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11 Strange Products You Can Purchase for Your Pooch

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ThinkStock

If you forgot to buy your four-legged pal an extra-special stocking stuffer on Black Friday, fear not—one of these nifty dog presents might fit the bill (provided you don’t mind drawing odd looks from the neighbors).

1. Bowser Beer 

Wag

“Is your dog drinking responsibly?” asks the official Bowser Beer website. You can even have your pet’s face printed on the label when you order a six-pack of this non-alcoholic brew. Be advised, however, that the drinks come with beef and chicken flavoring, so human consumption might not end well.

2. Sexy Beast Perfume 

Global Package Gallery

The first of many doggy beautification products on this list, “Sexy Beast” is a unisex aroma designed to spruce up your dog without confounding his or her refined sense of smell.

3. Purebreed Political Propaganda 

Obey the Purebreed

Fun Fact: Dogs have been quietly taking over the world for decades. If you welcome our new canine overlords, here’s a great way to show your support. Thanks to the folks at obeythepurebreed.com, one can purchase revolutionary dog portraits complete with Marxist headgear and Soviet backgrounds. “Chairman Meow” décor is also available for cat-fanciers.

4. Humunga Lips Dog Toy

Wag

Rover will look like a furry Angelina Jolie thanks to this unique little toy. Giant red lips are attached to a “chewy, durable ball” which allegedly “makes for some laugh-out-loud games of ‘fetch.’” Of course, this is assuming that you actually want your dog to retrieve this thing after throwing it away.

5. Pawlish Nail Polish

BangStyle

If you’re a dog owner with a keen sense of fashion and superhuman patience, why not paint her claws? With colors like “poodle pink” and “fire hydrant red,” what glitzy dog could resist? Though the website no longer works, a few bottles are available on eBay.

6. Songs to Make Dogs Happy

After observing the reactions of “over 200 canine participants” to an assortment of musical genres, the good folks at Laurel Canyon Animal Company released a CD filled with original songs designed to encourage tail-wagging in doggy listeners. Don’t believe me? Check out their head-scratching single “Squeaky-Deaky,” above.

7. People Crackers For Dogs

Nowadays, your pooch can have the satisfaction of eating a people-shaped snack food without developing a taste for human flesh. It’s a win-win!

8. Treat Launcher

Lethargic dog-lovers, your prayers have been answered! This gun-like accessory fires pieces of kibble up to ten feet away, turning feeding time into a high-intensity spectacle. May the odds be ever in your favor, Fido!

9. Puppy Tweets

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Funny, I used to think “doggy Twitter” meant piddling on fire hydrants. But thanks this state-of-the-art tag, whenever your dog moves or barks, a Tweet is sent to her customized Twitter feed. That’s right, now you can monitor every single thing she does twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

10. Rear Gear Butt Cover 

Etsy

From the official website: “Rear Gear is a fun and enchanting way of covering your pet’s rear while boosting [its] confidence!” So what is it? A colorful sticker that dangles over its buttocks (“No more Mr. Brown eye!” boasts the slogan).

11. The Poop Tent 

Amazon

Now Max can have peace of mind when he defecates. If the weather outside is frightful, set up one of these waterproof tents so he can relieve himself in bliss. Plus, it’s shaped like a grinning puppy for good measure.

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Animals
John Lennon Was a Crazy Cat Lady
Chloe Efforn
Chloe Efforn

John Lennon was crazy about cats, and though he owned a couple of dogs (Sally and Bernard) over the years, he was better known for getting by with a little help from his feline friends.

1. ELVIS

Growing up, Lennon's beloved mother, Julia, had a named cat after Elvis Presley, whom Julia and John were both crazy about. The Lennons later realized they had misnamed Elvis when "he" gave birth to a litter of kittens in the cupboard, but they didn't change the cat's name based on that small mistake.

2. AND 3. TICH AND SAM

He had two other cats as a boy growing up in Liverpool: Tich and Sam. Tich passed away while Lennon was away at art school (which he attended from 1957 to 1960), and Sam was named after famous British diarist Samuel Pepys

4. TIM

One day, John Lennon found a stray cat in the snow, which his Aunt Mimi allowed him to keep. (John's Aunt Mimi raised him from a young boy through his late teenage years, and he affectionately referred to her as the Cat Woman.) He named the marmalade-colored half-Persian cat Tim.

Tim remained a special favorite of John's. Every day, he would hop on his Raleigh bicycle and ride to Mr. Smith's, the local fishmonger, where he would buy a few pieces of fish for Tim and his other cats. Even after John became famous as a Beatle, he would often call and check in on how Tim was doing. Tim lived a happy life and survived to celebrate his 20th birthday.

5. AND 6. MIMI AND BABAGHI

John and his first wife, Cynthia, had a cat named Mimi who was, of course, named after his Aunt Mimi. They soon got another cat, a tabby who they dubbed Babaghi. John and Cynthia continued acquiring more cats, eventually owning around 10 of them.

7. JESUS

As a Beatle, John had a cat named Jesus. The name was most likely John's sarcastic response to his "the Beatles are bigger than Jesus" controversy of 1966. But he wasn't the only band member with a cat named Jesus: Paul McCartney once had a trio of kittens named Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

8. AND 9. MAJOR AND MINOR

In the mid-1970s, John had an affair with his secretary, May Pang. One day, the studio receptionist brought a box of kittens into the recording studio where John and May were. "No," John immediately told May, "we can't, we're traveling too much." But she picked up one of the kittens and put it over her shoulder. Then John started stroking the kitten and decided to keep it. At the end of the day, the only other kitten left was a little white one that was so loud no one else wanted it. So they adopted it as well and named the pair Major and Minor.

10. AND 11. SALT AND PEPPER

John owned a pair of black and white cats with his wife Yoko Ono. As befitting John's offbeat sense of humor, many places report he christened the white cat Pepper and the black one Salt.

12. AND 13. GERTRUDE AND ALICE

John and Yoko also had two Russian Blue cats named Gertrude and Alice, who each met tragic ends. After a series of sicknesses, Gertrude was diagnosed with a virus that could become dangerous to their young son, Sean. John later said that he held Gertrude and wept as she was euthanized. 

Later, Alice jumped out of an open window in the Lennons' high-rise apartment at the Dakota and plunged to her death. Sean was present at the time of the accident, and he remembers it as the only time he ever saw his father cry.

14., 15. AND 16. MISHA, SASHA, AND CHARO

In later years, John also owned three cats he named Misha, Sasha, and Charo. Always an artist at heart, John loved to sketch his many cats, and he used some of these pictures as illustrations in his books.

This piece originally ran in 2012.

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The FDA Has Issued a Warning to Dog Owners About Store-Bought Bones
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A dog may be man’s best friend, but a bone has long been dog’s best friend. Now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning pet owners that the irresistible treat can do serious harm to your pooch. Last week, the FDA updated its consumer website to warn pet parents against giving their pets any store-bought “bone treats.” The organization has received approximately 70 reports of illnesses related to bone treats, and more than a dozen fatalities—and it’s not one specific brand or kind of treat that's causing these problems.

According to the FDA’s website:

A variety of commercially-available bone treats for dogs—including treats described as “Ham Bones,” “Pork Femur Bones,” “Rib Bones,” and “Smokey Knuckle Bones”—were listed in the reports. The products may be dried through a smoking process or by baking, and may contain other ingredients such as preservatives, seasonings, and smoke flavorings.

So if you’re planning to give your dog a stocking full of bone treats this holiday season, you may want to reconsider. According to Carmela Stamper, a veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) at the FDA, “Giving your dog a bone treat might lead to an unexpected trip to your veterinarian, a possible emergency surgery, or even death for your pet.”

In addition to being a choking hazard, these bone treats have caused vomiting, diarrhea, gastrointestinal blockages, and cuts and injuries to dogs’ mouths and tonsils. An estimated 15 deaths have been linked to these treats.

According to Stamper, if you notice any difference at all in your pet's behavior after consuming one of the many bone treats on the market, it’s best to call your veterinarian right away (he or she can also help you determine which toys and treats are best for your pup). When in doubt, there are plenty of quick and easy dog treats you can make at home for your pet.

Though no specific recall has been issued, the FDA is urging pet owners who have experienced bone-related health issues to report them via the agency's online complaint form.

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