The image is a familiar one.
An adorable puppy
or kitten sitting under the Christmas tree with a big red bow around
it’s neck, just waiting for the kids to come down and find them. Most
players of Orbis games are animal lovers and may have had similar
wishes. Some may still have this image, or may even be planning on
surprising a family member or friend with a kitten or puppy this year.
The truth of the matter is, though, that animals, particularly young
ones, do not make good holiday gifts.
The decision to add a pet to
any household is a big one, and should not
be made lightly. Many times, these pets are bought impulsively from a
pet store by a shopper who just couldn’t resist the cute face in the
window. Ignoring the very true fact that most pet store animals are
supplied by puppy or kitten mills, who care very little for the health
and well-being not only of their breeding stock but of the puppies and
kittens they sell to pet stores, there are other reasons to walk right
past that cute face. Very little thought is given to the animal’s
personality or long term needs. A well-intended shopper, for example,
sees an adorable Jack Russell Terrier puppy sitting in the pet store
window. With that adorable face and small size, it would be the perfect
companion for Grandma, wouldn’t it? Only if Grandma has tons of energy
and no resident cats. Compatibility between the family and the new pet
is extremely important, and mismatched personalities often lead to the
new addition finding itself at the local animal shelter.
While few people consider
personality when buying ‘gift pets’, even
fewer consider the effects of the holiday season on these animals. In
most households, the time between Thanksgiving and New Year is full of
activity. Families can be gone for long periods of time visiting
relatives, or are perhaps hosting friends and relatives themselves.
Neither situation is particularly beneficial to a new puppy or kitten,
or even an adult animal. New additions to the household are already
overwhelmed, finding themselves in a new environment with new people
and new rules to follow. It is important that new pets learn the rules
of the home from day one, and with so much extra activity around the
house, the family is often too busy to give their full attention to
things like training and housebreaking.
The decision on what type of pet, or even whether the family is ready
to add a pet to the home, is a decision that requires careful
consideration and must be made BEFORE the pet is added to the
household. The sad truth is that while the image is cute at first, it
rarely lasts. The lucky pets find new homes once they have been
surrendered to a shelter. The unlucky ones find themselves out on the
streets when they stop being cute or were simply too much
responsibility to begin with. Instead, consider alternatives. Create a
gift basket with pet items like a collar and leash, or purchase a gift
certificate to your local shelter. The final decision on which
particular pet to adopt should be made by the whole family when and
only when appropriate time and attention can be dedicated to helping
the new addition settle in. A careful decision will lead to a long and
enjoyable time with a new family member.
|Alabama - Editor in Chief
Bara - Jack of all
Events ... PAGE 1
Guide to Humans ... PAGE
The Furry Kind pf Present ... PAGE
Halloween Quiz Winners ... PAGE
Creative Creations ... PAGE 2
Spot the Difference ... PAGE 2
White Turf ... PAGE 2
Ornament Mice ... PAGE 2
Block Party Events ... PAGE 2
Homemade Doggy Treats ... PAGE 2
Road ... PAGE 3
Tater ... PAGE 3
The Arabian ... PAGE
WRITTEN BY STARLIGHT TB
This is Molly.
She is a grey speckled pony who was helplessly abandoned when hurricane
Katrina hit Southern Louisiana. She spent weeks alone without food or
water, until a kind hearted family took her to an animal rescue where
all the abandoned animals were being sent. While there she was attacked
by a pit bull terrier and almost died.
Her right front
been gnawed and chewed up terribly and soon
became infected. Her vet went to LSU for help but they were overwhelmed
with animals as it was and this pony was a welfare case. But, when
surgeon Rustin Moore met Molly, he changed his mind. He saw how the
pony was careful to lie down on different sides so that she did not get
sores, and how she let people handle her. She protected her injured leg
and constantly shifted weight so that she did not overload her injured
limb. She was smart with a serious instinct for survival.
Moore agreed to
amputate her leg below the knee and an artificial
limb was built. The minute Molly walked out of the clinic with her
artificial leg, her real story started. Moore insisted that, “This was
the right horse and the right owner.” Molly was a one in a million
patient. She is tough as nails but sweet, smart and able to cope with
pain. She understood she was in trouble and committed to her doctors.
Molly’s story is now a parable for life. The little pony has gained
weight and her mane and body finally felt the teeth of a brush once
again. A human prosthesis built her wonderfully designed leg. Her new
leg has changed her life. Allison Barca DVM, Molly’s vet says while
laughing, “She asks for it. She will put her little limb out, and come
to you and let you know that she wants
you to put it on. Sometimes, she wants you to take it off too. And
sometimes, Molly gets away from Barca. It can be pretty bad when you
can't catch a three-legged horse,” she finishes.
Molly now has a
Kay, her owner who runs a rescue center has
started taking Molly to nursing homes, rehab centers and hospitals to
give the people hope. Wherever Molly goes she shows hope and inspires
“It's obvious to
that Molly had a bigger role to play in life,”
Moore said, “She survived the hurricane, she survived a horrible
injury, and now she is giving hope to others.” Barca concluded, “She's
not back to normal, but she's going to be better. To me, she could be a
symbol for New Orleans itself.”
This is Molly's
recent prosthesis. On the bottom of the surface that she stands on,
there is a smiley face embossed in
it. Wherever Molly goes, she leaves a smiley hoof print behind. Molly
is an encouragement and hope to people of all ages and sizes, and she
continues to bless each person that crosses her path.
BY BAMBI THE CHIHUAHUA
AS TRANSCRIBED BY HER HUMAN TONYZ_BELLA
| I have decided that,
with the help of my human to
transcribe this for me, I will give the other human owners of the world
a simple guide to caring for their humans. I have never seen nor heard
of one being available to us before now and feel this will help others
to understand the more common but strange behaviors of their humans.
I share ownership
of three humans, a female, her mate and their female
offspring. There are seven dogs and a cat in residence here. I and
three of the other dogs (Bambi, Ewok, Buddy and Krypto as we are called
by our humans) plus the cat (Khary, whom I tolerate. But sharing humans
with her is a trial to say the least) share these three humans. The
elder female that also lives here is owned by the other three dogs
(Amber, Gizmo and Tito). The seventh dog (Pippy) is only staying here
long enough to find a suitable human to own. We often discuss our
humans and their behavior, amusing, endearing and confusing.
In my time as a
human owner I have discovered that their peculiar
habits, while sometimes uncomprehensible to us, apparently are vital to
their happiness and well being. I have found with patience and
observation that some of these behaviors do make an odd sort of sense.
Some are done purely for their enjoyment others are attempts to appease
their masters. Allow me to explain.
One of the most
disturbing behaviors I have noticed in humans is the
desire to stand under running water or immerse themselves in it at
least once a day, where they proceed to apply strong smelling, foaming
liquid to their bodies only to wash it off and cover their natural
scent. Worse yet they feel the need to occasionally submit you to the
same treatment! Being a good natured owner I put up with it for their
sake, but some of the others aren’t so tolerant. Ewok tries to simply
get away, knowing that repeated demands to stop do no good. Khary
spends the episode, clutching at the faucet, calling for one of us to
save her. None of us ever do. She’s a cat and we derive some amount of
perverse pleasure in seeing a cat drenched to the skin and completely
It took me years
to understand but I now know why humans subject
themselves to the horrid treatment. They seem to enjoy it and perhaps
in their case rightly so. Humans cannot wash them selves with their
tongue like the cat, and they cannot roll to rid them selves of
parasites. At least not effectively! The poor things must wear false
fur type materials simply to protect their skin, being mostly hairless.
This is the only way for them to clean themselves! However they are
misguided in assuming since they cannot, neither can we. So they treat
us as they treat themselves trying to appease us and keep us from harm,
bless their confused little hearts. Some go so far as to put their
false fur on us, in a ludicrous attempt to protect us as they protect
themselves. I have found however that being short haired these
materials are useful. They provide extra warmth for my daily outings
during the colder months.
mystifying behavior humans have is the need to cook their food.
While it is tasty one has to wonder why they don’t choose to eat it as
nature intended. Raw and fresh. I have concluded that for some reason
nature has cruelly robbed them of the ability to enjoy food in its
natural state and so they must prepare it this way simply to survive.
They are however superb hunters. My humans tend to go off as a group
about twice a month. When they return they always have so much food
they have to make several trips to get it all inside the house! Their
hunting prowess is to be admired and valued. It is beyond heavenly to
own humans for this trait alone. One never has to look for food. Humans
in their desire to please us provide more than enough to make any owner
happy. It is also pitifully easy to get food from them, even while they
consume their own meals. Simply sit down, look at them longingly and
they will give you part of their meal on most occasions. There are
however some foods I can never convince my humans to give me.
Chocolate, raisins, and onion among them. I still do not understand
why, perhaps they covet these particular food stuffs for themselves.
Some games humans
enjoy playing with their owners are truly tedious.
One can attempt to train them repeatedly but they never seem to get the
point. Fetch is a good example. Why they throw the object and then ask
us to get it for them is beyond me. If they wanted the object why did
they throw it away to begin with? Can’t they fetch it themselves? I’ve
decided, it must be because they have
become so dependant on us to
| their lives they feel they can’t even fetch
their own object they
have foolishly thrown away.
example on their total dependance on their owners is
exhibited anytime an owner takes their human for a walk. They are so
afraid of losing contact with us and becoming lost they feel they must
attach ropes of their false fur to rings of the stuff around our necks,
or bodies, so they are always attached to us. Perhaps we have made our
humans too dependant on us for survival.
Humans can be
frail and their senses are not as strong as ours. It is
therefore our responsibility as owners to protect them. However they do
not always understand that we are protecting them, or that what we are
doing is in their best interest. This lack of understanding is
sometimes so profound they actually seem to become angry or distressed!
If this becomes the case for your human it may be best to do protective
activities without your human’s knowledge so as not to upset them
Some of the
protections I or the other owners provide for our humans
that seem to upset them are barking, marking, growling and nipping at
or attacking a possible danger. The only one we have stopped altogether
after discovering how badly it upset our humans is marking in the
house. Marking outside doesn’t upset them, in fact it seems to
please them. It is a wonder why it should upset them that we mark
objects in the house. While marking outside is useful and proclaims it
as our territory, some intruders do not take the hint, and should they
venture into the house they would not know that it is ours and possibly
attempt to claim it for their own! Humans do not understand this
apparently. They are not as far reaching in intelligence as we are and
so it confuses them.
Barking seems to
bother them, but not to the extent as marking. Some
barking is welcome as an alarm for other humans approaching the house,
but however it is not appreciated when we use it to warn them of the
approach of a strange dog or cat. Or even a bird we don’t want on our
land. Humans again do not understand that these intruders may try to
take our territory from us and are only wary of their own kind. This is
part of why protection is a vital part of human ownership. They also do
not understand the concept of biting intruders to warn them off
permanently, before things can escalate and do not encourage it unless
they or us are actually attacked. Even then they will intervene
immediately in an attempt to protect their owners. Humans are very
loyal, a bit slow, but loyal.
tolerated better than biting but it still upsets them.
Should you growl at a fellow owner during a meal because they have
decided to try and snatch a tasty morsel of yours, humans will promptly
separate you. This is actually endearing, they feel the need to ensure
we receive all of our meal and apparently think they are better equipt
to ensure this than we are.
These are but a few of the perplexing behaviors of humans explained as
I have come to understand them. There are innumerable others, and they
would take volume upon volume to explain. My human has indicated that
it's meal time, and a warm bowl of freshly prepared food awaits me.
one to make my humans wait to serve me, I shall bring this to an end. I
hope this has helped you to understand your human a little better. The
key to human ownership is time, and patience. Learn from them, be
patient, while they are misguided they are unendingly loyal and a
pleasure to own.