Friday, December 25, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
In the past few days, I've witnessed a number of distressing situations, ones which touched my heart deeply. Two involved animals, the other people. There's only a few days left until Christmas, and I hope each of us will do SOMETHING to help pets and people in need.
Today, I stopped by the Salvation Army to donate a few toys I'd purchased. There was a HUGE LINE filled with adults who were there to pick up Christmas baskets and other donated food products, as well as toys for their children. I could not believe the number of people in that line in this relatively small town of Casper, Wyoming! I walked out of that place with tears in my eyes.
Monday, December 7, 2009
4. Speaking of outdoors and dangers, remember that anti-freeze poisons pets, so keep your pet away from the garage and driveway, and those of your neighbors. Watch where you and your pet walk and keep your furry friend away from anti-freeze!
Monday, November 23, 2009
2. Make sure your pets have collar and ID tags in case they do become lost then they can get home more quickly. You may also want to invest the small amount of money needed for your vet to implant a microchip. Collar and tags can become lost themselves, and pets turned into the local animal shelter are scanned for microchips. Make sure your pet can get home more quickly with identification (and make sure that identification is up-to-date!)
3. Holidays often mean great food feasts. Don’t give your pets turkey or chicken bones (dangerous!) or rich foods like gravy (upset tummies!). Keep your pets’ food routines during the holidays – it’s best for everyone – no matter how sad his/her eyes look upon you for that piece of pumpkin pie!
7. All the holiday excitement, running around, and extra guests can cause our pets stress. Make sure there’s a quiet place for your dog or cat to get away from the noise and activity, a quiet room in the house and provide things your pet is familiar with: your dog's bed or special blanket, your pet’s toys, and food and water dishes, your cat's litter box. Just as people need “down time”, our pets also need a peaceful spot where they are comfortable and secure.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
· Keep pets safely inside, away from trick-or-treaters and other Halloween activities. This will ensure that pets won’t become frightened or feel threatened at the sight of noisy costumed children.
· Remember that frequently opened doors provide a perfect opportunity for escape, which can go unnoticed during all of the commotion, so keep your pet safe by keeping it in a secure room away from the opening and closing of the front and back doors.
· Be sure all pets are wearing collars with ID tags in case of accidental escape.
· Keep candy out of your pet’s reach. Candy can be harmful and chocolate is toxic to pets.
· Keep pets away from decorations. Flames in jack-o-lanterns and candles can quickly singe, burn or set fire to a pet’s fur. Pets can become tangled in hanging decorations like streamers and can choke on some decorations if they chew on them.
· Resist the urge to put your furry friend in costume. Most pets dislike the confinement of costumes and masks, and flowing capes can cause injuries if pets get caught on something.
· Don’t bring the family dog along for trick-or-treating. Dogs may become difficult to handle during the noise and confusion of the festivities, and a lost dog or a dog bite to someone will quickly end your Halloween fun.
These Halloween safety tips are provided by the Humane Society of the United States and others who care for you and your pets. Happy (and safe!) Halloween!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Promoted by American Humane (a national animal welfare organization based in Denver, CO) and the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month brings greater awareness to the plight of homeless dogs throughout our nation. The Humane Society of the United States estimates nearly 3 to 4 million dogs and cats enter shelters across the United States annually, many of which are euthanized for one reason or another. This year’s Adopt-A-Dog theme is “Be a Super Hero! Rescue a Shelter Dog…and Get a Loyal Sidekick for All of Life’s Adventures!” and hints at one of the many special reasons to adopt a dog.
If you are considering adding a dog to your household, this is a good time to do so! Dogs are loyal and loving, providing that special ‘sidekick’ for life’s journey. Many dogs enjoy riding in the car, going for walks and hikes, and simply being a part of a family; therefore, they make wonderful companions! And remember the great health benefits dogs can provide: reducing stress and blood pressure and uplifting our moods, among others.
Whether you are single, married, have children, or are retired, there’s a dog to fit every lifestyle. Of course, you need to find the RIGHT dog, and that’s one of the roles animal shelters, rescue organizations, and humane societies provide. The staff and volunteers who spend time with the animals know their personalities and may often know the dog’s background, and therefore, offer a tremendous service for those hoping to add a dog to their life.
This year’s theme of super hero is a strong, positive one. Most of us have a role model, someone to whom we can look up, think of highly, and try to emulate. Those role models may be celebrities, or sports or political figures. Yet, we can all be positive role models, especially to our children. Kids look at superheroes, like Superman, in awe, watching the cartoon and movie versions of these make-believe characters. Wouldn’t it be great if, as adults, we gave children someone to look up to, being noted especially for our kindness and compassion? Not only can we teach our children the uplifting, strong moral characteristics of selflessness, kindness and compassion, but we can also teach them responsibility toward our community and our pets.
So, won’t you be a superhero today, to a homeless dog and to your kids and grandkids? Adopt a dog in October during national Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month. And even if you can’t adopt a pet, there are many things you can do to show kindness and compassion: support our local pet rescue and shelter organizations with donations not just of money, but also of dog toys, treats, food and even your time.
Dogs need people – they need our care, compassion, time, and attention. Be a Super Hero today!
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
I've been away from this blog for quite sometime but that's because I spent nearly six weeks with my parents after each experienced major and frightening health issues.
For almost two weeks, in the later part of that situation, my blind Springer Spaniel, Sage, stayed with us as well in their small home in Montana. Sage has experienced significant issues herself, from progressive blindness to being lost for 3 days to frequent urinary tract infections to, the latest, a pre-cancerous skin tumor. Through each significant challenge, Sage has exhibited immense courage and tenacity; her tail rarely stops wagging, and her sense of confidence and faith is inspiring!
While she stayed at my parents’ house, she sat near each one of them, coaxing in a silent way for them to pet her. They often complied, giving her gentle pats and talking to her tenderly. Sage sat quietly, seeming to enjoy the attention and seeming to know they needed that respite of acceptance and devotion.
Dogs provide great health benefits to people. They can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, uplift our moods, and add years to our life. The simple fact that our pets accept us for who we are, they love us unconditionally and are devoted companions, they often wait by the door for our return, and pets (especially dogs) get us outdoors for fresh air and walks – all of these things and more are healthy benefits to people, both emotionally and physically.
Therapy pets are used in hospitals and nursing homes around the country to help patients feel better. The Delta Society and other groups certify pets and their owners to take into such public places and studies show these animals provide great benefits to those whom they visit.
Unlike people with whom relationships can be complex, unpredictable, and stressful, animals are a great source of stability and companionship. They don’t change, and their loyalty to their owners and ability to rebound from tough situations can be inspiring. Pets are also a great source of comfort. The simple act of petting a dog can lower blood pressure and bring a sense of calm to one’s spirit. Interacting with a cat in a playful manner can generate enjoyment and laughter. Even watching fish in a beautiful tank can bring about a sense of peace and an enjoyment of beauty through the colors of both the fish and the tank. And, don’t we all need a bit more peace and stability in our lives?
I am thankful for the therapy Sage gives my family and I. Her dedication and devotion are beyond measure. She has taught me many things during her young life, including the value of friendship and loyalty and the strengths of perseverance and courage. My own special therapy pet, whom I can share with others – what a blessing!
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
I don’t have lots of time to volunteer, but I have found a few ways in which I can serve to help animals in need. Volunteers are vital to rescue and other animal welfare organizations, and there are many ways a person can volunteer. Some of these endeavors take lots of time, others take only a few hours a week. If you enjoy animals, here are some ways in which you can help your local animal shelter, Humane Society, or animal rescue organization:
- Donate time to walk and play with dogs.
- Donate time to brush and play with cats.
- Serve as a foster parent, providing a temporary home to injured or orphaned animals, those awaiting a new home, or mothers with very young kittens or puppies.
- Transport pets going into new homes.
- Assist with fundraising and other special events.
- Help landscape and clean an existing facility.
- Donate products, such as pet food, toys, treats, even laundry soap and cat litter.
- Donate money.
Visit with a representative from your local animal shelter or rescue group and see what their needs are that you as a volunteer can provide. You will be amazed at the difference you can make in the lives of homeless pets in just a few hours a week or even a few hours each month as these animals await their loving, forever home! Be part of the positive solution by giving of yourself in some small way.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
My husband and I took a weekend trip with our two dogs recently, something we’ve not done in quite sometime. It was a pleasant journey, at least for a few of us. Sage, our blind dog, no longer travels well, and she stresses about being in the car, even for a short while.
Cody, the Cocker Spaniel, on the other hand, lays down and sleeps, sometimes so peacefully that he snores! It’s an amazing difference between the two.
Once at the two different hotels we stayed at, we all relaxed for the night. The beds were king-sized (don’t often get that in hotel ‘pets allowed’ rooms!), the rooms were large enough that Sage, the blind one, could more easily navigate, and the prices were very reasonable (of course, it isn’t really the travel season yet!). We did have to pay an extra charge per pet per night, but nothing extravagant, and I’m grateful for that, especially traveling with two dogs.
During our journey, we stopped at one particular rest stop where a young man had also stopped with his two dogs. He had a van loaded with stuff, from skies and a shovel on top of the vehicle, to a bench seat with blankets on it for the dogs inside. I smiled, both inside and outside, when I saw this guy with his two 4-legged friends. Not only did he exercise them at the rest area, but he provided them attention and the vital substance called water and he played with them outside at the pet designated part of the rest area. It was great to see! He obviously enjoys his four-legged companions and was having fun traveling to wherever he was going with them.
I thank the people who are responsible for creating pet areas at highway rest stops. I thank the hotels that are pet friendly and allow us traveling pet owners places to stay with our furry friends. I thank pet owners who not only take their pets on trips, but who provide them the stimulations they need and the basic necessities they require. It’s wonderful to bump into other traveling pet owners. We share smiles, exchange greetings, and often stop and chat about our furry companions. Pets bring pet owners together, and I’m thankful for that, too.
As travel season approaches, here are a few traveling trips for taking your pet on the road with you:
- Pack enough pet food and also containers of water for the trip. In addition also take along the following: your pet’s food and water dishes, bedding, litter and litter box, leash, collar and tags, grooming supplies, a favorite toy, a first-aid kit, and any necessary medications.
- Make sure your pet wears a sturdy collar with ID tags throughout the trip. It's also recommended to have a tag on your pet with contact information for your destination.
- Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up-to-date and carry a health certificate with you.
- Make frequent pit stops. Provide your pet with fresh water in addition to the exercise and bathroom breaks when you stop.
- Never leave your pet unattended in a parked vehicle. Not only can the inside of a car heat up quickly, but unattended pets can be victims of theft.
- Be sure that your pet is safely restrained in your vehicle. Utilizing a pet safety harness or travel kennel are the best ways to keep your dog safe. Cat should be in carriers for their safety (and yours!). Whatever method you choose to properly restrain your pet in the vehicle, be sure to make their comfort a priority. Simply providing their favorite bed or blanket can help your pet feel more at ease during a road trip.
Happy Trails (and Tails!)
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Cody blended right in with Sage, our blind Springer Spaniel, and he seemed to take on the role of protector. It’s as though he realizes she has a handicap. The first few months when they went out together to the backyard (which they do often!), he watched her, and if she ran too close to one of the trees, or to the stair railing of the deck, Cody would try to prevent her from getting hurt.
On our walks and in our house, he is ever vigil. If he thinks a dog or a person is going to hurt me, his mistress, he sets into a barking frenzy. Once, I walked past a yard with a large golden retriever, and that dog came charging to the fence, barking up a storm! Cody retaliated, pulling on his leash and barking loudly! He didn’t care if that dog was 3 times his size, he’d have taken him on to protect me. Thankfully, the golden stayed in its yard and simply barked. We don’t walk near that yard anymore.
Our house would surely be off-limits to intruders. Cody keeps watch on a chair near the front door, with an eye on the picture window as well. Whenever he hears a diesel motor or sees a person simply walking past the front of the house, his “protection mode” kicks into high gear, and we are alerted that "something is out there!" We always know when someone is at the door! In fact, we always know when someone is walking on the sidewalk, even if they are across the street!
Friday, February 27, 2009
I hope spring is coming where you live. If it's already there, count your blessings -- snow will continue to fall off and on where I live for the next two or three months. That's what I like about spring, though -- it's a hopeful season, and I'm hoping it comes to stay and SOON!
Saturday, January 24, 2009
My blind dog, Sage, has learned how to jump onto the recliner and turn around and find a comfortable position to lie next to me. She’s done that for quite sometime. Usually, she turns away so that her nose and ears face the livingroom so she can smell and hear things going on around her better. However, this week, instead of her “normal” position on the chair, she has turned to face me, lay her head on my chest, and simply relax and “look at” me with such adoration. My heart has melted, and thanksgiving rises up for this special dog. She has given me great comfort in being by my side and in how she “looks” at me. I know she can’t see, but there’s just something about her expression, her acceptance of both her condition and of me – not at my best – that is heartwarming and uplifting.
I recall walks we’ve taken and how she simply just “goes” – walking in snow, walking in the woods (on a leash of course!), walking through a park – and she expresses no reservations; in fact, she WANTS to go walking! I cannot imagine, not being able to see, and just walking. Trusting your companion fully and just enjoying the experience of being outdoors, taking in the smells, the crispness of the winter air, the freshness of the mountains in summer… What faith, what courage, what trust!
As I sat close with my dog this week, I was reminded how important we are to them, and I know how important she is to me. Giving me love, acceptance, devotion, and comfort in my time of need. How many people actually do that for other people, including those we say we love? Humans can certainly learn a lot from their pets. Too bad more of us don’t acknowledge that fact!