Posted tagged ‘spay and neuter pets’

Rescue Me

June 28, 2017


We’ve all heard that rescue pets are the best. That when given a second (or third or fourth) chance at having a forever home, an animal will be so grateful they will shower you with their conditional love. While that may very well be true, what you don’t often hear about are the many challenges that can go along with adopting a pet second (or third or fourth) hand.

After we adopted Ace the tenacious terrier, we realized this was only the second time we had brought a dog home that we had not gotten as a small puppy. Even though we’d adopted rescues before, they were very young and had not already been imprinted with another person’s living habits. While at a little over a year old Ace was still a puppy at heart, he had lived somewhere else, in another home, with another family. He was eager to please and just wanted to be loved, but he didn’t have a clue what was expected of him. Nor did we know what he had experienced in his former home. Unlike a younger puppy, he wasn’t a blank slate that we could write only our expectations on. He was house-trained and only had a few initial accidents inside, which was a big plus, and he was used to staying in his crate (maybe too much); but we quickly learned there were things he feared and things he’d not been exposed to (like the outside world). Walking on a leash was new, as was staying outside his crate when we were not home. The past few months have been a process, but he is a smart little guy and he’s learning. He’s also found a place in the hearts of his new family.

So if you are thinking of adopting a rescue pet, please be aware there may be a learning curve, and don’t let your expectations rush the adjustment that may take a little or a lot of time. Realize your new friend has had a previous life that was probably very different from the one you are offering, and don’t be in a hurry to give up.

Remember this is “kitten season,” when many litters come into shelters or are taken in by rescue groups. Donations of kitten food and litter are always most appreciated. But of course the best way to help the situation is to spay and neuter our own cats. They are capable of reproducing at a very young age, so if you have recently adopted a kitten, contact your veterinarian about the best time to have this done. It is truly a gift to your pet.

Call of the Wild

January 21, 2013

How many of you who are dog-owners sometimes feel like you’re a slave to your dog? Be honest. How many times do you just sit down in your comfy chair in the evening, ready to get back to the book you’re reading or to watch your favorite TV show, only to be met with a pair (or several pairs) of pleading eyes or the music of what I call, dancing paws. We need to potty again, or want to share your chair, or forgot we went for a walk just an hour ago. You drag yourself up and go to the door, in case it is the first of those choices. But then, wait, that isn’t what we really wanted! We stand at the open door and just look out, unable to make up our doggy minds if we really want to venture out into January’s freezing temps. Because we don’t really have to go potty; we just want to see what’s going on next door and hear who in the neighborhood is barking. We do decide to go out, two minutes later we’re ready to come back in (because remember, it’s freezing outside!). We expect a treat then (because we went out) and then we settle down….for another half an hour. Then there we are, staring again. Isn’t it time for another walk (even though it’s dark outside and still freezing)? Shouldn’t we have one more treat before bedtime? Aren’t we going to bed yet? Once we are tucked in for the night, we all sleep peacefully until…wait, we forgot to go potty when we went out because we had to bark instead. Good grief, it’s enough to drive any dog owner to distraction!

Yes, my dogs are spoiled. I’ll be the first to admit it, but sometimes trying to figure out just what it is they really want is a challenge. Maybe they don’t even know but somewhere in their doggy minds they are trying to answer that call of the wild from ancient ancestors. Maybe it whispers in their ears that they really should be out chasing after prey and howling at the moon instead of taking it easy on the couch. Maybe it confuses them as much as it does us. I often wish my dogs could talk and tell me what it is they want; except then, I’m sure, they’d never stop talking.

While I’m on the subject of January and freezing temperatures, just a reminder to watch for those antifreeze spills that can sometimes happen in the garage or driveway or roadways this time of year. Anti freeze containing ethylene glycol is highly toxic to pets and wildlife and only a tiny amount can cause poisoning and death if consumed. There is a new “greener” anti freeze (containing propylene glycol) that is less toxic and does not have the sweet taste that draws animals to it. Newer vehicles may use it, but most of our older ones will still have the ethylene kind, unless we’ve had it replaced. To be on the safe side, always clean up any spills immediately and keep pets away from puddles in the road. It’s a good idea to wipe off their paws after walking along areas of traffic or sidewalks. There is also a paw-safe ice melting product for sidewalks that will not irritate as the common road salt does.

Here are a few New Year resolutions to make us all better pet owners.

1) Brush your dogs’ teeth. It’s one good way to keep them healthy. I’ll confess, we don’t do this as often as we should but we’re working on it. Dental chews are also helpful in keeping your dog’s teeth clean.

2) Use heartworm preventative year round.

3) Use a leash whenever out of the house or fenced yard. It can prevent many a tragedy from happening.

4) Clean up after your dog!

5) Spay/neuter, the best way to prevent pet overpopulation and the plight of homeless animals.