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Friday, October 09, 2015

Do We Love Our Pets More Now?

                     We know Parental Unit adores us!

And we also know she's loved the many pets she's had before we came into her life.. Although she may not love us more than her other pets, she knows so much more now—we all do—about the best ways to meet our pets needs. And that wasn't talked about nearly as much, if at all, say when Parental Unit was a kid. (Well, ahem,we didn't know much about anything 100 years ago). The idea is that Parental Unit has more time now to spend with us, and makes more time to understand and meet the needs we have as distinct species.

Anyway, this article in the LATimes explores some of the reasons why it might appear that we "love" our pets more today than we did say, 50 years ago. More disposable income to spend on our furkids, and advances in veterinary medicine that allow pets to live longer, healthier lives are just two of the possible reasons many humans shower us with more attention these days...or at least appear to.

On the other hand, the associate director of the Tufts Institute for Human-Animal Interaction, Megan Mueller, says "And, yes, a lot of people talk about their animals as being member of their family, but we simply don't have a lot of research about what people's relationships were like with their companion animals 50 years ago." How about Timmy and Lassie for example—they were pretty bonded, don't you think?

We'd love to know how you feel about this issue. Are humans more closely bonded with us pets than they used to be? Do we really love each other more, or is it perhaps just a construct of the $60 billion pet industry? Hmmm.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

BlogPaws Wordless Wednesday Pet Blogger Hop!

Of course, our friends at BlogPaws are celebrating "Adopt-A-Shelter-Pet" Month, this first Wordless Wednesday of October—what a great cause!

Meanwhile, back at the Ohio ranch...Parental Unit thinks I'm the perfect mixed-breed ambassador for   shelter dogs. As I'm sure all of you do when you're out with your pooch, we receive lots of  comments about how cute I am, how friendly I am...and I just love all the fuss and ocassional treats from our local shops. That's when Parental Unit makes sure to tell the person showering me with compliments that I'm a mixed breed from the shelter, and encourage them to visit our local shelter or various rescues for their next pet.

I do look like a good ambassador, don't you think? Great photo of me by Rachel Lauren Photography.

Now off to the BlogPaws Wordless Wednesday Pet Blogger Hop to see how all our friends are kicking off Adopt-A-Shelter-Pet Month!

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

October Is Adopt-A -Shelter-Pet Month!

Clever graphic courtesy of BlogPaws
Did you all know that the gorgeous month of October is Adopt-A-Shelter Pet (or Dog) Month? Yes, we know that every month should be one where we call attention to the millions of beautiful companion animals waiting, and waiting...and waiting in shelters for the right human to take them home. But it can't hurt to have one month that specifically encourages folks to adopt a new family member from their local shelter or rescues...or to simply peruse Petfinder.com to fall in love.

If you simply can't adopt right now, why not foster an animal—that helps that cat or dog become socialized, so they're ready for adoption when the stars finally align for them, and it frees up shelter space for other animals in need. You could also volunteer at your shelter to walk dogs or simply donate needed supplies.

You might also take a few minutes this month to talk with even just one friend about the importance of considering adoption if they plan to add a pet to their family. The truth is that not everyone is as aware as our blogging community of the plight of shelter animals and the desperate need to convince more people to visit their local shelters or contact breed rescues—so many lives depend on it!

And speaking of a wonderful pet blogging community, don't forget to join the BlogPaws gang tonight from 8-10 pm EST for a fun Twitter chat to ring in Adopt-A-Shelter Pet month. Use hashtag #blogpawschat and jump right into the conversation!

Sunday, October 04, 2015

#World Animal Day

We love both the idea and the substantive actions behind World Animal Day. Interestingly, it's not a recent addition to the calendar: According to its official website, World Animal Day "...was started in 1931 at a convention of ecologists in Florence, Italy, as a way of highlighting the plight of endangered species", and it's held annually on October 4, because today is the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment. What's not to love?

                               Did someone say "feast"?

The mission of World Animal Day is "TO RAISE THE STATUS OF ANIMALS IN ORDER TO IMPROVE WELFARE STANDARDS AROUND THE GLOBE". As we all know, but don't always implement in our daily routines, the lives of animals are profoundly affected each day by the action we as individuals take, and by those decisions and actions of businesses, and even of nations. The promotion and celebration of World Animal Day is intended to both raise awareness of the plight of animals around the globe, and to actually do something to elevate the substandard status of animals.

There's all kinds of events being held today that include awareness and educational events, spay and neuter marathons, animal blessing services, and even peaceful protests to raise awareness of specific issues and/or the need for protective legislation. In recognition of todays' celebrations, this article in The Guardian highlights one of the organization's many campaigns—to end abusive elephant shows— and is an inspiring example of the power of an international organization.

Let us know if you were involved in any celebrations today. We'd love to hear!

Saturday, October 03, 2015

New York Dog Film Festival Rolls Out The Green Carpet!

     Photo credit: Jim Dratfield
Did you ever fantasize about watching dogs, dogs, and well, more dogs, on screen in a theater...all day long? Your desires have become reality, dog lovers! The first New York Dog Film Festival is held today at Symphony Space in Manhattan, and promises "all dogs, all day"—can it get any better?

The Dog Film Festival is the brainchild of Tracie Hotchner, founder of the Radio Pet Lady Network and author of the wildly popular books, The Dog Bible and The Cat Bible, and features forty short films, running from 60 seconds to 30 minutes in two sessions throughout the day.

The festival includes the mini films of humorist Merrill Markoe (of late Night with David Letterman fame), and the artist William Wegman and his Weimaraners. For those of us not able to attend in New York, we can view at least some of the festival's films on YouTube.

We're especially thrilled that the festival also features a segment from an episode of the Shelter Me series on PBS, titled "Second Chances" that shows prisoners training shelter dogs for future work as service dogs.

We can envision a several day, Sundance-like festival starring all dogs, dogs and more dogs (Why not be generous and include a few cats?) as the natural follow-up to this cool festival. What about you?

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