Category Archives: Uncategorized

On digging for answers

I love watching the wild birds that flock to my yard!    That always seems to come as a surprise to the bird watching mafia … who cannot possibly find any affection for the cats that they claim are decimating the songbird population, eh?     Not to be mean, but none of the pussycats prowling around the bird feeders packed their own bags and left home, eh?

As long as people in the community keep tossing kitties away like trash,  there is no justification for demonizing a little pet for trying to survive.    As long as politicians sidestep around the simple fact that the only way to fix the cat overpopulation problem is to fix the cats,  humans who view birds as being more valuable than cats have not got a leg to stand on!

And as long as taxpayers view community cats like vermin … instead of demanding results from their elected officials … there is no reasonable hope that the same wildlife people who line up to watch bald eagles eat dead chickens will ever view cats in a more positive light.

As a sidebar note to that, wildlife advocates choose to overlook the simple  fact that artificially inflating one species population for tourism actually has a more negative effect on those little songbirds than the pussycats do!   Wot?    Really?    Well … the simple fact is that since the eagle population has expanded  upcountry, the eagles have displaced other raptors who in turn have kicked the smaller ones further down country.    These days it is rare to find a bird feeding station around here that is not haunted by the smaller … but deadly to songbirds .. .chickenhawks.  😦

But I am wandering afield as I often do in my meandering way.    The point I am trying to make today is that like any other bird lover, I have been very worried about the impact of so much spring snow on the ground on the little robins.   I have tried putting out chopped fruit … but the truth is for actual sustenance I expect there is nothing to replace ‘the real thing’

By that of course, I mean the worms that are the staple of a robins diet.   This morning when we were coming back from our hike, I found another dead robin in the lane 😦    Clearly the fruit really wasn’t helping 😦

So I got out my trusty Fiskar’s ergonomic gardening spade and went to work in my garden  …  and what an image THAT must have been for the neighbours, eh?    The short version is that after chipping away the thick icy crust and digging down through three feet of snow, there is now a promising patch of soft dirt for the robins that are left.

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It doesn’t look like much .. but with that good sun today it should spread out and become even more helpful 🙂      Note that I did not dig the sides straight … this is just a theory of mine but I expect that wild things want to be able to see if anything is lurking nearby, eh?

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What time is it?    It is always time to remember that sometimes small things can make a difference.

In praise of home grown success

I really like the new to me focus wagon that I bought late last winter.      It is easy on gas.   In a pinch, I could put all four dogs AND five cat carriers onboard.     Best of all, with the back seats down it is as good as a truck when need arises 🙂

It was just frosting on the cake that my new ride came with four mounted snow tires, eh?    Now I understand why guys like the idea!    It is quicker and easier …. ergo cheaper … to switch the tires each season.     And even this middle-aged granny can easily understand that both sets of tires will last longer this way 🙂

In other words, like anything else in life, there is no downside to the proverbial ounce of protection!    This month, The Nova Scotia Lost Dog Network is celebrating its fourth anniversary!   For four years, these dedicated ladies have been stepping up to successfully show what social media can do for pets … and the people who love them!

Four years of facilitating the Facebook page that make it possible for kind hearts to make a difference with a simple click of a mouse!     Four years of faithfully following up on each and every listing so that followers can cheer for the Happy Endings, sympathize with the Rainbow Bridge outcomes and carry on sharing the Still Missing ones!

In four years, how have they done?    Splendidly, I would say!     They are just a heartbeat away from having 2,300 Happy Endings in four years … for an average of 600 success stories every year!     Wow!      Just thinking of all that happiness and joy brings goosebumps, eh?

Even better, in four years, NSLDN’s success has inspired similar projects around the continent.    How wonderful that one simple, brilliant idea can have such far-reaching and life saving consequences!

Best of all of course is that each and every Happy Ending keeps a rescue slot and / or good adoptive home free for genuinely homeless dogs!     In a world where there waiting lists for each and every rescue slot, that make 2300 Happy Endings even more impressive!

What time is it?   It is always time to salute the success that is ONLY possible when everyone can check their egos and all drama at the door!      At the end of the day, it is the secret to NSLDN’s success and the reason that as of this writing their Facebook page has a spectacular 17,755 Likes!

Five things to think about this Friday

I love making dog cookies!    Straight, sweet and simple … there is no downside!    It is a simple way to provide wheat free treats for a house full of seniors!   No worrying about the ingredients.    Not to be mean … but there is no need to fuss with fancy shapes because the dogs really do not care about little details like that!

This Friday all of you who do NOT walk an Earth Based Path will be celebrating Hallowe’en!   There will be fun costumes!   Cute little trick or treaters!     And of course … chocolate bars and candy and sweet treats … oh my!     All in all, just a fun day for everyone to look forward to, eh?

Except maybe your pets!      You may be delighted every time the door bell rings!    All that spooky music and yelling is just part of the fun, eh?      For you that is!     So here are five things to remember on Friday, so that neither you nor your pets have a frightening time of it:

  1. Find a safe room in the house well away from the front door for your pets to hang out.   Why?    It is easy enough for a pet to slip out a door that keeps opening all evening …. let alone one that might actually be frightened by the goblins and ghosts.   An ounce of prevention might be all that stands between a fun evening and ‘the night we lost Rover’.
  2. Peak trick or treating times are between five and eight pm.    Pick a different time for your evening leash walk.     Why?    See #1
  3. Do not leave boxes of Halloween treats piled on the floor … or in any other area that a reasonably nimble counter surfer could reach.    All the food experts agree that chocolate can be fatal for dogs.
  4. Make sure that colored wigs and glow sticks are not left lying around when curious pets could mistake them for toys, and last but not least
  5. When your own wee monsters return from the fray, after you go through their treat bags with them, make sure that their booty is kept out of pet reach.     Equally important, make sure that the candy wrappers are secured out of reach too!

What time is it?    It is always time to enjoy a bit of fun  … but is also important to protect our pets!

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How to save your pets life

Sometimes I swear I am never going to go back online again!   Why would I say that?    Is it not ever so convenient?

Generally yes it is!   When I was a young woman, who would have thought there would be a time when I could go to the bank or go shopping or even visit the library from the comfort of my comfy if cat scratched computer chair?    With a world of knowledge at my fingertips, why would I ever think of throwing my laptop in the pond?

That answer is so simple a stump could understand!   Both the free online ad sites and Facebook are full of desperate pleas for someone … anyone … to rescue an unending parade of poor pets!   Why would I say this?   Doesn’t social networking saves lives?

Why yes it does … but in many instances more lives could be saved if the pet owners could do their part too!     What do I mean by that?    Is it not enough to advertise that a pet needs a new home?   To stress the urgency by reminding readers of the Unhappy Alternatives that will follow if new digs cannot be found?     ( The sticky subject of how so many still use the threat of surrendering their pet to the SPCA is a pet peeve of mine that will get a post of its own on another day, eh?)

Lets face it …. even the biggest rescue hearts do not have deep pockets or a limitless pool of available fosters.   Here in the real world …. cat free, dog free and child free fosters are few and far between for every cat and dog rescue in this province!   More importantly, here in Nova Scotia there are no open admission No Kill shelters either!

Yet every week Facebook is full of urgent pleas for beautiful pets!    Do they all find ‘room at the inn’ somewhere?   Sadly no!   ( The very testy topic of why some rescuers  are still moved to bring dogs in from away … even knowing full well there are NOT enough available rescue slots for the homeless pets already here in this province … is a sorry subject that will once again have a post of its own someday soon )

But I am wandering afield as I am often wont to do in my meandering way.    The point I am trying to make today is that very, very few people ever expect that there will come a day when  they will be posting desperate pleas on behalf of their puppy or kitten!

The worst bit of course is that from a rescue perspective, more lives could be saved if all pet owners were simply proactive enough to:

  1. Spay or neuter your pets!     When rescues have to roll up their fundraising sleeves for every dollar they spend, it is just a fact of life that it is going to be cheaper ….ergo easier … for a rescue to take a pet that is already altered!
  2. Provide regular vet care for your pet .. even if all that is needed is an annual checkup.     When there is a documented set of vet records, once again it is easier for rescues to take a pet!
  3. Keep your pet’s vaccinations up to date.    This is particularly important anytime there is a parvo or FL scare.
  4. Teach pets to ‘play nice’ with his or her friends.     To be brutally blunt … it is much more difficult to find a rescue slot for an aggressive dog because most fosters already have at least one or two pets of their own.
  5. Love makes the world go round!   If you play and cuddle and have fun with your pet, you are not creating a situation where they will only be able to love you!     What you are doing is teaching them that humans can be trusted … and THAT will be a useful thing for them to know if they are ever in need of new digs.
  6. Teach your pet some cute tricks.      None of us are fortune tellers ,eh?   We all think we will live forever …. which is why people my age and older still keep getting puppies and kittens, eh?
  7. Do the math!     If there are not enough hours in the day or money in the bank before you get a pet … follow your head not your heart.    If you REALLY want the company of a pet you can always volunteer to foster or as a cat cuddler or dog walker at your local shelter!
  8. Special note about shock collars.   If you are adopting a young or an adult dog, run …  do not walk … away from any rescue using any fear based training methods.     If you don’t understand why, PLEASE CLICK HERE

What time is it?     It is always time to remember that life is neither predictable nor fair.       At the end of the day, it is up to you to stack the deck in favour of those that you love!

Embrace the love without the sleepless nights !

I will never, ever forget my little Winnie Bear!    Do I wish that we were able to have more time together?   You bet!    No matter how much time we are granted with our good dogs, it is never enough, eh?    

At some point in time though, death is the price we all pay for living.   Dogs are essential for our well-being because they teach us to live in the Now!   A dog does not say “I am too old to be loved” or “I am not healthy enough to be loved”!   

They do not wait to love until later!  Dogs embody the spirit of Carpe Deum and we are all richer for it!

Which is why I believe that the very best way to honor the memory of a good dog we have loved is to open our homes and our hearts to another !      We cannot change the past … but we CAN create a better future for another good dog!

Does that mean I was in a rush to run out and find a puppy?   Absolutely not!    When one is used to the mellow ways of a senior pet … bringing a youngster into the house would simply be too much of a shock to everyone’s system!

The good news of course is that seasoned dogs come into rescue as often as their younger counterparts!   Why would anyone want to part with such treasures?   Sadly, sometimes dogs outlive their caretakers!    Sadder still, when seniors cannot care for themselves, their faithful friends are seldom able to follow them into care.

The worst bit of course is that many kind hearts see only the number of birthday candles and overlook the real blessings that senior pets bring to the table.     Lets face it … senior pets are a perfect fit for anyone who has recently lost an older pet.   After living with the Zen of an older pet, even the most appealing youngster can be too much of a transition!

It truly is a myth that one cannot teach old dogs new tricks!   Every senior who has stepped in this door has settled in so smoothly that the casual observer could not guess they had not lived their whole lives here!    To be quite frank, if everyone understood how lovely mature pets are, there would never be enough to meet the demand 🙂

So people who know me well were not one bit surprised when I decided to adopt my latest foster dog, Mandy!    She is a sweet little senior who came here when her Mum had to go into care and is already the apple of everyone’s eye here!   

At the risk of sounding like a stuck record, the casual observer could not possibly imagine that Mandy only arrived here on the first of June.   She was savvy enough to show beautiful dog social skills from the start and clever enough to catch our routine right away!   Really …. she is like a poster girl for all the very best bits about senior pet adoption, eh?

What time is it?   It is always time to remember that senior dogs really are more experienced at love!

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Free to a Good Approved Home!

It is no secret that I love to see adoption incentives … especially for the kitties!      Why?   The answer is simple!   I am afforded a real birds eye view from my work with the homeless pet site and so I know that rescues are always in competition with the “free to a good homes”    

It does not seem to matter to some folks that the kittens from the free online ad sites may never have seen a vet!   Somehow folks do not seem to be able to do the math and realize what a ‘good buy’ adorable adoptables from reputable rescues and shelters are!   Why the vaccines alone in most cases would wind up being more than most adoption fees … let alone the cost of having kitty spayed or neutered!

That is why I was so pleased to see that CAPS is having a “Inventory Reduction Sale”      For a limited time, all adoptable adult cats over the age of two will be “free to a good home … for approved adopters!   That’s right …. FREE!       Webmaster Note :   For more information about any of these adorable adoptables, please click here for their Petfinder listings

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The Top Ten Reasons to Adopt an Adult Cat

1. You’re not starting from scratch with an older pet – When you buy a kitten, you’re essentially bringing an infant into your home… a completely untrained little critter who thinks that 3:00 am is playtime
2. Adults are normally house trained
3. An older cat most likely will be content being alone – a perfect match for someone who has an active lifestyle.
4. The bond is strong – Cats who have seen hard times are wise enough to recognize the value of the love that you offer.
5. Adult cats may sleep at the foot of your bed, in a cozy spot in your bedroom or under your bed. A kitten will most likely run around all night climbing and play attacking anything low enough to jump on – including you.
6. Fewer vet fees – Rescue pets have had physical examinations, have been spayed or neutered and are up to date on shots. Known health issues are never kept secret.
7. What you see is what you get – Personalities are known and so that its easier to recognize a “kindred spirit”
8. Its easier to tell how adults will fit into a multi pet household
9. Adult cats are generally better for families – Kittens can nip and scratch. Adult pets are more mellow and more able to get themselves out of harms way and because of this are often more patient with children.
10. It teaches your kids good values – Face it – we live in an extremely materialistic society, in which TV teaches kids that everything can be bought, that they should get their parents to buy them everything, and that anything worth having costs a lot of money. Adopting a rescue pet for your family presents a wonderful opportunity to teach your children basic values of compassion and caring, and also about the value of second chances.

More Summer Fun for this weekend!

Don’t you just love this time of year?   It is lovely to see everything all lush and green!   Better still is the simplicity of being able to head out without having to line the dogs up to get dressed first!   Best of all of course is that there are no shortage of fun things to do for animal lovers in our province! 

Those who were disappointed that last weeks Giant SPCA Yardsale had to be postponed for weather will be happy to know that this event has been rescheduled to this Saturday, June 1st!

Saturday is a busy day!    In Amherst, The L.A. Animal Shelter will be celebrating their 26th Anniversary!

If you are attending the Apple Blossom Parade tomorrow, be on the watch for those fun-loving GPAC folks who will be in the parade!

Closer to home for anyone in the HRM area, the long anticipated Big Doggy Do is finally here!   It is being held at Shooters in Enfield with oodles of great auction items available!   ( see poster below for details )

What time is it?   It is always time to remember that Animal Rescues really know how to put the Fun in fundraising!

 
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Fun Loving Happy Tail ready and waiting!

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I love, love, love Miss Ruby!       My beautiful girl is ever so much more than ‘just a pretty face’ …. she is chock full of character and a gifted comedienne to boot!     Even after five years of our shared journey, Miss Ruby can still surprise me with delightful new bits and routines.

These days, casual visitors to the house could not possibly imagine that life has not always been a bed of roses for Miss Ruby!   That she has not always been able to curl up on my desk while I am working!   That she did not always have home-made food and treats!   Indeed … the only real indicator we have that she was once a starveling is that my clever girl does like to carry a cookie around with her wherever she goes!

 Rex  , pictured above, really reminds me of my Miss Ruby!     He is a fun-loving fellow who is inexplicably still waiting with East Coast German Shepherd Rescue until his ship comes in.     Sometimes the very best dogs just have to wait a while until the very best person catches up, eh?

To help Rex with his search, his foster pawrents have made this adorable video!    Gosh … Rex really knows how to have a good time, eh?

What time is it?   It is time to share this awesome video to help Rex find that soul mate who will appreciate all this great boy has to offer 🙂