Service of Learning Whatever You Do: Info About Pets You May Not Know

April 12th, 2018

Categories: Animals, Information, Pets

Ultimate Air Dogs competition @ Super Pet Expo

A college student in a PR class asked me “How can you represent something that’s boring?” My answer was “the more you know about a product or organization, the more interesting it becomes.” I’ve advised countless students and others to at least consider jobs that didn’t appeal at first. Why? You might surprise yourself.

Photo: Pig Placement Network

I knew it would be fun to publicize Super Pet Expo, coming up tomorrow at 3 pm and running through the weekend at the New Jersey Convention Center in Edison, because I love animals. I’ve owned and loved a few and have been a neighbor or relative to many. I didn’t realize how much I’d learn when I interviewed some of the people exhibiting or producing special events–a happy bonus.

For example, Did You Know……

  • How many wolves there are in the wild of New Jersey? Answer: None. They live mostly in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado.
  • The difference between a pot belly pig and a farm hog? Answer: As much as 920 lbs. Pot belly pigs grow from between 80-150 lbs.; farm hogs as much as 1,000 lbs.
  • What you can teach a pig to do? Answer: Sit, give a hoof, go through a tunnel and teeter-totter, just to name a few tricks. There are therapy pigs who visit schools and assisted living homes too.
  • What lure coursing is? Answer: It’s the sport for dogs that are born to chase.
  • How long cats remember? Answer: Cats learn quickly and have a long short-term environmental memory—16 hours—vs. 10 minutes for dogs.
  • Which reptiles make a good first pet? Answer: Several species of snakes’ feeding requirements are not demanding, requiring a meal once a week, and the upkeep of their habitats is fairly easy.
  • The Ultimate Air Dogs jumping record? Answer: A whippet jumped 30 feet 7 inches.

Cat agility

What do Ultimate Air Dogs do? Vic Sparano the trainer and judge said that visitors will see four-legged athletes soar through the air into a four-foot deep pool vying to win at four games: jumping the farthest; knocking down a “Fetch-It”  bumper; “Catch It,” and being fastest in the “Chase-It” swimming contest to win a coveted ribbon at the finals on Sunday.

The answers to the other questions came from Super Pet Expo founder/producer Eric Udler; Sheryl Rotondi, special events coordinator at the Pig Placement Network; Roeann Fulkerson, Director of Marketing and Business Development, The International Cat Association; Vinnie Reo, owner of Wolf Visions and Billy Healy, Repticon’s COO. The latter is a showcase of hundreds of reptiles and amphibians from around the world such as boas, pythons, bearded dragons, monitor lizards, skinks, turtles, tortoises and dart frogs, to name a few. Experts are on hand to tell prospective reptile owners about care and feeding.

At the show you’ll also see a pig who can paint. You can buy one of her “Pig-Cassos.” Friends Ruth, Jim and Ken lived for years with George, a smart marmalade colored cat who, on command, shook your hand. Have you known pets that did extraordinary things? Did you know most of the answers about pets in Q and A above? Have you had a job or client that you hesitated working for or representing but when you did, surprised you in a good way?

New pet bought at Super Pet Expo

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4 Responses to “Service of Learning Whatever You Do: Info About Pets You May Not Know”

  1. CG Said:

    In your post you said cats have a short-term environmental memory of 16 hours. My cat remembers some things over much longer periods of time. If I say to her (in a reference to plumbers, electricians, or other indoor service people) “The man is coming, so it’s OK if you want to hide,” she will look at me for a few seconds then dash under the bed. It may have been several weeks or even months since she last heard me say those words, but she knows exactly what I’m talking about and always responds the same way.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Wow CG! Remarkable.

    I had a dog who knew if I was going to work according to the shoes I wore. I had moccasin dog walking/Saturday shoes and going to work shoes. When I left for work one day I’d forgotten to change so Prunella walked me to the door tail wagging. I got to the subway and noticed, went home, changed my shoes, headed to the door and she crawled under the bed as she always did. Her memory was longer than 10 minutes.

  3. Protius Said:

    A year or two ago, a relative with whom we occasionally visit adopted a massive, quite imposing guard dog named Barney, that been neglected and probably abused by his previous owner. Mature and anxious, scattered and seemingly out of control, or nearly so, Barry was, and still is, decidedly menacing and intimidating.

    I’ve known quite a few dogs over the years and have deep respect not just for their many fine qualities but as well their individuality. I tend to view them as one would a distant cousin, which, after all, is what they really are, although indeed most distant. I treat them like equals.

    When I first met Barry, I suppressed any fear I might have felt, let him sniff me, and then rubbed his neck behind his ears. It wasn’t for long, but enough to broadcast a “Let’s be friends” signal. The next time we came over, perhaps six months later, certainly in part because he was now being vastly better groomed and fed by his new caring owner, Barry still barked on our arrival, but then came over to greet us. We continued with the sniffing/ear rubbing, he loved it and eventually had to be pushed away.

    The last time I saw Barry, there was no barking, just lots of affection, and we hardly know each other. Don‘t tell me that dogs do not have a sophisticated, complex and lasting memory.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    You reminded me of a Golden Retriever named Augie who was a nephew of mine. He lived in Westchester. He would bark the first time he’d see a car moving up his driveway but not the second time. I had a white Dodge Dart at the time. I was also an Air Force wife. It was probably a year before visits and once two years. Augie always knew our car. What a love-dog he was. He was my nephew Edward’s dog and when Edward was away at summer camp, if Edward’s father said to Augie, “Where’s Edward?” Augie would sit up, then jump on all fours and start looking around for his pal.

    I’ve been thinking of the TICA information, given CG’s and our comments. TICA might have been talking about the time an animal remembers a new trick.

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