Zoe’s Dog Blog

Zoe’s Dog Blog

When People Get Too Busy!

At my house, the people are entirely too busy. They are always going to work or running errands or trying to find their keys (mom, you really have to get your act together!)

It’s kind of like that famous Yoda saying: Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

Only it goes like this: Busy-ness leads to stress. Stress leads to forgetfulness. Forgetfulness leads to disaster.

The really great thing about having a pet is that we won’t let you forget. If you forget to feed me, I’ll remind you in not-so-subtle ways. Like sitting on your head or barking insistently. If you forget to take me for a walk, I’ll give you the sad puppy dog eyes until I get my way. If you forget to take me to the veterinarian, I might just ignore that transgression, but the vet will send a reminder card.

And then there’s that whole stress thing. The pet in your life will get you moving, establish a schedule and make your heart happy! Did you know that people who have pets get more exercise, weigh less and are more social than their pet-less counterparts? Did you know petting a furry friend lowers heart rate and blood pressure, while elevating mood? In other words, pets are a natural, drug-free stress reliever.

But let’s talk about disaster… not the swept-away-in-a-flood, house-burned-down, someone-was-killed-in-a-car-accident kind of disaster. When it comes right down to it, there are real disasters and then there are “bumps in the road” kinds of occurrences. Yes, you might have messed up that project at work or forgotten someone’s birthday or hurt someone’s feelings. Maybe you even stepped on someone’s tail and actually physically hurt the furry one in your household.

But the really great thing about having a pet is that we won’t grumble or complain. All is forgiven and forgotten. “Unconditional love” is what we call it.

If you know someone who is super busy, please remind them to slow down and enjoy the pleasures of life: a beautiful day, a loved one by your side (or at the other end of the phone), the enjoyment of a good meal or a pleasant walk. Those are the things that make me happy! You might be able to postpone that meeting, errand or appointment. But you may not always have the opportunity to spend time with the stress-relieving, forgetfulness-abating, unconditional-loving pets in your life!

So go out there and get “un-busy!” Stop and smell the roses.

Except those thorns hurt my delicate nose, so I actually prefer the scent of canine urine on the fire hydrant!

Until next time, Zoe

PS: When my pet parents are away on vacation, they actually call me and talk to me on the phone. It’s the weirdest thing. I can hear them, but I can’t see them or smell them. I know they are talking to me, but I can’t find them. It’s kind of like a Jedi mind trick. “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”

Let’s Walk!

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,
Love, Zoe

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day to all the pet parents out there!

I’m really happy when I get to hang out with my dad. He used to go to the office all the time, but now he works from home. At least I think that’s what he calls it. I see him playing computer games sometimes instead of… you know… returning emails.

I can convince Dad to take me on walks when it’s not really on the schedule. I just give him that “I’m not going to budge from this spot until I get my way” stare and before we both know it, I’m out the door at the end of my leash.

If you haven’t met my dad, he’s a BIG GUY. Over 6 foot tall. He pretends to weigh 215 pounds, but we all know that’s a bit of an understatement. So sweet, cute, delicate, little Me goes for a walk with big, burly, football coach Dad. My beautiful hair floats along in the breeze and my tiny little legs scramble madly to keep up with his size 13 feet and his long stride.

You know what? Sometimes people LOL. Seriously, they actually laugh out loud because they think we are a silly sight in contrast with one another. Once someone shouted “Nice dog!” as they drove by. But it wasn’t a pleasant voice. More like accusatory ridicule.

Why can’t a big guy like Dad love a tiny fluff ball like me? Size or shape or color or species doesn’t matter when it comes to the love between a furry pet and a human. If you think it does, perhaps you need to expand your mind a bit.

Once a great big dude wearing a biker’s jacket and riding a Harley came into the shelter with a tiny Chihuahua tucked into a tummy pouch. The dog was wearing goggles. I kid you not! A 100 pound wisp of a female adopted a 130 pound Rottweiler. And a big fellow with multiple tattoos and piercings came to
Hinsdale Humane Society and adopted an adorable, tiny kitten. 

The stereotype of the crazy cat lady doesn’t exist. Men can love cats, too. In fact, we know a professional football player who has a cuddly cat named Ginger. No one says a Dad has to have a hunting dog or a bully breed and a Mom has to have a little lap dog with a pink bow in its hair. (That’s because I hate bows!) There really are no stereotypes when it comes to adopting a pet. Just the love between a pet parent and a pet. Or an adult and their human offspring.

I want to wish all the dads out there a Happy Father’s Day.

To the dads who take their kids to sports practice and also know how to make pony tails. And to the dads who have pony tails.

To the dads who love their wives (or partners). And to the divorced dads who are there for their kids no matter what the relationship is with their children’s mother.

To the dads of kids (and special needs kids) who feel challenged and blessed every day. And to all the dads who are doing the best they can, even when they think that’s not enough.

To the men who aren’t dads, but are role models, coaches, teachers, uncles, brothers and guidance-givers to kids who want or need a father figure in their lives. And to the dads who aren’t involved in their children’s lives who need to know it’s never too late to try to build a relationship with a child.

But most of all, I want to wish my human dad a Happy Father’s Day because he’s the best pet parent ever. I’ll bet all the furry ones out there think the exact same thing about their human dads, too!

Until next time,
Love, Zoe

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