Lovebirds Make Good Pets

It is very difficult to resist falling in love with a lovebird.  They are becoming one of the favorite birds kept as pets.  Some think they should be kept in pairs but one lovebird will make out just fine if you spend time with him.  He will need a lot of love and attention.

The most common lovebird kept as a pet is the peachfaced lovebird.  A lovebird is pure joy and laughter to have around.  Lovebirds are playful and they love to perch on your shoulder, and play in your hair.

They are intelligent and affectionate and they can be trained to give kisses and other tricks.  They will respond to your voice and they will learn to talk and whistle.

Peachfaced lovebirds come in colors of Dutch blue, Cinnamon, Latino, and Pied.  The peach faced lovebird is the one you will see most in pet stores.

Peachface lovebirds are very active, they love to play, and they will shred your newspaper if given the chance because they want the attention.  They love toys of all types like wooden spools and string.  They will keep themselves entertained for days with a wooden spool.

Lovebirds will do well in a small cage and they will call out to you with their sweet voice because they want attention.  They are quiet and will do well in apartment living.

Peachface lovebirds are curious and they can learn to open the latch on their cage door.  They can live for 15 to 30 years.  They grow to be about 6 inches long.  They are a joy to own.  They will bring a lot of love and entertainment into your life.  They are just about the perfect bird to have.

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How to Tell if Your Cat Needs to Lose Weight

Does your cat need to lose weight?  How can you tell if your cat needs to lose weight?  Sometimes it is hard to tell if a long haired cat is too heavy.  Your cat needs to have a well defined waistline.  Your cat’s waistline is at the end of his rib cage.  If your cat does not have a waistline he is overweight.  Some really overweight cats will have a stomach that hangs down.  When a cat is overweight you will not be able to feel his ribs.  Keeping your cat slim and trim is very important.  When a cat is overweight he can have many medical problems.  A common medical problem an overweight cat can develop is diabetes.  They can also develop numerous skin problems

Some purebred breeds are prone to getting overweight.  Sometimes cross breed cats will gain easier than some purebreds.  Some cats are overweight because they eat too much.  Some cats are overweight because they do not get enough exercise.  Sometimes when cats are spayed or neutered they will become lazy and gain weight.  You should weigh your cat regularly to tell if he is gaining weight.  Many cats gain weight when they get older.

Some people do not care if their cat is overweight.  They say their cat looks happy so they are not going to worry about it being too heavy.  Some cats are overweight because they eat too much, do not get enough exercise or they have a medical problem.  When you determine your cat is overweight it would be a good idea to take him to a veterinarian for a check up.  The veterinarian will be able to determine if your cat has a medical problem.

Sometimes a cat’s environment will cause him to be overweight.  Your cat may be gaining weight because he is afraid to come out so he hides all day.  Sometimes the family dog or children scare the cat and he will only come out of hiding to eat and use the litter box.

Maybe your cat is bored because he has nothing to do so he just sits around and eats.  Cutting down your cat’s food will not help.  You will need to do things that will make your cat happy so he will not get bored.  You will need to get your cat a climbing post if he does not have one.  You will need to provide your cat with lots of toys so he will play and thus get exercise.  Feeding your cat the proper diet and making sure he gets proper exercise will help him lose weight.

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How to tell if your dog needs to lose weight

Fox Terrier Dog

There are many ways to tell if your dog is overweight.  You should not be able to see your dog’s ribs but when you put your hands on both sides of his ribcage you should be able to feel his ribs.  You should also be able to count his ribs.  When your dog’s fur is wet you should be able to see his ribs.  When you look at your dog you should be able to see his waist.  If he does not have a waistline he is too heavy.  If your dog is overweight he will be lazy and have labored breathing when he exercises.

You need to use common sense when you try to determine your dog’s ideal weight.  Some dogs will have a bigger frame or be bigger boned so they will be able to weigh more and not be fat.  Working dogs like Greyhounds, German shepherds and other breeds that work as police and rescue dogs will be thinner and their ribs may show little.   Cocker Spaniels, Shih Tzu and Poodles are not working dogs and their ribs should not show but you should be able to feel them.

Obesity in dogs is becoming very common.  Obesity in dogs causes many diseases to develop and other problems in dogs.  There are several causes for a dog to become overweight.  An improper diet, too many treats and lack of exercise are the main causes.  There are also medical problems like an under active thyroid and Cushing’s disease than can cause weight gain in your dog.  Some breeds like the English bulldog, Beagle, Dachshunds, Pugs, Dalmatians and Cocker Spaniels are prone to obesity.

An overweight dog can have many health problems like Cardiac Disease, Diabetes, high blood pressure, Osteoarthritis, Respiratory disorders and several types of cancer.  An overweight dog is prone to health problems just like an overweight human. 

It is easy for a dog to gain weight but hard for him to lose it.  If your dog must lose weight it might help if you take him to your veterinarian before you put him on a diet.  Your veterinarian can determine if your dog’s weight gain is because of a medical problem.  If your dog does not have a medical problem your veterinarian will put him on a program so he can lose weight.

When your dog is on his weight loss program it is a good idea to weigh him every week to see how he is doing with his weight loss.

Do not feed your dog table scraps or junk food as they will cause him to gain weight.  Dog foods and treats that have a high calorie count will also cause your dog to gain weight.  Dog treats are very fattening.  When your dog is on a diet cut down the number of treats you feed him.  When your dog is on a diet do not feed your dog cheese, hot dogs or fatty commercial treats.  Feed your dog treats that are low in calories.  You can also give your dog carrots, apples and green beans as treats.  They are good for your dog and most dogs like them.  If you watch what you feed your dog the right food and give him plenty of exercise he should get back in shape with no problem.

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Finches Make Great Pets

They will keep you entertained for hours watching them flit around at full speed.  This is why they need a large cage.  They make great little pets for just about everyone. Many people would like to have a pet but they do not know what to get.  Many of them have children and they want something that will be good with children.  Dogs and cats are great but you have to play with them and groom them.  You have to train a dog and  walk them and if you go somewhere you have to take them to a boarding kennel.

Have you ever given thought to getting a bird?  There are many birds that are great pets.  The parrots can be a lot of work and they require a lot of attention.  There is one bird that stands out above the others.  Finches are small, quiet and make great pets.  They come in many beautiful bright colors and patters. They each have their own different way of acting.   Finches do not cost a lot like other birds.  They do not have to be trained and they do not like to be handled.  Their main requirements are food and water and they must be kept in pairs to be happy.    If there is an odd number one bird will be bullied.  Keep your finches in even numbers and similar in size.

They need a lot of room to fly around.  They need plenty of perches, branches, grass and greenery in the cage.  Make sure that each finch has his own feeder and water cup.  They do not like to share.  Finches eat seeds which you can purchase at the pet store.  Finches enjoy fruits and vegetables.  They will need supplements added to their food or water.

They are great little fun loving birds.  They are such a joy to watch.  

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Polish sausage and rigatoni


This polish sausage recipe is great and it is prepared and served in one pan.  This recipe is an adaptation of a recipe that appeared in a Sunset cookbook called “Fresh Wayswith Pasta” that was published in 1996.  This same recipe also appears on many web sites including


  1. 1 cup dry rigatoni (or elbow macaroni)
  2. 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  3. 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  4. 1 tablespoon dry basil
  5. 12 ounces Polish sausage (kielbasa) cut into ¼ inch thick slices
  6. 1 medium red onion thinly sliced
  7. 3 small zucchini thinly sliced
  8. 1 bunch watercress wash and crisped


In a large frying pan cook the rigatoni in 1 inch of boiling water until tender (10 to 15 minutes).  Make sure all of the rigatoni is covered with water during the cooking process.  Drain rigatoni in a colander and set aside.

In a small bowl mix vinegar, mustard and basil.  Set aside for use later.

Rinse and dry the frying pan.  Add the sausage slices and stir over medium high heat for 1 minute then add the onion and stir for 3 more minutes.  Next add the pasta and the vinegar mixture.  Stir until everything is heated (1 to 2 minutes).  Stir in the zucchini and cook until it is tender crisp (3 minutes).  Garnish with the watercress.  Dish is now ready to serve

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Sausage and pasta

Sausage of all types is great with pastas of all kinds.  This Italian sausage and pasta recipe is an adaptation of a recipe that was in the Sunset cookbook “Fresh Wayswith Pasta” published in 1996. In this economy it is sometime hard to fix a good meal that you can afford.  Pasta really helps out.

                                   Italian sausage and pasta recipe


  1. 1 pound mild Italian sausage, remove casing
  2. 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  3. 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
  4. 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  5. 1 14 ½ ounce can of tomatoes
  6. 12 ounces of dry vermicelli or spaghetti
  7. 2 to 3 tablespoons of dry basil
  8. ¼ cup chopped parsley
  9. ¾ to 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  10. ¼ cup olive oil


Break the sausage up in a large frying pan and cook over a medium heat.  Stir the meat often as it is browning.  Add the bell pepper and onion and continue to cook until onion is soft (5 minutes).  Drain off the excess fat and stir in the garlic, and broken up tomatoes and the liquid from the tomatoes.  Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat and gently boil uncovered.  Stir often until thickened (10 minutes).

In a 6 quart pan cook the vermicelli until tender (8 minutes).  In a large warm bowl combine basil, parsley, ½ cup cheese and oil.  Add the vermicelli to this mixture and mix using 2 forks.  Top the vermicelli with the sausage sauce.  Serve and add cheese to the top for added flavor.

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Microwave shrimp and cheese canapes


This recipe for shrimp and cheese canapés is an adaptation of a recipe from 1983 in the Microwave Cookbook.  They are delicious and easy to make.


  1. ¼ pound cleaned frozen shrimp
  2. 1 cup shredded swill cheese
  3. ½ cup fresh bread crumbs
  4. 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  5. 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  6. ¼ teaspoon salt
  7. ¼ teaspoon thyme
  8. 20 slices party rye bread or crisp crackers
  9. Fresh dill for garnish (optional)


Place ½ cup of water in a 2 cup glass measuring cup.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap, turning back edge for vent.  Microwave at 100 percent for 2 minutes, or until water is boiling.  Add frozen shrimp.  Recover leaving the vent and microwave at 100 percent power for 1 ½ minutes or until shrimp turn pink.  Let stand 3 minutes.  Drain shrimp well and chop.  Mix chopped shrimp, cheese, bread crumbs, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and thyme.  Spoon small mounds of shrimp mixture on each piece of bread or crackers.  Arrange 10 canapés on a 12 inch round microwave platter.  Microwave on 90 percent power for 1 to 1 ½ minutes or until the mixture is hot.  Repeat with remaining canapés.  Garnish with tiny pieces of dill and serve immediately.

The shrimp mixture can be made ahead and you can cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

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