Rescued Dogs Are Angels In Disguise

Are you one of the 80% whose home is also home to a dog or cat? I am. I have had a dog in my life since I was in college and each one has been extra special. I am one of those pet owners who celebrates their pets birthdays. One who buys their pets and their friends’ pets gifts at Christmas. So it is no surprise that at the death of each dog, I took the loss hard. But when I lost two dogs within two weeks of each other one summer, the grief was overwhelming.

Our dog Fox was diagnosed with Mast Cell Tumors. The prognosis was not good but we went with the surgery and were among the lucky ones. He bounced right back and we had him for another three years. Then our luck ran out. He became very ill, very quickly and knowing it was best for him, we let him go. Anyone who has had to make that decision knows how hard it is. We still had his beautiful and loving litter mate and thought of getting another dog immediately to keep her company. Before we could do so, she became ill. She wouldn’t eat and she became lethargic. Even with all of our love and medical assistance from our vet, she died two weeks later. I believe she died of a broken heart and I was sure I was going to also.

There are two points of view about how soon after the loss of a pet before letting another one into your heart and home. Some people need to get another pet immediately. They say it helps with the grief. Others need to have some time alone, feeling it is disrespectful to their pet’s memory to replace the lost pet too soon.

I belong in the former group.

Within days of our second dog’s death, I found THE dog while searching the web. As soon as I saw her picture, I knew she was the one. She was a little ball of white fur. I called the adoption center and begged them to hold her for a couple of days until I could get there. We took to each other instantly and for the past year and a half she has been my constant companion. I’m not so sure who rescued whom.

As I mentioned, I am one of those crazy pet owners and everyone knew how much my dogs meant to me so when they learned that my pets had died, they did not know what to say or do.

When a friend or business associate looses a pet, the best thing to do is to acknowledge the loss. Offer the same kind words you would if it were the loss of a family member because, in a sense, it is. Your sympathy and support will be very much appreciated. If you are close to the person, sending a card and a gift is certainly appropriate. You can find … Read More

Does Your New Pet Really Need a Pedigree?

Recently, some of my acquaintances decided to add a new Birman kitty to their family.

Birman kittens usually come with a hefty price tag of several hundred dollars and, often, a waiting list for the few available each year. These drawbacks didn’t deter this family in the least. They had their hearts set on a Birman cat, no matter how much they had to pay or how long they had to wait.

As it turned out, they ended up having to travel several hundred miles to find a breeder for this particular specie, and, when they did arrive, the owner brought out, not one, but two of the most adorable little balls of fluff they had ever seen. Of course, they went home with both of them, and a huge dent in their credit card.

Nevertheless, the proud Birman owners have never regretted their decision. The tiny kittens have grown into beautiful year old cats who are a joy to the family. They are lovely to look at, amusing to watch, and so far, very healthy, lively, and affectionate.

If you aren’t in a position to spend hundreds of dollars for your new pet, I have good news for you. There are dozens of wonderful pets at your local animal shelter waiting to be adopted into homes just like yours. They may not be the breed you’ve always dreamed of owning but, I guarantee you, they are just as loving and affectionate as more expensive animals.

Tens of thousands of cats and dogs end up in animal shelters every year. Some have wandered away from home and are picked up while roaming the streets untended. Others arrive at shelters because of cruelty or neglect by an owner. Far more end up homeless because so many animals are allowed to wander and breed indiscriminately.

Make a trip to your local shelter just to see what goes on there. More and more unwanted animals arrive daily, and in comparison, very few people visit who are looking for an animal to adopt. Families seeking pets to adopt, like those seeking human children to adopt, often prefer babies, and the older ones are often passed by, even though they have just as much love and affection to give to their adoptive families as any baby ever would.

We recently adopted a 2-year old cat from our local shelter. We were amazed at the way the small staff managed to find time to speak to each animal, often reaching out to give a scratch or two behind the ears as we passed by, and to check and make sure the cages and kennels were clean and well stocked with food and water.

We were required to have our new cat, Misty, spayed before we could take her home, and paid a fee of $50 for this service. Local veterinarians take turns volunteering a couple of hours each week so that a low-cost spay and neuter clinic which also provides common shots needed by … Read More