Charlene Adam

  • Wildlife arriving at the cottage pose problems for both of you Unwanted guests

    If you have a cottage, you know some visitors don't get an invitation. After a few years at my lake, I've compiled a list; and this list is growing. It started with boring people, expanded to include raccoons and now includes skunks, too. Sometimes the best thing to do to prevent their return is ask an expert. An unwanted cabin appearance is usually the fault of the occupants. Typically, that person invites critters by leaving garbage or food out. For the most part, when you remove a potential meal the guest moves on to a more promising diner.
  • Life's a beach?

    When it comes to public beaches, it may not be a dog's life in your area. Rules for dogs on public beaches vary -- on some, canines are permissible if they're on a leash; other beaches ban dogs outright. It's up to owners to research the rules, but this task may not be as easy as you might think. Beach rules are something I discovered a few years ago when my family went to Gimli with a friend and his wife. They took their terrier, assuming little dogs would be allowed onto the beach. However, signs posted were clear: no dogs allowed. It posed a problem: we had to move from our sandy spot and find a new location in a nearby grassy area. Because my kids were still young, either my husband or I had to leave the group to monitor them as they built sandcastles or went into the water.
  • New address, old commitment

    Craig Street Cats is no longer on Craig Street. The Winnipeg-based feral and stray cat rescue has moved to a new location, but its objective remains the same. To some, this may seem like simple news, but if you know the owner/operator of this non-profit organization, Lynne Scott, you'd understand why she's excited to celebrate the move. Five years ago, Scott saw an unmet need in her community: an abundance of feral cats that were left to procreate, get injured or freeze to death. Shelters and rescues were full, but it wasn't in her nature to let so many cats suffer. She had to help.
  • Hey, sexy hound... what's your sign?

    Not all cats are lions, but some of them are Leos. For those who aren't horoscope fans, note that the Leo is the zodiac symbol of the Lion. While cats are related to this regal creature, do they understand when Mars is in the 7th house of Venus? Me neither. However, if you follow Jennifer Angel's Monthly Pet Horoscope column in the New York Daily News, you might understand what she's talking about.
  • From the Ex, with L*O*V*E

    At the Red River Ex's Discovery Place, it's all about the L*O*V*E. which, in this case, stands for Live Operating Viewing Experience. Don't worry, they're not pulling people from the stands to remove gallbladders or perform nose jobs for kicks and giggles. Instead, this is a joint venture between the Ex and the Winnipeg Humane Society that will highlight elective surgeries on cats.
  • Dropping pet pounds

    If you worry about pet health, take a weight off your shoulders by getting your older, pudgy pet to lose a few pounds. For a painful joint-related disease like arthritis, weight is a huge problem. Just as being overweight in humans is a factor in heart disease and some cancers, being chubby brings the same risks for certain diseases in animals. Dr. Jay Thrush from Brandon Hills Veterinary Clinic, says, "Being overweight predisposes a pet to arthritis, and makes it harder to treat effectively once it does develop."
  • Crucial don't-do list Protect pets from warm weather illness, injury

    Now's the time to make your list of what not to do to ensure a good summer. Pets love the warmer seasons, but spring, summer and fall pose dangers in this province that winter doesn't. You can't dodge every illness or injury, but some can be prevented. The following is a not-to-do list meant to serve as a guideline to help keep your pet safe during warmer seasons:
  • Floating feline 18-year-old cat loves family swimming pool

    Old cats can learn new tricks. Freddy is proof of this. Freddy is a local 18-year-old feline that recently learned to take part in an activity traditionally attributed only to dogs -- swimming in a pool.
  • Cats deserve care Keeping pet indoors doesn't guarantee good health

    It was the year of the cat. No, it's not a reference to Al Stewart's catchy '70s song but the motto for a joint national effort to improve cat awareness in 2011. The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association reported that Care for Cats successfully launched its campaign, called The Year of the Cat. It was meant to "increase the value of owned, homeless and feral cats in Canada," reported the CVMA. Care for Cats is comprised of nationwide experts involved in the animal industry, such as veterinarians, humane societies, feral cat foundations and pet stores. And in 2011, the organization met its goal of registering 10,000 cats.
  • For the BIRDS

    Birds aren't dogs. And while bird lovers may order their birds to sit and obey, this may -- literally -- come back to bite them. A popular training method that focuses on dog-pack mentality may be causing harm to pet avians. And rather than merely complain about a problem, a local bird expert is doing something about it.
  • Doggone fun

    It's spring: don't release the hounds, harness them for a sport called scootering. It involves one or more dogs pulling specially made scooters, a summer version of dogs mushing with sleds. The dogs are tethered to a scooter with a special flexible cord called a gang line. These pets are trained to respect commands in the same way canines are in dog sledding.
  • Exotic tales All the news that's fit to bark

    Spring offers bunches of flowers and bunches of news stories, too. In fact, there are often too many stories from which to choose. For this reason, this column will highlight an exotic idea, a study you don't need to lose sleep over, and a local contest. Love them or hate them, creatures like snapping turtles or alligators are still part of the animal kingdom. And while many of us prefer to see them on film, or in a zoo, we still respect them and wish to protect their right to live in their natural habitats. Unfortunately, there are still individuals who believe they can care for animals, reptiles or snakes that they shouldn't. Last October's tragic shooting deaths in Ohio of tigers, bears and lions exemplifies the dangers of operating a private exotic animal park.
  • You can teach an old dog...

    Dogs are considered middle-aged long before humans are. Some of their owners don't believe this. They reject the age guidelines set out by the American Veterinary Medical Association, which holds that one dog year equals seven years of a human life. Whatever the rule of thumb, the bottom line is good pet care. There was a recent Associated Press story topped by the provocative headline: "Too old to be so young: Vets say cats and small dogs are geriatric at seven." The AVMA claims that a seven-year-old dog weighing less than 50 pounds is like a 44-47-year-old human; 10 years equals 56-60-year-old humans; 15 is like a 76-83-year-old; and 20 is like a 96-105-year-old human.
  • Horror story, happy ending

    Children's bedtime stories are true, there really are monsters in the world and they don't live under your bed. At least that's how Barb Nemshon from Manitoba German Shepherd Rescue sees it. After you read about Tiber, a German Shepherd cross, you'll likely agree with her. Few things shock people who regularly deal with animal abuse. There seems to be no end to the way humans mistreat animals. Tiber's ordeal brought tears to my eyes.
  • Mismatched animal friends remarkable, sweet

    Readers tired of stories of war, riots and economic woes might find solace in a book called, Unlikely Friendships: 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom, by Jennifer S. Holland. Holland's book begins with the leading work of animal kingdom researchers. Noted primatologist Jane Goodall, "described her own relationship with wild chimpanzees as friendships," writes Holland. This view isn't fully embraced by the academic community. Others cringe at the thought that we anthropomorphize animals by suggesting they have emotions or engage in friendships.
  • Meowing up the wrong tree

    Cats are saddled with a disloyal reputation. But a recent story about a woman found with her devoted feline a month after getting lost off a New Mexico trail might change the minds of many a cat hater. Loyalty is a trait often attributed to dogs. Pooch lovers like to denigrate cats for being aloof and selfish. They talk trash that cats just aren't as loyal and loving to their owners as dogs. It's a notion that Albuquerque, N.M., resident, Margaret Page, knows from personal experience not to be true.
  • Down! Set! Pup! Pup!

    As the Winnipeg Blue Bombers organization prepares to take possession of its new home at the University of Manitoba, two team members are searching for new ones. Bomber player Chris Cvetkovic and Bombers' online sales manager Jessica Hansen may have very different roles in the Bomber organization, but they share the same goal when it comes to pets: to find permanent homes for local strays and surrendered pets. Cvetkovic, the team's non-import long snapper, recently created Cvets Pets, an umbrella organization meant to assist five local no kill shelters and rescues. It's the first time the Hamilton native has spearheaded an organization; when asked why he chose to offer his time and effort to this cause, he said, "I have a soft spot for animals."
  • It's a dog-gone crime

    The 101 Dalmatians story may be alive and well in Canada. While the goal of dog theft might not involve a crazy woman gathering hundreds of black and white puppies to make a coat, Canada does have individuals willing to steal dogs for myriad other reasons -- and Winnipeggers could be among the victims of the practice. This is what Danijel Garanovic believes happened to her dog. After a near-fatal car crash eight years ago that left her with lingering injuries, she chose a furry companion to help boost her spirits while she went through rehabilitation. Lily, a pure-bred Bichon Frise, has been her little saviour.
  • This little piggy...

    Have you considered taking a little piggy wee, wee, wee all the way home? Naturally, I'm not referring to a real pig, but a guinea pig. According to the book Guinea Pigs: Practical Advice for Caring for Your Guinea Pig written by Virginia Parker Guidry, they're "neither pigs nor from Guinea Africa." Instead cavies, as guinea pigs are also known, were found in 5000 BC Peru and Bolivia. They are related to chinchillas and porcupines. While they were (and still are in some locales) used as a food source, they make wonderful pets.
  • Happy Valentine's Day... Fluffy!

    If your pet didn't tell you this personally, Happy Valentine's Day! If your pet did say something, I want to know! I'd be great to find a dog that could bark Love Me Tender or a cat meow the melody of Killing Me Softly With His Song. Personally, I've never been one for getting too excited about Valentine's Day. When I was single, friends of mine would act shocked that roses or diamonds weren't sent to them at work by their significant others. I quickly figured out that I could buy chocolates for myself, and I didn't have to poke through the tops of them to find the ones I liked.
  • Pet welcome mat: Follow common-sense advice to find willing landlord

    Pet owners can boost their chances of finding pet-friendly housing if they follow the suggestions outlined in a recent government guide. According to a December 2011 Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. report, Manitoba has one of the lowest vacancy rates -- one per cent -- in the country. It's not a secret that finding a pet-friendly rental unit is even more difficult. Discussions between landlords, government and pet experts have yielded two reports meant to help both landlords and tenants. The goal is to increase pet owner acceptance in rentals.
  • Clone of contention

    I'll always love you and the one who looks like you, too. This isn't a misprint of a line from the famous Whitney Houston love song that everyone played as their first wedding dance in the '90s (and I do mean everyone). Instead, it's a declaration some pet owners might make as they consider cloning their pets. The idea of cloning is no longer mere science fiction. For those who have enough money, it can be reality... that is, if you can call what you see on the TLC channel reality.
  • Lost and, thankfully, found

    You can find joy near a dock -- even in winter. The Desrosiers family did. Last week, they discovered their nine-year-old missing dog, Dozer, under a loading dock. He'd been lost since Nov. 18. With a great deal of help from the community, Dozer is now home where he belongs. Cheryl Desrosiers, Dozer's owner, didn't sit idly by when her pup went missing. Despite blowing snow hampering the search, she and her family went into immediate action the minute they noticed Dozer and his canine mate, Cyprus, went missing from their yard. Desrosiers suspects they must have escaped through a hole in the fence. Her husband and nephew combed the streets in a car while she searched on foot. Cyprus was found within two hours. Dozer wasn't as lucky.
  • Pet peeves

    It's time to lick bad habits in 2012. January is traditionally the month when people want to change things they don't like in their lives. But how many of us tackle the things our pets do to bother us? My husband would. He embraces this time of year with annoying fervour. He starts nagging the family in November with, "We have to talk about our goals." By December, he gets anxious. He works on lists that he not-so-subtly leaves on the dining room table. They reference everything from getting our kids to make their beds to ensuring someone brushes the cat daily. It would be easier to make a list of what he wants our family to continue doing.
  • Stepping in, saving lives

    Foster a pet, save a life. We hear this slogan often, but a new Winnipeg program now invites concerned citizens to adopt pets to help local humans in need. This column regularly broaches the topic of abuse. You've read about dogs left to perish in boxes and thoughtless neglect that left a kitten with one eye. Animal abuse is often shocking. Abuse of humans is no less sickening and it's just as perplexing. And now there's something animal-lovers can do to help.


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