How Pets Can Heal You

tabby cat

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My Fellow Students of Life,

I love animals! I grew up with dogs, rabbits, fish, and birds. I never had cats until my adult life. I adopted my black and white cat Benny from Mixed Up Mutts who partners with PetSmart. I adopted my tabby cat CeCe from The Arizona Humane Society. They are a joy to have in my life. More importantly, they’re a good way for me to get and stay grounded. If I’m having an ‘off’ day, I’ll pet one of my cats and immediately shift my energy. The focus is off of me and my issues and onto my cats. Before you know it, my troubles melt away and they aren’t important anymore.

Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms. ~George Eliot

An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language. ~Martin Buber

Animals have these advantages over man: they never hear the clock strike, they die without any idea of death, they have no theologians to instruct them, their last moments are not disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant ceremonies, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills. ~Voltaire, letter to Count Schomberg, 31 August 1769

It often happens that a man is more humanely related to a cat or dog than to any human being. ~Henry David Thoreau

If you’d like to get a pet, consider adopting an animal from your local animal shelter. They usually hold special events to promote the adoption of animals from shelters — some accept donations in lieu of an adoption fee. It’s a win-win situation! All shelter animals deserve loving, forever homes. Adopt one today and watch how your new friend will add joy to your life. Adopting a pet can be a life saver in more ways than one.

Rebecca

Related articles

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  • Pets Need Moving Room Too (thewmpetconnection.com)
  • Joplin, MO pet adoptions are a HUGE success!! (thewmpetconnection.com)
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Black and White Cats Have a Mind of Their Own

Who else has a black and white cat? My little Benny just turned 1-year old and still acts like a kitten. I caught him chewing on my AC Adapter cord, again. He hasn’t done that since last year. Now I have to buy a new one. Needless to say, he’s been banned from the office. Maybe I expect too much from Benny because I’m used to having dogs. I do miss having a dog.

This is my first and LAST cat! Benny is not independent (clingy), he likes water, climbs on everything, and has debunked every myth about cats that is out there. He’s a cute little guy, but he’s close to being shipped to OH to live with my mom!

Benny is an indoor cat. He has cat trees and a condo. He’s also a traveler. We flew to OH for Christmas 2008. This was a great holiday for him. He received a lot of cat toys from my mom along with a bunch of treats. He also met Harriet (Yorkie-Poo) and PJ (Parakeet). Harriet was good enough to put Benny in his place. After all, he was in HER house! Benny has a good life, better than some kids!

I’ve found out that cats, unlike dogs, are not that trainable. Not-to-mention the fact the lack of obedience classes for cats. Why is this? You can find a ton of programs for dogs, but nothing for cats. It’s very disheartening and frustrating. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to have cat training classes?

I would like to hear from you if you have a black and white (Tuxedo) cat. Did your cat chew your cords? If they did, what did you do? If you sprayed the cat with water that won’t work with Benny because he LOVES water! Plus, I don’t believe in this type of training.

Let me know if you have any advice on how to handle/train Benny. I don’t want to take him to the shelter. I guess I could call the organization that I got him from. Of course, they were supposed to check up on us within 90 days of my adopting him. That never happened — it’s now 2009. I adopted Benny in August 2008! If you have any advice, it would be greatly appreciated. Please help us….Thank you!

How You Can Travel with Your Pets

Many people travel each year and go home for the holidays. If you have pets, you have a decision to make: do you put Fido or Felix in a kennel or find someone to watch him?

The alternative is to travel with your pets. This can be tricky because some pets travel better than others. But, it may be worth it if you do not have anyone to watch your pet. and avoid costly kennels.

Air Travel

If you plan to travel by air, take your pet to the veterinarian. Some airlines will ask to see a certificate that verifies your pet is healthy. The airline may ask for proof of rabies and distemper vaccinations.

You may want to ask your veterinarian if your pet needs tranquilizers. Some veterinarians will suggest giving your pet Benadryl or nothing at all. If you choose to give your pet a tranquilizer, give them one a few days before you leave. This way you will be able to see how your pet reacts to the medicine.

Make sure you have an airline regulated pet carrier. The size of the carrier will vary from airline to airline. Find a PetSmart Store near you and purchase a carrier that is acceptable by the airlines.

You may want to feed your pet an hour before your flight. Make sure your pet goes to the bathroom before you leave. You do not want any accidents while you’re in the air!

Consider bringing some food and or small animal water feeder with you. Your pet may or may not be hungry or thirsty on your flight, but it’s best to be prepared. Many pets are too nervous to eat or drink and most will sleep for the duration of the flight.

Car or RV Travel

For those who travel via a car or RV, make sure your pet is in it’s carrier and buckled in just like you! After all, you do not want your pet to be “rolling around” as you drive, especially on a winding road.

Every 90 minutes or so, stop at a rest stop to feed your pet. It’s good for you and your pet to stretch your legs and go to the bathroom. If you’re traveling with a cat, make sure you have enough litter for your trip. Carry bags with you so you can put the litter or “doggie doo” in it. Remember to clean up after your pet.

If you plan to stay at a hotel or hotel and resort, make sure they accepts pets! You do not want to show up at your hotel and find out that Fido is not welcomed. Before you book your hotel, ask if they accept pets.

If you must travel with a pet, make sure they will be comfortable. Of course, the best option is to leave them at home. If you cannot do this, take every precaution to ensure that both of you will have a smooth and seamless travel experience.

Traveling with pets does not have to be difficult. It’s kind of like traveling with kids! You still need to bring food, water, treats, and their favorite toys. Happy traveling to you and your pets!

Shocker! Halo Purely for Pets Canned Spot’s Stew is Actual Stew

Not only is Ellen DeGeneres a queen of comedy and talk show host but she’s also part owner of Halo Purley for Pets. Halo touts itself as having the “world’s best natural pet care products.” Their entire line of products for cats and dogs are made with the highest quality ingredients. They are also made with real ingredients. For the skeptics out there, Halo puts their money where their mouth is!

Pet lovers who buy canned food for their cats and dogs usually receive a product that is processed into a brownish/pinkish mush. The ingredients are listed on the label, but can you clearly pick them out? In most cases the only ingredient you see is the broth.

Halo’s canned cat food is not your average cat food. Spot’s Stew Wholesome Chicken Recipe is the “original,” with natural ingredients. That’s right folks. The label reads something like this: chicken, zucchini, yellow squash, celery, chicken broth, carrots, green peas, and other natural ingredients. Can this be canned cat food? Yes, it’s a very healthy and natural meal for your cat or kitten.

Spot’s Stew looks like the stew grandma used to make for Sunday dinner. It even smells like it! Your cat or dog will wipe the plate clean and will bark or meow for seconds! If you want the very best for your best friend, then pickup a couple of cans of Spot’s Stew today. Cats and dogs everywhere give it two “paws” up!

How Pets Can Teach Us Empathy

Pets are great companions and teachers. They love us unconditionally just as we are and do not expect us to change. One lesson pets teach us is empathy. The following excerpt is from Buzzle.com: “In one study, we found that 3- and 4-year-olds with pets were better able to understand the feelings of other children than those without pets,” Poresky says. He also says there are life lessons to be learned from taking responsibility for a pet. “A dog or cat won’t always do what the child wants them to do, and that can be very important,” he says. “This helps kids learn that there are other perspectives and ways of looking at things.”

Perhaps the world would be a better place if all of us were given a pet to care for when we were kids. Studies show that children who are given pets learn how to understand the feelings of others, learn responsibility, and life from different perspectives. They also learn loyalty and how to selflessly give of themselves. Sometimes these lessons need to be re-learned when we become adults.

My kitten Salem taught me how to practice non-judgment and empathy. Even though his life was short, he will always be with me. Salem had a rough start in life. God only knows how long he sat on the patio of the first floor apartment that is below me. He probably was there at three weeks old; I took him in when he was five weeks old. It was not easy for the both us. The poor thing had issues and so did I. [Read more…]

5 Secrets to Prevent Your Kitten From Biting!

If you just purchased or rescued a kitten, good for you! Depending on how active your kitten is he or she may be a biter! To be fair its normal for kittens to claw and bite. But, it hurts like hell when your precious little one is climbing up your leg or gnawing at your foot! OUCH!

Kittens and cats are predators so its instinctual for them to bite. Even though you provide your kitten with toys, food, and water its instinct is to hunt. Your kitten requires an outlet as it hones its hunting skills. Play time is necessary. Your kitten may like play time to last from 15 minutes to a half hour, three times a day. Do anything you can to burn up the kittens energy. The “fishing” toys are popular. You can drag it in front of your kitten so he can “stalk and play attack” the toy. Consider sock puppets. This way your kitten can distinguish between “flesh” and “non-flesh.”Shop at PetSmart.com for all your kitty toys.

    5 Secrets to Your Kitten Biting Less

  1. Teach your kitten to enjoy being handled or petted. Scratch your kitten behind the ears. Pet your kitten gently on its head.
  2. Redirect the kitten’s attention. Have many toys on hand.
  3. Yell OUCH and stop playing!
  4. Hire a pet behavior specialist. Visit Web Trail-Pet Behavior to learn more.
  5. Get another kitten! If your kitten has a playmate, he will leave you alone. This is the best solution and it always works.

Useful Links

  1. Perfect Paws. A great resource on how to train your kitten. Good luck!
  2. Pets.ca. “Pet forum for dogs, cats, and humans!”
  3. Cats.About.com. Good information on how to stop your kitten from biting.
  4. KittyKind. Is a not-for-profit, no-kill, all volunteer rescue located in NY. Offers advice on how to curb your kitten’s biting.

On a personal note, my kitten is very active. Forget about three 15 minute sessions, he can play morning, noon, and night! He likes to run around my apartment. He begins in the living room, runs to the bedroom, goes into the bathroom, and out the other door that leads from the bathroom; it’s a “Jack and Jill” bathroom.

Trying to get him to go to sleep is a challenge. Yes, I know cats are nocturnal creatures. I began to leave the bedroom door open so he can go out into the living room and climb on his “kitty condo.” I’m glad I bought the kitty condo. He loves his “fishing” toys. I have the one attached to his kitty condo and he plays with it. The other “feather” toy on a stick is the one I use to “tickle” him and have him chase it. Also, he loves paper! I give him napkins which he rips apart. He loves his “crumpled” up paper towel which he kicks around like a soccer ball. I did buy him two “spongy” soccer balls which he kicks back and forth. He would probably make a good mascot for a soccer team!

Stop! Are You Ready For a Kitten? Better Think Twice!

Check out the response from Halo Animal Rescue in Phoenix, AZ:

“We are unable to take your pet in at this time. If you need a home for them immediately, you’ll need to take them to the AZ Humane Society or Maricopa County Animal Control but unfortunately they may be euthanized due to the overwhelming number of dogs and cats brought to the shelters daily. We highly recommend you consider consulting with a pet behaviorist such as petbehaviorsolutions.com if you are having any sort of behavioral issue to see if there is the possibility of finding a solution that makes you able to keep your pet. We can post your pet on our website with a few photos and a write up to help you find a home for him/her if you’d like but the pet would need to be spayed/neutered first. If you’d like information on free spays and neuters, please visit http://www.halorescue.org/spay.html or call 602-265-SPAY. Once the pet is fixed, please email up to 3 photos in a JPG format and a paragraph about the personality, likes, dislikes and the ideal home for your pet including your contact information you’d like posted to courtesylisting@halorescue.org if you’d like us to put your pet on our website. Please ensure you properly screen applicants and charge some sort of adoption fee. We would be grateful if you sent HALO Animal Rescue a donation for posting your pet (suggested donation is $10).”

Not only is the temperature rising in Arizona but so is the cat population! Why do people have pets without having them spade or neutered? Duh! Is not enough for that one. A pet is a responsibility just like a child. But then again most people cannot discipline or take care of their children!

If you are new to the state of Arizona, good luck trying to find a “no-kill” shelter. Apparently, they do exist but trying to locate one is like looking for a “needle in a haystack!” When you do stumble upon an animal shelter, the people who work there act as if you are bothering them. They must be understaffed and underpaid. In Arizona, there is much emphasis on “rounding up” all of the illegal immigrants that come into the state from the Mexican border. You can solve the border issue by temporarily closing the borders of the USA! This way the USA can take time to straighten herself out, but that’s an article for another time. How about focusing on the out-of-control pet population? Furthermore, make it mandatory that your pet is spade or neutered. If not, then you pay a fine! And, if you are a breeder, then you better have a permit. If that law does not exist, it would be a good idea to implement it.

The bottom line is a kitten is like having a newborn baby, who knew! If you adopt a young kitten or rescue one from somewhere, make sure you are up for the responsibility. Patience and time are two key factors when training the kitten. Love and attention are required as well! Avoid reading everything on the internet because no two kittens are the same.

You may consider hiring a pet behavioral specialist. If you live in Arizona, please visit Pet Behavior Solutions. Sometimes a little professional help is necessary. Believe me, I know. Sam Kabbel, the president and owner of Pet Behavior Solutions came to my home and “enlightened me about kittens and cats. The information I received has been a tremendous help. I never had a kitten as a pet. Plus, I received personalized instructions to help me train my kitten. He was a stray and had a rough start in life like so many others. So far so good. Thanks to Sam at Pet Behavior Solutions, Salem and I are doing much better!

If you are in the market for a pet, please do your research. It is not fair to the animal or you if it’s not a good match. All pets, like children, deserve a caring and loving home. Be sure that your “new addition” is the right one for you!

A Marriage of a Traveler and Animal Lover

If you like to travel and love your pet, ask yourself “will my pet be comfortable and happy on this trip?” Some animals, like humans, prefer to stay at home. A “homesick” and possibly motion-sick pet will ruin your trip. You may consider leaving your pet with a friend, relative, or hire a pet-sitter. If you have a dog, consider boarding him or her at a clean, reputable, well-run kennel. If you have a cat, consider boarding him or her at a clean, reputable, well-run cattery. Check your local listings and the internet to find a boarding place that is right for you and your pet. Before you commit to a kennel or cattery, ask for and check references. Your “best friend” will appreciate it and you will have peace of mind.

If you decide to travel with your pet, plan for your pet’s trip as your own. Are you traveling by plane, train, vehicle, RV, bus, or boat? Do you know if you pet will be a welcome vacationer? Are there specific reservations and transportation arrangements to be made? If you stay at a hotel, motel, or campground, check if animals are allowed or if kennels are available. If you will stay with family or friends, make sure you pet is welcomed. You could find yourself in the “dog house” if your pet is not a welcomed visitor!

Pet Travel Tips

Make sure you pet ALWAYS WEARS a collar with complete identification and a license tag. You may consider having your pet implanted with a microchip. To learn more about microchipping, visit Home Again – Always Looking Out For Your Pet.

Pack your pet’s favorite food, snack, and dishes, toys, a cooler of water, litter and litter box, and leash.

Make an appointment with your veterinarian before your trip. Before you book that flight, make sure your pet is well enough to be your travel companion. Have your pet examined and vaccinated, if necessary.

If your pet will travel in a crate or carrier, make sure it is strong, large enough for your pet to stand up and turn around, has a place for food and water, and a litter box. Look for a crate or carrier that is well ventilated, has a leak-proof bottom, and closes tightly. Find a crate or carrier that is right for your pet at Only Natural Pet Store or you can Shop at PetSmart.com.

If you are planning a trip abroad, check with the consulate or embassy of your destination by visiting them online or ask your travel agent for advice. Health and vaccination regulations vary greatly.

Traveling with your pet can be a rewarding experience. Do your research and contact your veterinarian with any questions you may have. That’s good advice; I’ll use it when I take my kitten to the veterinarian on Saturday.

Happy travels,
~ Rebecca

It Was A Bright, Sunny Day For Rescuing A Kitten

What do you do if you rescue a kitten and decide to keep it? What if you never had a kitten or cat for a pet? Do you panic, “freak out,” call your mom, or all the above? The kitten is scared because it was out in the cold stormy night, and you are scared as well. A kitten is like having a newborn child. You maybe clueless as what to do. If your mom is nearby then all you have to do is pickup the phone and it will be “mom to the rescue.” Unfortunately, if your mom is out-of-state then you must rely on the internet, local animal shelter (they rescue animals all of the time), or veterinarian.

Having a kitten who will grow up to be a cat is a huge responsibility. Cats can live up to 20 years! Be prepared to spend about $400 a year! Before you make the decision to keep the kitten, ask yourself if you are ready. Will you be able to handle the financial responsibility? What about time? Kittens love play time and each type of kitten is different. Read all you can about kittens and cats if you decide to keep your little treasure!

The 10 Essentials for Rescuing a Kitten

Find a good veterinarian. A good veterinarian will be interested in you and your kitten. Look for someone who is compassionate and kind. After all, it’s not just about your kitten. It’s about you as well.

Purchase kitten food. Do you prefer organic, natural, or any brand? Canned or dry food? Shop at PetSmart for kitten products. For natural and organic products, visit Halo Purely For Pets and Only Natural Pet Store.

Food and water dish. Do not give a kitten milk! Look for a dish that will be easy for your kitten to use. You may want to start with saucers and then upgrade.

Litter. All litters are not the same! Fresh Step clumps when your kitten does it “business” but it has a strong scent. Also, it will stick to your kitten. Gross! Plus, it’s not biodegradable or flushable. If the environment and conservation are important to you then look for natural and organic litters. Try World’s Best Cat Litter or Feline Pine.

Litter Box. Buy a litter box that your kitten can get in and out of with ease. You could buy an adult box. Be prepared to buy a stool so your kitten can get in and out of the box.

Kitten magazine and or book. A magazine or book is essential if you no nothing about kittens and cats. It will benefit you and your kitten. Read, read, read!

Toys. Kittens love to play! Purchase toys with catnip in them. Balls, teething toys, and feather sticks are a great way to develop your kitten’s skills.

Grooming Supplies. Does your kitten have short or long hair? Combs, brushes, and gloves are essential. Purchase the right equipment for your kitten. Shampoo. Organic, natural, or store brand? If you care about the environment, conservation, and your kitten, purchase a natural or organic shampoo. Other shampoos have many chemicals in them.

Stain and Odor. Accidents do happen. Try an all natural stain and odor remover. Visit OdorZOut to learn more about “Dr. Stink” who has a PUhD in Stinkology.”

Lots of love and attention! Your new kitten appreciates you very much! And, it’s a two-way street. Before you know it, your kitten will be the greatest friend you could ever have. Love your kitten and he will love you back!

Bonus!

Ask questions!! If the kitten is your first then you probably have questions such as:

1) How old is the kitten?
2) Does the kitten have worms?
3) What kinds of shots does the kitten require?
4) How often is the kitten to be fed? Which is better canned or dry food?
5) Do you have to register your kitten?
6) Can the kitten have a toy that contains catnip?
7) When can you start to bathe your cat?

Exposed! Dead Dog Beach, Puerto Rico

On Thursday, May 22, artist Steve McGarva was featured on the Ellen DeGeneres show to speak about his rescue efforts to help dogs on what is known as “Dead Dog Beach” in Puerto Rico. As of March 2008, Steve has been the Vice President of Island Dog which is “changing the way animals are treated in the United States Caribbean Islands.” Island Dog works “beyond the rescue aspect and are moving forward with a spay/neuter program for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.”

Steve was also featured in the April 28th issue of People Magazine. His story goes something like this. One day Steve planned to go kite surfing and found a remote beach in Yabacoa. As Steve was unloading his gear, he spotted a dog that he believed to be dead. Steve approached the dog. The dog raised it’s head and wagged its’ tail. Unfortunately, Steve found more dogs that suffered from neglect. It was that incident that inspired Steve to begin his mission to help the dogs. Steve fed the dogs, gave them medications, stitched wounds, and reset broken bones! Talk about being a “Florence Nightingale” and guardian for the dogs. Animal rescue groups (Save a Sato) assisted Steve with rescuing hundreds of dogs. Steve is an inspiration!

All About Pets

Halo Purely For Pets. Ellen DeGeneres is part owner of this all natural pet care products organization. Halo’s mission is to provide people with honest information and wholesome products for their pets.

Only Natural Pet Store. Your source for healthy supplies for your dog or cat. Try a holistic approach to pet care.

Shop at PetSmart.com. PetSmart is the largest specialty retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. They offer a broad range of pet products.

Animal cruelty is horrible. If people neglect animals, just think about what they do to human beings. Of course, if you watch the nightly news then you already know what happens.

p.s.
On a personal note, I rescued a kitten (maybe 5 weeks old) today. This was totally unexpected. My family has never had cats. We had dogs, rabbits, birds, and fish. The kitten I rescued (still nameless) is the first for my family. As the saying goes “there’s a first time for everything.” Also, remember what Bob Barker always said “have your pet spayed or neutered.”