Halloween is coming up again. Didn’t we just have that holiday last October? Perhaps you know Halloween is not my favorite holiday. In fact, I kind of hate it. And when I say hate, I mean I detest and despise it with the most sincere sense of disgust possible.
So these are my top 5 reasons for my general aversion to all things Halloween.
1. Chocolate: It smells good and no one will let me have any. Why don’t you hand out little packages of cheese to all the trick or treaters so I can have some?
2. Costumes: Little kids should not be running around looking like things they are not. Once a zombie with an axe sticking out of his head stopped by and it really freaked me out!
3. Doorbells: Ring. Ring. Ring. Bark. Bark. Bark. It gets a little old after awhile!
4. Jack-o-lanterns: Putting candles inside of carved pumpkins is strange. Don’t you know that more home fires start from candles than from cooking? And those abnormal flickering jack-o-lantern faces give me the heebie-jeebies. Enough said!
5. Creepy things in the dark: Some of those decorations I see on my walk are just plain weird. The other day I saw a human skeleton walking a dog skeleton. For a second there, I thought we should call the police and report a double murder.
I have a new plan for coping with Halloween this year. I’m going to hide in the basement for about a week and then come out on November 1. In the meantime, I wrote a little poem so you can understand Halloween from this frightened little dog’s perspective. (Don’t you dare call me a scaredy cat!)
Halloween night gave me such a fright.
I stayed in my bed and covered my head.
Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!
Won’t you just leave and say goodbye?
Let’s all just hide and then pretend
This Halloween thing is going to end.
Zombies and mummies and ghosts, oh dear!
You’re scaring me crazy and hurting my ear!
For Halloween was never intended for dogs,
Cats or ferrets, birds or frogs.
Witches and caldrons and brooms, oh, no!
Can’t stand it any longer. You’ve got to go!
Give me some quiet. Leave me in peace.
The onslaught of characters has got to cease
Prisoners, princesses and pirates. Oh, drat!
It all makes me wish I was a cat!
My parents had better not use the W word unless they really mean it. The second I hear WALK, I literally jump for joy. Seriously, I jump up and down like a maniac.
So if you’re at my house don’t use that word in a sentence unless you’re going to follow through. “Did Zoe have her walk yet?” Even if I just got back from a 2 mile stroll, I want to go again!
In case you didn’t know, a tired dog is a happy dog! When people say they are dog-tired, they really mean they are blissfully content.
Walks, like dogs, come in all kinds of forms. There’s the getting down to business walk where all we really need to do is… um… you know… do our “business.” And there’s the “sniff and mark” walk where we try to determine who has been there before us and we leave our scent, too. Dogs make sense out of the world through scents, where humans seem to make sense out of the world through cents or money and power. Let me tell you something, a person who loves a pet and is loved in return is rich beyond measure, without a hefty mortgage payment as proof.
But the best kind of walk is the “power walk” where I lead you on long adventures and we both get lots of exercise. Studies have shown that people with dogs are 25% less likely to be obese. We are great motivators (I don’t mind the rain or the dark!) and we help you improve your social life, too. Mom, how many times have you met someone new in the neighborhood because you stop to talk about your dogs?! These conversations usually start with “Oh, your dog is so cute!” (I’m not vain, I’m just stating facts!)
I also help my mom develop her arm muscles because sometimes I lie down and refuse to move one inch further. Then we go for a “carry” instead of a “walk.” Believe me, when she carries my 7 pound frame for several blocks, she’s getting a great upper body workout while I get a well-deserved rest! I have tiny short legs (and 4 of them) so I estimate I take 16 steps for every 1 step she takes. It’s a wonder I can keep up at all.
The dogs at the shelter get lots of walks because we have wonderful volunteers who take them on meandering journeys throughout the neighborhood. But what the shelter dogs really need is YOU to take them home. Then they can lead you on walking adventures, or some dogs really would love to be your running partner as well as your partner in life. By the way, cats can be taught to walk on a leash, because they need exercise, too. A sedentary pet is often an obese pet and an obese pet is often an unhealthy pet (same goes for humans!)
So if you’re worried about a few extra pounds, if you’re watching too much TV or you need an excuse to get moving, just get up off the couch, adopt a dog if you don’t already have one, and take a walk.
Walk? Walk? Did someone say walk? Let’s go!
Until next time,
Because I’m Happy!
Because I’m Happy!
You take me for a walk. I’m happy! You give me a cookie. I’m happy! You come home from work and that makes me happy!
I wag. I bark. I jump. I spin. Because I’m happy! In case you haven’t figured it out yet, it doesn’t take much to make me happy. And it’s MY job to make YOU happy. If you’re having a bad day, I can make you feel better, with just a friendly wag. If you’re really grumpy, it might take the whole power of my being to conjure up the “cute, adorable” look or the “pathetic, woe-is-me” face, but eventually I can make you smile.
What do people who don’t have pets do to change their sad face into a happy one? Maybe they should watch this video!
When Mom tells people she works at Hinsdale Humane Society, quite often they say, “That must be so sad.” Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s like “happy, happy, happy” all day long. (Notice I did not say yappy, yappy, yappy!) The best moments are when a family walks out the door with their new pet. We see pure joy on everyone’s face, the humans and the pets included. They are starting on an exciting journey as a new family unit.
Which reminds me…Katie Wolfe, our adoption counselor, got married last weekend. Many of our staff members attended her wedding to Mike Baran. I didn’t get to go. (That darn “doggies don’t get to go to weddings” phrase came back to haunt me.) But I heard that it was a beautiful ceremony, filled with love, laughter and happiness. All of us wish them, their 3 dogs and one cat unbridled joy and wedded bliss for their future together.
If you feel you’re lacking in the happiness department, I would encourage you to find a homeless pet from the shelter and bring more joy into your life. That’s probably easier than finding a fiancé and going through that whole wedding thing, especially if you’re already married! Then tap your toe and sing along to the “happy pet” song.
Wag along if you feel like your master loves you. (Because I’m happy!)
Wag along if you feel like your tail is chasing you. (Because I’m happy!)
Howl along if you want a cuddle from me to you. (Because I’m happy!)
Dog around if you think you’re my best friend, too!
I came up with a cat version. I’m not the best poet, but here it is!
Purr along if you feel like your master owes you. (Be unhappy!)
Meow out loud and demand tuna and catnip, too. (Be unhappy!)
Then hiss and screech loudly ‘cuz kitty cats need love, too. (Be unhappy!)
Even then your family will still adore you!
Wishing you all much joy and happiness!
PS: Katie, I really think you should keep your last name Wolfe. It seems so appropriate, given your chosen profession in animal welfare. Or maybe you and Mike can start calling yourselves Katie and Mike Byrd. Katie and Mike Katz. Katie and Mike Doggett. I’m just saying!