Anyone who’s forged a deep bond with a pet has likely asked themselves that question or a similar one. We want to believe that the bond we share is so unbreakable, so life changing not just for us, but for our pets, too. We want to think that if we were ever separated, no amount of passing time could dim our pet’s memory of us. We want it to be true for them, as it certainly is for us.
We never forget our pets; no matter how many months or years go by, the love we shared is always fresh in our minds. We smile remembering all the things they did that made us laugh. Our hearts swell thinking of the endearing way they curled up to sleep in their favorite spot, or gave us that quick little lick on the tip of our nose. We could never forget the happiness they brought with them when they came into our home.
The saying “pets leave paw prints on our hearts” is oh so true, and those paw prints are forever. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it could be the same for our pets? That the gentle hands that gave them loving pats every day could imprint on their heart till the end of time, and the voice that soothed was remembered forever?
We know our pets have the mental capacity to remember us for short periods of time. There’s plenty of evidence of that – one only has to search YouTube to find hundreds of examples. Perhaps you saw the heartwarming video that went viral, of the pup running out to greet her “Daddy,” a soldier who had just returned home from Afghanistan. That dog’s excitement and joy is palpable; clearly, this pup did not forget the one they loved.
Animal lovers who have adopted an abused or rescued dog know it’s one of the most rewarding things they’ve ever done. It can also be hard for first-time adopters to figure out how to make things easier for themselves and their new companions. These dogs have been through a lot, and their experiences often make them hesitant to trust people again. It’s up to the adopters to help them adjust to their new life as part of a loving family. With that in mind, here are some tips for caring for rescued or abused dogs that will help them feel safe, confident and loved.
Not having essential supplies when you need them is stressful, and pets pick up on that stress. Before bringing your new family member home, be prepared for the inevitable messes by having pet-safe cleaning supplies on hand. Other important items include puppy pads, grooming and first-aid supplies, chew toys, CANIDAE dog food, and a leash and collar. By preparing in advance, you’ll be more likely to stay calm when things don’t go as planned.
Home Vet Visit
As a responsible pet owner, you’ll want to have your dog’s health checked out right away. If possible, arrange to have a trusted veterinarian provide the initial exam at your home. Once your dog realizes that this new person is a friend, you can schedule future visits at the veterinary clinic.
Use a Gentle Tone
Use a gentle tone of voice whenever your dog is nearby, and always speak his name kindly. Loud voices and harsh words can be frightening, especially to a dog that’s already anxious or fearful. Use praise when appropriate, occasionally supplemented with a CANIDAE dog treat. Sing to him softly, and if this has a soothing effect, use the same song whenever he needs some extra TLC.
Some dogs enjoy outside winter activities, but not all pets or people want to be outdoors when those frigid winds are howling. Cabin fever can be a problem for our pets, but indoor activities can help to ward off those winter blues and help you both stay in shape.
Remote Control Cars
OK, so my first suggestion gives cats and dogs more exercise than it will you, unless you need to lose some weight in your fingers. However, playing with a small remote control car inside is a blast for most pets and helps get them up and moving. The noise of the car rolling along the floor gets their attention and holds it while they contemplate how to attack this strange new creature that dared to disturb their sleep. Look for a pet friendly car that doesn’t have small parts which can fall off or be pulled off by your pet. You will also want to find one that is strong enough to hold up to a dog or cat who finds the courage to attack it. I have to admit, this is a favorite activity at my house.
Indoor Obstacle Course
An interesting obstacle course can be made with whatever you have in your home. Set up a course where your dog has to jump, crawl and find his way around the course, utilizing furniture along with other fun obstacles like empty drawers, clothes baskets, paper sacks made into tunnels, boxes, broom handles and piles of pillows. Think outside the box to make a challenging and fun course. Cats can also learn to navigate an obstacle course. Use their favorite wiggly toy or a laser light for them to follow. Don’t be afraid to get down on all fours and have your pet follow you. The idea, after all, is for both of you to get up and move!
Who was Toto? Fans of The Wizard of Oz movie are likely very familiar with this loveable little dog whose real name was “Terry.” Toto is one of the most beloved and well-known dogs in film history, and this dog paved the way for many great dog actors in show biz.
There were other famous dogs of that era: Prince Carl, the Great Dane appearing in Wuthering Heights (1939); Buck, the Saint Bernard who co-starred with Clark Gable and Loretta Young in Call of the Wild (1935); Musty (Swiss Family Robinson); Mr. Binkie (The Lights that Failed) and Promise (The Biscuit Eater) were all very well-known. But Toto, Dorothy’s adorable little sidekick, warmed the hearts of many and remained a fan favorite.
There is a lot more to Toto than you think. First, he was actually a she, and her story is a canine “rags to riches” tale.
Terry was a purebred Cairn Terrier who was born in 1933 in Alta Dena, California, according to her biography. She was taken in by a married couple with no children, and they named her Terry. The couple had problems house training Terry so they sent her to Carl Spitz’s dog training school in the San Fernando Valley for help.
Spitz put her through his usual training process and in just a few weeks, she was no longer wetting the carpet. However, the owners had then become late on the kennel board fees and when he attempted to contact them, their phone had been disconnected. They never came back to retrieve Terry, so Spitz and his wife decided to keep her.
Whether it’s guarding a flock of sheep or following a scent, our canine friends have been working by our side for centuries. Some breeds, however, have some pretty important and cool jobs they were bred to do.
In 1050, an Augustine monk set up a hospice and monastery in the Alps to give travelers crossing the mountain pass between Switzerland and Italy a place to find shelter. The first dogs were brought to the monastery in the late 1600s when monks added the Saint Bernard for use as guard dogs and pets. These dogs had a shorter coat and were smaller than today’s breed. In the mid 1700s it was discovered the dogs had a good nose for finding people buried under snow, and the monks began to train them for search and rescue. The dogs were so good at their job, they were sent out on their own in pairs to search for people who needed to be rescued. “Barry the Great Saint Bernard” was a favorite of the monks and Swiss people, and is credited with saving more than 40 lives. Despite the many pictures we’ve seen of Saint Bernard dogs wearing a keg, no kegs were ever used during search and rescue missions.
Cousin to the American Eskimo, Samoyed and Siberian Husky, the Alaskan Malamute is a true workhorse of the North. Used by the Mahlemuit Eskimos in Alaska to haul goods and supplies, these dogs gained fame for their endurance, work ethic and strength. Considered an American made dog, the Malamute was so highly sought after by miners during the Alaska Gold Rush years, that a good dog could be sold for a hefty $500 price.
This is an ancient breed developed by the Samoyede people in Siberia. The Samoyed is as close to a primitive dog as any breed, and there is no fox or wolf genes in this dog’s DNA. Used to haul heavy loads, to hunt, as guard dogs and to herd reindeer, the Samoyed was a much loved animal to the Samoyede people. Because they were so dependent on their dogs for survival, the dogs were welcomed inside their tents at night.
If there is one thing that unites all of the contributing writers here on the CANIDAE RPO blog, it’s the deep love we have for our pets. Today, on the day when family and friends gather to give thanks for their many blessings, we each wanted to share with you some of the reasons we love and appreciate our four legged friends.
Julia’s cat, Annabelle
Julia Williams: I’m thankful for my pets because they make life worth living. That may sound corny, but for me it’s true. I simply couldn’t imagine living without the loving presence of a pet.
These wise and gentle souls have taught me so many important life lessons, and they’ve made me a better person because of it. In addition to being remarkable teachers, my cats are best friends, roommates, healers, trusted companions, stress busters, good listeners and great secret keepers.
My cats are not my children and I am not their “mother,” but they do provide an outlet for that nurturing instinct we all have. It fulfills me to take care of them, and makes me feel good to meet their every need. Regardless of how much money I might have on any given day, my pets make me feel like the richest person on earth. Their love is a priceless treasure never to be taken for granted. I make a point to give thanks each and every day for these beautiful beings, my angels with fur, my beloved cats. They have my heart…and I would not have it any other way.
I’m thankful that my precious, shy pup writhes in delight every time I say something to her. She can be across the room, (she’s never far away), minding her own business and I’ll look up from my computer, meet her eyes, and say “hey girl, hey pretty girl.” When I do, she starts her happy squirm. If I keep talking to her, she gets up so she can get more of her body in motion, and wiggle her way over to me. When she gets to where I am, she either forms a crescent with her body and leans against me or bends her head so she can plant her forehead against my legs. When I talk she wants contact. Our contact feels like she’s trying to give me a hug. It’s hard to explain but, in that moment, our love for one another is palpable.
I’m thankful that my cool, macho-acting cat is a complete family man. He’s got a fake swagger that cracks me up, but he’s a lover through and through. When I’m in the house, he’s always in the room with me, usually on or near me. When I’m outside, he’s right where I am. He knows my car and when I drive up, he runs to greet me, like a dog. I love that he loves me as much as I love him, and that he’s quick to demonstrate his love.
Tamara’s dogs, Dusty and Cody
Tamara McRill: A little smile is twitching loose on my lips right now, just thinking of all the reasons I have to be thankful for our three dogs, Wuppy, Cody and Dusty. They’re good at that, making me breathless with laughter even when I’m trying to argue and otherwise be ungracious. Their mad-dashing, bone-chucking (often at my head), slobbery affectionate antics make it easy to get distracted from heavy thoughts and fall in with their happy ways.
Their open and individual personalities encircle our home in silliness and love. Something in which I’m grateful to be a part of every day. It keeps things lively.
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, firm, corporation or brand names, in this blog is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. All opinions in this blog are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company.