It’s Back to School For Pets Too

I don’t know about others but there is something about the first of September that creates in me this feeling of “a new start”, “something new just around the corner”.  I guess it’s just conditioning from all of those years of anticipating the new school year, new school clothes, new friends, new teachers, etc.  After all it wasn’t that long ago was it?  ahem..

We aren’t the only ones experiencing these feelings.  If we’re feeling it, you know our pets are.  For those families with children still at home the changes can be profound.  If we can get down on their level for a few observations;  for days now, there has been a frenzy of last minute trips which may have involved pet-sitters or kenneling as families scrambled to get in those last minute vacation days or promised fun times. New boxes and bags have been coming home with interesting smelling items as families have been stocking up on school suppies, clothing, gear and packed lunch treats.  There have been more conversations around the family gathering places and perhaps a more organized or disorganized (depending upon the family) evening mealtime hour with school sports and club schedules beginning to appear on family schedules.  Out come the dreaded alarm clocks that, perhaps, silent for weeks now, have been ringing at “o-bright thirty” once again. Now there is a new breakfast time for everyone including the pets which means new potty time, walk time,  etc.  Lots of early morning conversation, some of it quite animated as everyone rushes around to meet the bus schedule, head off with friends or pile into the car for the morning commute.  Then…..silence.

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DOGGY DEFINITIONS by anon. the dog

LEASH – A snap which, when attached to your collar, allows you to lead your human wherever you want him or her to go.

DOG BED – Any soft clean surface, such as a white bedspread in the guestroom, or the recently re-upholstered sofa in the livingroom.

DROOL – What you do when humans have food but you don’t.  To do this properly, you must sit as close as you can and look really sad, while letting the drool fall to the floor – or, better still, on their laps.

DEAFNESS – This is an affliction which affects dogs at times when their human wants them in, but they want to stay out.  Symptoms include staring blankly at the human and then running in the opposite direction.

THUNDER – This is a signal that the world is coming to an end.  Humans remain amazingly calm during thunderstorms, so it is necessary to warn them of the danger by trembling uncontrollably, panting, rolling your eyes wildly, and following at their heels.

WASTEBASKET – This is a dog toy filled with paper, envelopes and old candy wrappers.  If you get bored, tip the basket over and artfully arrange the contents all around the house until your human comes home to admire your efforts.

SOFAS – The dog equivalent of human napkins.  After eating, it is entirely appropriate to run up to the sofa and wipe your whiskers clean on it.

BATH – An activity during which humans soak the walls, floors and themselves as thoroughly as possible.  You can assist by shaking vigorously and frequently.

NUDGE – The perfect way to get your owners attention when they are busy drinking a cup of tea instead of paying attention to you.

LOVE – A feeling of intense affection given freely and uncondionally.  If you’re lucky, your human will love you in return.

Bush, Karen.  Everything Dogs Expect You To Know. Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 2008.

A Promise Kept; his ashes are where he most loved to be…

 Benny Man was our first rescue dog.  He came to us from a breeder whose life had become more complicated and she could no longer care for him the way she should have.  He wasn’t for sale but when my husband and I met him and saw his condition we made her a very generous offer and she, knowing that she had over-used him as a stud and wasn’t giving him the care that he needed,  happily accepted our offer.  Benny was seven years old,  deaf and  emmaciated from a flea infestation which had compounded into a tape worm.  Our veterinarian was shocked by his condition and was able to remove many teeth which had caused the ear infections and, after months of tender loving care,  Benny was once again  able to hear and, to our surprise,   had a beautiful white coat!  We had thought that Benny Man was a cream colored dog but he had lived around so much cigarette smoke that his coat had become discolored and dull.

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I RESCUED A HUMAN TODAY by Jeanine Allen

I RESCUED A HUMAN TODAY by Janine Allen

Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering apprehensively into the kennels. I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her.

I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn’t be afraid. As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the back of my cage. I didn’t want her to know that I hadn’t been walked today. Sometimes the overworked shelter keepers get too busy and I didn’t want her to think poorly of them.

As she read my kennel card I hoped that she wouldn’t feel sad about my past. I only have the future to look forward to and want to make a difference in someone’s life.

She got down on her knees and made little kissy sounds at me. I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort her. Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship. A tear fell down her cheek and I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well.

Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms.

I would promise to keep her safe.
I would promise to always be by her side.
I would promise to do everything I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes.

I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor. So many more are out there who haven’t walked the corridors. So many more to be saved. At least I could save one.

I rescued a human today.
http://rescuemedog.org/dog-blog/i-rescued-a-human-today-by-janine-allen/

Written by Janine Allen CPDT, Rescue Me Dog’s professional dog trainer. Janine’s passion is working with people and their dogs. She provides demonstrations for those who have adopted shelter dogs, lends email support to adopted dog owners that need information beyond our Training Support Pages, and aids shelter staff and volunteers in understanding dog behavior to increase their adoptability. Copyright 2010 Rescue Me Dog; http://www.rescuemedog.org

Angels at the Post Office: a letter from a child

I have received this story many times and, while I cannot authenticate its source, I believe that it is true.  I share it here to remind everyone that there are angels everywhere, sometimes in the most unexpected places.  I hope it gives you the same sense of hope that it gives me.  Patricia,  http://www.soft-hearted.com  

Here is the story:

Our fourteen year old dog, Abbey, died last month. The day after she died, my 4 year old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so she dictated these words:

Dear God,
Will you please take care of my dog?  She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick.

I hope you will play with her. She likes to play with balls and to swim. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her, you will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.

Love, Meredith

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven.  We put our return address on it.  Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven.  That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office.  Continue reading

We Can Learn Stress Management from Our Pets

by Patricia Moore  http://www.soft-hearted.com

For the eighteeth consecutive year,  April has been designated as National Stress Awareness Month.  We most likely won’t be reading or viewing much about this in our media since they seem collectively bent on creating strees for us so I decided to look toward a source I have right here at home to learn about stress and how to more effectively deal with it; my pets.  Our pets can teach us a great deal about how to deal with the stresses and disquietude of our life today.

1) The Here And Now – We tend to observe and then internalize our world and all of the chaos, in so doing whether we are viewing television, negotiating traffic while trying to complete chores, trying to navigate throught the latest “please listen closely; our options have changed” message we ignore what is going on in our own environment, our own bodies.  We are ignoring the “here and now”.

Pets live in the right now, this moment world.  Every treat is the very best treat ever, every walk is the most fun and exciting walk they ever took, every hug and belly scratch is the most nurturing and special one they ever felt.  The difference is that they are not caught up in the “out there” chaos; what’s happening tomorrow, why is this happening now, what’s going on over- analyzed world we immerse ourselves in.  What matters is the right here, right now, who is with me and how can I enjoy their company world.

2)  “Cat Naps” and Meditation – Pets nap A LOT, while probably not practical for us, there is a lesson to be learned here.  Observe your pets, often when they are supine, are they really napping?  Often times they are staring fixedly ahead just breathing.  Are they worrying about their next meal, who loves them, what tomorrow brings?  Likely not.  They are in the moment, being one with their bodies and simply breathing in and out.  We can learn a lesson in this.  A short nap or two may be in order for your day but if that isn’t a possibility, take a few moments, gaze straight ahead at a fixed point, go inside your body and think about your breaths, take a few deep nice breaths; belly rise….belly falls….. You will be surprised at the resulting sense of calm.

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Tara And Bella – A Story of Friendship