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How to help a grieving pet

When a furry family member crosses over the bridge, it’s hard on everyone, including surviving pets. Dealing with your own grief, and the grief of your human children, is difficult enough without also worrying about a remaining pet that may have stopped eating or is showing other signs of depression.

 

When two fur children are closely bonded and one of them dies, the surviving pet may have what experts refer to as a “distress reaction” that is similar in many ways to human grief. Some of the signs include:

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Prevent back to school blues… For your pets

Its not quite back to school yet…

This article has ideas for you to implement now, while you are on holiday.

As kids go back to school , pets may feel left behind.

When preparing for the day that kids go back to school remember to put your furkids on your prep list.

When your human kids go off to school, your pets have to begin a new routine, after having their family home and available twenty four, seven.

This is a time when they can become bored and could start chewing things that they shouldn’t. To prevent behaviours that you would rather not deal with, prep ahead….

To help ease the transition, try incorporating some of these ideas into your new school routine:

 

  1. Prep for School

The best time to start is about 2 weeks before school opens.
Plan some activities away from home, and increase the time you spend away every day.
There is no need to spend too much money, a long walk, or hike is a great example.

What is awesome about this idea is that it not only helps your pets adjust, it helps you bust your children’s “end of holiday” boredom.

  1. The Same Old Routine

Pets just like children, thrive on routine, a sudden change can be stressful and disorienting.
Think about the parts of your pet’s current routine – meals, walks, and training – that can stay the same, and try to stick to the established schedule.

Once again, incorporate your children into this routine, especially the littlies, and they will find it easier to adjust to being back at school too.

  1. New and Improved

For any routines that must be altered, replace them with new ones. For example, if you can no longer walk the dog in the morning because you’re driving your child to school…why not just take your pup along for the ride?

  1. Boredom Busters

Imagine being all alone without anything to do all day long.

You can’t even get yourself a snack even though the fridge is right there!

After a few days or weeks of this, you might come up with some…ahem…creative ways to entertain yourself.

Head boredom off at the pass by leaving your pet with interactive toys that engage his mind and body.

Get your children to make toys during the holiday and introduce the toys as you prepare for back to school day. This will increase their bond with your furry family members, bust their boredom, and your pets will have some new and exciting toys.

  1. After School Special

Talk to your children about how much your pets miss them when they’re at school. Encourage them to spend some quality one-on-one time with their special buddy when they get home. This might mean playing together in the back yard, talking to them about what they learned, or curling up on the couch and doing homework or reading out loud with the pet by their side.

Pets like to hear your voice so encourage your kids to read to them. Once again this little tip benefits both pets and kids!

  1. New Year, New Responsibilities

Including kids in pet-related chores is a great way to teach compassion and commitment. So with each new school year, give your child a little more responsibility when it comes to your pet. Make sure tasks are age-appropriate so that both kid and critter are set up for success!

  1. Weight Watchers

With school in session, chances are he’s not as active as he was during the holiday. Even just one or two extra pounds can have a detrimental effect on your pet’s health. So take a second look at his diet and adjust meals and treats as necessary.

Take this tip into consideration when deciding on boredom busters…

 

  1. Class Act

Yes, you can teach an old (or young) dog new tricks!

And why should kids have all the back-to-school fun, anyway?

New Year is the perfect time to sign your pooch up for a new training class.
Depending on where you live, you might find options that range from obedience to agility to canine choreography!

Involve your kids to keep the holiday bond going, or make use of this idea to have a supportive and encouraging buddy at your side for those New Year’s resolutions.

If you would like to feature as a writer on 8ight contact me on 8ightinfinity@gmail.com links are always included to your site and social media therefore leaving all credit in tact.

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*Try it – it’s as good as having your dog bring your newspaper to you in the mornings*

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tips for pets – fireworks

One of the most troubling times of the year for pet owners is fireworks season.

The best way to approach something that your pets react negatively to is to be prepared.

If your pet reacts fearfully to loud noises, fireworks and the loud bangs that come along with it are going to be an issue.

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How to choose a name for your new pet

Effective communication between animals and their human companions is the hallmark of a good relationship and choosing a good strong name is important when considering this.
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Things your deceased pet wants you to know

I have been working with a few guardians recently and decided to compose a few posts on crossing over.
I hope that though posting these more people are helped through their process of grieving the loss of their pets.

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How do you know its time to say goodbye? Time to cross the bridge…

How do you know its time to say goodbye? Time to cross the bridge…

 

As a mother of fur children, I know too well that making the decision to humanely euthanise your beloved family member is no easy feat.

 

I won’t beat around the bush here, you have to be very hard on yourself because in all honesty, emotionally you will be wanting to do everything possible to keep your fur child with you as long as possible.

 

Although you will need some softly guided assistance, love and kindness; you will have to get down to the nitty gritty of it and in the end you will have to make a difficult decision. Read the rest of this entry

Emigrating to the UK with our five furry four paws

I have a post for you by a super guest writer today who agreed to me sharing her wonderful story of emigrating WITH her pets!

She is a poster child for REALLY caring for her animals. You can find Gillian on her wordpress blog

 

Emigrating to the UK with our five furry four paws

We have five animals of which all except one are rescue pets.

There are three cats Amber, Lilly and Tic-Tac and two dogs Tala, a mixed breed Afrikaner type dog and Quinn a husky cross

Amber Wright

Amber Wright

 

When we started exploring the option of emigration at the beginning of last year, it was with the full agreement by everyone in the family that if the pets could not go with us, we would not go.

 

My sister and I have experienced pets being left behind when we as young children left Zambia to come to South Africa and it was very traumatic for us. We also felt that as children we would have acclimatised and settled into a new country much quicker if our beloved pets had been with us. This is a point that families should consider

 

I do not want to judge, but I am always so distressed to see emails being sent around of families trying to find “last-minute” homes for pets when they are emigrating. People this is not a sudden decision one makes, there are months of planning and preparation that go into making such a move, so why if you are not taking your pets with you is this not something you are preparing for right from the beginning. They are not disposable objects, but living breathing creatures and if I had left my pets behind I would have wanted to vet the home and do a few spot checks to ensure they were OK.

 

Lilly Wright

Lilly Wright

I think most people are also unaware of the quarantine laws having been changed and they believe the costs to be prohibitive which they are not.

 

Fortunately for us, the UK quarantine rules changed at the end of 2011, but even if they had not, we would gladly have factored the cost of the whole process into our budget, and we know that if our animals had to undergo the stress of the quarantine period, we would have overcome that once they were reunited with us.

 

Sorting out our pets was the first step we took in the whole preparation process. We chatted to our vet, googled and then contacted a couple of pet transit companies and asked them to lead us through the process and then give us quotes. We were pleasantly surprised when the quotes arrived, as they were not as much as we had expected.

 

Once you have chosen the pet transit / relocation company, there is a process to be followed and timing is crucial.

Quinn Wright

Quinn Wright

 

    ∙         Pets have to be neutered /spayed and one needs certificated proof of this∙         All our pets dogs and cats receive annual inoculations anyway , but they all had to receive rabies inoculations and they also all had to be micro-chipped
    ∙         Exactly one month after the rabies inoculations, we had to take them back to the vet for bloods to be drawn which are then sent off to Ondestepoort for testing so that  Rabies clearance certificates could be issued by the state vet.
    ∙         This was also a chance for our vet to scan the pets to see that the micro-chips were working.
    ∙         From time of the bloods being drawn, a three month period has to elapse before the pets can be relocated as a precaution to ensure there are no symptoms, pets may not leave before this period is up! It is vital for people to remember this as we fell short here and it affected the kennelling of our pets
    ∙         It only took a couple of weeks for us to receive the clearance certificates from Ondestepoort and also from the company that supplies the micro-chips ( which can be checked online)
    ∙         Pets are not allowed to be sedated during the flight. But we were encouraged to have them all on natural calmatives a week before the move and were assured by the pet transit company that they would also administer anything if needed.
    ∙         We decided that we didn’t want the pets at home and stressed during the packing up of our furniture, we arranged for the pet transit company to fetch all five pets the day before the movers came into the house. As we live in Durban, they were kept in kennels here overnight and then flown to JHB the next morning. We had anticipated them being flown straight out to the UK, but we were a week earlier than the rabies blood date so they were kennelled in JHB for a week and then flown out to the UK. ( again I stress it is important to remember the timeline to avoid such delays).
    ∙         They arrived in the UK and were transported straight to kennels near where we are going to be staying. They are being boarded there until we find a home to rent that is pet safe and pet friendly, but in the interim we can visit them and play with them every day and reassure them that everything will be OK. 
Tala Wright

Tala Wright

The pet transit company we used have been fantastic indeed. Daily reports ( well more than daily as we were phoning often to check up and they were not phased at all) They let us know when each step of the process took place as well. The kennels in JHB were heated and the pets were allowed out into an enclosed garden for playtime once a day. The majority of the staff also live on the premises.

 

When they loaded them ready to take them to OR Tambo, they also took photos of each of them and emailed them to us.

 

All of them have handled the whole process remarkably well, except our one little cat Lilly who is a timid girl who doesn’t like strangers and who is exhibiting signs of stress. But we are managing this and we know she will relax once she is in our new home with us.

 

There is a lot of paperwork, and I would advise that all correspondence is organised properly to enable fast access as needed. We were also advised to make copies of everything  so we had proof just in case documents were mislaid at all.

Tic Tac Wright

Tic Tac Wright

 

Our biggest challenge is a currently ongoing one of finding rented accommodation that will not only accept pets but that is safe and secure for our pets. A lot of UK landlords are not keen on pets because of possible mess etc, but we have been told by a couple of agencies, that if one is prepared to offer a slightly higher deposit but mostly  guarantee that the property will be professionally cleaned when vacated, that there is a way around this reluctance. We are prioritising our search for a house as we want our pets safely with us as soon as possible. We know that homes and gardens in the UK are smaller, but our cats are largely indoor cats anyway and we will be able to safely take our two dogs for walks once we are settled, which we dared not do in SA.

 

People this is doable and with far less expense and stress than we anticipated and all the challenges that one does face can be overcome. Please, if you are animals lovers and your pets are part of your family as they should be, I would urge you factor the costs into your budget planning and  to really consider taking your pets with you if you are emigrating it is well worth it and I cannot wait until we are all in our new home together.

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The point of things. Why do I Blog? and a survey…

Why do I blog?

This feels a little like a school essay. *laughs*

Why do I blog? 27 February 2013

OK, let’s get serious.

I blog because its a form of healing for me. There are just some things that you need to get off your chest. I tend to bottle everything up otherwise and well, just like what happens to a bottle of coke when you add a mint to it… It explodes.

I blog about what’s important to me; my kids; animals; I blog about life. If you’re a regular here you’ll know I’m a little squishy, part sentimental, passionate about animals and I LOVE to laugh.

If I blog about a subject or something really really personal, its because I feel that someone out there will gain something from it.

My main objective, my ultimate goal is to show a connection between animal abuse and domestic abuse. Statistics in SA about animals are slim and many people don’t realise the connection.

So to kick start my goal, I’ll be running my own survey. If you want to take part, and I mean be committed to taking part comment ꜜ down there ꜜ in the comments section, or email me on stuffdidoodles@gmail.com with your info.

What I’d like to know is:

1. If you grew up living with domestic violence or if you were a partner / wife / husband / family of an abuser;

*a) Did the abuser – also abuse your / his / her pets?

*b) Did the abuser – start out by abusing your / his / her animals before progressing to you / your children / your family?

*c) Did the abuser – abuse the animals when you / your children / family weren’t around?

Then… If you’re really brave; could you tell a bit of your story? Please tell me your real name (for statistics purposes) but I am very happy to use a pseudonym to protect your privacy, if I use your story in a blog.
Tell it all or just a bit, writing is an amazing healing tool…

If you found this article interesting you may also like to read:

Cycle of Abuse

Or

Profile of an abuser

Or

My Story

Please, be kind and DON’T COPY AND PASTE THIS ARTICLE. rather share this post from one of the links below, or simply give me a thumbs up and like this post or the Di Doodles Facebook Page, follow me on Twitter or Pinterest or add your email address above or check the box below and have up coming posts delivered to your email.

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Twas the night before Christmas at the Rainbow Bridge

Hi everyone,
Best wishes to all who are celebrating.

I found this post recently and thought I would post it for those who enjoyed The Rainbow Bridge and The Rescuer at the Bridge –

image from original post

image from original post

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS AT THE RAINBOW BRIDGE

T’was the night before Christmas, at Rainbow Bridge too.

We Bridge kids were thinking as always of you.
We’d seen how the holidays weren’t bright this year,
Heard you whisper so often, “I wish you were here!
“We know how you wish you could just stay in bed
And sleep through the holiday lying ahead,
When all celebrate with their loved ones so near…
Unless they have loved ones on this side this year.
But we’re no less alive here, on the other side.

If you could just see us, you would’ve laughed and not cried.
The dogs all in harness, pulling the sleigh.
The cats all in Santa hats pointing the way.
The pet birds all flying back over the rainbow,
Bound homeward in spite of Earth’s darkness and snow.

All the pets that you’ve lost, pets for whom you’ve cried,
Flying home on this Christmas to be by your side.
If you feel warm fur brush you when no pet’s around,
Hear a soft bark or purr, just a ghost of a sound,
We’re trying to tell you we’re visiting this way,

And our visits, even rainbows, can be on any day.
But for Christmas we have something special to do,
A sleigh full of happy dream visits for you.

On doggy, on kitty, on winged friend and ferret!T
he love that you lavished, we mean now to share it!
We’re fetching that love home, the way we once played,
With the closeness we shared and the memories we made.

Our Earth lives with you were too short for us, too,
And on this Christmas Eve we have so much to do.
So all through this night as you sleep in your beds,
Sweet visions of fur babies dance in your heads.

This one special night we can bring you Home for a while,
Your true home in Heaven, where again you will smile.
Over the rainbow you’ll fly, for a short while this night,
Hours that you’ll be happy, hours that will feel right,
Hours to cuddle and hug us, to run and to play,
Before the return to Earth in our magic way.

And when you awaken and face Christmas Day,We pray you’ll remember your trip on our sleigh,
But in case you forget, just remember our love.
Remember us watching you, your angels above.

Sending love wrapped in rainbows, shining and bright,
Love that will guide you through the darkest night,
Love found in each memory unwrapped through the year,
Replacing dark sorrows with Christmas cheer.

Leave the toys to St. Nick, we Bridge kids bring dreams,
Sweet visits to remind you all is not as it seems
When you look all around you with tired Earthly eyes.
If you saw as we do, there’d be joy and surprise.

There are fur angels waiting by those Christmas trees,
Always there for you and hearing your pleas.
We’re never more than a thought away from your home,
You’re never forgotten, you’re never alone.
Nor are we alone here, with our Rainbow Bridge friends.
We know only joy here, the celebrating never ends,

And after our reunions with you Christmas Eve,
We Bridge kids will party like you’d never believe.
But we’ll slip away often to be by your side.
Sitting there watching you, eyes open wide,
Praying you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of us, too.
But whether or not you see us – Merry Christmas to you!-

Cindy Morgan (2007)

If you enjoyed this post maybe you would also like to read :

The Rainbow Bridge and The Rescuer at the Bridge.

Or

Forever Fur Friends.

Please, be kind and DON’T COPY AND PASTE THIS ARTICLE. rather share this post from one of the links below, or simply give me a thumbs up and like this post or the Di Doodles Facebook Page, follow me on Twitter or add your email address above or check the box below and have up coming posts delivered to your email.

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Preparing your pet for the arrival of your newborn baby

Having many pregnant friends, all due around the same time “preggy” subjects tend to come up. 😉

So have my friends thought about seeing that their pets will cope well with a new family member?

If they haven’t I hope that they will be reading this article.

Yes my preggie dears, there is one more thing you have to add to the list… nursery colour, crib, clothing, baby products, how is your pet going to react and how do you prepare them for your new arrival.

When is the best time to be preparing your pet for a new baby?

The answer is simple …

NOW!

Leaving it until you’re 9 months pregnant or ready to bring baby home is not going to help the situation, nor will it be forgiving on your stress levels. It is important to prepare gradually and in advance. The following tips will help you in preparing.

If you are anything like me while I was pregnant you are reading up on important subjects. You may have already read that your baby will thrive with a routine. Well, try to keep calm – dogs, like young children, thrive on routine, security and calm environments too. So be consistent and be kind and praise your dog for good behaviour. *winks* this is good practice for your parenting skills. 😉

AND as I said in my article about Toxoplasmosis Cats do NOT suck the air out of babies’ lungs. It is purely a myth.

Obedience Training

One of the first steps you should take to prepare a dog for a new baby is to start working on obedience training. A well-mannered dog who knows basic obedience commands is easier to manage than one who is out of control. Mastering basic skills now, such as sit, down, and walking on a leash, will make life much easier when you are trying to care for the needs of your newborn. You can work these in to your daily routine so you can easily adapt and continue training when baby arrives.

Work on Behaviour Issues

There are several dog behaviour problems that can be annoying, or even dangerous, when you are caring for a newborn baby. Things such as barking and destructive behaviour can be a nuisance, creating more work for you or startling the baby out of sleep. Jumping up or aggressive behaviour can pose a real danger to you and the baby. Since these are not problems that go away overnight, start working on eliminating these problem behaviours now. You may want to consider calling in a dog trainer or animal behaviourist to help deal with any of these issues. Changes in the home may even trigger behaviour issues. Ask your vet for recommendations or even your local SPCA or shelter. Remember different behaviourists use different methods for training so I would advise you enquire about these beforehand.

Socialise your dog to babies

Many dogs are never around babies until their family brings one home. When you consider everything that comes along with a baby – new sounds and smells, changes to the daily routine, sharing attention – it’s easy to see that it can be a confusing and frightening experience for a dog. Prepare your dog for all these things by introducing him to babies before you bring your newborn home. You can invite over friends and family members with babies to socialise or even play a recording of baby sounds. By the time you bring your baby home, your dog should be well prepared for all the new sights, sounds, and smells! Remember to never leave a child or baby unattended in the company of your dog. Your aim here is to make your dog comfortable with children, possibly teaching new behaviours or noticing behaviours you would like to mention to your behaviourist.
Put baby powder on a baby doll to help prepare the dog for new smells. Carry the doll around as you do things around the house. Engage in baby-care activities in front of the dog such as changing a nappy. Teach the dog to sit-stay while you’re holding the doll. Let the dog sniff near the doll only if and when the dog is calm and under control. Also, introduce your dog to the baby’s room. Pet your dog or cat so that they form a positive association with the baby doll (and eventually, the real baby).
Practice walking your dog around your garden with dolly in a pram or stroller to teach your dog how to behave on future walks with you and the baby.

Your Home

Set up the nursery and rearrange furniture as needed in any other room’s months ahead of time. You need to realize that pets are very sensitive to change. You do not want your pet associating a bunch of sudden household changes with the arrival of the new baby, so redecorate and rearrange far in advance – so that the only big change after the birth will be the baby’s homecoming. This of course is a huge change in itself.
You may want to set up a barrier so that pets cannot enter baby’s room.
It is also important to have special pet areas with blankets or pillows, hiding places for kitties, for your pets to retreat to. These are an added insurance to a peaceful and stress free environment.

Your Pets Health

Take your pet for a vet check prior to birth. Having their inoculations up-to-date is not only important for their and your growing family’s health, you may find it difficult to transport both pet and baby to the vets immediately after birth. Make sure that tick and flea treatments are up to date.

I’ll love and leave you to let this sink in, but do look out for the next article on what to do when baby arrives home.

Preggy followers, you may also enjoy reading 10 steps to parenthood for a bit of a laugh and having a pet benefits kids for a little more educational reading.

Please do me a huge favour and comment on this post with your stories or tips you would like to add.
Please, be kind and DON’T COPY AND PASTE THIS ARTICLE. rather share this post from one of the links below, or simply give me a thumbs up and like this post or the Di Doodles Facebook Page or add your email address above and have up coming posts delivered to your email.

AND THANK YOU for stopping by!!

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