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Archive for the ‘Pets’ 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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I grew up with a Sharpei breed dog and her name was Piglet. I feel like every family is like the Disney’s 101 Dalmations and every family tends to find pets that fit their personality. We have some fabulous Le Top collections coming up from our pre-fall collection that are called “A Walk in the Park” that are so cute for kids who love dogs! Some doctors suggest that it’s ideal to bring home your family’s furry friend when your child is 5 or 6; at this age kids fully comprehend that pets are living creatures and not moving stuffed animals.

In a study of 5-year-olds at Purdue University, more than 40 percent said they turn to their pet when they feel sad, angry, or have a secret to share. The study also found that 5- and 6-year-old pet owners expressed more empathy to their peers than those who don’t have an animal around the house.

Here are some tips on how to pick your perfect pet!

1.  It’s All About Space
Where you live should be a factor in the type of pet you choose. In general, the bigger the pet, the more space it needs. If you live in a small space, look for smaller animals like a hamster, a cat, or a smaller breed of dog such as a Jack Russel Terrier. If you have a lot of extra room, a larger animal such as a Rottweiler may be a possibility for you. Fish are a good choice for most spaces as long as you take into consideration the fact that the fish will grow and may need a large tank.

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2.  Family Dynamics
If you have children, you should take their ages into account when you are choosing a family pet. Younger children are generally more compatible with animals they don’t play with, such as fish. Older children can learn to handle and take responsibility for most pets. Another consideration is your child’s activity level. A puppy may be better suited to a house with an active child, while an older dog will be better suited to a family with a calmer child.

3.  The Time Factor
Your family’s schedule should be a big consideration when you are choosing a family pet. Fish, reptiles such as snakes, amphibians such as frogs, and small animals such as hamsters are good for a family that is rarely home or that doesn’t want to have to walk an animal. Birds are good for a family that is home often but doesn’t want to walk an animal. Dogs and cats are good pets for a family that is home a lot and that want a real companion that needs attention and training.

4.  Care Considerations
Every pet will need some type of care. Take into consideration the amount of time and money you are willing to spend on your pet. Also, consider food, bedding, accessories, veterinary bills and housing needs. The amount of time you will spend cleaning up after your pet is something you should also think about.

5.  Pet Allergies?
Some pets have dander and fur such as cats, dogs and birds. My fiancé has a Labradoodle (a Labrador dog and Poodle mixed) that is hypoallergenic and doesn’t shed which is great for kids with allergies! If anyone in your family has allergies, take their allergies into consideration when you are choosing a family pet. Think about any bedding that the pet might need since some people are allergic to certain types of trees and grasses. Some pets need a substrate made of pine shavings or moss. Pets that will spend time outside may bring in dust and pollen, which are both allergens.

Good luck in your pet hunt!

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Ollie, a West Highland white terrier, is my father’s dog.  Kind, patient, and very ‘kid friendly’ – Westies are a great breed.  This particular breed seems to be something of a family favorite. As a young child, my famly and I had a Westy and he was my best friend.  Above is an adorable picture of my nephew Josh playing with Ollie. I’m not sure who is enjoying the other more.  Either way it is a pretty cute site to see and great to see the tradition is still going strong.

shop Le Top’s fall/winter 2010 collection here
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For over 32 years, Le Top has been creating quality playwear as a family-owned company based out of sunny Richmond, California—just across the bay from San Francisco. We love to support local non-profit organizations and recently learned about the Contra Costa Animal Services adoption department and their fun Halloween adoption event. Our trusty and loyal Le Top Customer Care team member, Marilyn, helped out at a local Martinez branch where they dressed up animals that are waiting to be adopted in Halloween costumes!

We thought you would enjoy these photos, and possibly be interested in adopting a cute pet – that would be a sweet Halloween treat!

The mission of Contra Costa Animal Services is to protect the public and animals in their community, and prevent cruelty, abuse, and neglect of animals in Contra Costa County by effectively and efficiently enforcing all animal laws. To learn more about the organization, go to http://www.ccasd.org/.

 

 

 

“Looks like Riley is a Le Top fan and dressed up one of our costumes, Barker the Puppy! How cute!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lilah (wearing a short dress and capri leggings from the rabbitmoon 'cupcake' collection) and Ozzy

Throughout my childhood, we had a total of 2 dogs, 4 cats, a guinea pig, and fish. I loved them all. I had to learn how to care for them by feeding, bathing, walking, and playing with them. I hated having to clean their litter boxes or move their doodie (my term for poop at that time) to a place in the yard, and bury it.  Despite this, I loved playing with them!  It taught me to be gentle, kind, loving, and responsible.

Lilah is so pleased to be carrying her Kasha kitty

A few years into my husband and my relationship, we adopted 2 sibling cats to practice being a family. We gave them tons of love and eventually they came around from their feral ways. When I became pregnant (6 months later) my female cat, Kasha, would sleep up against my stomach (which she had never done before). She seemed to know there was a little life inside me. Obviously when my daughter Lilah was born, it was a huge change for all of us (including the kitties!). Most cats don’t take well to crying babies (plus they get much less attention), but since my cats were still young themselves, they seemed to get used to it pretty quickly. Kasha stuck close to Lilah, but slightly out of her range. Ozzy (my other cat) generally stayed at least 10 feet away from her.

What I can say now is that Lilah adores her kitties. They tolerate her laying on them, carrying them around the house, and throwing balls, Frisbees and whatever else she thinks they’ll like. So far her responsibilities are just to love and play with them, retrieve them if they get out in the yard, and know exactly where they are at all times (she took this on without being asked). Eventually I will give her more tasks like I was given as a child.  Maybe in a few years we could add a dog to mix, but for now, I think our family of 5 is just …purrfect.

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