A Dog’s Life

I came across this story recently and thought you would enjoy it.  This is from a veterinarian relating a situation involving a six year boy and his dog. Sometimes, wisdom comes from the most unexpected people

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.
I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker ‘s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ”I know why.” Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I live.

He said,”People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” Then he continued, ”Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

Toilet Training Cats Is Easy

Most of us take toilet training cats for granted: Most kittens seem to learn with very little help from their owners, particularly if you have the mother or another cat in the home to teach them. Even if you don’t, most felines seem to be magnetically drawn to the litter box with very little urging from you.

There are however some instances when a kitten won’t take to their litter box and instead may find a houseplant, or worse yet your carpet. Not catching problem behavior quickly might mean your cat will develop a habit of going wherever they please.

Creating a private environment – This is an important first step when toilet training cats. Many of us need privacy to do our business, yet don’t give our animals the same respect. Most dogs are quite happy urinating, or having a bowel movement with the whole town staring at them.

Cats are a little different in most cases and plenty of cat owners out there will tell you how their cat will make a quick exit from their litter box when someone enters the room. Put the litter box in a room where your kitten will have some privacy to sniff around their box and get comfortable (litter boxes with a top enclosure are also ideal).

Lock the door. This doesn’t mean permanently locking your kitten in a room and throwing away the key. Rather, if you can put your kitten alone in a small room with their litter box they will have much less opportunity to explore other areas to do their business. After they’re used to it and use the box frequently, you can move the box wherever you wish. Usually one or two days in a room with their box is all they need to become comfortable with their litter box.

Is Pet Insurance a Good Idea?

If all dog owners had to worry about were a checkup, yearly shots, and an occasional injury, it would be hard to justify the cost of pet insurance. After all, premiums can run into the thousands of dollars over the life of your pet.

But the fact is that today, pet medical care rivals what’s available to humans in complexity and cost. For example, an MRI is a diagnostic tool once reserved for humans but is now available for pets as well–at an average cost of $1,200. Sophisticated procedures such as radiation therapy, can start at $900 and quickly reach $5,000.

And it’s not as if it can’t happen to you. Statistics show that one out of three pets will need emergency treatment every year, and two out of three experience at least one major health crisis in their lifetimes.

Given these catastrophic and skyrocketing costs, and with monthly premiums as low as $10 for some pets and plans–they average around $35–pet insurance may be a worthwhile option for you and your animals.

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