Monday, November 23, 2009

So Thankful...

Thanksgiving is nearly upon us, and as I reflect upon this past year, I recognize the many blessings I've enjoyed: my parents, my husband, my friends, my pets. My pets are my friends, so I shouldn't delinate between the two, but I want and need to make sure I and others realize their value, their distinquished place in my life.

This is Cody's second Thanksgiving with Greg and I, Sage's eighth, and the kitties' fourth. I am so amazed at how quickly time flies! And because time does pass too quickly, we all should reflect and give thanks for our blessings, and probably more often than once each year.

So, I take a few moments to ponder and recall and to say to my parents, my husband, my friends, and my pets: I LOVE YOU AND I'M THANKFUL FOR YOU!

May each of you reading this post enjoy a blessed, happy, joyful, and safe Thanksgiving! And may you reflect upon those who are important to you and give them a hug and a 'thank you' for being in your life. Remember, time passes too quickly.

Below are a few tips to keep your furry friend safe and healthy this Thanksgiving (remember not to overinduldge yourself or your pet this holiday!):

1. With front doors opening and closing to welcome friends and relatives and for buzzing out the door for Thanksgiving food shopping, keep in mind where your pets are. They can zip out that front door very quickly if we’re not mindful of their location in the house or how long that front has been open or how many times it opened that day – a lost pet is a scared pet so avoid the “missing pet” situation from the start.

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!

4. Speaking of routine, don’t neglect your dog’s daily walk and exercise. Routine is the key to an emotionally healthy pet. Our dogs need this daily routine, not just for emotional stability as their human companions scurry hither and yon, but also they need the daily ritual for their overall physical health – just like us!

5. After returning from a walk, clean your dog’s paws of the ice, snow and other materials picked up along the way. Snow and ice can be painful on pet paws, and material such as ice melt from sidewalks may be ingested by your pet as s/he cleans itself, which can cause medical problems. Do the paw cleaning for your pet for better safeguards.

6. And, 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!

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.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, and may you, your family, friends and pets enjoy a blessed and safe holiday!

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