History of the Africanis – shaped by Africa, for Africa

History of Pets The Africanis

The unique and resilient Africanis breed is the result of both physical and mental adaptation, as prescribed by the harsh African ecology. Historically, they were not bred for their physical features, but rather for their cleverness and ability to adapt. Having survived for centuries on their wits the Africanis has an evolved instinct for self-preservation.

The name, stemming from Africa as a continent and Canis, for dog, is an actually an umbrella name for all dogs native to Southern Africa – but that’s not where they originate from. They were introduced to the continent around 7000 years ago – a time when there were no domesticated animals settled in Africa.

Characteristics of the Africanis

Africanis love wide open spaces. The majority of Africanis can be found in rural settlements, where they stick closely to their pack of adoptive humans. They have short coats of varying colours and can sometimes even markings. If you’re looking for a dog that takes its guard duties seriously, then the Africanis is perfect and is especially well suited to keeping an eye on livestock, and other domestic animals. They are very expressive and adept communicators. Some say you can even see it talking with its body language and facial expressions.

Making the Africanis part of your family

Is your family active? Do you enjoy hiking, exploring, cycling and running together? Then the Africanis will make a great addition to your team! It’s resilience in health, as well as demeanour, make them great family members who will bring you many years of hassle-free joy.

Over the centuries, the Africanis has developed a natural resistance to internal as well as external parasites, making it a lot less fussy than other more refined breeds.

The Africanis is seen as an aboriginal landrace, and is of keen interest to The Africanis Society, whose intent is to preserve the breed without westernised breed “improvements”.

“The AfriCanis Society accepts the AfriCanis’ many physical variations and maintains that these are shaped by their immediate environment.” states Johan Gallant, founder of The Africanis Society.

“The AfriCanis as a primitive hound is guided by the instinct of subservience, the very drive that made its distant ancestors prime candidates for domestication. It is bound to its human partners and its territory. It will follow you for hours without being on a lead.” he says.

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#GotchaDay – remembering the first day

#GOTCHADAY

Do you remember the first time you locked eyes with your furry pal?

We’re looking for that first ever picture taken of you and your beloved companion. Yes, we’re talking about the one Facebook brings up every year as a memory – and you keep sharing it, because the world needs that cuteness.

Look out for our monthly #GotchaDay post. Share your picture in the corresponding month you and your pet met for the first time. You could win a bag of Montego! Want to know the best part about it? If your pet was adopted, tag the rescue in your post, and you could win a bag of Montego for them too.

We can’t wait to take a walk down memory lane with you!

 

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#CALENDARPETS 2019 NEW THEME!

Calendar Pets February Theme

#CalendarPets is back, and this time we’re asking you to break out the crayons, paint, pencils, Photoshop, Illustrator – or whatever medium you prefer to get creative with – because it’s time to create some art!

We create so many memories with our furfriends. The fun you have together and the adventures you share. We’d love to see these moments immortalised as works of art – so we’re calling all artists, from beginners to pros, to participate in the creation of our 2019 Calendar.

We want to see all styles, from the abstract to the more realistic, to styles that are entirely your own – we’re up for absolutely anything.

Monthly themes

To help all our artists along, we’ll be announcing a new theme on our Facebook page and blog each month. The themes are open to interpretation with the only rules being that submissions must be must be in landscape format. Other than that, we want you to really let your imagination run wild!

February #Calendarpets Theme

“Me and my best pawpal”

We’re looking for the best drawings and art pieces featuring yourself and your best pawpal.

January #Calendarpets Theme WINNER

Congratulations to Lindi Pieterse and Marcélle, our January Winners!

 

How to enter

To enter, take a photo of your drawing or painting, and post it as a comment on the new theme announcement each month. If you are creating electronic art, you’re welcome to upload the image directly. It’s as simple as that. Each month’s winner will have their drawing featured in the 2019 Montego Calendar and receive their own copy as well as a custom plush toy of their winning illustration.

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History of Pets – The Pug

Pugs have been prized pets for centuries and when you see their squishy little faces and delightfully curly little tales, it’s easy to see how these adorable dogs have wiggled their way into so many thousands of hearts and homes.

In ancient times Pugs were kept as companion animals for the ruling families of China. They were so respected, they even had their own guards. They lived lives of leisure and luxury, like all Pugs should! As they spread through Asia and the world, they became the official dog of the Netherlands’ House of Orange in 1572, and even saved the life of the Prince of Orange by alerting him of approaching assassins!

Brought from China to Europe in the 16th Century, Pugs are characterized by their curly tales, wrinkly faces and short-muzzles. Their coats vary in colouring from fawn, which is more beige brown in colour, to apricot fawn, silver fawn, or black. They didn’t always look like they do now. Originally Pugs were longer and much leaner, but through time they have become more stocky and shorter in stature. Often described as “a lot of dog in a small space”, they have a lot of personality packed into such small bodies

Pugs love making people laugh, and will easily amuse anyone in a family, from kids to adults. They are mostly calm in temperament, and are remarkably good at adapting to their owner’s mood. Talk about a dog breed with a high EQ. Pugs are also very good with children and love to play but will just as easily succumb to the allure of a couch or warm lap.

Due to their compact respiratory system, many Pugs battle with breathing and temperature regulation. Pug should be kept well hydrated and indoors, keeping them out of the sun as much as possible.

Their elongated palates play a part in reverse sneezing, a condition that has left many an owner not knowing what to do as their Pug snorts and sneezes profusely. Reverse sneezing is most commonly caused by water, food or debris getting trapped behind the palate. Softly rubbing or massaging the throat can help a lot, whilst softly blocking their noses to force breathing through the mouth can also assist in solving this problem. Breathing problems can be made worse with too much exercise or excitement from travelling, whether by car or plane. Both travel and exercise should be carefully monitored.

Because a Pug’s brow bones don’t extend very far and they lack the longer snouts of most other dog breeds, their eyes are more susceptible to injury than dogs with longer snouts and a more defined brow. Always ensure you have a good vet lined up for your Pug, and if you have any eye or breathing concerns, contact them sooner rather than later.

Pugs are great companion animals and will return all the love you give them tenfold. So, if you’re looking for a dog breed to keep you company or bring joy to the entire family, consider a Pug – they’ve been doing it for centuries.

If you are thinking about making a Pug part of your family, why not consider adoption. There are Pugs that require new homes and would love to be adopted. Contact an organisation like Pug Rescue South Africa for more information about welcoming a Pug into your family and home.

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#CalendarPets 2019 is here!

Calendar Pets 2019

#CalendarPets is back, and this time we’re asking you to break out the crayons, paint, pencils – or whatever you prefer to get creative with – because it’s time to draw!

Childhood is such a special time and when you’ve got your best fur friend by your side, it’s even better. The fun you have, the adventures you share. We’d love to see these moments immortalised in the artwork of your children and their friends – so we’re call all children between the ages of 5 and 13 years old to participate in the creation of our 2019 Calendar.

Drawing is not only a good past time for kids, keeping them busy, expanding their minds and helping them develop creatively, it also helps grow their imaginations by creating something out of nothing. We want to see all styles, from the abstract to the more realistic, to styles that are entirely your own – we’re up for anything.

MONTHLY THEMES

To help all our budding artists along, we’ll be announcing a new theme on our Facebook page and blog each month. The themes are open to your interpretation with the only rules being that submissions must be must be in landscape format. Other than that, we want you to let your imagination run wild!

HOW TO ENTER

To enter, take a photo of the drawing, and post it as a comment on the new theme announcement each month. It’s as simple as that. Each month’s winner will have their drawing featured in the 2019 Montego Calendar and receive their own copy as well as a custom plush toy of their winning illustration.

JANUARY #CALENDARPETS THEME

“ME AND MY BEST PAWPAL”

Pals come in all shapes and sizes, and are not limited to humans only. Is your best friend a hamster, cat, dog, fish or bird?

January winners will be announced on our Facebook page, so be sure to enter it by posting a photo of the artwork on the Facebook post.

Are you ready to begin? We can’t wait to see what you create!

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Taking holiday photos with your pet

There’s no doubt that pets are part of the family and when the holidays come around, it’s only natural to want the whole family included in your holiday photos. To help you with this process, here are some tips for taking the perfect fur family photos this holiday season.Nothing says, “holiday cheer” more than a big family photograph and it’s never too early to start planning. Decide when, where, who will be in it and who will take it. Schedule a date, time, location and for best results, consider what everyone will be wearing.

Try take your snaps at the right time of day for everyone. If your kitty naps all afternoon, take your pictures in the morning. If you have a new puppy that you’d like in this year’s holiday photo, nap time might be the perfect time to take the photograph as he/she will hold still for the picture.There’s no doubt that the best place to get a good pet picture is at home, where your pet is most comfortable. Taking pictures at home is also a perfect option if you want your pet to be in some pictures but not every single one.Picking up some fun holiday props and accessories from your local party supply store is always a fun option but think safety too because puppies and kittens (even fully-grown dogs) are likely to chew on whatever is around. So, keep fragile, glass, toxic or glittery items away.

For some photos, you’ll want your pet’s attention to be focused on the photographer. Dogs may respond to their names, squeak toys, treats or other interesting objects to capture their attention. So be prepared by having some of these items with you while taking the photos.

Instead of putting your pets through a lengthy photo session while sitting, capture their personality by letting them play. Plus, they might burn some energy early in the session, which means less chasing and more snapping for you.If you want a really great holiday photograph that includes your pet, realise that having them sit still next to your Christmas tree may not be the best way to truly capture their personality. Instead, head to the park or your backyard and take some photos of your pet in their element. For more information on how best to approach this, visit our blog for a few handy tips on action photography.

We hope that these tips will guide you to have the perfect family photos this holiday season.

Don’t forget to show off your family holiday pics by taking part in our latest #CalendarPets competition. Visit our Facebook page here, to submit your entry.

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Getting your pets holiday ready

The holidays are almost here and that means it’s nearly time for year-end parties, dinners, gift exchanges and get-togethers. Whether you’re hosting the festivities or packing up the family – pets included – for a beach holiday, there are a few things to consider beforehand to get your pets holiday ready. SECURE YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE

If you have a Christmas tree, keep in mind that your dogs and cats can be drawn to the unusual smells and sights. That’s why it’s important to make sure it’s secure enough in its stand that your pets can’t accidentally push it over.

CHOOSE YOUR ORNAMENTS WISELY

Ornaments, tinsel and lights can be hazardous to your pets. Keep both breakable ornaments and small, stuffed ones out of reach as they can easily be mistaken for toys. Wires for lights also need to be hidden so your pets don’t chew on them and cause an electrical shock.

KEEP HARMFUL FOODS AWAY FROM YOUR PETS

Sweet, fatty and spicy foods that we commonly eat during the holidays are certainly not intended for pets. If you have these foods around your home, make sure they are securely put away and out of reach to avoid any emergencies.

GIVE YOUR GUEST A REMINDER

Consider leaving a cute, festive note on the food table to remind guests not to share holiday treats with your pets. It is also helpful to give your pets an early dinner so they are less tempted to beg for scraps.

CREATE A SAFE HAVEN

During parties, some pets can become stressed, so have a safe spot available for them. This location should be away from the festivities and should have fresh water, a couple of toys and a comfortable place to sleep.

USE A CRASH-TESTED CRATE

Your pets should never be allowed to roam freely in your car. A wandering dog or cat can find their way under the driver’s feet, obstructing their ability to use the clutch, brakes or accelerator. Crates are the best option to ensure your pet’s safety when travelling. Just remember to make sure to select the right size crate for your dog or cat. It’s also critical to choose safety-certified, crash-tested crates.

TAKE A BREAK

Even if you can push yourself to keep going for hours on end to arrive at your destination sooner, pets have different needs. Plan to stop every two or three hours to let them get out, stretch their legs and do their business.

HAVE A PET BUDDY

If at all possible, have a buddy for your pet on your journey. This is someone who will sit beside their crate, pet them, talk to them and comfort them in case of distress. Put your pet’s favourite blanket or toy in their crate with them for familiarity.

BRING WATER AND A BOWL

Dogs and cats need regular access to water and this is vital on a longer road trip. The best way to ensure that you always have water on hand is to store a bottle in the car as part of your emergency kit.LEAVE YOUR PETS AT HOME WITH A DOG SITTER

If there is someone that you trust to stay in your home, this is a great choice for your pets. Your pet’s routine will change very little and they’re more likely to receive top-notch, constant care. Having someone in your home while you’re away will also minimise security risks.

BRING YOUR PET TO THE SITTER’S HOME

Another great option is bringing your pet to the sitter, for care in their home. This allows your pet to experience the comfort of routine in a home environment. This option is also less expensive than paying someone to stay in your home.

BOARD YOUR PET AT A KENNEL

Kennel offerings are available for every type of pet at every price point. However, because every kennel is unique, it is important to do your research. References and reviews from people you trust will help you decide which kennel is right for your pet.Whether your dog is spending the week at home, at the beach or a modern dog boutique, a bit of research and advance planning will ensure that they’re safe and well cared for while you’re away. As an added bonus, you can look forward to lots of tail wagging when you return!

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Using Lens Flare Creatively

A recent trend among many professional photographers is the use of lens are. Fortunately, for those of you who want to use lens are creatively, it’s quite easy to do and it’s not so hard to add this technique to your list of photography tricks. Here are a few considerations that will help you achieve your best lens are capabilities without breaking a sweat.Lens flare happens when stray light reflects on some of the internal elements of your lens. This stray light can create light streaks, ‘sunbursts’ or reduction in contrast and saturation. Through most of the history of photography, lens flare has been a maligned anomaly. However, lens flare can be used as a creative tool to enhance an already good image.To enhance your images and to have lens flare to show up in your images, try these tricks:

Shoot into the sun

Lens flare is caused by strong rays of light hitting your lens directly and causing a slight sun burst. Capitalising on the direction of your light is the key to capturing lens flare.

Adjust your subjects position

Place your subject in front of you, with their back to the sun. Your subject will be backlit as though you were capturing a silhouette. You can control your creative goals to some degree by moving your subject so that some (or all) of the light is behind him/her. Or you can simply adjust your own position so the sun is angled behind your subject.

Take multiple photos

Lens flare can be unpredictable so, set up your subject and shoot multiple images as you make slight adjustments to your camera’s angle. This will change the overall position and strength of the lens flare, which will give you multiple images to choose from.

Shoot at an angle

Because you want an image with lens flare you need to keep in mind your camera position to the sun as this will largely depend on what time of day you shoot. In the mornings or evenings, you will have an easier time of shooting directly into the sun. However, at midday this changes and you’ll need to position yourself fairly low to the ground in order to shoot into the sun.

Watch your focus

Your camera will typically focus on the object best lit in your frame. Shooting into the sun will make it more challenging for your camera to focus on your subject. You may need to switch from auto focus to manual focus.As great as lens flare can be under the right conditions, there are still cases where it will detract from your image rather than add to it. As such, you don’t want lens flare to cover your subject’s face, especially their eyes. Nor do you want your subject to be so washed out that they become unrecognisable. Although there’s a lot of creative choice involved in your decision to include lens flare, a great use of lens flare is going to come down to what looks right to you.

Getting great lens are can be a little tricky and take a bit of practice and tweaking. We hope that these tips will give you the best opportunities to get awesome are goodness in your photographs.

If you’d also like to take part in our monthly #CalendarPets competition, then be sure to visit our Facebook page here.

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Meet Mrs. Müller

More than just a pretty face, Adré Müller is a lifestyle blogger, the owner of GOSH (a non-profit organisation) and the owner of permanent makeup and paramedical aesthetics salon, Adré Müller Aesthetics (AMA).

And, as if her hands weren’t full enough, she’s also the Fashion and Animal Editor for BELLA Tydskrif, wife to Brett and fur mom to Jonty, their mixed Pomeranian. With all this under her belt, we thought we’d sit down with this dynamic South African blogger to find out more about her and her gorgeous pooch.

 

 

I’m a small-town girl, Mpumalanga born but I’ve been living in Pretoria for the past 12 years. I have a degree in BA Drama and a Postgrad in Early Childhood Development. In 2016, I had the opportunity to realise my dream of being a full time writer and today, I believe I can say that all my dreams have come true.

I believe we create our own happiness and I’ve always said: “Be the person your pet believes you are”. My dog, Jonty, thinks I’m pretty amazing. I also have a passion for improving other people’s lives and I think that’s a very good reason to get out of bed.

 

I honestly think it found me! On several occasions, I was asked by a number of brands to be their brand ambassador so I thought, “why not?” and decided to join social media. Having a strong presence on social media gave me a platform to give these brands exposure and showcase my own abilities. I also enjoy writing and I now have a platform for my opinions. I believe it’s better to give your opinion than to go with the flow.

 

I have a passion for enriching the lives of others and I love beautiful things. This inspired me to open my own salon. Enhancing the inner beauty of women has always encouraged me. Woman can be so mean to each other and we question ourselves daily. My salon is the one place where women can come to relax, recharge their batteries and have no sense of guilt or judgement. I believe in natural healing and using what you have while working with a woman’s strong features, I’m not fond of injections, fillers, Botox etc. and that is why skin needling offers a healthy and self-rejuvenation option to people like me.

 

 

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance sounds easier than it is. However, my husband, Brett and I don’t have children yet so I have some extra time. Brett is also an absolute gem around the house and we share the chores – he cooks and I do the dishes.

I believe the key to balance is communication. Keeping things to yourself makes you burn out but when everything’s out in the open, there can only be balance.

 

Never give up on your dreams, it took me 10 years to get to where I am but there’s still have so much I want to achieve. Be humble in everything you do, thank God always because your greatness comes from his grace and never burn your bridges because you don’t know who you might need along the way.

 

 

I’ve always dreamt of becoming a vet, but working with blood was a little too much for me. I do a lot of charity work for shelters and I am also the very proud brand ambassador for non-profit organisation, All Hearts Foundation. The All Hearts Foundation Founder, Lexi Austen, has fostered a pack of wolves and now we are in desperate need of donations and sponsorship for food and safety for these beautiful creatures.

Through my charity work, I feel that I can live out my animal dreams. I want to be a voice for animals and I still dream of working at a sanctuary one day, or being a humanitarian like Leonardo Dicaprio (I have so much adoration and respect for the awareness he is creating and that he is using his platform to better the lives of others).

 

 

Jonty found me when I lost someone very dear to me and filled every piece of sunshine in my heart that I lost. Jonty catches all my silent tears, he brightens up every gloomy day, he is my running partner, my blogger pal and my bodyguard.

His mom (me), then his Dad (Brett) and his two soft toys that he sucks on while sleeping – a habit he’s had since a puppy.

 

 

Jonty sleeps in bed with us so, he has a bath and shave once a month. Jonty is also a very fussy eater so, in addition to his regular meals packed with protein and calcium, we give him Montego Karoo small breed puppy as well as Bags O’ Wags Crunchies in Sweetie flavour or Bags O’ Wags Chicky Chewies as a treat for good behaviour.

 

 

Jonty has his own account on Instagram (@jontyislove) and the social media community just love him. Jonty loves the camera and I enjoy putting videos of him on social media as well as his cute photos. A year ago, he had a very big operation and I had to create groups to keep his followers updated on his progress as well. He is a very loved little man.

 

 

Book: Always the Bible and BELLA Tydskrif. Food: Sushi. Music: P!nk’s latest album, Beautiful Trauma. Pastime: Braai with my husband, series and Instagram. TV programme: Master Chef, American Housewife, America’s Got Talent, The Fixer and Prison Break (I’m addicted to my series).

 

 

I wish I could say: “Swimming with Dolphins in Dubai, discovering a cure for an incurable disease, saving Rhino’s, opening a shelter and funding All Hearts Foundation”. But for now, I just want people to see me like Jonty sees me, tomorrow I want to be a better person than I was today, I want God and my family to be proud of me and I want to be the reason someone says: “Because of you I did not give up”.

If you’d like to keep up with Adré, then follow her on Instagram @meetmrsmuller or read her blog here: http://meetmrsmuller.wixsite.com/meetmrsmuller

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