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A menagerie of calendars

Keep tabs on your schedule with the cute face of a kitty or puppy, or the other end of a donkey or pig. Here are a wide assortment of 2005 wall calendars featuring pets:

"The Ferret Calendar 2005" is also an investment. These calendars have become collector items. Even old calendars are sold on Web sites such as eBay for several times their original value.

Each year there's a new theme; this year it's musical ferrets. There's a harmonica-playing ferret, another playing bongos, even a ferret pianist. There are also a pair of ferret vocalists, the latter resembling an opera diva. $14.99. Call (650) 851-5775 or go to www.ferretcompany.com.

Ronnie Seller Productions Inc. offers the following calendars (toll-free 1-800-778-7266 or www.makefun.com):

"Doggie Days" is a series of adorable puppy calendars. This is a must-have for fans of 20 popular breeds, including beagle, Chihuahua, Dalmatian, Labrador, Jack Russell terrier and pug. Each includes a brief breed description ("Spunky, quick and possessing courage of the lion," begins the Jack Russell explanation). $12.99.

"Pooped Puppies" makes quite the claim: "Guaranteed to melt the heart of even the grimmest Cruella DeVil." Aside from being darn cute, all these pups have one more thing in common: They're all catching a catnap. $12.99.

"Cat Naps" and "Uncommon Cats": The cute kitties on "Cat Naps" are doing something they likely didn't have to pose for. In "Uncommon Cats," the felines are being their frisky selves. $12.99 each.

"The Proverbial Cat": "Cats are connoisseurs of comfort" is one of the 12 monthly feline inspirations. Another: "Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a purpose." Cat lovers might be familiar with Sydney Hauser's inspirational note cards, which this calendar is patterned after. $12.99.

In "Wild Horses," photographer Tony Stromberg captures the mystery and spirit of his subject. Each monthly black and white photo is stirring. You'll want to keep this calendar forever. $12.99.

Pet Print Calendars (toll-free 1-800-738-2257 or www.petprints.com) offers the following:

Dog breed calendars: Available for more than 100 breeds, from popular pooches such as pugs and Dalmatians to breeds you may never have heard of, such as the Chinese crested, Dogue de Bordeaux and Shiba Inu. Some photos feature the dogs doing what they were bred to do. $11.95.

"Small Creatures": Calendars featuring hamsters aren't easy to find; this version shows a hamster walking out of a toilet roll tube, another munching on a banana and a third poking its nose out of a flower pot. Guinea pigs, rabbits and ferrets also have calendars. $11.95 each.

"Cats" and "Kittens": The cover girl on "Cats" is a regal Himalayan. Most of the cats are domestic shorthairs. Models are doing what they do best: look cute. $11.95 each.

Paw Print bird calendar titles include "African Greys," "Amazons," "Budgerigars" and "Cockatiels." $11.95 each.

"Snakes": With the exception of the boa constrictor, king and corn snakes, most of the slithering cover girls in this set aren't suitable as pets, such as the venomous Western diamondback rattlesnake and East African mamba. $11.95 each.

Purebred cats: Design Tyme offers calendars depicting Abyssinians, Maine coons, Siamese and the trendiest of all breeds, the ragdoll. And who says black cats are bad luck? They'll charm you for all 12 months. $11.99 to $12.99. (706) 783-4563 or www.designtyme.com/animalden /2005calendars.html.

The Web site www.buy2005calendars.com offers calendars from $11.99 to $16.99. There are eight pig calendars alone, the most entertaining being "Pigs on Parade."

Most of the so-called fish calendars feature animals such as killer whales, which are mammals. However, there are several shark calendars. There is one calendar with tropical fish; the cover shot shows clown fish.

Dog breed calendars feature breeds from Akitas to whippets. Other choices include "What Dogs Teach Us," with lessons in life from a canine perspective. "What Dogs Do" includes black and white photos of canines doing their thing, from fetching to chomping on a favorite toy.

Apparently the top-selling calendar on this site is called "Jackasses." According to the calendar, a jackass is a male donkey with very large ears. Contrary to popular belief, jackasses are neither stubborn nor mean; they're hardworking and gentle. Calendars called "Donkeys," "Mules" and "Goats" are also available.

Among the cat calendars is "Cats in the Sun." It's unlikely that the models required much coercion to stretch out and catch some rays. "Cat's Eyes" depict the kaleidoscope of colors seen in feline peepers.

"Canine Companions for Independence": This calendar benefits the not-for-profit national organization that helps people with disabilities by providing trained assistance dogs. The calendar depicts dogs from little pups in training to those who are providing assistance and independence to clients with disabilities. $12.50. Toll-free 1-866-224-3647 or www.caninecompanions.org (click on CCI Gift Shop).

The "Doggles" calendar shows various canines wearing goggles made especially for dogs. $19.99. Toll-free 1-866-364-4537 or store.yahoo.com/doggles/do20ca.html.

Write to Steve Dale at Tribune Media Services, 435 N Michigan Ave., Suite 1400, Chicago, IL 60611, or send e-mail to petworldaol.com. Questions of general interest will be answered in the column.

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