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October: The Pug

pug freeHistory of the Breed
 
The pug is one of the oldest known breeds of dogs with its anecestory dating back to Asia 400-700BC!  Aside from the Buddhist Monks in Tibet, only Chinese royalty were allowed to own pugs.  The punishment for having one of these dogs if you weren't amongst the elite, was death. 
 
The pug was brought to Europe in the 16th-17th century and quickly became a favorite of European royalty.  There are many stories of intrigue scattered through European history that involve the pug. For example, William the Silent, of the House of Orange, was alerted to the presence of would-be assasins by his loyal pug.
And, when Napoleon's wife, Josephine was thrown in jail, the only visitor she was allowed was her pug, Fortune.  She sent secret messages to Napleon by hiding them in Fortune's collar.

September: The Labrador Retriever

lab freeHistory of the Breed
 
The Labrador's lineage goes back to 16th century Newfoundland.  This dog was the fisherman's working dog, helping to carry ropes to boats and retrievinng fishing nets in the water.  The labrador's predessor, the St. John's water dog, had tuxedo markings of a white chest, feet, chin and muzzle.  This trait will occasionally be expressed in our modern day labradors as a white spot on the chest (known as a medallion), or stray white hairs on the feet or muzzle. 
 
Valued for it's loyal and brave personality, the labrador retriever is the quinesential dog.  Friends with everyone, the labrador makes a great family dog.  Labradors love being outdoors and need plenty of exercise.  They are excellent at the job they were bred to do, which is retrieving.  If your family is not one of hunters, then labradors would love to retrieve sticks and balls to fullfill that natural instinct. 
 
Health Concerns
 
 
 
Preventative Care Recommendations
 

August: The Maine Coon

History of the Breedfree maine coon

The Maine Coon is one of the oldest natural breeds of cats in North America. It is the official state cat of Maine, hence the name, Maine Coon. No one knows for sure the exact origins of this breed, but likely it was ship cats that intermingled with local cats on ports of call along the eastern coast of the United States. 

Maine Coons are noted for their large bone structure and luxurious coat. The males can reach 15-25lbs, and females 10-15lbs. They are slow growing and don’t reach their mature size until they are 3-5 years old. Their coat is soft and silky, and their tail puffy and raccoon-like.   They come in a variety of colors, with the most common color being the brown tabby. They are also gentle and friendly in nature. They are loyal to their families, and tend to be relaxed around other cats, dogs and children.

June: The Golden Retriever

Golden RetrieverHistory of the Breed
The Golden Retriever (and equally popular Golden-Doodle), is one of the most common breeds seen at Westgate Pet Clinic.  The Golden Retriever has its roots in Scotland. In the mid-18th century, wildfowl hunting was very popular among the wealthy, and a dog was needed that could retrieve from water and land because the land was covered in ponds and rivers.  Hence the Golden Retriever was developed with a love for the water and boundless energy when they are young. 
The Golden Retriever is known for it's intelligence and eager to please attitude.  They make a great family dog because they love people, and generally get along with other dogs and cats in the house.  They have a reputation for being profuse shedders, hence the popularity of crossing them with a poodle.  Although Golden-Doodles can still shed, the amount of hair that you will find around your house is considerably less. 
Health Concerns
Preventative Care Recommendations
Because ear infections are so common in Golden Retrievers, we want your dog to tolerate ear cleaning and treatments.  Starting when she is a puppy, touch and play with the ears regularly.  Also, clean the ears on a regular basis, every 2-4 weeks.  Cleaning the ears keeps them free of wax build up, and also if you clean a lot of black or brown debris out of the ears, then you know that she has an ear infection.  

May: The Ragdoll

ragdoll freeHistory of the breed: The Ragdoll is a relatively new breed of cat.  Developed in the 1960's by a breeder named Ann Baker in Riverside CA, her kitty, Josephine and Josephine's sons, Daddy Warbucks and Blackie, are the origin of this special breed of cat.
  
If you research the history of the Ragdoll, you will soon discover that there was a lot of controversy and drama around the creation and popularization of this breed of cat.  Ann Baker's dream was to franchise Ragdoll catteries and she got paid a royalty fee for every kitten sold.  She was very keen on promoting this new breed of cat.  As time went on, however, her claims about the breed became outlandish.  She promoted the Ragdoll as being immune to pain, having a human gene in them, and even went so far as to say that they represent a link between humans and space aliens. 
 
Another set of breeders, Denny and Laura Dayton, came on the scene several years after the inception of the breed.  Their goal was to legitimize the breed and promote them for what they are, exceptionally docile and friendly companions. 
 
The fact that Ragdolls have acheived world wide popularity is a testament to the fabulousness of this cat.  Had this breed not been so exceptional in their nature and beauty, it likely would not have survived the controversy of it's origins. 

Our Mission:

We provide the quality care our clients expect and their pets deserve, by relying on the expertise and
compassion of each team member.

 
 
 

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Westgate Pet Clinic
4345 France Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55410
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(612)925-1121
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