You were born with the ability to change someone's life, don't ever waste it. Dale Partridge Pebble tossed in a pond, it takes very little effort to change a life - whether animal or human encounter. And, we are indeed born equipped. Sometimes it's a commitment to care for a pet. Sometimes it's a commitment to love another. Sometimes it's a new awareness, a conscious decision to accept, or a paradigm shift. Sometimes it's receiving as well as giving graciously. Sometimes it takes something as simple as a smile or nod, a kind word or act, a stroke on the head, a tummy rub, or a simple good thought. Thanks to Your Pit Bull and You on facebook for this cool image.
Here is the gist - Fletch is a nice, sweet dog who is fast becoming a victim of poor judgment by human beings and their egos. Fletch is a dog who was up for adoption who found a forever home and was in the care of volunteers at the Knox County Animal Shelter until he could go to his new home. Recently, he was interacting with a child during supervised play at the shelter, reached out for a play-toy and caught part of the child's hand in the process. The county health department deemed the act non-aggressive, and no bite complaint was filed.
Sometimes there are just events that are no-fault - they just happen. As a pet sitter, if I get nicked during play or when I'm giving a pet a treat - that's my fault for not being faster or not paying attention, and I do think the adults in the room should have used better judgment - the child can be petting him and interacting in a calm atmosphere, but let her watch the grown-ups play with toys with the dog and administer treats.
In Ohio, a bite from an animal requires a 10-day quarantine - that can be at a shelter, a vet, or a home. In spite of obvious evidence that showed the dog to be non-aggressive, and the event to be a simple accident, Dog Warden Jordan Bernard indicated that after the 10-day quarantine, he planned to euthanize Fletch, claiming that he was acting in the best interest of the community. Really?
Well, the community doesn't want the dog euthanized. And, Dog Warden Jordan Bernard works for the community. The community would be the taxpayers that pay his salary. Pretty sure he's there to serve them. The County Commissioners initially indicated that they didn't want to "micro-manage" the dog warden and banned the volunteer program at the animal shelter for a year. Yikes. Pretty sure, again, those County Commissioners, who are elected officials, are working for and representing the taxpayers. And, the taxpayers want the dog saved.
A Knox County organization, that the County Commissioners do and will recognize, called The
Tank Fund, which provides funding for pet quality of life concerns and
trains assistance dogs, has offered to take Fletch. Advocates for Fletch, including his future family, have turned to the court system and Fletch is currently being fostered in a home until this can be sorted out. Fletch's case has been transferred from Mt. Vernon Municipal Court to the Knox County Court of Common Pleas. The County Commissioners say that under Ohio law, they can release Fletch to The Tank Fund only if the county has custody of the dog. Right now, Fletch is in court-ordered foster care.
This circumstance raises a lot of questions and concerns for the future, but right now there is just one issue at hand: Saving Fletch.
To borrow from Shakespeare: Discretion is the better part of valor. We should all be setting our egos aside and working together for a creative solution that Saves Fletch, benefits all, and works within the law. If you live in Knox County, especially if you are a registered voter (but you don't have to be to support Fletch), and want to reach out to the County Commissioners, please do so. Get to the point - no pontificating, no name calling, no hair pulling - it's totally unnecessary and counter-productive - all that matters is Fletch. Simply send them an email stating:
1. If you are a registered voter, please state so: I am a registered voter in Knox County. 2. State your support for Fletch: I do not want Fletch to be euthanized. Please save Fletch. 3. Include your name and address.
It's that simple.
People got Fletch into this situation; I hope people can get him out of it.
Heartfelt thoughts and prayers go to Fletch and all who support him.
Update March 31, 2014: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 is the next hearing for Fletch in Knox County Common Pleas court at 10:30 a.m. For more information, check in with Save Fletch on facebook.
Just a reminder - Spring Forward at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 9th!
Time and time-keeping are a human construct and, yes, it's weird to us those first few days after a time change. But our pets don't watch the clock, so, they may notice the change as well, based on our behavior. They still want to eat when they are hungry and be able to go out when they are used to going out, regardless of what we humans see on our computers, alarm clocks, watches, and phones.
What you may want to be aware of is that their temporary confusion because your schedule is different can become stressful.
From sleep to hunger, dogs, cats, and other animals, including livestock and free animals (as in skunk and coyotes) operate biologically (circadian rhythms) and in relation to natural sunlight.
If you aren't already doing so, Cesar
Millan suggests mixing up timed activities like eating, walking, and
playing by increments of time (early or later than what you've been
doing the past six months) working toward the time adjustment weeks
before the time change.
Additionally, if your pet takes medication at certain times, especially insulin, have a transition plan in place or check with your vet to adapt to the time adjustment.
And, otherwise, just being aware that it may take a few days to a few weeks for your dog to adjust, so extra attention and patience will help the transition.
Sarah Wilson, author of the book Dogology:What Your Relationship With Your Dog Says About You advises, "If your dog wants to sleep in, let them for as long as you can. Don’t you wish someone would do that for you?"
The animals we let into our lives help us grow in many special and
beautiful ways. They not only teach us about unconditional love,
happiness, joy, and companionship, they teach us about loss, grieving,
and letting go. When their brief lives end, and our hearts are breaking,
we remember all the wondrous times we’ve have shared with them and that
ultimately the sadness was worth it. What an invaluable
lesson - understanding that we can enter into a relationship we know will
end one day and yet be unafraid. I believe that our lives, our health,
and our human experiences are infinitely richer because of the special
bond we share with the animals we love. Tieraona Low Dog, M.D. Click for more... Tieraona Low Dog, M.D. Photo courtesy of Doreen Virtue on facebook.
I know from personal experience that cats love to be read-to. Here is a wonderful program at the Animal Rescue League of Berks County (Pennsylvania) - called Book Buddies. Kids come in and read-to and comfort resident cats.
One of my clients has winter gear for their dogs made by Chilly Dogs. Stylish. Light Weight. Easy to fit. Easy to put on. Comfortable for the dog. Easy to care for. And, keeps 'em warm and active! Check them out - click here.
I take the food out of my bowl before eating... Although
at first sight this seems a bit pointless, when you learn that it is in
a cat’s instinct to protect their food and move it away from other
predators (cat siblings, say) to stop them from eating their share, it
doesn’t seem quite so bizarre.
I am totally ignoring that comfy cat bed for this hard patch of floor... As
daft as it may seem, some cats will choose a patch of floor for a nap
over a cushioned bed as it’s generally cooler and can help them maintain
their optimum body temperature. It’s either that, or they’re just
playing you for a fool for spending a fortune on a fancy cat bed. (See
our Clever Cat Beds blog post to save yourself some pennies!)
can spot a bird from 500 yards, but I can’t see that treat you just
dropped in front of me, no matter how many times you point to it... We’ve
all been here haven’t we? But when you learn that in order for a cat to
see prey at long distances, and in dim and changing light, it
sacrifices the ability to focus on detail close up, you can forgive them
for what seems like a moment of stupidity.