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Pet Friendly Newsletter - February 2006


"I have caught more ills from people sneezing over me and giving me virus infections than from kissing dogs." (Barbara Woodhouse)

"If you are worthy of its affection, a cat will be your friend, but never your slave." (Theophile Gautier)



Left: "'Got Milk?' Here is a photo of one of our pups from last summer - 'Pacific Coasts Grizzly Bear' aka Grizz. He has grown since then."

Right: " Christmas photo of our furr children: Beau, Keesha and Ajona, our Eurasiers. Our dogs have discovered the fun of playing with the empty Christmas wrapping paper rolls - After my two children have finished playing 'sword fights' with the rolls, they give them to the dogs for a rip roaring game of 3 way tug of war. Recycling at its best."

- Ray and Judi N. of Surrey, BC


Left: "Here is my Black Lab Duchess of Sunnyview recuperating from having a toe removed which was cancerous. She was 15 at the time of this photo and is now doing well a year later at sweet sixteen. The blue plastic wrapper for the New York Times Sunday edition, over a thick sock, was the perfect protection sleeve for her paw when she had to go outside.

Right: "Fast Friends" ... Our grandson, 6, had met Patrick, 4, the day before.

Thanks for your newsletter. I have two dogs who go everywhere with me, unless I fly."

- Carol E. of Portland, Oregon


Left: "Here's a picture of Pepper (female Jack Russell) taken on Hallowe'en. Pepper is dressed up as a puppy pirate of the Carribbean!" - Riconda B. of Toronto, Ontario

Right: "Here is a picture of my Chihuahua Leroy, whose picture we took to put on our holiday cards. Leroy was not particularly happy about this insult, but we at least got one fun photo out of it." - Claudia K. of New York, NY


Animal shelters are filled to overflowing with adoptable pets that would make excellent companions. It's a myth that only "problem pets" end up at shelters; pets are turned in for many reasons including lack of pet-friendly housing, owners with health issues that prevent them from properly caring for their pets, and people who adopted an animal without fully realizing what was involved in its care.

Adopting a rescue pet If you are thinking of adding a pet to your household, visit your local shelter or humane society to visit with the pets currently available for adoption. Not only will you gain a great friend, you'll also save a life!

  • Ask questions. Successful adoptions start with understanding the responsibilities of caring for a pet. This includes, among other things:

    • financial commitments, especially if the pet has a medical condition that needs extra care;

    • time commitments. For instance, living with a Jack Russell Terrier puppy is much different than living with an elderly cat. Puppies (and even adult dogs) also need training and socialization.

    • breed education. Persons with limited mobility, for example, may find it difficult to provide sufficient exercise for a border collie or other active breed.

  • Get the pet's history. If the animal came in as a stray, the shelter probably won't have much information on it other than any behaviour assessments that may have been done. Owner-surrendered pets, however, may have a more comprehensive history provided by the previous owner.

  • Consider an older pet. There are few things cuter than a wriggling, kissing puppy or a tiny little fluffball of kitten... but they all grow up! With older pets, you can see their adult personality, size, and appearance. Older pets also tend to be calmer, some have already had training, and they bond well with a new family.

  • If adopting a dog, ask the shelter staff if they will allow your existing dogs to meet the new dog prior to finalizing the adoption. This will help you to assess whether they can succesfully live together.

  • Do not give a pet as a gift, regardless of how much you know the intended recipient loves animals. Lifestyle choices, personal circumstances, and financial matters can all play into whether or not an animal lover wants a pet of their own. Remember, it's the animal who pays the ultimate price if he becomes an "unwanted pet".

  • All the members of your household should meet the new pet prior to deciding on adoption.

  • Ask what is included with the adoption. Most shelters will vaccinate pets when they arrive, and spay or neuter them prior to releasing them to their new homes.

  • Take some time to think it over. A pet is a lifelong commitment!

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