How prepared are you? A little, a lot, gone overboard, never crossed your mind? North Carolina is no stranger to hurricanes so that will be my focus today.
Here are some things to think about: the internet and tv may go down; power may go out; rain may cause floods; wind may cause damage; evacuations may be ordered. Everyone is under a lot of stress scrambling to get what they need to survive and protect their belongings.
Make a plan for your pet ahead of time: decide where they will go, how they will get there, what supplies and records you will take, and know what you can do to help keep them calm.
Prepare an emergency kit for each animal. Take water, food, can opener, carriers or crates, litter box and litter, puppy pads, plastic bags, pickup bags, medicine, medical records, leash, collar, harness, pet photo, ID tags. Suggestion: take paper records and a photo. While you may have excellent records and pictures on your smartphone, you may not be able to access them. Store paper reports in a waterproof container (zip lock bags are handy) and take them with you. You may also scan records and photos to a file and email the file to a friend or family member who lives in a safe area.
Before the bad weather approaches, bring your pets inside. Keep them safe. You don’t want to search for a terrified pet that has escaped from the yard.
Stay calm – your pets are sensitive to your feelings. You can help them stay relaxed by packing their favorite blanket or toy, bringing a long-lasting chew toy, spraying Feliway (cats) or Adaptil (dogs) on bedding or towels that can be put into their carriers or crates.
If your pet is not familiar with going into carriers or crates – teach them to love them. Leave them up in the house, toss treats in them, feed them next to them and gradually move the food inside. If they have to spend time confined in one, they will be more comfortable if they have a good association with them.
Stay tuned in to the weather reports and, if you have to leave – don’t dilly dally. You are your pet’s best guardian so plan to take them with you.
I’ve laced up my sneakers & jingled my car keys, lining my pockets with necessary items for a quick outing. As I head towards the door, there she is, my eager & loyal canine companion wanting to join in on the travels. The repeated & habitual motions have sounded the ‘car ride alarm.’ She knows what’s in my future – and she wants in!
Whether it’s the idea of being with her pack leader or the excitement offered by a traveling box on wheels, she is always up for a car ride. Being mindful of vet visits & other necessity destinations, I encourage her fondness for accompanying me. By exposing her to low stress, simple neighborhood rides, positivity is associated with the experience. I’ve practiced this with Sam since she was a puppy & as a result, she is happy to be my co-pilot. She absorbs it all; with ears that adorably perk up at the painted New Bern ‘Bear’ statues.
With 3 million olfactory nose senses, our dogs gather exposure to a variety of smells offered by travel. In addition to bonding, we feed into the animalistic desire for exploration. When traveling, safety always comes first. As tempting as it is, keeping all sniffers and paws inside the vehicle deter incident. A well ventilated backseat harness, crate or carrier are always the safest ways for a dog to ride. A casual, safe and frequent cruise through the neighborhood keeps my precious pup ready to roll!
Submitted to Crockett’s Critter Care by Nicholas Bailey
What is your proud pet story? Contact us so we can all hear it.
Dogs love your companionship so it is a great way to strengthen your dog-human relationship. It’s an easy thing that you can do together. Do you notice how many times your dog looks pleadingly at its leash and back at you? It’s waiting for you to attach his leash and spend some quality time with each other. Most of the time, all you have to do is step out the front door.
Sometimes a vigorous walk is great for exercise but not always what your dog wants. A slow and steady walk gives your dog a great chance to read the environment. Their sense of smell is so powerful that they know who was here, which way they came from, where they went, and how long ago they passed through. Let them read the stories that the environment offers them.
Dogs would love to have more control over where they go. After all, we control every aspect of their life so why not let them pick and chose the direction they want to go? We just need to make sure the direction they are selecting is safe and allow them to lead the way.
Slow down and listen to what your dog is saying to you. Sometimes you can just stop and observe what they are doing. Give them a moment to do what they are interested in. We don’t need to pull them away from something they are attracted to every time. How would you feel if you were reading the newspaper and were constantly interrupted before you finished the article?
They want to explore different surfaces so vary your location. When it’s convenient, walk them on a sidewalk, at the park, on a hiking trail in the woods, down a path by the river, or on a sandy beach. Many dogs love to take in new experiences.
Dogs love a routine. Walking them at the same time every day calms them. Just like our morning routine gets us off to a good start – the same is true for your dog. Consistency is calming.
My Davy cues me when he wants to walk. He looks at his leash and back at me until I oblige. He loves tracking and looking for squirrels, bunnies, deer, and reading who else was visiting his world. He knows where the neighborhood cats are hiding and which trees the birds are perched in. He stops to look down along the common grounds to see if any other critters are in sight. He is alert and interested in everything. He reminds me to live in the moment.
Ginger, on the other hand, is content to meander on the front yard and across the street and back. She can sniff the same spot for five minutes and then walk a few feet away and then back where she was. She is excited to meet up with her friend, Max, but ignores the other critters that are around.
I walk Davy and Ginger separately. They have different styles of walking and I want to spoil them both on their walk. They trust me and enjoy our relationship. Each one is special and different. Both are allowed to be dogs and are happy pets.
I would be happy to walk your dog too. Contact me to get started.
The notch signifies that the cat is part of a community of feral felines that have been spayed or neutered and are being cared for. They are part of a TNR (Trap/Neuter/Release) neighborhood program to trap, test, spay or neuter, vaccinate and release the feral cats back where they were found. These cats are not your neighbor’s pet that goes inside and out. They are feral or wild and belong to no one.
When the cat or kitty is under anesthesia for surgery, a small portion of its left-ear is removed so that the cat colony care takers know that this cat does not need to be trapped again for this procedure. It’s a good thing. No new litters will be born and the cat can be returned to a closely managed cat colony. So when you see a cat like this, it is healthy, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered, and well cared for.
Neighbors Helping Cats
There are pockets of people involved in this program everywhere and several are in New Bern. Their purpose is to provide a life-saving solution to a cat overpopulation problem. These cats live healthier lives than the strays that are left to fend for themselves.
I have seen the success of this program in my neighborhood through a group named Derby Cats. They take the cats to Spay Today, Inc., a low-cost spay/neuter service in Greenville where $55 covers the cost of spay/neuter, rabies vaccine, and a 3 way combo vaccine (distemper). Derby Cats also provides pre and post-op care, any necessary medical care, food, litter and transport all made possible by the generous donations from our neighbors.
During the process, some of the friendly cats are placed into foster care where they can be socialized and adopted into a home. The ferals are released where they were picked up or, if that is not possible, are sought after as barn cats.
To learn more about Derby Cats, become involved, or make a donation, please visit their Facebook page.
A traumatized kitten from a trash can coffee cup finds a home, health, and happiness.
What Was That?
It’s 3:00 am, and five-pound Dora is tearing around the living room, attempting to climb the blinds and curtains and everything else she knows is off-limits during the day. All that can be seen is one little eye glowing with glee as she speeds by. “Having one eye doesn’t slow her down a bit,” says Ben, who found her on the side of a busy road almost six years ago when she was only five weeks old.
A Rough Start
“She was hiding in an empty cup by some trash,” Ben remembers. He noticed her little head poking out and pulled over. “She ran right to me, meeping and crying.” Dora was in a rough shape, weighing only nine ounces and covered in fleas and scratches. She also had significant trauma to her left eye, which couldn’t be saved.
Happily Ever After
Sweet Dora never seemed to mind the loss of her eye. She even tried to play with her stitches as soon as she came home from the vet after surgery. More recently, Dora’s job has been class mascot as Ben’s wife, Rachel, taught elementary school online. “Dora Zoomed with me every day. She’d walk all over the keyboard, sniff the camera, and twitch her tail when she heard my students talk. The kids loved it. She’d take a nap by the window to supervise.”
Hobbies & Habits
Dora’s hobbies include tackling her 17-pound older cat brother, Fluffy Ed, and napping with her more patient older brother, the Magical Mr. Mistoffolees. She also enjoys listening for the sound of a lid being removed from a rotisserie chicken container so she can roll on her back and beg by showing her fluffy belly.
~ Written by Rachel Donnelly
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