Our furry pals….
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ? Anatole France
Here I sit with my furry pal right beside me, curled up in my lap, we are both purring from this peaceful moment. Deagan, started off as my daughter’s cat and once she left home, this gorgeous feline became my special pal. She is now fourteen years old, still full of life and loves to be with her family. Because she had been raised with dogs, she is more like a dog than a cat, so we call her a COG. She loves water, and follows me around like my dogs did. How I love this little girl! She is not so little anymore, and dread the day I will have to say that final goodbye.
I have been blessed with the unconditional love of a fury pal for most of my life. Our pals have lived an average of 18 years each. Yes, eighteen years. I contribute this to lots of love, and good care. Every time I have had to say that final goodbye to one of my fury pals it has broken my heart. What a joy they bring into our lives. “When I look into the eyes of an animal I do not see an animal. I see a living being. I see a friend. I feel a soul.” This quote describes the way I feel about any animal.
Recently when I made a visit to Warman Small Animal Hospital I was greeted by Lucky Pants, the cat. His story as Colette Neudorf (Veterinarian/Owner) of Warman Small Animal Hospital, tells it below:
This is Lucky – aka Lucky Pants - Lucky was brought into the Warman Small Animal Hospital on a frigid December 2015 evening after he was found (in a snowbank) by Wade, Warman’s Bylaw and Animal Control Officer. He was unresponsive, severely emaciated, hypothermic and near death. Left astray, he did not have a home and was not claimed by anyone. All too often the story!
Lucky was a fighter! After a night on warmed intravenous fluids and a warm water bed, he was able to lift his head and eat a small warm meal. Once 48 hours had passed, he could sit up. After 3 weeks, he was strong enough to leave his warm bed and explore his surroundings for the first time. On day 24, he groomed himself for the first time. By then, we knew he was home to stay.
He has since become a member of our care team – very often brightening up our sick patients or bringing a smile to our sad, worried clients. He is happy to welcome you at the door, cuddle up on your lap, or show off his multitude of tricks. His relaxed demeanor often helps to relax our patients and make them feel welcome. Animals helping animals is a wonderful thing to witness.
This story just warms my heart, and Lucky Pants……. well you have to go in and meet him. He is a lot like my Deagan, does tricks and greets anyone who visits the clinic. Lucky Pants is the host of the clinic for sure! First to greet you, shows you around, and walks you to the door as you leave. As his name would suggest, he is very “Lucky” that Colette and Wade were there when he needed help.
What Colette doesn't share, is her contribution to Lucky’s return to life. She has a passion and dedication to animals, and Wade, our Bylaw and Animal Control Officer, shares her passion as well. Both are true examples of animal compassion, faithfulness, and going that extra mile to help or save an animal. I am so very thankful we have people like Colette and Wade who live in our community, and firstly, take care of their own pets, but also look out for the well-being of other animals sharing our community.
Now let's talk about another subject, again from someone who would see the results of this debated subject. Colette, Veterinarian/ Owner of Warman Small Animal Hospital has shared an opinion below. Myself, as an animal owner for over fifty years, I agree 100% with these statements.
Tethering 24/7 or constant confinement – Why? Why not?
Although tethering or confining an animal may be convenient and easy to do, it is not what is recommended for the long term health of your animals. As a veterinarian I commonly see 2 types of owners:
Animals basically care for themselves – they are fed, watered and at best, exercised in the back yard.
Animals are a valuable member of the family and time, energy, and money is invested into programs that keep them in tip top shape.
Why would one want to choose #2 over #1? What is it for them, the owners?
1. Health Benefits to the owners
Research has shown, many times over, that caring for a pet properly through regular exercise also helps owners stay in shape physically. The positive effects are a decrease in the chance of obesity, lowers blood pressure, encourages a social life, and decreases anxiety and loneliness. These are the results that make the St. John’s Ambulance Dogs or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Therapy Dogs, so valuable. It’s also what makes our family pets so priceless.
2. An opportunity to teach our next generation
Caring for an animal properly teaches children compassion, responsibility, mutual trust, empathy, and respect for life. Not caring for an animal properly teaches our children the opposite traits. Did you know that 40% of children tell their pets their deepest secrets?
3. A balanced animal is one that can give back
Finding an animal’s true social structure and letting them live it brings animals into a healthy state of mind. So, whether your pet’s naturally inclined to herd sheep, pull sleighs, swim in the pond, or fetch the ball over and over again, let them do it. Exercise is the #1 most important thing you can do to have a well-balanced pet, followed by gentle discipline and appropriate affection. When your pet is content and healthy, it will give you the trust that’s needed to untether, walk together, play together, work together, and build relationships together. It is an irreplaceable bond.
When an animal is tethered or confined 24/7, it has no chance of having a healthy state of mind or body and the chances of forming a well-balanced bond with your pet is pretty much nil. In such cases, these pet owners eventually resent ownership of a pet, seeing them as a chore, and expense and nuisance to have around. In these cases, neither the animal nor the owner is enjoying life with the other, and the animal should be rehomed in order to avoid the situation ending in abuse, neglect or abandonment.
Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day from work. They are faithful friends, givers of uncontainable love, and as mentioned above, they are always there to give us that big sloppy kiss.
So, enjoy your fury friend, and take good care of them, just like they care for you.
“Know the same spark of life that is within you, is within our animal friends, the desire to live, love and play is the same in all of us.”
~ Sheryl Spence ~