ready for a furever home: the "lost our home" cats

Each week, the littles and I volunteer at the cat room at our local PetSmart taking care of cats available for adoption through Lost Our Home Pet Foundation. For the most part, the littles get to play with and cuddle the cats while I scoop litter boxes, but I'm not bitter. I get an occasional cuddle, too. We see cats come in and out, and some stick around longer than others. We get to know those better, and sometimes we just can't understand why they wouldn't be snatched up immediately. I thought I'd highlight a few of the regulars in hopes they might find a forever home. Check out these sweethearts:

Calypso is a two-year-old dilute calico female. She's absolutely gorgeous and has been hanging out with us since mid-January. She was found pregnant in a feral colony. It was obvious that she didn't belong there, so she was moved to a foster home where she had four beautiful kittens. Her kittens have been adopted, and now sweet Calypso is looking for her chance. She loves cat trees (both for hanging out and scratching), and she loves to be brushed. She gets along with kids and most other animals, so would be a beautiful addition to most homes. 


Keegan is a one-year-old female flame point siamese. "Keegan" means "small flame," so she is named after her beautiful siamese markings. A nice couple found her as a stray and cared for her for several months before bringing her to Lost Our Home to find her a permanent home. Keegan is "all siamese," meaning she's talkative, social, and loves heights. She has been in the cat room since mid-November! We can't believe it! 



Lightening is a two-year-old black and white female domestic short hair. She is named after the unique shape of her tail, which is charmingly crookedish. She is very social and sweet. She'll nuzzle and curl up in your lap. She has been in the cat room since mid-December, but has been with Lost Our Home her whole life, waiting for the right family to come for her. She'd love nothing more than to sit on your lap and cuddle, if you have room for this sweet girl. She won't let you down. 



If you're local, please stop by and pay them a visit. They would love to snuggle with you!

Click here for Lost Our Home Pet Foundation's adoption application.


10 dogs who should not attend a pet expo

The littles and I had a fantastic time at the Phoenix Pet Expo yesterday. I spoke to several companies I was really excited about. Overall, I'm so happy to see the pet industry taking a more natural route. I learned more about products I'd seen before and got to speak to knowledgeable entrepreneurs about brand-new concepts. And, of course, we got to "dog watch," which is one of the best parts of going to the expo. There were majestic horse-like creatures (one we saw even had a saddle), scroungy little rat-like cuties, and everything in between. Some exhibited how well-trained they could be in such a chaotic environment. And some others...not so much. 

I know you can bring your dog to the pet expo, but that doesn't necessarily mean you should. I left N.A.S.H.A. home because it would have been selfish to bring her. She's gets pretty nervous in crowds, so she seems to attract dominant dogs, which only makes her more nervous. Sure, it would have been a blast to bring her and let her sample the new natural treats and try on tu-tus, but that would have been for us, not for her. She was much happier taking her siesta at home on the couch. I hate to dwell on the negative, but here are ten other dogs I saw at the expo that should have stayed home.

10 dogs who should not attend a pet expo. slogan source: Phoenix Pet Expo

10 dogs who should not attend a pet expo. slogan source: Phoenix Pet Expo

the darter on a long leash–I didn't come here to get clotheslined. Rein it in.

the guy who was pissing on everything–And I mean everything. I've manned booths at pet-friendly events, and I always wonder why you allow your dog to lift his leg on the table cloth upon which I am displaying my information. Or worse, yet, on someone's leg. Yes, that happened yesterday.

the one who attacked another dog–The mobile veterinarian told me about this one. She attended the event to provide information and show off her complete office-on-wheels. She didn't bargain for severe wound care, but thank goodness she was there.

the one taking all the samples–It's simple sample etiquette. One sample per person. Not all dogs get that. Shame on the pet parent who thought it was cute to allow your pooch to devour the entire bowl of samples.

the one splashing all of the water out of the bowls–It was 104º yesterday. Sure, we were indoors enjoying the AC, but some of those pooches needed a drink. Don't let your dog be an a-hole and knock over all of the beverages.

the two in the stroller who would. not. stop. barking.–I don't like to stereotype based on breed, but you know the type. Little Napoleons brave within the confines of their screened-in box on wheels. I mean, seriously. I'm trying to have a conversation with someone, and there they are...yap, yip, yap, yip, yap, yip, yap, yip, and so on. I don't even know how they kept up their oxygen levels. And the owner did nothing. Perhaps he was deaf. 

the one who was jumping on all the kids–To be fair, he was probably jumping on everyone, but I noticed the kids because I saw two of them go down.

the one who was cowering–It's just cruel. Why don't you leave the poor dear home where she's comfortable?

the one who was aggressively lunging at every other dog–There were a couple of these, actually. I realize that not all dogs get along, and a couple of squabbles are to be expected in such an intense environment, but when there's one that's not getting along with anyone at all...well...perhaps there should be a bouncer at the pet expo. 

the one with diarrhea–Sure, maybe it caught you by surprise upon arrival, but maybe it's time to go. Like, now.

I blame the pet parent in each and every case. If you're going to bring your dog into this type of situation, you need to be able to control him, and he should be comfortable. Not all dogs are meant to be placed in a large crowd with lots of other dogs, people, noises, and temptations. It's a shame that so many people are too selfish to recognize that in their own animal.

At any rate, there were still plenty of well-behaved animals to interact with. And I swear I saw a few of them roll their eyes at the dogs that should not have attended the pet expo.


the wild horses of the Arizona desert

IMG_9469 There is a stretch of road–the infamous highway 347–that stretches between Phoenix and the city of Maricopa through the Gila River Indian Reservation. As a day-in day-out commute, the desert's beauty can sometimes lose it's luster, but there is one main attraction. If you're lucky enough, you can catch a glimpse of the wild horses.

We've all seen horses, so it may not seem spectacular, but it is rare to see so many at once in the wild. They come out predictably just after the rains that stimulate the brush to be as lush as it can be in this parched climate.

Since it rained a lot last week and we had to drive that stretch of highway a couple of times this weekend to visit some animals, I thought we had a pretty good shot at catching a glimpse of them. Searching for them keeps the littles occupied during what would otherwise be a long, dull trek. There are only so many cacti a kid can take.

Typically, the horses appear as tiny figurines in the distance, their movement and grazing barely perceptible. Sometimes you'll be lucky enough to catch them running. The tell-tale dust cloud is easy to spot, but when it's so hot, they are usually still, conserving their energy.

What a fantastic surprise it was to see them grazing just yards from the road yesterday!

Since I'm always telling the littles that it's far too dangerous to stop on the 347 if they've dropped their shoe or graham cracker, they were amazed when I pulled over. They could see just fine from the safety of the air-conditioned minivan, but I braved the spectacular danger of standing inches from cars blazing past, commonly at 90 mph. There were several of us parked by the road in awe, and I've seen some fantastic pictures–far better than mine–posted on my friends' social media feeds. What a treat!

We could see their sinew and ribs, but they seemed strong and powerful. And so calm, considering they had human spectators and screaming-fast cars just yards away. The sight of them was truly spectacular.