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Archive for the ‘Family Pet’ Category

Today’s Darling is my daughter Lilah (5-years-old) and her new kitty, Lucky (6-weeks-old). My husband found Lucky outside his work a few weeks ago. He is a brave and energetic little kitten who spoke up to a stranger at only 3-weeks-old and ended up saving his entire family from a rough life as ferals. With the help of many cat lovers all six kittens have new loving homes and momma kitty has been fixed. Yeah! Thank you to everyone that has cared for them and worked to make this happen!

My daughter is so enamored with Lucky that he’s all she seems to play with anymore. Though we already have adult cats we’re grooming this one to be her ‘little buddy’. I think it’s working!

Congrats Lilah and Lucky for being the Le Top Darlings of the Day!

PLEASE NOTE: We are running low on photos of our readers’ darlings so please email yours to me at editor@letop-usa.com. Please be sure to include your child’s name, age, and a bit about them so all our readers can get an idea of just how special they are. 🙂

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What a fabulous photo! Bella (22-months-old) and her pups, Bahia and Bubba, are also known in the town of Marathon, Florida as ‘Triple Trouble’ – of the cutest kind no doubt! This little beach girl and lover of all water is wearing the Le Top Heart’s Delight” skirted one-piece swimsuit from Spring 2011. Even at this young age Bella has a job. She’s the official greeter at her grandmother Joan’s store, Bayshore Clothing. This little girl knows what she likes and that is to play dress up and be silly. What a doll! It’s easy to see why Bella is the Le Top Darling of the Day!



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I grew up with pets and I personally feel that it is important for children to have them. They help a child understand that they can’t control everything, they learn about unconditional love, how to care for something and how to be gentle with animals or there will be consequences. Now it looks as though there may be another reason to have a pet.

A new study published in Clinical & Experimental Allergy shows that having a dog or cat in the home during your child’s first year of life may help prevent pet allergies later in life. The study compared children who lived with indoor cats or dogs as infants to those in animal-free homes. The children who grew up with cats were roughly half as likely to be allergic to them as teenagers. However, growing up around a dog reduced the risk of dog allergies by about the same amount for boys, but not for girls — a finding that mystified researchers.

“This research provides further evidence that experiences in the first year of life are associated with health status later in life, and that early life pet exposure does not put most children at risk of being sensitized to these animals later in life,” says researcher Ganesa Wegienka, PhD, of the department of biostatistics and research epidemiology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

Will having a pet prevents allergies?
For the study, researchers looked at the association between lifetime dog and cat exposure and allergic sensitization in a group of 566 boys and girls from Detroit who were followed from birth until age 18.

They found that being exposed dogs or cats at home during the first year of life was the most important factor in the reduced risk of allergic sensitization to that specific animal later in life. Being exposed to pets any time after the first year of life appeared to have no effect on allergy risk, however, which indicates that timing may be everything when it comes to preventing allergies.

Though they can’t say for sure, the researchers suspect that early exposure to pet allergens and pet-related bacteria strengthens the immune system, accustoms the body to allergens, and helps the child build up a natural immunity.

“Dirt is good,” says lead researcher Ganesa Wegienka, Ph.D., summing up the theory. “Your immune system, if it’s busy with exposures early on, stays away from the allergic immune profile.”

This isn’t the first study to find that having a household pet may protect kids from allergies, but it is the first to follow children until they were 18 years old.

Previous studies have had mixed results — some have even linked pet exposure during infancy to an increased risk of allergy — so it’s too early to recommend getting a dog or cat just to ward off allergies in your infant, says David Nash, M.D., clinical director of allergy and  immunology at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Although the researchers took into account whether the children’s parents were allergic to animals, they didn’t ask about a broader family history of allergies or other health problems. I could be that children who are genetically predisposed to animal allergies simply are less likely to grow up in homes with pets. The jury is still out. So don’t give you pet away if you’re concerned they will provoke allergies in your child as it may be that having a pet dog or cat around the house when your baby comes home is not a bad thing after all.

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For most kids, pets are more than just animals, they are members of the family and best friends. My cousin Josh and his family recently lost their first dog due to old age. His name was Magnus and was a huge part of the family, and like a sibling to their 3 (Spencer) and 1 (Gracie) year-old’s lives. Unfortunately, the wonders of owning a pet goes hand-in-hand with the heartbreak of losing one, whether it be because of old age, illness, or an accident, which can be very difficult.

Magnus and Grace

Pets are often the first to greet kids in the morning or after school. Many times pets may be the one your child looks to for comfort and companionship when ill or feeling unpopular or upset. It is natural to want to protect children from painful experiences, but any parent can help them cope with it. Many times, a pet’s death might be their first time losing a loved one for a child.

I had a dog growing up named Piglet. Yea, strange name, but she was a sharpei (the really wrinkly dogs) and kinda funny looking, but a loyal and loving dog. She actually used to be a “model” in many of our old Le Top campaigns! What I did learn from coping with her loss was that parents are the best judge of how much information a child can handle about death and the loss of their pet. My mom was honest and told me Piglet had cancer – it was tough, but I am glad she didn’t’ lie. Don’t underestimate children. You may find that, by being honest with your kid about your pet’s loss, you may be able to address some fears and misperceptions they have about death.

Here are some tips on how to tell your child:

1.   Share the News
One of the most difficult parts about losing a pet may be breaking the bad news to kids. Try to do so one-on-one in a place where they feel safe and comfortable and not easily distracted.  Try to gauge how much information kids need to hear based on their age, maturity level, and life experience. If your pet is very old or has a lingering illness, consider talking to kids before the death occurs. If you have to euthanize your pet, you may want to explain that the veterinarians have done everything that they can your pet would never get better this is the kindest way to take the pet’s pain away the pet will die peacefully, without feeling hurt or scared. It’s OK to use words like “death” and “dying.” Be brief, and let your child’s questions guide how much information you provide.

2.    Tell ‘em the Truth
Avoid trying to gloss over the event with a lie. Telling a child that “Rover ran away” or “Maestro went on a trip” is not a good idea. It probably won’t alleviate the sadness about losing the pet.

3.    Helping Your Child Cope
Don’t feel compelled to hide your own sadness about losing a pet. Showing how you feel and talking about it openly sets an example for kids. When my cousin’s little boy, Spencer, first learned that Magnus died, he was angry, but then learned to accept the loss of his pet. My cousin later cried from missing Magnus, but also seeing his children hurt.  Spencer went up to my cousin Josh and said, “It’s okay daddy.” Seeing Spencer learn from Josh was an example of how showing your child your own feelings sometimes helps them cope too.

Like anyone dealing with a loss, kids usually feel a variety of emotions, and might experience loneliness, anger, frustration that the pet couldn’t get better, or guilt about times that they were mean to or didn’t care for the pet as promised. Help kids understand that it’s natural to feel all of those emotions, that it’s OK to not want to talk about them at first, and that you’re there when they are ready to talk.

4. Moving On
After the shock of the news has faded, it’s important to help your child heal and move on. Help your kids find special ways to remember a pet. You might have a ceremony to bury your pet or just share memories of fun times you had together. Write a prayer together or offer thoughts on what the pet meant to each family member. Share stories of your pet’s funny moments or escapades. Most importantly, talk about your pet with love and affection often. Let your child know that while the pain will go away, but happy memories are forever.

This post is dedicated to my cousin Josh and his loving pup Magnus. He lived a long, drooly and loving life.

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Puppy friends- Sarah 2

Sarah, Rudy and Krypton

Sarah, our “Dragon Boat Queen” and assistant designer, was recently asked to do a little puppy-sitting (are you sick of hearing about puppies yet?!) We were in the midst of our weekly blog meeting when Rudy, a long-haired teacup Chihuahua was dropped off to Sarah at the office!  Our meeting came to an immediate stop so we could all swoon over the little guy!  Even Krypton, Head Designer Pat’s wonder dog, came in to say “Howdy!” 

Awww…just another day at le•top – livin’ and lovin’ all things warm and wonderful!

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As you may have surmised…le•top is chock full of animal lovers – with dogs leading in the popularity poll!  The big news at le•top this week is that our designers will have four new puppies to inspire them as they design the next fabulous le•top collection.

Sylvia and Brandi

Sylvia and Brandi

One of our great summer staffers – Franklin – announced that he was looking for homes for his litter of Golden Retriever/Labrador puppies.  When his SUV full of cute furry pups pulled up you would have thought we were having a fire drill!  The result?  Four of the puppies ending up joining our extended le•top family!  They were just too cute to resist!

Sweet Brandi went home with Sylvia (our EDI specialist and chief softy.) This is the ‘second time around’ for Sylvia’s family – she had already adopted Cosmo last year!

Tiffany and Zane

Tiffany and Zane

Tiffany (our Accounting supervisor) is happy to have Zane at home with her three children; why not have four to monitor!

Joy (pronounced Joe-ee,) one of our Order Packers, is “papa” to a new little girl, C.K., a name inspired by our corporate identity.

I couldn’t help myself!  I am the very proud new “mom” to gorgeous puppy Cali (short for California, our beautiful home state.)

Cali

Cali

The “new puppy club” agrees that adopting a 7 week old puppy is a lot of work!  Some of the ‘new parents’ have experience with animals – while some of us have zero experience – but we are all enjoying the rewards of ‘parenthood!’  Cali is great but quite a handful (to put it mildly!)  Housebreaking is one of the more difficult obstacles so far…or maybe it’s the fact that she wants to chew on anything and everything!  In spite of the fact that she bites our fingers and whines at night while we’re trying to sleep – I love her!

C. K.

C.K.

We are looking forward to a year from now…not just because they will all be trained, but because we have a celebration planned!  The “puppy club” is going to honor their first birthday with Sylvia’s homemade doggie cookies! I’m looking forward to that party!

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Doggles

photo courtesy of http://www.doggles.com

Riley – one of le•top’s “puppy crew” – is growing up!  His ‘mommy’ Marilyn, one of our extraordinary employees, fostered him when he was just a wee little pup. She fell so hard for him that she just couldn’t send him out for adoption… and, to be quite honest, we admit to nudging her to keep him!   He was a 9 pound pup when he first came to our office in January, and now, at 8 months young he is weighing in at 60 pounds!!! 

Riley GogglesMarilyn is a volunteer at the Martinez Animal Shelter and has made a troop of great friends (both the four- and two- legged variety!)  Marilyn told her shelter manager Cindy how Riley loves to ‘swim’ and run through tall prickly grass.  On one of these “field trips” Riley ended up with foxtails stuck around his eyes!  Cindy received a pair of Doggles  (doggy goggles) as a donation to the shelter and immediately thought of Riley!

Marilyn captured a photo at home of Riley wearing his new shades and brought it in to share with us.  We thought you would love a ‘puppy chuckle’ seeing this wacky picture of Riley in his Doggles!

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