Category: Uncategorized

A missing pet

samantha-window
Window sills are one of Samantha’s favorite spots.

Even the most diligent of pet owners has lost a pet, if only for a few minutes. No matter how long they are gone the feeling is not a good one.
I had that feeling today. We are having work done on the house and the door from the kitchen into the garage was being replaced. I came home from work about 3 p.m. to find my contractors busy at work, my husband in his office, and Kodi and Buddy in their crates.

“Where’s Samantha?”

Samantha is our cat (or rather, my cat who sits on my husband’s  lap while we watch T.V.) The answer, “I don’t know,” wasn’t what I wanted to hear.

The search began. I was pretty sure my indoor kitty wouldn’t have willingly headed into all of the noise of saws, hammers and strangers going on in my garage that day, but I really needed to see she was safe for my own peace of mind.

So we searched all of her favorite spots, window sills, behind furniture, under blankets — she was nowhere to be found. I even looked in the garage – nothing.

I had to leave for a meeting so after about 15 minutes of searching I called a former co-worker at our local humane society to make a lost pet report. Samantha is chipped and that is generally the first thing any humane society or veterinarian scan for.  While I was on the phone, my husband called out that he had found her in a back bedroom.

She had found her place to sit out the ruckus in the open area between the wall and the storage/headboard in the guest room we have been sleeping in while we wait for our room to be carpeted. After my husband spotted her, she dashed under a sofa futon in the same room.

Sure I could believe him, but I needed to see her for myself. So down on the floor I went, peering under the futon, and looking back at me was Samantha.

This was a reminder that when workmen or guests are in your house, find accommodations for your cat, especially if doors are going to be opened.

The furthest Samantha usually ventures it out onto the pool deck and she is very easy to capture. If her heart was in it, she’d be much harder to bring back in.

This also demonstrates why even indoor cats (and I personally think they all should be indoor cats) should have identification. Collars can get caught or removed. Micro chips are the best chance you have of getting your feline back.

Nocturnal ramblings and Buddy’s Chapter 3

Buddy has a talent to sleep just about anywhere and loves the dirt in sun!buddy

It’s the wee hours of the morning, 3 a.m. at this moment, and my sleep has been smacked awake, making this the perfect time to catch up on overdue blog time.

Buddy is asleep on top of a stack of pillows on a small couch in the bedroom. Not a care in the world. Kodi is stretched out on his side on the floor. Neither stirred when I got up to come into the family room. Hopefully I will be able to slip back in without the “dog alarms” being activated.

Back to Buddy’s travels:

Buddy returned to Florida full-time in January 2016. He had been here before but even our little Jack Russell knew this time was different – this time it was his home.

Traveling cross-country which included stopping in Texas to see our eldest’s family and one more stop in Daphne, Alabama before our  home on the East Coast of Florida, the dogs tolerated each other.

Well, Buddy tolerated Kodi sitting on him in the back seat!

When we got home it dawned on Kodi that we weren’t just giving this other male dog a lift. He had joined Kodi’s “herd” except Buddy isn’t all that fond of being herded. Adjustments had to be made.

In the beginning there were scuffles and we didn’t feel comfortable leaving them out when we weren’t home so the crates were set up in the family room.

It soon became evident that when we are not at home they worked things out. The scuffles and “fights” were only when we were there. Little by little we left them out for longer and longer periods of time. Now we really don’t think about it – everyone seems to have come to terms with the new arrangement.

The only time we have to be on alert is when food is involved. Both are adept at catching treats in the air and Buddy swoops in to scoop up any ice-cube that drops from the refrigerator.

Kodi used to be our “ice shark” and had lost interest, but now that Buddy wants the ice – the interest has rekindled.

The only time we have any issues is if we mess up and a treat bounces away. Then there’s a minor “free for all” as the dogs both try to claim it.

For the most part Kodi has been pretty understanding and I think having a younger dog around keeps him active.

Buddy has blossomed. He has grown out of  just falling over on his side when we have him out walking.  No longer do people have to ask, “Did your dog just faint?”

Storms still make his bones shake and once in a while I still get this incredibly “sad” look for no reason. It makes me wonder what thoughts go through his mind.

the-tale-of-buddy

He may be smaller but I have no doubt that when he sees his reflectionhe sees himself as a much larger dog, and hopefully he sees himself as a permanent member of this family.

Adult puppy: Chapter 2

Buddy staring out window
After my son moved out of his old apartment he returned to find Buddy just staring out the window, sitting in the imprint of the area where the bed had been.

Travels with Buddy

After his all but strange adoption in Orlando, Buddy took a road trip across country with his new family – Florida to Arizona, OK one state short of across the country.

During the next year there were more changes for this little dog. His owners divorced and he stayed with my son. Then he was moved into an apartment where there were other dogs. As far as I know things went smoothly.

Another move to another apartment, which was fortunately in the same complex so at least some of the outside smells should have been familiar, marked yet another change in less than 18 months.

Then came the baby and a new family. Oh and a second dog was adopted.

The baby was the big change. No matter how much you trust your dog, or how well you think he is trained or behaves, they should be watched around babies and small children.

At first when the baby cried Buddy was right there checking to see if things were OK. It was cute. When she started to crawl things started changing. Buddy would growl at anyone including my daughter-in-law and the baby.

It was agreed that Buddy should come home with us. So to the confusion of Kodi, my husband and me, and of course Buddy himself, we left Arizona with one more dog than we had arrived with.

Kodi was about as welcoming as could be expected. He basically ignored Buddy on the trip back, when he wasn’t actually sitting on top of him or scrunching him against the door.

Looking out the window
Change is difficult for our pets to understand and for us to explain to them Family pets
Car riders
One moment when the boys were sitting nicely in the back seat on our cross-country trip

A stop in Georgetown, Texas to see our eldest son and his family, found us at a very understanding and helpful Best Western Plus http://bit.ly/2n0Qai2. I have had wonderful experiences staying at Best Western’s when we travel. The ones that allow pets have a very caring and animal-friendly staff in my opinion.

I received a call that one of the dogs might be in distress. The front desk man wasn’t upset, he just wanted me to know. I assured him that both dogs were in separate crates if someone wanted to enter the room, but I was near enough that we were on our way back.

When we returned all was quiet. We took the dogs out and Buddy did indeed really have to go out. After loving on them a few minutes and turning the TV on low we left. We never heard the sound until months later when Buddy started wailing at home. It’s unnerving and I am really not sure when he decides it is necessary.

Next: One more stop in Alabama and Buddy is introduced to his new home.

Cat in a hat

This sweet 10 year old would love a home to call her own. Her former owners were moving and could not take her with them. She has some small medical issues that are resolving but don’t let that distract from her awesome personality. She is very lad back and would just love a lap to sit on. Come and meet this sweetie today!

cat-hat

Adult puppy

the-tale-of-buddy
We have one dog, a corgi, who smiles all of the time, and Buddy who doesn’t.

I intended to write one post on how Buddy has come to us, his quirks, and recent regression to training pads, when I realized that would be far too long a post. So I will be posting a series on Buddy the shorty Jack Russell. I hope you will join me on this journey with a dog I never wanted but would never give up.

Chapter One

I’ve written and photographed our shorty Jack Russell but I am not sure I have ever explained how this — oh let’s call him “unique” — dog came into our lives.

Buddy, as his previous owners, our son and his first wife, named him had to be the most unattractive dog on the planet. I am being kind in this description, he was ugly. Not his fault, he had been neglected.

But from the start:

Our former daughter-in-law went to a pet supply store in Orlando to get a collar for another dog and came home with a pink dog. Pink because he had no fur. He had pretty much given up on the world he was given to her by a “rescue” group – no application, nothing. Lucky for Buddy, but I wasn’t sure about the rest of us.

Buddy “faints”

Buddy had, make that has, issues. Seizures that are psychologically based according to our vet. A perfect example is his early “fainting” episodes.

While we were dog sitting we took both dogs to an event at Washington Oaks Garden State Park (If you have never been to this park and you are on the East Coast of Florida you must visit).

While walking the dogs, Buddy falls over. Seriously a straight drop, 90 degrees sideways, to the ground. He didn’t collapse, he just went from standing to lying on his side in the same position – wide awake. A woman at the plant sale stand nearby gasped and asked, “did your dog just faint?”

No, “he just does that.” we responded as though it were the most normal thing in the world.

I am happy to report that Buddy doesn’t do that any longer so progress is being made.

Tomorrow: How did Buddy get from Florida to Arizona and back again?

 

Is your shelter expecting?

It’s the first day of March, and in Florida and other southern climates, that means Kitten and Puppy season is about to begin. Our northern neighbors may have a couple more months, but not us.

I received this poster in my email from a local shelter and it reminded me that while they certainly need loving homes to adopt the incoming litters of kittens and puppies, they also need help with supplies.

kittens

So , throw a baby shower for your shelter. New items, gently used, I guarantee they won’t care. Towels, wet kitten food, and litter. Stop by your shelter today. They will be glad to see you.

Is your shelter having an event to raise funds or supplies? Send me their poster.

Pets like routine

pet-chat-routine
Bend the rules just a little if your pet is undergoing change or stress.

I don’t know about your pets, but our canine, feline and avian members of the household thrive on a schedule.

They are fed at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily and for at least those two times of day they seem to be able to tell time.

Our pool cleaner comes on Tuesday and Kodi is stretched out in that flat to the floor Corgi stretch, watching the pool deck.

Last week the schedule changed drastically when the leader of the pack, my hubby, had to be admitted to the hospital. I would leave every morning and spend most of the day at the hospital.

So the 6 a.m. feeding was on schedule, but the treat times (Oh yes, there are designated treat times during the day) and the evening meals were delayed.

Typically I get up earlier than my husband and after breakfast Kodi returns to the bedroom and stays with him, while Buddy is with me in the family room. While my husband was gone, Kodi was totally out of sync and didn’t know what to do.

The other adjustment was not being able to go out all day—Our dogs are spoiled. We both work from home so they are rarely alone. All of that changed last week and I have to brag on my pups—They were fantastic.

I put down puppy training pads for the long days. Some days I came home and the pads were clean and dry—It isn’t healthy for them to hold it all day—so I was actually happier when I had seen they had used it.

Things are getting back to normal, hopefully.

Stress can be caused by a number of events in your pet’s life, a life-long friend going off to college, divorce or separation, illness, and vacations — even when you take them with you!

Tips if you have to change your pet’s schedule:

1. Extra time – I cannot stress this enough. My dogs didn’t know what was going on, only that someone was missing. When I was home I made time to sit with them, cuddle and comfort.

2. Potty breaks – Puppy pads or someone to check on them during the day. I prefer the pads because I don’t want to have to worry about them getting away from someone, just they way I worry. They are adult dogs and while I am leaving a pad out they aren’t using it.

3. Treats – I didn’t want them to put on weight, but wanted to give them extra treats for being so good so I cut the treats in half.

4. Schedule – Return to a normal schedule as soon as you can. Dogs (and even the cat and bird) like to have control over their environment and a schedule is an important part of that.