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The Best Cure for Loneliness

There are many different situations in life that may leave you feeling lonely. Loneliness can be described as feeling cut off from others not by choice, being without company, and being unhappy alone. People  may feel lonely because they don’t have a larger social network of friends, family and/or community. Loneliness can set in after a loved one dies, after children leave the home, following a divorce, or when there is a change in employment status or conditions. It’s possible to be lonely temporarily, or it could last a long term.  It’s important to distinguish between feeling lonely and being depressed.  We all feel lonely from time to time, but we don’t all necessarily experience depression.

People find a greater social connectedness through community centers, churches, schools, employment and neighborhoods. Community centers are often a hub for educational opportunities, health care, child care and socializing.


Many people turn to pets when they feel lonely or isolated. Pets provide a sense of responsibility and purposefulness. Pets, especially dogs, encourage you to develop an exercise routine, which then leads to a greater chance of being social. Walking a dog invites other people to stop and pet your dog and then have a conversation with you. There is also a tremendous sense of comfort that comes with a pet relationship. Petting an animal has been proven to reduce stress levels in people, and to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. A pet leaves many people feeling less lonely.


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Pick a Papillon to Be Your Prince

Originally from France, Papillon means “butterfly” and these dogs have fringe-like fur outlining their ears that looks like a butterfly. The Papillon is known to be an alert, happy, smart and dainty tea-cup dog, with long hair and a long, arching tail. These dogs are happy running around in a large space, but will also be perfectly happy living in a small apartment.

They are pleasant, loyal little dogs that aren’t shy, but also are not aggressive. The Papillon is also known as a Continental Toy Spaniel. They live 12-15 years, don’t have any major health concerns, and generally weigh between 3 and 12 pounds. A Papillon likes to exercise, but also loves to sit on your lap. They are perfectly portable, a great dog to take on your travels. If you choose to get this type of dog from a breeder, make sure they are reputable. There are also organizations who rescue Papillons and  Papillon mixed breeds.


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I Want a Friendly, Loving Cat!

Getting that sweet, cuddly, head-butting kitty isn’t luck, it’s learned. Many people don’t have any idea what the first few weeks of life were like for their kitty, but even so, there is time to teach your kitty to be friendly and unafraid of humans. Kittens need lots of love and socialization with humans. Their experiences with people should be many and always positive. Kittens don’t need to be exposed to screaming children or other loud noises early on in life. They need to be held, pet, talked nicely to, and given treats. This needs to happen repeatedly and over many weeks of time. Kittens will grow up to be cats that like to be around humans because they know there is a reward; lots of petting and treats.

Petting a cat

There are certain breeds, like Maine Coons, whose nature it is to want to be near people. Likewise, there is also a small percentage of cats who have an unsocial personality and don’t want to be with people. You can’t guarantee you’ll have a friendly cat, but you do have the capability to “train” you cat to be social and loving with humans.


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Min Pins Like to Come Along for the Ride

Contrary to popular belief, Min Pins are not miniature Doberman Pinschers. They are believed to be a cross between a Dachshund and an Italian Greyhound, and are a descendant of the German Pinscher. Min Pins are referred to as “King of the Toys,” and they will gladly take the position of king, or queen, of your household.  They are very confident, strong-willed dogs who like to think they are big dogs. At 8-11 pounds and 10-12.5 inches in height, the Min Pin’s gait has been compared to a prance. Their average life span is 14-17 years and they are very loyal to their humans. They will happily occupy the space on your lap and cuddle up close.

One thing to be cautious of is that these dogs like to run. One reason Min Pins end up in shelters is because they have run far from home. They are also stubborn to train, do not like cats and will try to dominate other dogs. Small children who do not know how to play with dogs generally aren’t a good fit with the Min Pin. These dogs have such small legs that can break easily if a child were to mishandle the dog or fall onto it.

Min Pins do not like to be left alone for long periods of time. They can become destructive and may bark excessively. Min Pins like to be on the go. They do well when taken out and allowed to socialize. You can take your Min Pin shopping, to the park or just around town to interact with and be handled by others.

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English Bulldogs – Not the Most Active, but Oh So Loving

Did you ever consider an English Bulldog to be your family’s pet? They are one of the best kid-friendly dogs around. They develop strong bonds with their owners and like to spend most of their time next to humans. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of controversy surrounding this breed, specifically whether it makes sense to continue breeding them.

English bulldogs are prone to hip, skin and respiratory problems. Their short snout makes it difficult for them to breathe and, therefore, cool down when they are hot. Bulldogs, with their large heads, multiple facial rolls, loose hips, short legs, and short snouts tend to make them an unhealthy breed. They have trouble giving birth on their own due to weak laboring and the large head size of their puppies. On the contrary, there are many people who believe unhealthy bulldogs are a result of irresponsible breeding. If bred properly, the bulldog has few health problems.

During the 16th century, the sport of Bull Baiting was popular. Bulldogs were bred to be aggressive beasts that would try to grab onto the nose of a bull and pull it to the ground. This dog was leaner and taller, with a longer muzzle, than the bulldog of today. The sport was banned in 1835 and there seemed to no longer be a place for bulldogs. In the late 1800’s, the bulldog was reinvented to be a gentle, family dog. It was allegedly bred with the Pug to develop a shorter dog that did well in smaller living quarters.

Between the years of 1910-1920, the English bulldog was the 5th most popular dog to own. In 2008, the bulldog made the top ten list of best all-around family pets. This was the first time the bulldog made the list since 1935. Currently, Bulldogs are extremely popular pets in Las Vegas, Long Beach, Los Angeles and San Diego. If you choose this breed, make sure to do your homework on the breeder, or look for  a rescue organization. This gentle, loving dog will bring your family an average of eight years of joy!


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Is Your Dog Cold?

SONY DSCGenerally speaking, dogs are not bothered by cold weather. Dogs are homoiothermic, or warm-blooded animals, and their body temperatures remain pretty constant regardless of the temperature in their environment. Fur protects and insulates a dog’s body from heat loss or heat gain. However, toy dogs with little fur may feel the effects of cold air. It is also not wise for puppies to stay outside in the cold for longer than necessary.

A normal body temperature for dogs is between 100.5 degrees and 102.5 degrees F, with an average of 101.3 degrees. If a dog feels hot he pants, and if he feels cold he shivers. Dogs are able to warms themselves by curling up, and they usually change positions, or stretch out, to cool down a little.

Humans often perceive that a dog is cold and needs to be dressed warmly. Sweaters, hats, jackets and booties are popular wardrobe items for dogs. Many veterinarians do not advocate for pets wearing clothes, but if owners decide to, a pet only needs to be covered from mid chest to the base of the tail. It is possible for dogs to get frostbite, typically on the tips of their ears or the tips of their tails. It is important to keep the fur between their foot pads trimmed so ice balls don’t form and cause their pads to crack or get irritated.

Dogs, and owners alike, may choose not to be outside in the cold for an extended period of time. If you are an owner who exercises outside, in any weather condition, then a little cold won’t get in your way. Your dog may only walk or run for a short distance and then he can ride in a stroller for the rest of the way. Many pet strollers have compartments that can be closed up so your dog is shielded from the cold wind. Staying active keeps us and our dogs happy and healthy all year long!


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Gotta Have a Havanese


It almost sounds too good to be true, but a Havanese pup seems like the perfect addition to the family. The dark-eyed, bearded beauties are very friendly and smart dogs. They are easy to train and adapt to the personality of their owner, as well as to their environment. With a maximum height of 11 inches and a weight of 13 lbs or less, the Havanese pup will  bring great joy to your life for nearly 15 years! Even though a tiny toy dog, they are not fragile. They are rugged little dogs who are very loyal.

Havanese pups love their owners, and are great with children and other pets. It is not in the nature of the Havanese to bark a lot. They will bark if someone is at the door, but this is one of the few occasions. If you have allergies, then this is the dog for you. They do not shed and have low-maintenance coats. However, if you choose not to keep their fur trimmed, then you might have some combing troubles. Havanese dogs can be prone to skin diseases and cataracts. They do need to drink at least a quart of water each day in order to maintain their body temperature and normal digestion pattern.

The Havanese is known as the national dog of Cuba. This type of dog was very popular in the 18th and 19th centuries, mainly found in homes of the wealthy. In the 1960’s, Cubans began migrating to the US and they brought their dogs. Breeding of Havanese began in the US in the 1970’s. The most popular colors in the US are black and chocolate, however Havanese come in cream, gold, white, silver, and blue as well. There are plenty of breeders of Havanese  pups all over the country, but there are also many Havanese rescue organizations with pups of all ages looking for good homes.havanese2

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