Valentine’s Day is almost here! It’s a day to love and be loved! But, oh! The pressure! What gift can I get my love to express the depth of my feelings? Here’s a short piece of advice from me, a small simple pet: Don’t forget the chocolate, the flowers, some jewelry, a card… or any combination of the above.
“How do I Love thee? Let me count the ways...” Nah. I’m not the sentimental type. My poems are more like: Roses are red. Violets are blue. I ate something yucky and threw up in your shoe.
If you really want to make it a Valentine’s Day to remember, make your loved one laugh. Frank Sinatra sang it best:
My funny valentine
Sweet comic valentine
You make me smile with my heart
Your looks are laughable
Yet you're my favorite work of art
But don't change a hair for me
Not if you care for me
Stay little valentine stay
Each day is Valentine’s Day!
Doesn’t this describe a day with your pet? My job is to make you laugh. Yes, I’m your funny valentine! I show my love through cuteness of character. You know how I like to roll over on my back for tummy rubs? Never mind how I accidently flop myself off the couch. Maybe I did that on purpose just to make you laugh. You think it’s funny when the static electricity builds up and my fur stands on end like a shaggy beach ball. Frank said I shouldn’t change a hair…
And you like it when I get “the wilds” and run laps in the living room like a maniac. I didn’t break anything when I accidently crashed into the coffee table. Although, come to think of it, I did give myself a headache. There’s a whole website where people post photos of their dogs with signs saying the funny things they did. You know the usual… drinking from the toilet, attacking the toilet paper, hoarding underwear, eating markers and pooping rainbows. (Notice I used the word FUNNY, not NAUGHTY!) Just Google “dog shaming” and let the laughter begin. I haven’t committed any of THOSE atrocities… except maybe the underwear thing…
I know cats who like to turn on water faucets for a drink. Seems like they can’t remember to turn them off, though. You know that’s rather charming, even if it is annoying.
I like to laugh at you, too. Mom, how many times a day do you lose your keys/phone/purse/gloves? Dad, when are you going to learn that I’m going to try to eat your socks whenever you try to put them on? You might as well stop trying to hide from me. All those little quirky things you do are very endearing to me. You make me smile with my heart.
And just so you know, laughter is good medicine. People who don’t take life too seriously are actually healthier (and happier, of course!) Doctors say that laughter is good for your heart. Which brings me back to Valentine’s Day. Stay, Little Valentine, stay. Make every day Valentine’s Day!
Tell people you love them. Hang out with people and pets who make you smile. Laugh along when things go awry. Make a silly face or tell a joke.
Knock. Knock. Who’s there? Olive. Olive who? Olive you!
Until next time,
PS: One more. Knock. Knock. Who’s there? Pooch. Pooch who? Pooch your arms around me, Sweetie!
Baby, It’s Cold Outside!
Zoe missed her deadline, so please enjoy this column from January, 2014.
In case you haven’t noticed… it’s cold outside! It’s colder than an icicle in the Antarctic. It’s colder than the inside of your freezer. It’s colder than slushies that give you brain freeze. You get the picture.
The other day, dad tried to take me for a walk. I usually love walks, but it was below zero. So I stepped off the corner of the welcome mat, used the sidewalk and then proceeded to go back inside. The whole “walk” took about 30 seconds. Now that is what I call getting down to business!
I personally do not like the cold. I have Frigophobia. It’s not the fear of refrigerators. Although I do get a little freaked out when the ice cubes drop and make all that noise. No. Frigophobia is the fear of cold things. Fear of ice balls in my arm pits. Fear of frozen foot pads. Mainly I have the fear of freezing my hind end when I have to go potty. You try filling your toilet bowl with ice cubes and then sitting down… I think the sensation would be similar!
One of my doggie friends improvised by using the kitchen rug. Seems like a perfect compromise. She doesn’t freeze her tush and the solid matter can be flushed and the rug thrown in the wash. Let’s just say her people were not impressed with her ingenuity!
I’m begging you. Please take good care of us when the temperatures are so frigid. Pets should not be left outdoors unprotected. Period. End of story. (The same thing goes for homeless people, too.)
Last week mom got a phone call at the shelter that made her cry. A concerned citizen had found a kitty half frozen in the snow and cold. The kitty was brought to the emergency vet. But even gentle warming and IV fluids weren’t enough… and the kitty passed away. This was someone’s pet. He had a microchip and a vaccination record. So why wasn’t he inside, at home, where he belonged? We’ve had kitties brought to the shelter with frostbitten ears and tails, too. They survived, but with great suffering. They might hide under bushes or decks, but that just isn’t enough protection from the ice and snow.
It just makes me sad. So I implore you to please take good care of your pets. Be especially careful when it’s so cold and the wind chills are dangerous. We have our fur coats to protect us a little from the cold, but we need you to keep us safe. Watch for salt on the roadways and sidewalks. It irritates our feet. Shovel off a spot on the grass for those of us who have short little legs. Let us wear a sweater and take us for very short walks. Then wipe our paws. If we lick them, the chemical ice melts might make us sick.
After my shortest walk on record, I snuggled with my mom. I kept her warm and she rubbed my tummy. She said a little prayer for all the pets who need protection from the cold. We were both happy… until she refused to share her hot cocoa. Something about chocolate not being good for doggies. Is she being a good pet parent or a selfish human? I can’t decide.
Until next time,
Peace and Love
The holidays are upon us. I don’t know how things work at your house, but here at my house we seem to go crazy. There’s too much to do and not enough time to do it. Trees get dragged into the house and fancy-schmancy decorations are everywhere. There’s lots of baking (and barking!) going on. The house smells great, but no one lets me have even a morsel because they insist chocolate is not good for me. Mom buys things and wraps things and ships things… but they are just things which don’t seem very important.
So what are the holidays really all about? Are we supposed to run around like maniacs getting everything done and spending too much money and eating too many calories and neglecting the important things in life? Or are we supposed to feel a loving connection to those around us?
Mom, when was the last time we took a really great walk or played a game or called a special friend to catch up? In other words, Mom, you’re going through all the motions of the holidays without feeling the emotions of the holidays.
There are two things I wish for all of you this holiday season. Love and Peace.
For all the homeless pets out there, who wait patiently for new families… your time is coming. Someone will find you and shower you with love.
For all those who miss loved ones who have passed away or moved away or gone astray… there are others who love and care for you, too. They might not be the ones you miss, but perhaps there are neighbors or friends or siblings or others who want to share the holidays with you. You have to be open to new experiences. Just ask those pets who have been recently adopted. They know there’s enough love to go around.
For those of you who are lucky and blessed to have a family and a home where you feel like you belong… live and love in that time and place. Don’t worry about the things on your to do list or the latest sale on tchotchkes or whether the weather is going to turn bad. Just live in the moment with thankfulness for the simple things in life: enough kibble in your belly and someone to share it with.
If you can do these things, then you will have the second most important thing: Peace on earth and goodwill for humankind and the animal kingdom.
The other night, Mom had insomnia because she was worrying about too many things. So she got up in the middle of the night and sat in the dark with only the light of the Christmas tree. I know this because I got up with her. We snuggled on the couch and let peace wash over us. We didn’t say a word or express one little bark. I knew I was home for the holidays. I knew I was loved. I knew that life doesn’t get much better than this.
Peace and Love. Whether you’re human or animal or Christian or Jewish or Muslim or Hindu or Buddhist or any other religion or no religion, that’s what I wish for you this holiday season.
Until next time,
Love and Peace.