Are Pets A Luxury?

Are Pets a Luxury?

by Nicolas, selected from petMD

Ever marveled at how much more livable your life is now that you’re  lucky  enough to have pets in it? Wondered how you could function without  their  presence? Yet you constantly field annoying comments questioning  how much you  spend on them, right? As if keeping pets was a mere luxury…

Driving to work early Sunday morning I caught a snippet of the American  Public Radio show, On  Being.  Among other ontological tidbits, the guest, celebrated poet and  scholar  Elizabeth Alexander, addressed the following question: Is poetry a  luxury?

Her answer, a thoughtful “no” to the notion of poetry’s ready dispensability  for its elite or cushy connotations, was based primarily  on its permanence as  cultural touchstone through the ages. When did we  not have poetry? This form of  communication is purportedly as old as the  earliest civilizations. Hence, it’s  posited, we must harbor a  quintessentially human need to engage in it.

Which, of course, got me to mulling over much the same with respect to our  pets: Are they a luxury?

Excessive, indulgent, inessential, hedonistic, frilly, sumptuous,   extravagant. Such are the adjectives the word, “luxury” denotes. None  of  which, I’d argue, apply to my own conception of the animals I keep as  pets.  Nor is it likely to jibe with your worldview of petdom — not if  you consume  animal infotainment, like this blog, on a regular basis.

After all, some of us don’t necessarily see animal keeping as a personal   choice. We view animals among us as the result of the millennia old  process of  domestication — a complex, symbiotic relationship that serves  as a significant  measure of our humanity.

Which is perhaps why so many of us feel almost compelled to live  alongside  animals. This, despite the fact that with all our modern  advances we’ve mostly  “aged out” of keeping pets as ratters, hunters,  and defenders (among other  survival-based uses). Because, as the  argument goes, there’s something so  fundamentally co-evolutionary (about  dogs and cats in particular) that we  continue to forge lasting bonds  with them in spite of the less pressing need to  keep them close.

No, pets are decidedly not luxuries — not any more than  anything  else we might consider “essential” to our quality of life that  can also be said  to be a luxury. After all, we humans need no more than  food, water, clothing  and shelter to survive. All else is luxury, by  that standard.

Yet I’m also convinced the same cannot be said for all pet owners (we all know who they are). Nor do I expect everyone to agree that pet keeping can possibly be essential. Pets, they’ll say, are nothing more than a self-indulgent drain on personal resources.

Though, to rebut the naysayers, I might offer the case of the old woman   whose only reason to get out of bed is to feed her cat. I do understand  the  reasoning of those who wonder how far we as a society should go to  shoulder the  expenses not only of our human citizenry, but that of their  animals as  well.

Because if animals are deemed essential, non-luxury goods, our social   services would surely expand to meet the demand for low income pet care. Which  is sort of where we’re headed… for better or worse.

Then there’s the other end of the spectrum within the animal crowd: The   puritanical animal rightists who believe pets are the ultimate luxury, and that  keeping them “enslaved” to humans is no less morally egregious  than wearing  their fur or killing them (in the case of wolves) from  helicopters for  sport.

Moreover, the fact that we can and do subjugate them to our will and  call  them essential to our personal psyches and to our need to thrive is an affront  to their own physical and psychological welfare.

High-volume arguments from both camps aside, it’s clear the case is  thick as  mud. All of which only serves to make me ponder this gem all  the more: If  pets are a luxury, what does that say about veterinary medicine?

Lighten Up – Keeping Summoned Beings as Pets is a Bad Idea

Keeping Summoned Beings as Pets is a Bad Idea

by Faerie K. with thanks to viii on chat for ideas and comments

Why keeping summoned beings as pets is a bad idea…

They may be cute and cuddly when they’re little, but they tend to grow. Fast. To something large.

You can’t flush your overgrown summoned pet down the toilet and no pound will take one. (Trust me on this one.)

Unless you spay or neuter them, they will breed, quickly.

Good luck trying to find a vet that will spay or neuter one…

The feeding costs are astronomical. New Age shops are very expensive. Oh, sorry, I meant “astrological”.

An exotic summoned pet is very difficult to feed. Museums start suspecting your interests in ancient cultures rather quickly.

Getting them used to gourmet food is a bad idea: there aren’t that many virgins around, you see!

Cats sitting on the chest of a sleeping child sucking their life-force out may be a myth. With summoned pets, it isn’t.

No insurance will cover it if your summoned pet bites your guests.

They may even eat your guests while you pop into the kitchen for tea.

When they nibble your toes on Sunday morning, it does NOT feel nice. Besides, you need those toes for proper balance.

Clipping their toenails to save your sofa from being torn into shreds is pretty damn hard.

You think a pet stealing your stuff is bad? Summoned pets steal your stuff and hide it to the astral plane!

Summoned pet dung is difficult to get rid of. They won’t accept it at the toxic waste plant anymore …

Cat’s hairballs are easy to clean away. Try dealing with astral slime puke.

They don’t stay in their cage unless you remember to seal it magickally properly. Every single time.

It also gets a bit tedious to keep that triangle of salt intact in the corner of the living room.

A summoned pet possessing your grandmother is NO fun, I can tell you!

A summoned pet possessing your  stereo system  may be painful.

Having them play with your altar tools is not cute.

Having them play with your Book of Shadows is even less cute.

Smell of sulfur wafting in the apartment tends to deter Jehovah’s Witnesses and other pests, though… But it does make breathing labored in the long run.

Landlords tend to dislike the “things that go bump in the night” routine you have going on in your flat.

Landlords will detest finding out that paying residents in your block are disappearing as if by magick.

On the other hand, the police may become a tad too interested in the very same phenomena.

It’s not fun to have your pet deciding to “hump” your neighbor’s dog in the middle of your daily walk.

It’s practically impossible to find new, caring homes for the resulting Cerberoses, too.

While it may be cute to have a pet that actually does talk back to you, it’s not nice when they start throwing curses.

It may be nice to have a pet that can retrieve your e-mail along with regular post, but it’s NOT fun having them actually posting replies…

Advanced summoned pets may summon pets of their own. That means BIG trouble.

Last but not least: If you’re not quite careful, you may one day wake up realizing that it is in fact YOU who are the pet in this deal.

Dog Safety Tips for Fourth of July

Dog Safety Tips for Fourth of July

While we might associate the thump and boom of fireworks with festivity and a  great display, many of our canine companions are completely freaked out by  Fourth of July noises. Some dogs cower and shiver, some panic and try to escape  from their homes.

We checked in with the The Humane Society to gather some advice for the  pooches, here’s what they had to offer:

1. Resist the urge to take your pet to fireworks displays.

2. Do not leave your pet in the car. With only hot air to breathe inside a  car, your pet can suffer serious health effects–even death–in a few short  minutes. Partially opened windows do not provide sufficient air, but they do  provide an opportunity for your pet to be stolen.

3.  Keep your pets indoors at home in a sheltered, quiet area. Some animals  can become destructive when frightened, so be sure that you’ve removed any items  that your pet could destroy or that would be harmful to your pet if chewed.  Leave a television or radio playing at normal volume to keep him company while  you’re attending Fourth of July picnics, parades, and other celebrations.

4. If you know that your pet is seriously distressed by loud noises like  thunder, consult with your veterinarian before July 4th for ways to help  alleviate the fear and anxiety he or she will experience during fireworks  displays.

 

 

Happy & Blessed Saturday To All My Sweet Friends!

Saturday Images, Quotes, Comments, Graphics
Good Saturday Afternoon to you, my Sweets! I hope you are having a very relaxing day. As you can tell I took the morning off. Since the A/C is still on the blink and it was cool (77 degrees), I decided to do some cleaning. Now my little rump is dragging the ground. I finally stopped when I got a heat headache. I came in here and took one of my migraine pills. So my head is starting to ease up. At least the house is clean, lol! But they say it is suppose to stay up in the 90′ to almost a 100 all next week. I done made my mind up this witch can’t take it. I am melting fast. But that is the way my luck goes, everything happens in three’s. Has anyone else noticed that? I have when something tears up I always hold my breath because I never know what’s coming next. In other words, “when it rains, it pours!”

My son is still here. He is such a pleasure to have around. I haven’t seen him since yesterday at 12:00 p.m. He has been working 12 hours a night. He gets home around 3 in the morning. Then on Saturday’s he goes and does dog training at a local kennel. We are all affiliated with vets, kennels, groomers, pound and etc., one way or another. He enjoys it and so do I, we both love animals. I got tickled at him the other night (it seems like my critters are trying to do him in, lol!). He said he had his hand hanging off the bed. He was looking for his Mountain Dew and hit something with a strange coat of fur. He reached for his phone and shown it in that direction.  He told me he liked to have jumped out of bed. There sit Razzy just sitting there staring at him. He told me she had the meanest look on her face and also she was very scary. And he generally isn’t the scared type, either. He wanted to know if I had seen her in the dark. I told him, “of course, all the time silly.” She looks like an angel curled up beside me. He said, “Bullshi&! She is a mean cat.” I told him she remembers that he is the one that brought that dog in. The one that dislocated her shoulder, animals don’t forget. So he shut up and went back to bed around 4 and I was wide awake. Oh! If life would only get back to normal!

I was thinking today since it is so late, what do you say I do something a little different? Put on some info about Crystals, Potions, Tinctures, Bath Salts, some Spells and Rituals? What do you say? Sounds good to me, hee, hee, hee! Of course it would!

Anyway I am going to run and get busy before you all replace me, lol! I hope you have a super Saturday! Stay cool and most of all enjoy!

Lighten Up – Keeping Summoned Beings as Pets is a Bad Idea

Keeping Summoned Beings as Pets is a Bad Idea

by Faerie K.

Why keeping summoned beings as pets is a bad idea…

They may be cute and cuddly when they’re little, but they tend to grow. Fast. To something large.

You can’t flush your overgrown summoned pet down the toilet and no pound will take one. (Trust me on this one.)

Unless you spay or neuter them, they will breed, quickly.

Good luck trying to find a vet that will spay or neuter one…

The feeding costs are astronomical. New Age shops are very expensive. Oh, sorry, I meant “astrological”.

An exotic summoned pet is very difficult to feed. Museums start suspecting your interests in ancient cultures rather quickly.

Getting them used to gourmet food is a bad idea: there aren’t that many virgins around, you see!

Cats sitting on the chest of a sleeping child sucking their life-force out may be a myth. With summoned pets, it isn’t.

No insurance will cover it if your summoned pet bites your guests.

They may even eat your guests while you pop into the kitchen for tea.

When they nibble your toes on Sunday morning, it does NOT feel nice. Besides, you need those toes for proper balance.

Clipping their toenails to save your sofa from being torn into shreds is pretty damn hard.

You think a pet stealing your stuff is bad? Summoned pets steal your stuff and hide it to the astral plane!

Summoned pet dung is difficult to get rid of. They won’t accept it at the toxic waste plant anymore …

Cat’s hairballs are easy to clean away. Try dealing with astral slime puke.

They don’t stay in their cage unless you remember to seal it magickally properly. Every single time.

It also gets a bit tedious to keep that triangle of salt intact in the corner of the living room.

A summoned pet possessing your grandmother is NO fun, I can tell you!

A summoned pet possessing your  stereo system  may be painful.

Having them play with your altar tools is not cute.

Having them play with your Book of Shadows is even less cute.

Smell of sulfur wafting in the apartment tends to deter Jehovah’s Witnesses and other pests, though… But it does make breathing labored in the long run.

Landlords tend to dislike the “things that go bump in the night” routine you have going on in your flat.

Landlords will detest finding out that paying residents in your block are disappearing as if by magick.

On the other hand, the police may become a tad too interested in the very same phenomena.

It’s not fun to have your pet deciding to “hump” your neighbor’s dog in the middle of your daily walk.

It’s practically impossible to find new, caring homes for the resulting Cerberoses, too.

While it may be cute to have a pet that actually does talk back to you, it’s not nice when they start throwing curses.

It may be nice to have a pet that can retrieve your e-mail along with regular post, but it’s NOT fun having them actually posting replies…

Advanced summoned pets may summon pets of their own. That means BIG trouble.

Last but not least: If you’re not quite careful, you may one day wake up realizing that it is in fact YOU who are the pet in this deal.

Special Kitty of the Day for February 13th

Lucky, the Cat of the Day
Name: Lucky
Age: Three years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Tabby
Home: Weisbach, Germany
Lucky is a very lovely cat, but three years ago Lucky has a bad time. When he was born, Lucky’s mum had left him and so I gave him potatoes and milk until we could get kitten food. Lucky is grey and black (he looks like a tiger). He loves to play with me, with other cats and to sleep in his basket. When I come home from school, Lucky waits for me and he picks me up from the bus. He is so special because he is simply unique and cuddly.

I love Lucky very much!

What Does My Dog’s Breed Say About Me?

What Does My Dog’s Breed Say About Me?

  • Nicolas, selected from petMD

by Dr. Justine Lee, PetMD

In my book It’s a Dog’s Life … but It’s Your Carpet, I admit, I make some pretty huge generalizations about breeds and pet owners. Granted, they’re my own opinions, but if you really wanted to know what your veterinarian thinks of you when you walk in the door with your breed of dog, read on!

Labrador Retriever

Dedicated, outdoorsy, loyal, and generally a good person to be around. Shops at REI. Drives a Subaru.

Chihuahua

May bite. The dog too.

Greyhound

Kind, mild mannered. Has neurotic tendencies. Gentle. Laid back. Drinks bottled water. Often looks like the dog.

Miniature Poodle

Usually owned by a sweet, old, white-haired person.

Terrier

Potential to be a loyal, family-oriented person. Can be snarky and have an east-coast attitude

 

Golden Retriever

Family oriented and generally a good person to be around. Has two or three human babies.

Miniature Schnauzer

Family oriented. Owned by older adults. Shops at LL Bean and Lands’ End. Drives a Volvo.

Yorkshire Terrier

Likes to carry a YSL or Gucci purse, often with their pet in it. Enjoys the high life. Drinks wine, not beer.

Rottweiler

Bad ass. Loyal. Protective. Doesn’t want to be screwed with.

Maltese

Either wants to have a child or have grandchildren. Loves to nurture and carry loved ones in arms. Very well dressed. Likes pink bows.

Beagle

Family oriented. High tolerance level for baying.

****

What? Don’t believe me? What do you think? Does your breed represent you?

And yes, I purposely skipped stereotyping us American pit bull terrier dog owners. But as a veterinary student once said to me: “Dr. Lee … you look just like your dog.”

Weird Questions You Don’t Want to Ask Your Vet

Weird Questions You Don’t Want to Ask Your Vet

  • Nicolas, selected from petMD

 

By Dr. Patty Khuly, PetMD

Got a question for your vet but too embarrassed to ask? Dr. Khuly answers some odd, gross and downright silly questions!
1. Why do some dogs have hair in their ears and some don’t?

Arctic vs. non-Arctic breeds, mostly. Dogs who must survive in cold climes are more likely to have hairy ears. That’s an easy one. Next…?

2. Why does my dog like to stare into my eyes and hold eye contact (not when he wants food or something)?

I will have to ask a behaviorist (or twelve) to get a better handle on this one but here’s what I suspect: Dog domestication has evolved patchily over the last eon or so. Greater domestication is accompanied by behavioral traits that include the very human (and much less dog-like) eye contact thing.

Extended eye contact among dogs is verboten unless you want to spar, but domesticated dogs have come to associate eye contact with humans as a way to get things from us. Wilder dogs (like Morgan) would never deign to beg in this way but happy dogs like Maddie fall all over themselves to get your attenshun* any way they can.

3. Did yoga develop from watching dogs? They totally do a downward dog thing.

Yes. Yogis obviously engage in bio-thievery. They totally stole the pose from dogs.

4. Why do dogs’ pads sometimes smell like evergreen meets rosin? And other times like corn chips?

Knowing your dogs I’d say it depends on the season, the hiking terrain and moisture levels. Got moist feet? Then maybe you’ve got yeast growing there; that can kind of smell like corn chips.

Hiking among the evergreens? Voilà.

5. What is the purpose of a dewclaw?

Vestigial; which means it no longer has a purpose. It is in the process of being evolutionarily rejected, which is why so many purebred and sporting dog owners want them lopped off.
6. Why do some dogs poop every morning like clockwork and other dogs is not as regular?

Why does my receptionist constantly complain of constipation in spite of an Activia habit, and my acupuncturist not-so-subtly tut-tut that my elimination habits are more frequent than most?

Get over it! As long as everything that goes in comes out and no impact on health results … who the frick cares?

 

7. Why do they say dogs can’t go into restaurants for health reasons — what health reasons?

They lie. Or rather … they are ignorant. They excuse the feverish sneezes of a human child in the table at the front of the restaurant as “cute” while a dog’s under-the-table snores are regarded as “the devil’s music.” (I’m making stuff up now.)

Honestly, I think most restaurants are more worried about dog bites and liability insurance than they are about any health risks. That or they truly are as stupid as all get-out.

8. What makes dog saliva so slippery?

I think I’ve also overheard that it’s the world’s best natural lubricant. Truly, however, I have no answer, other than to note that cat saliva is also incredibly viscous. Maybe someone else out there knows…?

9. If a dog’s tail hangs over its anus why doesn’t it ever get really dirty?

I’m not sure which way to go with this one but I think I’ll err on the side of biology:

Dogs have a lot more natural oils on their fur than we do on our human hairs. These oils repel the mucosal exterior of most dog stool. But that’s not universally true. By virtue of their hairy genetics, some dogs have finer, longer, less oily hair (think Maltese). That’s what a groomer’s “sanitary clip” was invented for: clean tails.

Special Kitty of the Day for February 7th

Popoki, the Cat of the Day
Name: Popoki
Age: Eleven years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Siamese mix
Home: Shell Beach, California, USA
Popoki (Hawaiian for cat) was adopted at two years old (estimated by vet) and has been with us for almost five years. He’s “mostly” a flamepoint Siamese, who loves sightseeing from the window!

Popoki hid from every one for the first four to five weeks after we adopted him. He slowly began moving closer and closer to our common space until he made himself at home. He meows only when hungry or if a neighbor cat comes to his window. He also has an attitude when you aren’t feeding or playing with him on his terms. He turns his back on you, makes short meow sounds, and flicks his tail.

He likes to be in the same room as we are, but not too close (unless it’s his idea) Since our cats are always kept indoors, we have a pet stroller for an occasional outdoor stroll. Poki (as I call him) complains when you put him in the stroller, but seems to really enjoy all the sights and sounds around him. He often does somersaults when playing and literally melts when he gets his (hopefully) daily back massage. He is still afraid of new voices, the doorbell, and the sound of plastic bags, but boy is he friendly and loving when he smells a tuna can being opened!

For the past few weeks, he has decided that sleeping in our bedroom at night is a given, and I honestly think he knows the sound of the clock when it chimes twelve times (which is when he gets tidbit from my husband’s lunch). With age, he is becoming more affectionate as well (yay), and more of a people cat!

Eco-Friendly Pet Care

Eco-Friendly Pet Care

  • Adria Saracino

With an increasing number of us choosing to make the change to a greener, more sustainable way of life for ourselves and our families, it makes sense to extend our eco-friendly inclinations to caring for our four-legged friends. Our pets are exposed to the same pesticides and toxins as we are, so it is natural for us to want to protect them, too. Here are some environmentally sound ways of caring for your pets.

Eco Eating

A healthy diet is essential for maintaining good pet health. Many of our most trusted brands of “premium” pet food have been revealed to be using low-quality ingredients that would not be fit for human consumption, and if it’s not good enough for us, then it’s not good enough for Fido!

Thus, look for organic options and ask yourself, “do I really know what’s in my pet’s food?” Certified organic pet food must meet strict standards set by the USDA. It is guaranteed to be free from hormones, chemicals, genetically-modified ingredients and artificial flavors and colorings. Luckily, most organic pet foods also tend to be sustainably sourced, so you will be helping local communities in addition to improving your pet’s diet.

Green Grooming

Although looking after your pet’s insides is extremely important, what you put on the outside makes a huge difference to their health and well-being, too. For both bathing and getting rid of fleas, there are plenty of natural options available at retail centers like Native Remedies. This site offers products that provide a gentler alternative to support your pet’s immune system, and won’t contain potentially harmful chemicals which can wreak havoc with your pet’s health if ingested.

 

Conscientious Cleaning

Cleaning up after your pet has the potential to be a much greener activity, too. Did you know that every year approximately 10 million tons of pet waste will end up in the nation’s landfills? Clay-based cat litter is not an eco-friendly product, but thankfully there are many biodegradable and organic alternatives available.

The equivalent in “business management” for your dog is the biodegradable waste bag. Picking up after your dog is essential, but using plastic bags won’t help with your green ambitions. Biodegradable bags decompose naturally and can reduce landfill waste substantially. Also, when it comes to all the little accidents that accompany pet training and muddy paw prints, using natural cleaning products such as baking soda and lemon juice helps to reduce the toxins you’re letting loose in your home.

Holistic Health Care

If your pet was to get sick, there are many alternative treatments that you could try. Chiropractic, homeopathic and holistic remedies are becoming more and more common for pets. Acupuncture, veterinary orthopedic manipulation, massage therapy, hydrotherapy and pet rehabilitation are also available. These types of treatments are thought to vastly increase the comfort of pets that suffer from conditions like epilepsy, cancer, allergies, and injury.

While these options can improve your pet’s comfort and overall health, they tend to come with a price. Thus, look into pet insurance options. Note, not all insurance providers include coverage for holistic methods, so be sure to read the coverage details carefully. Embrace pet insurance is one option for alternative therapy coverage. They offer both cat and dog insurance that includes coverage for treatments like chiropractic, acupuncture, and more.

These are just a few ideas to get you started, but it doesn’t have to end there. Think green and enjoy the immense satisfaction you’ll get from knowing that you and yours are doing your bit for the planet. The pets of the future will thank you for it!