Tuesday, November 20, 2012

For the Love of Cats!

In this world there are cat people. And there are dog people. But there are also some who love and have both in their lives.

We have always been very leash specific here at Love on a Leash. That is, we love both cats and dogs, but we’re only set up to care for our leash-bound friends.

We are knowledgeable about dogs. We are experienced. And with dogs, we know just what we’re doing. But cats? Well, cats are a different animal altogether! They’re beautiful, sure. And they can make swell pets. But the care they need is just as specialized as what is required by dogs. Just as specialized, but different.

With the holidays approaching, we’re beginning to get calls from people going away during the season: either to warmer climes or to spend time with family in other places. When people ask about care for their dog’s feline friends, we’ve been recommending Lori Levitt's company, Feline Friends Cat Care.

Lori is insured and bonded, vet endorsed and has a passion for the kitties. She has over 20 years experience and all of the clients we've referred her to love her.

You can call Lori directly 604-559-4570 or visit her web site at http://www.felinefriendscatcare.com/

Monday, November 5, 2012

Loki’s Christmas Wish: Help for Shelter Pets

As the holidays approach, it’s important to think about how we can help others. It’s never difficult to find worthwhile charities to give to, but I have to admit to having a few favorites, and Loki’s Christmas Wish Fund is one of those.

The Fund was started in 2008 by HugABull director Kristen Neratini, with the aim of brightening the holidays for animals in the shelter system.

The initiative was started in memory of Loki, a puppy neglected and abandoned before coming to HugABull. At five months of age, around Christmas 2005, he was adopted by Kristen and his future looked bright. He excelled at obedience, obtained his Canine Good Neighbour certificate, and Kristen knew she had found her “heart dog.”

Sadly, only three years later, Loki passed away due to health issues. Kristen and her husband decided to mark his too-short life with a donation campaign around the holidays, to help the shelter dogs who don’t find a home around Christmas. Donations are collected and distributed to all dog breeds -- and cats too!

Since 2008, 27 local animal shelters and rescue groups have benefitted from Loki's Christmas Wish and they look forward to seeing that number increase.

Loki’s Christmas Wish is run in partnership with HugABull Advocacy & Rescue Society.

Shelters are always stressful, but around the holidays adoptions are slower, shelters are short-staffed, and cold weather means less exercise and stimulation for the animals. A delivery of food, treats, bedding, and other supplies goes a long way to brightening their days, and the donations are used well into the following year.

Loki’s Christmas Wish Fund welcomes the donation of many items for dogs and cats. A detailed list is on their web site. And, of course, cash donations are always welcome, too.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Dealing With the Loss of A Pet: You Don’t Have to Deal With It Alone!

Sadly, just about about anyone who has ever shared their life with a dog knows what it is to lose one. I think the worst thing about our pet friends is that our span is so much longer than theirs. And though we treasure them and love them, eventually we are left alone. It’s a sad reality, but it can be very, very difficult to deal with.

One of the things that can make dealing with the loss of a pet even more difficult is the fact that a lot of people just don’t get the depth of loss and despair that losing an animal friend can cause. Though they may be trying to be kind, people sometimes make it worse. Someone telling you to get over it or -- perhaps worse -- get a new pet to help you cope with the loss of the old one can just make a grieving pet owner feel all the more alone and isolated.

It was this kind of emotion that holistic counsellor Melanie Yearow, a pet owner herself, responded to when started doing counseling to help people deal with the loss of their pets.

“The loss of a companion animal may be one of the most devastating experiences in one’s life,” Yearow says. “It is not uncommon for this loss to surpass the pain involved in losing a human being.”

It became important to her to let pet owners know they didn’t have to go through this alone. On her web site, Yearow outlines the services she offers grieving pet owners:

  • Creating a safe nonjudgmental place where you can express your deepest feelings and thoughts.
  • Helping you cope with and work through the difficult and, at times, intense feelings of shock, anger, guilt, sadness, and depression that often arise when a beloved pet becomes ill, dies, or is lost.
  • Helping you understand and come to terms with the pain and guilt you may be feeling around anticipating having or having had your pet euthanized. Although euthanasia is an utmost act of love and kindness that ends your pet’s suffering, it may be the most heart wrenching decision you will ever make.
  • Working with you around any issues of unresolved grief from your past that may surface when your pet dies.
  • Helping guide you through to the other side of your loss, where you will once again be able to think of your companion and the special relationship you shared with peace and happiness.
  • Discussing with you the timing of and what to expect when getting another pet.

Yearow’s office is on Vancouver’s west side. Call her at 604-730-5002 or visit her web site for more details.