheel chair, Burchill determined he would be able to surgically fix his legs.

A rare disease in cats, the condition was more common in cattle, said Burchill.  After practicing for 17 years, he had performed the surgery before on dogs, but never cats.

“Dr.Burchill is our hero…he customized the surgery for Corky,” said Ventzke.

The operation took four hours and cost roughly $1,000 an hour including medication and surgical fees.  It was successful, and Corky’s more severely affected right leg is doing “fabulous.”  The left leg had a few anatomy problems and was stabilized with a pin.

Estimated to cost only $2,500, the surgery costs have not affected Ventzke.  She says “We’ll fund raise until we cover it.  He’s such a great little guy, he’s such a great spirit and he has a great purpose and we’ll do whatever we can to get him back up on his feet.”

Corky’s rehab, which includes acupuncture and hydrotherapy, is slow and steady.  An hour per day is spent on his rehabilitation.  The shelter’s co-founders drive 50 miles round-trip every day to visit the kitten.

“It’s like training a person’s who’s never walked to get up on his feet.  We stand them first for 5 or 10 minutes,” said Burchill.  He thinks the kitten should be fully recovered in six months and describes his progress as “encouraging.”  Burchill is the only doctor who treats Corky and comes to see him on his weekends off to dress his wounds.

Corky, the little cat who couldn’t walk, is already standing on his own and is able to take several steps.  The shelter’s Facebook page has already garnered donations for the cat’s rehab from almost every state as well as countries around the world.  Ventzke updates the page daily for all of Corky’s fans.

Despite requests for adoption, the shelter has decided that after his recovery he will spend the day at the shelter and the evenings at Ventzke’s home.  They hope to have him certified as a therapy pet and comfort people recovering from surgery.

For those interested in donating to Corky’s surgery, checks can be sent to: CATS Cradle Fund, 9 Ninth Street, South Fargo, North Dakota 58103.


5 Tricky Pet Problems Solved

original article found on Yahoo! 

by: Nina Malkin of Good Housekeeping | Animal Nation

Who can resist a cute pet? Given America’s enormous pet population of 86 million cats and 78 million dogs, the answer seems to be “Not many of us.” But when animals and people mix, dicey social situations sometimes result. Here, some common ones – and the expert solutions.

1. When my 7-year-old’s friend comes over, he’s too rough with our family cat. Saying “Be gentle!” hasn’t helped. What should I do?

It’s possible that this kid hasn’t had much exposure to animals and doesn’t understand what “gentle” means with regard to your cat, so try making it a teachable moment, advises Gail Melson, Ph.D., professor emerita of developmental studies at Purdue University and author of Why the Wild Things Are: Animals in the Lives of Children. You can demonstrate, saying, “This is how Fluffy likes to be petted. Now she’s purring!” But if the child is still too rough, put Fluffy in another room – no point in traumatizing your pet. Post-playdate, speak to the child’s parent – but don’t do it at the door. “Pickup time is often a rushed moment, so don’t raise the issue then, especially not in front of the kids,” says Melson. “Say, ‘John’s glad Matthew could come over. I want to talk to you about something – can I give you a ring tonight?’ ” Later, on the phone, stick to what you observed, without passing judgment: “I just wanted to let you know that the last few times Matthew has been over, he’s tried to poke our cat with a pencil and pull her tail. I’m worried the cat might scratch or bite him if he keeps it up.” Then, trust your instincts about future get-togethers; if the parent promises to intervene and help the child be more gentle, fine; if he is still too rough and you feel as if you’re in a scene from Criminal Minds, drop him from the social calendar and help your child develop new relationships. If your son asks why the boy doesn’t visit anymore, Melson suggests saying something like, “Matthew can’t come to play because he’s too rough with Fluffy, and Fluffy needs to be safe.”

2. My dog got the worst haircut at the usual groomer’s. I was so shocked, I just paid and left. What else could I have done?

Whenever there’s a problem at the groomer’s, don’t pay without speaking with the manager. “That’s the person who wants you to be happy and return to the salon,” says Heidi Ganahl, CEO of Camp Bow Wow, a national pet services company. Be specific without being critical – not “You ruined my dog!” but “I wanted Brady’s muzzle an inch long and his ears rounded. That’s the way he’s always been groomed here.” Then let the manager suggest a solution, and keep negotiating. If you’re told they’ll groom your dog for free next time, you can say, “Thanks, but I need him looking his best by this weekend. Can someone else even his coat out now?”

In your case, though you’ve already left the scene of the crime, you still have recourse, says Ganahl. Call the manager and say, “I didn’t realize it at pickup, but my dog’s haircut isn’t what I wanted, and I’m awfully disappointed.” Don’t hang up until you come to an agreement. If you don’t feel satisfied with the salon’s best offer, it’s probably time to switch groomers. And wherever you wind up, take an extra minute to speak directly to the stylist. Precise direction – how long you want the coat, what shape you want the ears and tail – will help prevent bad hair days.

3. The last few visits to the dog park, my Yorkie has been bullied by a larger dog. The owner (who is always on her cell phone) is oblivious. What can I do?

“Most people want their dogs to behave well,” says GH etiquette expert Peggy Post. To get the owner’s attention, establish eye contact and hold up a finger in the universal “I need you for a moment” gesture. Then you can nicely say, “You might not have noticed, but your dog keeps taking my Yorkie’s rawhide – can you help out?” Odds are, says Post, “she’ll make an effort to intervene.” If, however, the owner balks at this request, perhaps there are posted rules you could point out; most dog runs address aggressive behavior. (If the rules aren’t posted, get a copy from your town government; you may be able to download one online. Keep it in your pocket for your next encounter.) Or, appeal to a park ranger.

4. A friend volunteered to pet-sit for a week, gratis. When I came home, my cat had an infected wound; the vet said it was probably from a fight, but Misty is indoor-only. How should I deal with my pal – and the vet bill?

“Before you blame your friend, ask yourself if you were completely clear about your pet’s care,” says Karen Johnson, D.V.M., client advocate for Banfield Pet Hospital, a network of more than 790 practices nationwide. Did you explain that the cat wasn’t to go outside? Did you leave the vet’s phone number?

Even if you explicitly said Misty was indoor-only, the feline’s escape was probably an unavoidable accident. “A cat that’s stressed about being left alone may bolt when the door opens,” Johnson explains. And your friend might not have noticed the injury, since infection can take a few days to develop and animals, when injured, tend to hide. In other words, the responsibility for the pet (and the bill) lies with you, especially since the friend was doing you a favor.

If you feel you must bring up the matter because you need closure, Peggy Post suggests saying, “I really appreciate your minding Misty, but it was upsetting to come home and have to rush her to the vet. She had an abscess that had to be drained. Do you know what happened?” Most likely, the friend will express regret, and he or she may contribute to the cost of your cat’s care. In the future, consider using a pet-sitting service. Not only are pros attuned to critters’ potential quirks, but they also should have insurance for scenarios like this.

5. Our neighbors leave their dog tied up in their yard at night – and he barks nonstop. Help!

“Don’t get to a point where your frustration shows,” says Jane Hoffman, president of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals. Speak up soon: If you’re friendly, do it face-to-face (but not mid – bark-a-thon, when you’re hopping mad). Say, “I’ve been concerned – your dog’s been barking a lot when he’s left outside at night. Do you think something can be done?” If you don’t really know (or care for) the neighbor, say the same thing in a note, and end with your name and phone number or e-mail address.

If your neighbor merely replies, “It’s the breed – they bark,” or you don’t see an improvement within 10 days, it’s time to take the next step. Keep a log of the barking (dates and times), and get others involved. If you live in a community with a homeowners association, explain the problem to the other members and see if anyone else is similarly concerned, suggests Louise Louis, pet expert and creator of the website toybreeds.com. Some communities require complaints from multiple households before noise rules are enforced.

You can also investigate what protection you have under the law by contacting your local sheriff’s office or police department. Fourteen states and many municipalities have anti-tethering ordinances that make it illegal for owners to keep a dog chained, tied, or otherwise left outside without shelter. (For a full list, go to animallaw.info/articles/ovustetherlaws.htm.) Your last resort would be to make a formal complaint to the authorities; doing so won’t win you a Neighbor of the Year award, but it may get you some relief.

-By Nina Malkin

How Old is My Pet? Correctly Calculate Your Dog or Cat’s Age!

By Webvet | Pets [Gayle Hickman]

Most people think that calculating the age of dogs and cats in “human years” is quite simple: multiply their age by seven. For example, a 4-year-old dog or cat would actually be 28 years old in human years.

But when you really begin weighing out the arithmetic, this method doesn’t add up. Say a 1-year-old dog is the equivalent of a 7-year-old human — get out of here! How many 7-year-old humans are sexually active and capable of reproducing? Dogs and cats are much more likely to have babies at 1 year old or even at 10 years old, than any person who is 7 or 70.


Aging is much faster during a dog’s first two years but varies among breeds. Large breeds, while they mature quicker, tend to live shorter lives. By the time they reach 5 they are considered “senior” dogs. Medium-sized breeds take around seven years to reach the senior stage, while small and toy breeds do not become seniors until around 10.

Many veterinarians agree that a pretty good guess on the age of pets can be made using the following formula. Although still simple, it is much more accurate than the seven-year method.
Assume that a 1-year-old dog is equal to a 12-year-old human and a 2-year-old dog is equal to a 24-year old human. Then add four years for every year after that. (Example: A 4-year-old dog would be 32 in human years.)

Since this method takes into consideration the maturity rate at the beginning of a dog’s life and also the slowing of the aging process in his later years, Martha Smith, director of veterinary services at Boston’s Animal Rescue League, feels that this is the more accurate calculation formula. Here is a chart, for easy reference:

calculate-dogs-ageA dog’s average lifespan is around 12 or 13 years, but again, this varies widely by breed. The larger your dog is, the less time it will live. Female dogs tend to live a little longer.


Now let’s take a glimpse at a simple formula for calculating feline age in human years.

Assume that a 1-year-old cat is equal to a 15-year-old human and a 2-year-old cat is equal to a 24-year-old human. Then add four years for every year after that. (Example: A 4-year-old cat would be 32 in human years.)

The following chart shows this formula of calculation: