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A Fun Fourth…

Flag heart… for us and our pets.

As many of us make plans for our family for the 4th of July.  It’s important that we remember our furry family members as well.  Holiday festivities like backyard parties and fireworks can overwhelm and frighten pets.   There are some easy steps that can be taken to assure that everyone has a fun and safe holiday.

To those of us that own pets already, most of this is common sense sort of stuff.  It’s good to remind people that don’t have pets or that are just starting out with pets the simple precautions we can take to keep everyone safe.

Holiday Prep

1.  Check to make sure your pet’s tags are up to date and fastened securely to their collar.  Check collar for proper fit while you are there.

2.  Take a new pic of your pet.  

3.  Before the parties start play with your pet to tire them out.  The expended energy will help to calm them and a cat nap is always good.

Party Time

1. Space – Having a house full of people can cause stress for some cats and dogs.  If you have a pet that gets overwhelmed by strangers it’s a good idea to let them have their own space.  Post a sign on the door so your guests know that the door is closed to keep your pet safe and sound.  

2.  Food – Keep pet treats on hand for your guests to offer your pets instead of ‘people’ food.

3.  Grill –   Accidents can happen easily, make sure to play with pets away from the grill.  

Fireworks

1.  Keep your pets inside during fireworks.  The loud noises and flashes of light scare most animals.  They don’t understand what is happening and can hurt themselves trying to get away.

*** More pets get lost on July 4th than on any other day of the year.***

2.  If your pet is very sensitive to the noise from the fireworks you can leave the television on or play music to help cover the sounds from outside.

3.  If you are driving the night of July 4th keep an eye our for our furry friends.  Pets and wildlife alike will be frightened by the fireworks and may dart onto streets and roads trying to flee.

Weather

Arizona Flag Heart

I live in Arizona and last weekend the high temperature averaged out to be 118 degrees.  We spent the weekend either inside or in the pool.  Our dog spent the weekend the same way.  In fact, most of the time that we were in the pool he was inside snoozing on the cool tile floor.

We keep a close on eye on our pets and the temperature, even with his doggie pool I make sure he is inside during the hottest parts of the day.  All animals can get overheated, this can lead to heat exhaustion and more seriously heatstroke, which can be fatal without proper medical care.

Hunter

Arizona is also home to monsoon storms in the summer.  Powerful dust storms blow through the valley often followed by thunderstorms.   Ideally all pets should be inside during these storms.  This isn’t always possible, as the storms often develop quickly and sometimes in late afternoon.  Pets should be given adequate shelter to avoid the dust and any flying debris.  This should also protect your pet during any subsequent rainstorms, the sounds and sudden flashing from thunder and lightning can cause the same anxiety as fireworks.  Once our dog is inside he is fine, we have one cat that gets a little skitterish with thunder but the other cats, the rabbits and the hamster don’t seem to notice at all.

Wishing everyone a safe and happy Fourth of July!!!

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Do over…

I want a do over for today, but I won’t get it and that sucks.

This morning our dog, Cooper died, it was sudden and unexpected, and we are heartbroken over it.   He was a sweet, black Labrador with a bum leg that we rescued as a puppy.

Cooper didn’t eat the night before and seemed a little tired.  It had been hot and I thought perhaps he was overheated.  We game him a bath to cool him down and then let him dry off and snooze on the tile in Boo’s bathroom.  The next morning I went in to check on him he was still on the floor but in a different position.  I got something to drink, booted up my computer and went to feed the dogs.  I walked down the hall and saw that Cooper was all laid out, and he was gone.  

I feel guilty that I didn’t do more.  I feel guilty that he died alone in the bathroom. I just had no idea.  I was very grateful that Boo was still asleep.  I was able to move Cooper and clean up the bathroom before she got up.  Sully came home from the office to help Boo and I deal with it all.  He dealt with the vet and transport.  He was really sweet and took good care of us, even though I was resisting the help.

Unfortunately, we were already dealing with the fact that  today, would have been Sully’s dad’s 60th birthday.  I shared that with Lily and she thought that maybe Papa had decided he wanted a dog for his birthday.  It made me feel a little bit better to think that maybe Cooper went fishing with Papa in the happy hereafter.

Our original plan for the day had been to go to Aunt Lily’s after swim class for lunch and swimming at her community pool.  Yet another swim opportunity messed up by circumstances.  Boo was already upset and I was torn, was it appropriate to go swimming after the loss of a pet?  It sounds silly but if we think of these guys as part of our family what’s the protocol here?  Sully finally saved the day and told me to take Boo over to Aunt Lily’s.  After everything this year with his dad he thought it would be a good idea.  She could get away from the house, do something physical and have some fun.

I agreed but the hard part was leaving Sully behind.  He had come home from the office but was working the rest of the day from home.  I don’t normally go out when  he’s home, we are kind of sappy about spending time together.  Plus, the added emotion of it being his dad’s birthday.  He encouraged us to go and I am happy that he did.  We had a nice time.  Boo swam and practiced what she has been learning at Swim class and we both got to have an afternoon off from thinking about all of the not fun stuff.

June+1My June +1 for today was taking the afternoon off.  I seldom do that and I realize it’s something that I need to do more regularly, not just when something awful has happened.