Hug Your Cat Day!

Hi everybody! Today is Hug Your Cat Day. It wasn’t much of a challenge for me because I have very cuddly cats, although Toffee sometimes tries to get away, whereas Caramel is always ‘yup, I’m okay with this’!

If you have any photos of you hugging your cat(s) that you’re happy to share, please email me at willbarber @ I’d love to see them and I would post them if you gave me permission (in the email).

You might like this article on How to Hug A Cat Perfectly Every Time. It’s really funny!

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The Queen of Dandelions

Hi! Earlier this evening I brought Toffee, one of our two cats, outside so she could play in the grass because they are indoor cats and don’t get to do that a lot. Caramel, her brother, always tries to scamper off whenever I take him out, so I chose Toffee because she’s a lot easier. It’s just more relaxed and I don’t have to keep a strict eye on her the whole time.

She was sniffing dandelions and sneezed a couple of times, and almost fell over! She got kerfuffled when some tall blades of grass poked her in the face. My mum and I took these photos together while we were outside with Toffee, aka The Dandelion Queen!

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Leaping into spring

Hi! Today we headed down onto our land with Reggie, our lab. Trees and plants have just started to green up and blossom. There was an old dead tree in our woods that needed to come down because it was dangerous being right on the path. So my Dad and I tied a rope around and made a pulley system, wrapping it around some trees to give extra leverage, then we pulled. It fell down and the top of it landed on some branches of another tree, keeping it suspended in the air – even more dangerous than before! So we retied the rope around the base of the tree, which was at an angle. My mum and I pulled on the rope as my Dad kicked the bottom of the tree repeatedly to dislodge it. And then it was down!

It’s still quite wet on the ground, but we are starting to have warmer weather, which is always nice. My Mum brought Reggie back to our pond for him to do some retrieving (my Dad was there tidying up), so I went off with the camera and got some more pictures on the way home.

Happy mother’s day to my mum and all mums out there!

P.S. Hover over the images to see the captions pop up.

P.S. Don’t expect me to post next weekend, because it’s my birthday!!

Entering the next phase for my blog

Hello everybody! Life has been extremely busy and I’m getting ready to start high school this fall. My brother has gone off to college and it’s been a very busy time with some health issues in my family. I’m keen to start blogging again, but in a slightly different way.

One thing I know for sure is that I’m determined to become a vet and work with animals for my career. Continuing to explore and share my thoughts about animals here on my blog seems like a good idea.

Petkid with his dog and one of his cats
Chilling with Reggie and Caramel

Reggie, our black lab, just turned five a few weeks ago. Whenever my brother comes to visit and then returns to college, Reggie goes through a bout of depression for a week or two when he doesn’t want to do anything and he looks sad! The spring weather is finally starting to come around and he’s back to retrieving in the pond.

Toffee and Caramel, our two cats, are two and a half years old. The cats definitely have spring fever and have started climbing the screens on our porch again!

Toffee snoozing

We’ve lost a couple more of our chickens in the past year and we’re planning to get some more this summer. It’s been a couple of years since we had baby chicks.

Tuck, my pet rat, has a new home with a wonderful family who lets him out of his cage multiple times each day to play with him. I realized that I just didn’t have enough time for him and that he needed more attention. We’re really happy that he’s so happy now!

I’m looking forward to blogging more and hearing what you guys would be interested in knowing. Happy spring!

Tuck the Royal Rat

Hello everybody! Sorry I haven’t been able to post at all recently; I’ve been busy with family obligations and school.

We are now in Kingston for an extended working holiday and we are really enjoying ourselves, but I’m missing my pets, so my parents decided that I could get a small pet. I chose a fancy rat, a male that I named Tuck. He is one the cutest things on the planet!

Whenever I’ve finished eating food, he tries to lick my lips, the silly guy! He’s incredibly social, as most fancy rats are, and he is extremely cuddly. He loves spending time out of his cage with me.

He loves to climb up and down the bars and on the roof of his cage, he’s very athletic. You probably want to see some photos!

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Bye! Hope that you enjoyed this short post. I’m going to try to do some more while I’m down here, but don’t be expect them to be very frequent. Have a great summer!

P.S. That silly photobombing Caramel from the past! I tried to delete him, but it wouldn’t work, he just put himself in there! 🙂

Cool research on cat communications through miaows

Hello everybody! There is a new study going on in Sweden (Sveden!) 🙂 about how a cat’s miaow might be affected by the way their owner(s) talk. Here is a link to the great article about it on The Guardian website.

Watch the great video that shows how cats miaow for different reasons and what that sounds like!

Cat got your tongue? Study to examine if pets adopt owner’s accent

An early spring walk

Hello everbody! Sorry I haven’t been posting. I’ve had a broken collarbone. I broke it almost two weeks ago and I’ve been stuck not being able to do much physical stuff.

Yesterday it was plus 11 degrees celsius !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The warmest day we’ve had in a long time! My collarbone is almost healed, so I decided to go on my first walk in a while with my family (without my brother 😦 ). Our chickens were outside having the time of their lives in the little wood behind our house. They went the farthest they have ever gone from their coop. They were down by our stream, which you can’t even see from our house through the trees. They had a blast!

After that, we walked down to where the stream passes near our neighbours. Reggie had fun jumping over the stream and eating biscuits out of the water. We went to our pond – the path to the pond was flooded because of all the melting snow and the rain. Reggie had fun splashing around. We took some nice photos together on our little bridge, and then we went into the woods where we saw some cool fungi growing on the sides of small trees.

When we got to the stream where there used to be a small bridge that I had made out of logs, it was gone!! And all to show that it was once there was one log wedged in the stream, part way down. 😦 😦 😦 Guess I’ll have to rebuilt it better! Reggie had fun jumping over that stream as well. He’s so fast that he’s blurry in the pictures. Then we walked the rest of the way home.

My mum took most of the photos here, she’s awesome!

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3 dogs in profile: The results from the Dognition Assessment Giveaway!

Hello everybody! I finally got the results for Max and Nessie’s Dognition assessments. As you can see looking at their result tables (below), they are very similar in some ways and very different in other ways.

Thank you to everybody who entered into the giveaway, and a big thanks to Ruth and Nessie – John and Max for participating! It was great to have them help out.


Max at the beachMax is a boxer mix, about 8 years old. He looks like a very energetic dog who loves playing games with his owner, John. Max is an “Einstein” according to his Dognition results. Here’s what the definition is for an Einstein dog:

A keen understanding of physics makes this dog practically a rocket scientist.

Einsteins are the rocket scientists of the dog world. While many dogs struggle when it comes to cause and effect, Einsteins have an excellent comprehension of the physical world. They also show one of the key qualities of genius: the ability to make inferences. Anyone can learn to solve a problem, but it is only by making inferences that we can flexibly solve a problem we have never encountered before. While, like many brilliant minds, Einsteins occasionally struggle with social situations, their avid grasp of the physical world more than compensates.

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Max's results


Nessie on a carpet

Nessie is a female cairn terrier, 2 1/2 years old. She lives with Ruth and Deepak the cat. Ruth says Nessie is a bright, funny, very independent little dog but with a loving personality. Nessie is a “Maverick”. Here’s the definition:

A cheeky wolfishness and a strong independent streak are what make a Maverick so successful.

The Maverick – the one who strikes out alone and solves problems in their own way. With cognitive characteristics closer to their wolf ancestors than most other dogs, Mavericks are relatively unique in the dog world. These dogs definitely prefer to tackle problems independently, and when it comes to understanding the physical world, hold their own compared to other dogs. In the end, if you can’t solve it on your own, is it really worth solving?

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Nessie's resultsReggie!

Reggie, who is my dog, is a male black Labrador Retriever, almost 4 years old. He’s a loving, goofy, energetic and playful pal. He loves to fetch in our pond and he’s just a big snuggler all round. He lives with two cats, a girl and boy, called Toffee and Caramel. Reggie is a “Renaissance Dog”. Here’s the definition:

The Renaissance Dog is good at a little bit of everything.

In a world of helicopter parents and the relentless pursuit of perfection, it is easy to discount the value of consistent achievement. Renaissance Dogs are the canine embodiment of this reliability. Rather than being completely dependent on individual cognitive strategies, Renaissance Dogs show impressive flexibility across all 5 cognitive dimensions. While others focus on the proverbial tree, the Renaissance Dog can see the entire forest.

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Reggie's results

Dognition results

You can read about the 9 Dognition dog profiles here, and you can read the full reports for Max, Nessie and Reggie right here:

Max-a-Million, aka “Einstein”
Max-a-Million’s Report

Nessie, aka “Maverick”
Nessie’s Report

Reggie, aka “Renaissance Reggie”
Reggie’s Report

Here’s a couple of quick facts before I finish:

  1. Little dogs tend to be more independent than big dogs!
  2. Dogs can have extremely different personalities, ways of problem solving and communicating.
  3. Dogs can have very different motivations for doing things. It’s helpful to know what motivates your dog.

Hope you enjoyed the post! Thanks for reading!

Dognition Giveaway Update! Our Winners

Hello everybody! The two winners of the contest have been confirmed. Here are the winners:

  • Ruth (human) and Nessie (cairn terrier)
  • John (human) and Max (boxer mix)

Congratulations to the winners! Thank you so much to everyone for entering, and I hope this might inspire you to do the assessment yourself! I also hope you’ll come back to visit soon.

I will be doing a blog post on how Nessie and Max do in their assessments.


Dognition giveaway update!!!

DognitionHELLO EVERYBODY!!! Reggie wants to remind you all to enter into our Dognition giveaway before the deadline this coming Sunday, 7 February! We’ve had lots of people and their dogs signing up, so I’ve decided to give away another Dognition assessment, for a total of TWO!

Here’s a video on one of the games/tests that you’ll be doing if you win (or if you go ahead and buy your own assessment) with your dog:

Here’s a link to the main contest post with all the details.