A Publication of St. Louis Critter Sitters
January 2007

Breed of the Month –The Tibetan Terrier

DESCRIPTION The appearance of the Tibetan Terrier is that of a powerful, medium sized dog of square proportions, with a shaggy coat. Overall, there should be a feel of balance.  The head is moderate, with a strong muzzle of medium length, and a skull neither rounded nor flat. The eyes are large, dark, and set fairly far apart. The V-shaped drop ears are well feathered, and should be set high on the sides of the skull. The nose is always black, regardless of coat colour.  The tail is set high, well feathered, and carried in a curl over the back.  One of the more unusual features of the Tibetan Terrier is the broad, flat feet, not found in any other dog breed. They are ideal for climbing mountains and act as natural snow shoes.

TEMPERAMENT The temperament has been one of the most attractive aspects of the breed since it was first established in the 1920's. They are amiable and affectionate family dogs, sensitive to their owners and gentle with older children. As is fitting a dog formerly used as a watch dog, they tend to be reserved around strangers, but should never be aggressive nor shy with them.  Suitable for apartment living, the Tibetan is still an energetic and surprisingly strong dog, and needs regular exercise. Their energy level and intelligence is well suited for dog sports such as agility. They are steadfast, determined, and clever, which can lead to them being stubborn.  Though not yappy, the Tibetan Terrier has an assertive bark, likened to a rising siren.

The Top 10 Misconceptions of Pet Owners!

When it comes to caring for animals, there are many old wives' tales and misconceptions that have been perpetuated in the general public. Some have started to die slowly over the years, but many persist. While thinking that black cats bring bad luck or that frogs cause warts may be harmless superstition, the following 10 misconceptions about animals can have serious consequences for your pet's health:

  1. I can save money by treating my pet at home instead of going to a veterinarian.

    The majority of illnesses in animals require the professional experience of a trained veterinarian, who can provide proper diagnosis and treatment. By delaying appropriate treatment, not only will your pet be at risk of developing further complications, but also, your total expenses likely will escalate. In addition, the cost of veterinary care as compared to the equivalent in human medicine is surprisingly economical.
  2. Indoor dogs and cats don't need vaccinations and heartworm preventatives.

    In most states, rabies vaccination is required by law for all dogs and cats. There have been reported cases of rabid bats getting into houses, potentially exposing humans as well as pets to the fatal virus. Depending on your individual situation, other vaccinations may be recommended by your veterinarian as well. And because mosquitoes can enter the house, your pet will be susceptible to heartworm infection if it is not given a preventative.

  3. The brother and sister that I kept from the litter won't mate with each other.

    Please do not make this mistake. Unneutered males and females will eventually mate, whether they are related or not. Congenital defects can result from inbreeding, so be sure to have all of your pets spayed or neutered by the time they are six months of age.

  4. My cat is urinating outside of the litterbox because she is mad at me.

    Animals do not generally exact "revenge" on their owners by soiling the house or clothing. They may mark their territory if they feel it is threatened, but most cases of inappropriate elimination are due to a medical condition. Such problems include urinary crystals or stones, urinary tract infection or inflammation, and metabolic disease such as diabetes or renal failure. See your veterinarian if your cat is "going outside the lines."

  5. My dog could have a heart attack if he gets too excited.

    Dogs and cats do not have true myocardial infarctions, or heart attacks. However, they can suffer valvular heart disease and heart failure. If your dog has difficulty breathing or coughs with exercise, you should have him examined by your veterinarian.

  6. Cats are a danger to babies.

    The old wives' tale that a cat will try to steal a baby's breath probably resulted from a cat sniffing the odor of milk that can linger on the lips of an infant. Cats do not have the ability to "drain the life force" from an infant and probably will have little interest in getting that close. However, you should protect both cat and child from injury by being observant once the little one can grab the fur and the tail.

  7. My dog should have a litter of puppies so that I can educate my children about the miracle of birth.

    There is a terrible pet overpopulation problem in the United States with both dogs and cats. Please educate children about birth by using books or videos. In addition, some people think that birth will make a dog calmer. However, going through a heat cycle or having a litter of puppies will not have any benefit to a female dog's calmness. There are many positive health benefits to having your dog spayed, including the reduction of the chance of mammary cancer.

  8. I have to get rid of my cat because I am pregnant and don't want to risk getting toxoplasmosis.

    Even though the Toxoplasma gondii organism can be shed in the feces of cats, you can avoid infection by taking the proper precautions. Have another member of the household clean the litter box or wear latex gloves if you live alone. You do not need to give up your furry friend.

  9. Crate-training a dog is cruel.

    Dogs view a crate as their very own safe den. It does take a short adjustment period for them to get used to the crate. After this time, though, they will feel that the crate is their territory. Be sure to become educated about how to properly crate train your puppy for the most rewarding experience.
  10. Cats need to drink milk.

    Cats that are fed a good quality commercial cat food do not need any supplements except for the possible hairball remedy. Cats like the taste of milk, but because they become lactose-intolerant soon after weaning, they suffer when they drink it. Most cats will have gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea and excessive gas production as a result.

Have you fallen prey to any of these misconceptions? If so, don't feel bad. The important thing is to seek accurate information about your pet's health, and to go to your veterinarian with any questions -- that's part and parcel of responsible pet ownership!

Tip: You Are What You Eat

Dogs' diets are very similar to people's; they require clean sources of protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables to be at the peak of health.

If you ate junk food every day, you would become very unhealthy, get fat, and your quality of life would diminish greatly. The same is true for your dog.

Don't take the cheap route and buy Brand X dog food from a supermarket or warehouse-type store, just because it saves you a little money.

Spend the extra time and money to find a healthy, protein rich dog food that gives your pet all the fuel they need to be a happy healthy dog.

You'll notice your dog has a shiny coat, bright eyes, and better muscle tone with a high quality dog food.

St. Louis Critter Sitters
Recipe Corner

Cheddar Cheese Cookies

  • 1/2 lb. Cheddar cheese
  • 1-1/2 cups Whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup Margarine -- softened
  • 1/2 cup Wheat germ
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Garlic clove -- minced
  • 1/8 cup Milk


Cream together room temperature cheese and margarine.  Add egg and garlic.  Mix well.

Add flour and wheat germ; mix well until it forms dough, add milk and mix again.  Chill 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375F.  Roll dough on floured surface to ¼” and cut into shapes.

Bake on ungreased cookie sheet 15 – 18 minutes


Don't We Look Alike?

Dog Brush Buying Guide
Every dog owner should brush their dog. Not only are there benefits to your relationship (packs often groom each other) but every dog can benefit from a healthy brush and skin massage. There are different dog brushes to be used for different types of dogs.

* For medium and long coated dogs, you can use a pin brush or a wire dog brush. Beware of putting too much pressure on your dog’s skin while you are brushing. If you press too hard, you may scratch their skin and create a rash irritating your dog – this is not the purpose. You want to angle the brush near the skin and not against the skin. Brush down the dog from head to tail, with the grain of the coat hair. Note that the stomach, male genitals and back end area are sensitive to brushing.

* If you have a hound with a short smooth coated dog, you don’t need to use a wire brush. Rubber dog brushes are just the thing – they will remove any shedding hair and dirt and increase blood circulation to the skin and coat oils all over the dog.

* Remember to always brush your dog before you bathe them. Get the right tools and be careful to make it a pleasant experience for both you and your pet. Finally, enjoy grooming your pet and treat it as a wonderful bonding experience.

"The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That is the essence of humanity."
...George Bernard Shaw