January, 2015

Pet Circkles.

"I am in favor of animal rights as well as
human rights. That is the way of a
whole human being." ~ Abe Lincol

The Tao of Equus.

By Redstone Promotional Communications / Circkles.com.

Most of us don't even know what Tao of anything is let alone Tao of Equus. First of all, let's clear up a common misconception: Taoism is not a religion. Taoism as it pertains to people is a way of living your life to simplify it and find the right path for you so you can lead a healthier, happier existence. So...the Tao of Equus would be? Mostly it's about training horses in a fashion that is more natural and beneficial to their well-being, their path, their existence; and it does not involve using the old-fashioned training methods of whips or other abusive tactics used to train horses in the past. Literally, it translates into "The way of the horse," but the tao of equus delves into the healing and transformational qualities of this path not just for the horse, but as they offer it to us as trainers or owners.

"Interacting with these animals can be immensely therapeutic physically, mentally, and spiritually, helping people reawaken long-forgotten abilities that are capable of healing the imbalances of modern life." Linda Kohanov, from her book mentioned below.

You mays ay to yourself (if you are familiar with Parelli, John Lyons, Monty Roberts or a few others), this sounds a lot like the current popular trend of "Natural Horsemanship." You would be pretty close to right as far as the physical tactics used to train, but Tao of Equus goes more into the spiritual connection not just of the horse to it's natural state, but to the horse owner or rider.
So then you may say to yourself, "This sounds a lot like Horse Whisperers." Close again, but no. This is a spiritual journey for the rider or owner taught by the horse, so to speak.

You have probably heard of equine therapy, or equestrian centers that use horses as therapy for people who suffer from illnesses. The book mentioned below is a spiritual and mental therapy or journey for one woman who published it because she felt it can benefit a great many people. The spirit of the horse was treasured and sacred to many Native American tribes as well as many other cultures who believed there was more to the horse and rider connection than just riding on his back or making him do what you want.

I had a horse I bought from an abusive trainer when he was a colt. He was very misunderstood by many horse people and suffered because of it, which made him act out. Many so-called trainers told me to have him put down because he was "dangerous" or "untrainable". I looked at him and said to myself, "No more than you are." He was what many would call high-spirited, and yes, that is a challenge to work with for people who don't understand horses, but it turned out he and I came managed to connect in a way few people will ever experience. We could feel each other's needs and wants and once that happened (after 4 years of undoing what other trainers had done to him) he became a pussycat. One trainer who saw me with him a couple years later said to me, "I think that horse would follow you anywhere." And he did, without a lead at all. Incidentally, the same trainer who said that to me a few years later was one of the trainers who told me he was dangerous when I first got him and she was scared to death of him.
That horse and I had a connection that I have never had with another horse. We understood each other and yes, it was a bit spiritual having such a connection with what many would consider a wild-natured creature like that.

If you are interested in a more extensive explanation and experience with Taoism and equines, there is a great book - a bit old now but you should still be able to find it in print (Goodreads and Amazon still have it), called, "The Tao of Equus. A Woman's Journey of Healing and Transformation through the Way of the Horse. " by Linda Kohanov. The Tao of Equus considers the nature of horses and the connection between horses and humans. Equine therapist Linda Kohanov tells of an extraordinary spiritual awakening she experienced with her black mare, Rasa. This incident led her to investigate the apparent metaphysical as well as scientific aspects of the human-horse bond. Using neurological research, cultural history, mythology, and firsthand anecdotes from years of teaching and facilitating equine therapy, Kohanov examines the profound communion that people, and women in particular, often experience with horses. Some of the areas Kohanov explores are how the equine mind compares with the human mind, and what horses can teach humanity.

To ineffectively sum it up, I would say that the Tao of Equus is about understanding and realizing not only a horse's thinking and mental health, but a horse trainer's. If you can manage to attain this level of spiritual and mental connection with a horse, it's truly incredible and cannot be compared to anything else. I have always been thankful I rescued the horse I mentioned above and that I had the wherewith all to see him for what he truly was. And yes, he taught me so much that I did not ever think was possible. He made me a better person, but more importantly, he made me a much better trainer. We learned a great deal from each other. He learned that not all people (horse trainers) are self-absorbed idiots, and I learned a great deal about myself that he revealed to me in a fashion nobody else could have. From a horse's perspective.

It takes a very open-minded individual to go down this path of equus, but if you do, you will not be disappointed by what you discover about horses and yourself. Now I understand the native tribes and cultures who saw this quality in the horse's spirit, learned from it and treasured it.
Read the book mentioned above if this idea intrigues you at all. The book is very good and makes for very interesting reading and a wonderful story even if you don't think this kind of spirituality is for you. Keep an open mind, and you will enjoy it.



5 Health Indicators You Should Always be Monitoring for Your Pet.

By Redstone Promotional Communications / Circkles.com.

As a responsible pet owner, you should know a few tell-tale signs that your pet is not as healthy as they should be. Unfortunately, we usually find out too late to save our pets that they were sick for a while and we just didn't notice or pay attention. Most of us are not vets, but as a pet owner, you should know the classic, easy-to-notice signs that your little pal needs help. It's like knowing first aid; you may not need it right now, but having this information can save a life.

"At GEOvet we have seen three cases of rodenticide toxicities in the last week!" From mouse and rat poisons left out around the house or yard that dogs and cats will eat too.

Skin and Fur Condition:
Does your pet scratch a lot? Is their skin flaky and dry and do they have excessive dander? Is the fur dry and course. These are all indications of a pet that is lacking proper nutrition or health, and while not life threatening, these symptoms could definitely shorten your pet's lifespan and eventually lead to more serious health problems.
Excessive scratching, dry fur and skin, and biting or excessive licking of their front legs or paws are all indications of food allergies. Does your dog seem like they are always itchy and scratching? It may not be fleas. If you rule out fleas, allergies is the next best guess. It's difficult enough to determine the cause of allergies in people who can talk, now imagine trying to figure out what an animal is allergic to. Start with their food. Most animals are allergic to corn and many animal foods have corn products in them. Many dogs are allergic to chicken products because vaccines are made from chicken embryos, and guess what? Almost every commercial dog food on the market is made with chicken meal or other chicken by-products. Even foods that are beef flavored or not chicken flavored at all will contain chicken meal; read the ingredients don't just go by the front label of the package. We would say 75% of all dogs suffer mild to severe food allergies because of this and 95% of their owners do not know it. Food allergies can lead to a compromised immune system that could cause them to have life-threatening adverse reactions to vaccines and viruses because their immune system cannot function properly when it is weakened by constant food allergies.

Monitor Stools and Urination Regularly:
Nobody likes to go out in the yard and look at dog poop right after their dog goes, but if there is anything seriously wrong with your pet's health, stool consistency, color and odor are all indicators of health. You don't have to get your face down close to it, just make sure to take a look at it once a month or so right after they defecate so it's fresh. If it looks normal in color and is not watery, slimy, extremely hard or dark, bloody in color, or has an unusual foul smell, it's okay. If your dog has slimy stools, dark black stools or diarrhea, these are not symptoms to take lightly and should be checked out by a vet immediately.
If you notice your pet is having problems urinating, they strain to urinate, this is a serious condition and should not go even 24 hours without taking them to a vet because their bladder can literally burst if they have some kind of obstruction or other reason for not being able to urinate comfortably. It they have blood in their urine, it could be a urinary tract infection or something very serious and this is also not to be taken lightly. To check your pet's urine, as soon as you see they are going to squat or raise their leg to go, try to catch it in a clear or white container so you can check the color of it effectively. If it is very cloudy or has a foul smell, this should also be indicators to take them to a vet; they could have diabetes or kidney problems.

Pink or Pale Gums:
Even a veterinarian will check an animal's gum color for signs of illness. A pet's gums should be nice and pink, not yellowish in color or purple, or pale pink but a healthy-looking strong pink color. Pale gums can be a sign of respiratory distress, poor circulation, poor digestion, anemia, internal bleeding, low blood pressure, shock and liver problems to name a few.
For some animals, such as Shar-peis that have black mouths, looking at their gums is not an option. See the photos to the right to tell the difference between healthy pink gums in the top photo and pale gums in the bottom photo. If your pet's gums are this pale, take them to a vet immediately.

Bright, Clear Eyes:
Some eye symptoms are pretty obvious, such as an unusual-colored drainage or bloodshot eyes, but the first sign of a how a pet is feeling is their face or eyes, which are the first give-away when they are sick. Any change in their expression and alertness can be very subtle and take place over time. I once had a ferret who was sick with cancer and I was doing everything I could for her, but I did not know just how much pain she was in until I took a photo of her one day and saw it in her eyes. She had been sick for a while and it progressed very gradually, but all I had to do was take one look at that photo to know I was not doing her any favors trying to keep her on medications and other procedures to prolong her life. It was obvious she was miserable, but since I was with her all the time, I had not noticed the very slow, gradual change in her. Many pet owners don't notice a slow decline in their pet's health because they see them every day and don't notice it. Every once in a while, take a good look at your pet's demeanor, their attitude, their energy levels and the look in their eyes. Are their eyes nice and bright, alert, happy and clear? Is their expression playful, happy and energetic or do their eyes seem half-open or slightly squinting? Do they lack zip and energy and seem a little lifeless? If so, keep a close eye on their bowel movements, urination, and get them checked out by a vet for lumps, blood work and other tests.

Energy Level, Lethargy:
As mentioned above, if your pet is lacking that get-up-and-go energy, tail-wagging "let's go" attitude and seems lethargic, it's a good indication they don't feel well or something is preventing them from having the energy they should. Hot days are a bit different. If your pet doesn't take the heat well, being a bit lethargic is pretty typical, but if this behavior continues in cool weather or in the house, you've got a sick pet.

These are all symptoms that should be checked monthly in your pet by just paying close attention to them and their behavior. We all get busy with our lives and often don't take just 5 minutes to assess our pet's condition, but they are counting on us to pay a little attention to it since they cannot tell us when they are ailing, and by the time the symptoms get severe enough to finally get your attention, it's usually too late. It's just a matter of being an alert pet owner and knowing what to look for.



© 2015 Redstone Promotional Communications/ Circkles.com. All rights reserved to images and articles.


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Pets who look like their owners:

About Pet Circkles:

Allen M. Shoen, a veterinarian and author of "Kindred Spirit" wrote, "Although science has no definite answers, why not assume that sharing a home with a dog, cat or bird - or sharing our lives with a horse or other large animal - has therapeutic benefits that are deeper than simple stimulation of the opiate receptors in the skin through touch? Perhaps, through our connection with animals, we are stimulating some deeply buried aspect of nature within us, rekindling a lost connection that allows us to be more than solitary creatures, but part of something greater - and therefor, more healthy, more whole."

Much scientific and psychological research has proven just that. And also that the human animal bond is mutually beneficial under humane circumstances. Many great philosophers, such as Albert Einstein, recognized that we have a great deal of useful information to learn from animals.
In fact, animals are the great teachers, not us, for they have roamed the earth far longer than we and express genuine thought and expression true to their nature, which we do not. We have a great deal to learn from them. Pet Circkles helps us stay more in touch with their health, diet and social needs so we can give back to those who give us so much unconditionally.

Pet Circkles BACK ISSUES: You can find back issues of Pet Circkles by clicking this link or do a search by topic using the Google Search above.

Natural Pet Remedies: Rain rot on horses.

The horse's hair will stand up in a pattern in one area, and the area will feel warm and sensitive to touch. The next day, sensitive scabs appear. Rain rot--a skin condition caused by Dermatophilus spp., bacteria commonly present on a horse's hair coat. Rain, followed by humid conditions, enables the organism to multiply,which irritates the hair follicles and skin of afflicted horses.

Peroxide Remedy: Mix a 16-ounce bottle of mineral oil (baby oil is OK), a 16-ounce bottle of 3 percent USP hydrogen peroxide, and a half-ounce bottle of tincture of iodine in a bucket. Sponge it on the affected areas and let it set overnight. This will soften and lift the scabs, soothe and lubricate the skin, and kill the bug. Next day, shampoo your horse with a mild shampoo and let the area air-dry, preferably in the sun. NOTE: Don't put this concoction in a sealed container. It'll bubble up and explode.

Herbal Remedy: Mix 3-4 drops of tea tree essential oil in a cup of grapeseed or mineral oil. Mix well. Wipe it on the affected area 3-4 times a day for 2-3 days until it clears up. This is less irritating than the hydrogen peroxide remedy above and tea tree oil is very effective at killing bacteria without causing irritation to the already sensitive skin.


Featured Monthly DOG BREED: Characteristics and Concerns. (We will get to cat breeds later.)


Boxers are a bright, energetic and playful breed and tend to be very good with children. They are patient and spirited with children but also protective, making them a popular choice for families. They are active, strong dogs and require adequate exercise to prevent boredom-associated behaviors such as chewing, digging, or licking. Boxers have earned a slight reputation of being "headstrong," which can be related to inappropriate obedience training. Owing to their intelligence and working breed characteristics, training based on corrections often has limited usefulness. Boxers, like other animals, typically respond better to positive reinforcement techniques such as clicker training, an approach based on operant conditioning and behaviorism, which offers the dog an opportunity to think independently and to problem-solve. Stanley Coren's survey of obedience trainers, summarized in his book The Intelligence of Dogs, ranked Boxers at #48 – average working/obedience intelligence. Many who have worked with Boxers disagree quite strongly with Coren's survey results, and maintain that a skilled trainer who uses reward-based methods will find Boxers have far above-average intelligence and working ability. The Boxer by nature is not an aggressive or vicious breed. It is an instinctive guardian and can become very attached to its family. Like all dogs, it requires proper socialization. Boxers are generally patient with smaller dogs and puppies, but difficulties with larger adult dogs, especially those of the same sex, may occur. Boxers are generally more comfortable with companionship, in either human or canine form.

Size: Males can weight 65-70 lbs with the females being slightly smaller 60-65 lbs. Height of 20-25 inches at the withers.

Lifespan: The average life span of a 9-10 years.

Health Concerns:Boxers are known to be very sensitive to the hypotensive and bradycardiac effects of a commonly used veterinary sedative, acepromazine. It is recommended that the drug be avoided in the Boxer breed
As an athletic breed, proper exercise and conditioning is important for the continued health and longevity of the Boxer. Care must be taken not to over-exercise young dogs, as this may damage growing bones; however once mature Boxers can be excellent jogging or running companions. Because of their brachycephalic head, they do not do well with high heat or humidity, and common sense should prevail when exercising a Boxer in these conditions.

Leading health issues to which Boxers are prone include cancers, heart conditions such as Aortic Stenosis and Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (the so-called "Boxer Cardiomyopathy"), hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia, and degenerative myelopathy and epilepsy; other conditions that may be seen are gastric dilatation and torsion (bloat), intestinal problems, and allergies (although these may be more related to diet than breed). Entropion, a malformation of the eyelid requiring surgical correction, is occasionally seen, and some lines have a tendency toward spondylosis deformans, a fusing of the spine, or dystocia. Other conditions that are less common but occur more often in Boxers than other breeds are hystiocytic ulcerative colitis (sometimes called Boxer colitis), an invasive E. coli infection, and indolent corneal ulcers, often called Boxer eye ulcers.

Looking for a Boxer? Use our Pet finder tool below and search for an adoptable dog that needs a home in your area now.

To view breeds we've already written about, search our archives in the Google Search at the top of this column.

Isaac's Story

"Share to Care"
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Featured Animal Rescue of the Month:

Big Dogs Huge Paws dog rescue in Colorado.

We want to share with you our vision on how to address the urgent and growing need for a responsible, long term, and self sustaining Giant Breed Rescue in today’s society.

Big Dogs Huge Paws was founded on the core philosophy is that every "BIG" dog deserves a chance. Our goal is to make sure that every dog receives only the best of care, food, and training. We will also ensure that they are properly evaluated (medically and behaviorally) and placed according to their special needs. Our medical officer and veterinarian team will provide first aid training to all foster volunteers and health seminars about the latest developments in animal medicine. We work actively with professional behaviorists who train each foster home how to handle introductions, properly evaluate dogs, work through specific behavioral issues, etc. Foster families undergo quarterly training sessions in order to maintain everyone's skills and abilities and ensure that the entire foster team is on the same page and has the tools they need for success. We will be working toward a special therapy dog training program as we identify dogs that would be good candidates and other potential partnerships. Eventually, our goal is to secure an actual facility where we can work with special behavioral or medical cases to give them the optimal chance of success!

The dogs we have chosen to focus our rescue efforts on include, Great Danes, Great Pyrenees, Newfoundlands, Saint Bernards, Mastiffs (All Types), Irish Wolfhounds, and Scottish Deerhounds. There is a huge need due to the fact that most of these breeds do not have any legitimate rescue options and there are always more dogs in need than any one organization can help.

View dogs to adopt on their website.





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