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Posts tagged ‘Pets & Animals’

Do Animals Remember Us?

Do Animals Remember Us?

Do Animals Remember Us?

There are dogs and cats, and then there are Sam Phinneys. You animal lovers know what I mean. When you look into their eyes, something special looks back at you. Yes, all animals are special, and I believe they all have souls. But Sam Phinneys have old souls. Perhaps they have more wisdom or intelligence, or maybe they are even our pet soul mates. I don’t know which, if any, it is, but I’d like to tell you about my Sam Phinney.

Sam was a Chow Chow. Chows are often misunderstood, because some are temperamental. But I’ve always liked them–especially Sam. Sam’s guardian, Mike, did business next door to my veterinary office. Mike would go do his errands, and Sam would stand outside our glass front door with his joyful tail-wagging, until someone would notice him and let him in. Sam loved everyone, and I mean everyone. He would visit with all of us — clients, other patients, staff, docs — until Mike was finished and ready to leave. He was the hit of the office.

I sold that practice to go back to school for advanced training. A couple of years went by, and I was having a typical neurology resident kind of day — crazy busy. As I was walking through the treatment room at my normal fast pace, out of the corner of my eye I noticed a Chow on a gurney. I heard someone say he had been hit by a car. He had a doc and plenty of caring students all around him, so there was no need for an extra pair of hands. I kept walking until I spotted a small tail wag. I about tripped over myself when I stopped dead in my tracks. Sam? Is that you? The tail went nuts. Sam had recognized me. And what’s more amazing is that even in his pain, Sam showed us what animals are really about. Love. They express it unconditionally, in bad and good times. Perhaps there’s a lesson there.

Oh, by the way, Sam made a complete recovery. No car was going to rain on his parade.

Dr. Susan Wagner is a board certified veterinary neurologist whose pioneering work acknowledges the bioenergetic interaction between people and animals. She is an advocate for change in the area of interpersonal violence and animal cruelty, and works toward a greater understanding surrounding the health implications of the human-animal bond.

(Leesa couldn’t agree more!  Her own creme chow chow, Bella, is featured on Leesa’s website with Bella’s Five Paws Up List!  Enjoy!  www.healthyhighway.org/BellasBest.html)

New Year’s Resolutions Your Dog Wishes You’d Make

New Year’s Resolutions Your Dog Wishes You’d Make


In 2005, Veterinary Economics reported that 40 percent of U.S. dogs are overweight. And according to a report from the National Academies’ National Research Council, 25 percent of pets in Western societies are obese. Our advice? Keep your dog moving.

Forget going to the gym or learning Italian. 2009 is the year to let your dog make your resolutions for you. After all, your pup’s life-long endeavor is to be your loving pet and loyal companion—the least you can do this year is bring an extra wag or two to his world. Besides, his resolutions will have you both feeling great, and the best part is, none involve spandex, spinning classes, or low-fat butter.

I resolve to take quality walks.
Chances are, your pup never says no to a walk, even if it’s the same old stroll up the block and back. But know that your dog craves new scents and sounds as much as you enjoy new scenery. So mix up your weekday walks with new routes, unfamiliar trails, and uncharted side streets and explore new neighborhoods and parks on the weekends. Better yet, research dog-friendly hiking spots in your area and venture somewhere new once a month.

I resolve to give fewer hugs, play more.
Maybe you’ve noticed that squirmy, help-let-me-out wriggle your dog does during what you consider to be a loving embrace. Unlike us primates, dogs don’t feel all reassured and gooey inside after a nice long hug. In fact, most likely they feel trapped—it’s just a canine thing. A hearty round of tug however, played appropriately, can be a huge stress reliever and a nice bit of exercise as well. Note: If you intend to make tug a permanent activity in your repertoire, “drop it” is an important command to know.

I resolve to regularly introduce “new” toys into the mix.
Remember, they don’t have to be store-bought new, just new to your pup—that is, something he hasn’t seen before (or at least in a very long time). So swap toys with your dog-owning friends and neighbors so that every few weeks there’s something new for Fido to chase, charge, or chew on.

I resolve to throw a party.
We’re not (necessarily) talking about a fancy birthday fete or a bark mitzvah—though those are fun, too. A rendezvous with a couple of his favorite people—or at least people who adore him—will do. Play a few of his preferred games or simply ask invitees to practice a couple basic commands with him. It’s a chance for your dog to get praised, treated, and rewarded by someone else—great for socialization and a real boon to his confidence.
I resolve to bond outside the home.
Agility classes may just be the perfect combination of mental stimulation, physical activity, and most important, team building between you and your best friend. Dogs and humans both have a ball. But if weave poles and tire hoops seem too daunting, consider a Canine Good Citizen class, a program designed by the AKC (and offered in cities across the country) to promote responsible ownership and well-mannered dogs. You’ll brush up on your training techniques and your dog gets a refresher course in good behavior.

I resolve to keep my dog physically fit.
And truly, this is the only one that requires any willpower—we know that pleading puppy eyes are harder to resist than any French pastry or sloppy cheeseburger, especially when there’s a stash of treats at hand. But even though it seems like your dog is harnessing the world’s entire supply of Cute Power to get you to surrender that big hunk of cheese, know that he really means this: Please do everything you can to ensure that I’m healthy, mobile, and comfortable for a long, long time.

Grated carrots and a game of fetch, here we come.

By DogTime, DivineCaroline

At DivineCaroline.com, women come together to learn from experts in the fields, of health, sustainability, and culture; to reflect on shared experiences; and to express themselves by writing and publishing stories about anything that matters to them. Here, real women publish like real pros. Together, with our staff writers, they’re discussing all facets of women’s lives from relationships and careers, to travel and healthy living. So come discover, read, learn, laugh and connect at DivineCaroline.com.

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