How to help kittens grow up
• Kitten rental plan? Why not? The Humane Society of Silicon Valley in California thinks at least one thing in the Bay Area should be affordable. If you love kittens but aren’t sure you’re ready to commit to a cat, a kitten rental plan, er, fostering is the way to go. Kittens — they usually come in small groups — and all the supplies needed to care for them are free with a two-hour orientation to teach you the ropes of feeding and raising them until they’re ready to go back to the shelter for adoption. And if you fall in love? Talk to the shelter about a lifetime ownership plan. Silicon Valley isn’t the only place with kitten fostering programs. Check your local shelter and take home a kitten entertainment unit today.
• If you love pointers, retrievers, spaniels or setters and find yourself in Tennessee, don’t miss the National Bird Dog Museum in Grand Junction, just 50 miles east of Memphis. The 25,000-square-foot museum is home to sporting dog art, photography, trophies and historical artifacts relating to more than 40 breeds of bird dogs. It’s also the seat of the Field Trial Hall of Fame, which honors the sport’s greats, both canine and human. Leashed dogs are welcome, and guided tours are available.
• Dental disease is a common health problem in pet rabbits. Veterinarians commonly see tooth fractures, overgrown teeth, teeth with sharp edges (“Bunnicula,” anyone?), infected tooth roots and gums, and tooth root abscesses. If your bunny isn’t eating or is losing weight, it might be related to a painful mouth problem. Bunnies can be born with dental problems, but other causes include a poor diet or chewing on inappropriate items. If your rabbit prefers only soft foods, drops food often, has difficulty closing his mouth or drools frequently, take him to the veterinarian. — Kim Campbell Thornton