I’ve long held the belief that “pet people” are a special breed. I don’t get on that well with people who don’t love animals, don’t want a pet, or have a pet but see it as “just a dog” or “just a cat.” To me, there is no such thing as “just a pet.” My animals are family. And my pets have always been there for me. They don’t place conditions on their love, and they don’t shun me when they think I haven’t lived up to their expectations.
My pets deserve my all…and they get it. I would do anything for my sweet, special furry feline friends. I know, too, that I am not the only one; not by a long shot. At least once a month, I come across a heartwarming story that perfectly illustrates the depths of a person’s love for their animal companion.
People do extraordinary things for their pets. Several years ago, I read about a man who floated in warm water with his 20 year old dog, every day for up to an hour, to ease the dog’s arthritic pain. The emotionally moving photo of him gently cradling his dog went viral; the love between dog and man was obvious. Read More »
Love, from our human perspective, is an abstract emotion that can be complicated. Dogs are also capable of having affectionate feelings for their owner. Although the way they show their love is different from ours, there are similarities. When a canine shows their love, it’s genuine, unconditional and forever. Some of the ways dogs show they love you are obvious – but some are more subtle and may surprise you.
Follow the Leader
Canines, like their wolf cousin, are social animals by nature. They don’t seek out “me time,” and they want to spend quality time with their human family. Instincts that helped early ancestors of dogs survive in the wild are still present in our pets’ DNA. Your dog follows you around because he wants to be with you, his leader, and it’s one way of showing his love.
A wagging tail can have multiple meanings, but if you have a good relationship with your pup, you can bet that a full-body tail wag held at mid-level is saying “I’m so happy to see you.” If the tail is held over to the right side of his body, that’s a positive signal that indicates he is comfortable and happy. Read More »
A few weeks ago, Laurie wrote a very touching post, “In Praise of Dogs.” In it, she discussed various reasons why dogs deserve our admiration. It was a lovely tribute to dogs, and as I read it, I agreed with all of it. Dogs are definitely praiseworthy, no argument there. Then, being the cat lover I am, I said to myself “But cats are praiseworthy, too!” I knew that cats deserved admiration just as much as dogs, so this post is my way of making things even, if you will.
You see, I have noticed that all too often cats get the short end of the stick. Cats – and the people who love them – are frequently discriminated against, as though there is some kind of “pet hierarchy” that places dogs at the top, with cats being inferior; a second-class pet.
I’ll give you just a few examples. Of the three independent pet stores in my area, two make it clear they are “dog stores.” In addition to dog-related store names, 85% of their shelf space is dedicated to dog products. There’s a teeny tiny corner with cat stuff, and it feels like an afterthought.
I’m on the email lists for these pet stores, and they rarely market to cat owners. I’ve lost count of the number of “great sale for your dog” emails I’ve received from them (nope, don’t have a dog.) I do, however, distinctly remember that one lone “cat” email, simply because it was as rare as a two-headed albino alligator. One store recently had a grand re-opening, and there wasn’t a single sentence in their email notice to indicate they even carried cat products. Read More »
When writing about dogs here on the CANIDAE RPO blog, we analyze, interpret, explore, investigate and delve into these very special creatures that have bonded deeply with us throughout human history. When I sit back and look at my own interactions with dogs, I often return to one simple thought – they deserve our praise. In so many ways, our dogs deserve our praise and admiration.
To some a dog is merely a dog, a creature no more significant than any other. To those of us who have a connection with a dog, we value them as companions, as family, as friends and as unique creatures that enrich our lives. They can be challenging and drive us crazy with behavior mishaps. They can make us laugh, make us feel connected, guide us, comfort us, inspire us and teach us. It is a two-way relationship, but one where in essence they give so much more than they ask for in return.
We claim superior intelligence, but in their simple needs dogs teach us that loyalty and love are most important, and that the basics of home, health and sustenance are all we truly need beyond a connection with other living beings. Read More »
The answer to this question is a resounding yes! The connection people have with their pets is a source of unending fascination to me. The flowery words they use to describe the animal/human relationship are evidence of how they feel about their pets. And even though animals can’t use flowery words, they do a good job of communicating their love for us in different ways. When I asked my friends how their pets make them feel unconditionally loved, I received so many beautiful answers. Here is a sampling:
They Comfort Us
My friend Kim talks about her animals all the time. She marvels at the fact that, when she’s hurting, her dog and cats will curl up with her. “It’s like they sense my distress and want to comfort me.”
Taylor’s little dog Brynnie recognizes when she’s having nightmares and will stand on her chest and gently paw her face until she awakens. You see, Taylor has PTSD and often has horrible nightmares. She’s so grateful that her dog seems to understand and helps her through the tough times.
The other day my friend Jenn choked as she was drinking a glass of water. She describes it this way “As I fell forward onto my knees trying not to die from the very substance that gives me life, my dog came running over to make sure I was OK and tucked his head under my arm. No one else in the house so much as paused their video game to make sure I wasn’t actually as close to dying as my dog and I were both convinced I was. Dogs are the best.”
How a lost pet is able to find their way back home is still a mystery. What’s even more remarkable is how some pets can find their owner no matter where they are. Whether it’s a homing instinct or a determined desire to be with the person they love, some lost pets have traveled far to find their home or owner. For a lost pet, there’s danger around every corner, but these dogs and cats never gave up.
Howie, a three year old Persian cat, traveled 1,200 miles through the Australian Outback in 1978 to find his way home. When Kirsten Hicks and her family went on an overseas vacation, they left Howie with her grandparents. After returning to Australia, Kirsten was told Howie had disappeared, so the Hicks family returned to their home in Adelaide with heavy hearts. In the meantime, Howie was traveling through the inhospitable lands of the Outback heading towards home. No one knows what he encountered or went through, but a year later he finally made it back home, dirty, hungry, thirsty and with an injured paw. Howie had walked from the Gold Coast, Queensland to Adelaide.
Prince, an Irish Terrier, moved with his family during WW I from Ireland to England in 1914. His owner, Private Brown, was serving in the army and went home on leave every chance he got to visit his wife and Prince. Each time he returned to base, Prince grew sadder. Finally, Private Brown was shipped overseas to France. Prince grew more depressed and stopped eating. One day he disappeared and Mrs. Brown frantically searched for him. She knew she had to write her husband and let him know what had happened. Brown was holed up in the trenches of Armentieres, in Northern France, when he got her letter. What Mrs. Brown didn’t know was that Prince had found his way to the English Channel and somehow got on a boat or swam across the water. When he reached France, he searched the war torn land as bombs exploded and tear gas filled the air to find Private Brown in the trenches. What Prince accomplished was truly an amazing act of courage and love.
Nick, a German Shepherd, belonged to Doug Simpson. In 1979, Nick was lost while on a camping trip with Doug. Unable to find him, Doug had no choice but to return to his home in Selah, Washington. Nick was lost in the Arizona Desert some 2,000 miles away. The dog had to fend for herself in some of the most inhospitable land on earth. She had to cross deserts where water was nowhere to be found, swim freezing rivers, cross over 12,000 foot mountains and navigate the Grand Canyon on her way home. She arrived four months later, just a shell of the dog she was. Doug could see her difficult journey in her emaciated, bloody and battered body. It was obvious there was no obstacle tough enough to keep Nick from getting back home to the person she loved.
Sugar, a two year old Persian cat, didn’t like traveling in a car because of a hip deformity that made it uncomfortable for him to ride for long distances. In 1951, the Woods family decided to leave their home in Anderson, California and move to a farm in Gage, Oklahoma. They decided it would be better to let Sugar be adopted by a neighbor. Sugar apparently didn’t like his new digs and three weeks after his family moved, he headed out to find them. It’s one thing for a pet to find their way back to a home they’re familiar with, but Sugar traveled 1,500 miles in search of a home he had never been to. It took him fourteen months, but he was successful in his quest and when he saw his owner, he leaped up on her shoulder.
Sophie Tucker would have followed her heart to find her home, if there hadn’t been an ocean between her and her owner. A gray and black cattle dog, Sophie Tucker was with her family on their yacht when bad weather hit around the coastal town of Mackay, Queensland. She fell overboard and became lost in the ocean. She had to navigate through rough, shark infested waters, swimming six miles to St. Bees Island. After she got to the island, she survived by hunting wild goats. Wildlife rangers were called in to investigate when several carcasses were found, and there they discovered the lost dog. Sophie Tucker didn’t have to travel far to get home, but she did have to overcome great odds to make it to the island in the first place and then survive on her own.
Never underestimate the power of a strong bond, and the unconditional love of a pet!
Want to win some goodies for your cat or dog? CANIDAE has a fun caption contest on their Facebook page today. To enter, just come up with a great caption for the cat photo at right, and hop on over to their Facebook page! The caption with the most likes by Wednesday at 9 AM will win a voucher for a bag of CANIDAE pet food and a bag of treats.
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.