Saturday, July 13, 2013

How Many Peas Fill Your Pod?

There are so many reasons that we have pets.

What began as a symbiotic relationship where our pets offered protection from the wilds of our earliest civilized beginnings has turned into a place of love and companionship. Our pets have  wormed their way into our hearts, our beds and our family.

In my house our pets still offer protection from visitors, vermin, and cold feet in bed. But they also provide us with laughter, companionship, joy, a healthier lifestyle, and a sense of responsibility to someone other than ourselves.

Magpie relaxing beside my husband Joe.

Jekyll snuggling with Joe and waiting for the day to officially start.

Magpie attacking the mysterious moving bumps under the sheets.

(And yes, those are dog sheets. Everything in my house is dog (or cat)).

Joe and Charlie.

If I sound like I am speaking about our pets as if they are sentient beings then you hear me correctly. My pets are my family and I take the same degree of responsibility for them as I could my own children.

Because I feel such a strong sense of responsibility toward my pets I think about what I need to be doing for them more so than what they need to be doing for me. Outside of basic safety measures, every decision is made based on their preference and happiness.. (OK, small confession I do try to feed them a great nutritional food more so than a great looking or tasting food).

It is obvious that my guys all get along well..isn't it?

Our house and our four cats that all get along, a perfect harmonious quartet.

Wren and buddies.

Jekyll and Jitterbug.

Magpie and Jekyll..sharing our bed.
It took a bit of effort and patience and a whole plan to get everyone to live together peacefully. I cannot underscore how imperative this is. I believe that most, if not all, of the behavioral problems we see in our pets are a result of us. Whether in small or large part we overlook basic needs of a complicated, thinking, needful being. To forget or not have time for such things as a great diet, a thorough exercise plan, a calm and caring environment free of stress, and a mentally stimulating fulfilling day. They also need companionship. From us or from another pet. To be deficient in one will cause behavioral, health, or mental anguish and issues.

I have seen in time after time.

Because we all lead very busy lives with jobs, school, children, spouses, life, etc. etc., our pets are expected to adapt around our lifestyle and its changes. It is a lot to ask of them. They, just like many of us, develop bad habits to compensate for a deficiency in our basic needs. Not enough exercise? Not enough time to de-stress? Difficult to buy good food? Or prepare good food? The list goes on and on. The results for them are the same for us.

Because of all of the numerous demands life places on us I practice the "two pet theory." When my old dog Ambrose passed on, he left Savannah behind. A few days later Charlie walked into the clinic and then took up residence in our home. In about an hour I saw the desperation in Savannah's face. Charlie needed a friend and Savannah needed a break. Along came Jekyll. Now our days are filled with 2 puppies playing and Savannah napping. And there is peace in the land, Again..

Jekyll, the beagle, who is the puppy for my puppy Charleston.

When I am asked in the exam room about a client adopting another pet I remind my clients that unless you are at home all day, or want a pet to sit on your lap all day, your pet will get lonely. The average person is at work for eight hours, comes home, has children to take care of, dinner to make, etc etc. Finding time for your pet who has been waiting for you for those long worked days and then being pressed for time to exercise them, play with them, and spend time with them is difficult. My best solution is to get a pet for your pet. I swear that two pets is easier than one, and although it might be a bit more expensive in food and veterinary care, it will reward you a hundred times over with glee at watching two happy pets play, or snuggle, or keep each other company. You will also see less behavioral issues and not feel guilty for not having all of the time they need.

The two pet theory was one-upped by clients who "couldn't decide which color lab they wanted... so they chose all three."

And if you live on a horse farm in Maryland, two Jack Russell terriers.
Although I have to intergect a personal plea. Jack Russells need to be watched. Two jacks in a small house is two firecrackers waiting for a spark. Two Jacks out running all day is the only way to keep them from tearing itno each other.

If you are thinking of getting a pet for your pet, think about what will work in your home. Maybe two high energy, demanding, opinionated, stubborn Type A canines is too much powder in the muzzle?

Or maybe a four month old pup is too much for a 14 year old?

You know your pets, your lifestyle, and what is and is not feasible. All of these should be discussed before adding another pea to your pod.

Wren and Oriole.
It is almost impossible to tell how is the puppy for whom any more?

Our puppies, Jekyll and Charlie.

When you can live in a house where everyone gets along, cats, dogs, and yes, even us humans, life is peaceful.

Our front hallway has been turned into Savannah's overnight pad.
The cats think it is a playpen..Magpie, Wren, Oriole, and Savannah.
Thankfully everyone gets along.

Charlie, Cora, and Jekyll. 

Bica and Kaldi. Two Burmese babies that are always together.

One of my favorite stories of getting a pet for your pet is from Jana. When I asked her where she came up with her dogs name J.D., she replied,  "we got him for Jasmine, so it's Jasmine's dog." Now that's true love and devotion.

If you have any questions or comments about anything pet related please find me +Krista Magnifico ,, or on Twitter @FreePetAdvice.

And if any of these photos are your pets and you would like their names included please tell me, I would be happy to adjust anything for any of you! And Thank-You to my Jarrettsville clients for sharing your pets with all of us!

No comments:

Post a Comment