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Monthly Archives: September 2015

National Farm Animals Awareness Week (Sept. 13-19)

shutterstock_114323674Let’s shake things up a little! At AZPetVet we primarily treat cats and dogs, along with birds,
rabbits, pocket pets and exotic pets at some of our locations too!  And in celebration of NationalFarm Animals Awareness Week, we thought it might be fun to look at some interesting farm facts in honor of this awareness week. Old McDonald might have taught us a thing or two about the farm, but we bet you didn’t know all of this before today!

  • Goats and sheep don’t have teeth on their upper jaw.  They have a hard palate that helps them grind their food.
  • Sheep make a bleating sound. A baby lamb can identify its mother by her bleat.
  • One mature ewe (female sheep) produces 7 to 10 pounds of newly shorn wool a year – enough to make a man’s suit
  • Goats were the first animal to be domesticated, according to many historians.
  • The goat is among the cleanest of animals, and is a much more selective feeder than cows, sheep, pigs, chickens and even dogs. Goats do eat many different species of plants, but do not want to eat food that has been contaminated or that has been on the floor or the ground.
  • The chicken is the closest living relative to the T-Rex.
  • Some breeds of chickens can lay colored eggs. The Ameraucana and Araucana can lay eggs of green or blue.
  • Chickens have over 200 distinct noises they can make for communicating.
  • Pigs are considered the 4th most intelligent animal (after chimpanzees, dolphins, and elephants).
  • A group of pigs is called a “sounder.”
  • Cows can recognize their names (though they may not come when called!).
  • Cows have a memory of about three years.
  • Cows are social animals who form bonds with each other. In a herd of cows, many will form cliques together.
  • Goats are great swimmers.
  • Some wild goats can climb trees and can walk along a ledge not much wider than a tightrope.
  • Geese are faithful, mate for life, and mourn when their partner dies.
  • Pigs can run 11 miles per hour – that’s faster than a six-minute mile!
  • Cows can sense a storm coming and will lie down.
  • Goats have rectangular pupils, allowing them to see well in the dark.
  • Ducks’ feathers are waterproof. A special gland near the tail produces oil that spreads and covers the outer coats of feathers.

So take a minute to celebrate these fascinating animals during National Farm Animal Week.  If you have never been out to a farm before, think about taking a little trip to get to know these animals up close and personal.  There are many local farms that allow you to pet and feed the animals.  Check it out!


September 11th

shutterstock_214282300As we approach one of the most memorable days for our country, September 11th, we often find ourselves reflecting and thinking about the people who lost their lives that day and the families that were left behind.  Among those people – first responders.  Among the first responders – rescue dogs who contributed to saving thousands the day of the attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The only rescue dog still alive is Bretagne, a fifteen-year-old golden retriever.  Bretagne and her handler, Denise Corliss, had just completed the Search and Rescue training program when they were deployed to site of the World Trade Center attacks in 2001.  They worked 12 hour days for two weeks straight.  During this time, one thing Corliss realized that Bretagne was especially good at was comforting the first responders, as well as volunteers, family members, and friends who were separated from their family.  They found relief in petting the pup for a few minutes and seemed to temporarily ease the negative and somber feelings of the site.

While the pups go through extensive training, they also have some natural traits that are discovered or looked for while they are just puppies.  Corliss share some of these traits in a CNN article:

  • High toy drive: “Their toy is their paycheck. We’re looking for the dog that’s going to be so over-the-top crazy for their toy that they’re going to be happy going over this rubble pile.”
  • High prey drive: “They’ve got to be persistent. They’re going to hunt for survivors, and continue to hunt, and not give up.”
  • Nerve strength: “We need dogs that are not going to be scared to climb a ladder up to the second story of a building — alone without a handler — or to go down into a dark tunnel.”
  • Focus: “The dog can’t be concerned about a nearby jackhammer or loud truck or crane or emergency sirens.”

Bretagne is now retired, but this incredible golden retriever is still serving the public by helping children learn how to read.  Some children experience extreme anxiety or nervousness when reading out loud, so Bretagne works at an elementary school where the children get to practice reading to her rather than out loud in front of a large group.

It takes a special pup to enter into danger because their handler told them to. It takes an even more special pup to run into a pile of rubble without their handler, not knowing that dangers could lie ahead.  Bretagne was one of those incredible pups.  So, this 9/11 let’s remember to take a moment and pay our respects to all of those who served in the efforts of rescuing the victims of that tragic day in history.