Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Conscoius Pet Ownership Part 2

-- Quote of the Day --

“I recommend that people journal on a different question every day – such as ‘how am I different from other people’ or ‘what is my dream outcome of a situation?’ …Answers will emerge as long as you don’t have an inner critic judging every word that you are writing – you will be amazed as to what will come out and how you can find the answers you need. …Discovering who you are is critical to moving forward on path and purpose – but it is only one half of the journey, the other half is integrating the new you in your life. …There can be a backlash as you embrace your uniqueness from others who are threatened by you pushing the envelope of what is considered norm. …As you go off in expressing who you are, you need to be prepared for the possible repercussions of it as well.”

~ Amy Tang 

Today's quote was derived from the interview titled: Discovering Self, that aired back on April 28 via the Conscious Discussions Talk Radio program. *Click on the hyper-linked show title to access the full interview.

-- Conscious Living with Pets, Part 2 - 

This is the second portion of yesterday's discussion on conscious pet ownership. I'd like to start today with a thought that was raised over on FaceBook with a post about animals being allowed to roam freely. While on their own property they should be allowed to assume some level of freedom and protectiveness - it is their job after all. But providing some security to visitors with a fence, gate and perhaps a sign letting them know that there are dogs on the property is a good idea as it will help to avoid surprise and possible conflict. Roaming within a confined area on their own land is one thing - but letting any dog or cat roam the neighborhood or the surrounding wilderness is a poor choice. No matter what size or breed your animal is, you are responsible for it - no matter what. It doesn't matter if your animal is as sweet as sugar, they can get into trouble anyway. The two-legged threats are very real out there, and children (sorry- but its true!) are often terribly cruel.

It is my opinion that no animal should be left unattended, they are our responsibility and can get hurt badly, or hurt someone else (human or other).  - Why take the risk? If we love them and are conscious pet owners then we'll protect them from conflicts with others (such as skunks, badgers or bears). Dogs should be line trained - or fenced in - so they don't leave the designated area. Dogs are pack animals and they love to have room to run and play, to seek out shade and smell interesting things, but not at the expense of their safety. Cats, too, should be fenced in to a smaller yard area, which will protect them from cars, people, animals and also protect the birds whose population is greatly affected by domestic cats that do not kill for food. 

Spaying and neutering pets will play a huge role in their roaming and aggressive behaviors. Wandering pets in a neighborhood can also cause a lot of bad feelings and potential pet poisonings. One neighbor for instance loves birds and works hard to attract them to her property, and so is not happy when wandering cats come in her yard to kill and maim her beloved birds. A gardener may find that cats are tearing up their precious plantings and leaving their poo behind, a dirty and disgusting thing to find for any gardener. Or a dog consistently wanders over and pees on an expensive landscaping plant - killing it. Often dogs and cats will use other yards as their bathrooms causing all kinds of bad feelings in the neighborhood. I've actually heard neighbors say they are ready to spackle the offending house with their pet's waste. One person on the FaceBook thread that I mentioned earlier said that her neighbors gathered the poop, put it in a brown bag and delivered it to the person who owned the dog - they told him he needed to take care of the situation and he did. However, it is a shame they had to do this at all since responsible pet ownership should have been in place... we shouldn't have to remind people to be conscious and kind.

Pet safety includes understanding the plants in your home, office and yard – since some plants are dangerous for pets. These include holly and mistletoe, poinsettias and amaryllis. Other plants, such as certain grass varieties, are very healthy for pets. Remember pets will graze and sample plants, grasses and foliage, so keep yummy or dangerous plants far from harm – such as hanging spider plants out of reach of the cats’ paws.

During the holidays I’ve learned to keep tinsel and ornaments off the bottom of the tree where pets can access it. Avoid snow spray; it is very bad for pets. Oh – and secure the tree really well, since rambunctious pets can really get going when they are playful. If your pet tends to eat cords, including office cords, you might want to get a special cord protector from the office supply center.

I’ve come to advise people to think about their furry or feathered family members as little people – who’s paws might get cold, or hurt – who may tire earlier than we are ready for when out mountain biking… and later when the snows come, snowshoe activities. These little guys are like 2-5 year old children that will never grow up, they have a gentleness and vulnerability to them. They miss us when we are gone and can become depressed if they don’t get what they need.

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