Several years ago a California state legislator made news with a gimmick. He invited school children in his Bay Area district to enter a contest through his office. Each entrant would draft a desired state law. The winning entry would be submitted to the state legislature for a vote.
When I first heard of the contest I thought it was silly. But the winning entry was brilliant. It required that antifreeze sold in California be made to taste bitter. The bill was submitted to the legislature, where it passed. Later it was signed into law.
The result has been a dramatic decrease in antifreeze toxicity in pets (and, I imagine, children) in California.
Antifreeze contains a compound called ethylene glycol. This chemical has a sweet odor and taste. It is attractive to pets and children.
When it is consumed, ethylene glycol initially causes the poisoned individual to feel drunk. However, the body metabolizes the chemical into products that clog the kidneys and lead to kidney failure. Ethylene glycol is one of the most toxic chemicals in common use.
Several other states now have laws similar to California’s. These include Virginia, Oregon, Washington, New Mexico, Arizona, Tennessee, and Maine.
And, if the New Hampshire House of Representatives gets its way, that state will be next to join the list.
That, of course, is good news. But I have to wonder why this simple, common sense proposal is spreading slowly state-by-state rather than through federal action.
- My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful.
- Give me time to understand what you want of me.
- Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.
- Don’t be angry with me for long and don’t lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainments. But I have only you.
- Talk to me. Even if I don’t understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.
- Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.
- Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I have teeth that could easily crush the bones in your hand, and yet I choose not to bite you.
- Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long or my heart might be getting old or weak.
- Please take care of me when I grow old. You too will grow old.
- On the difficult journey, on the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please. Never say you can’t bear to watch. Don’t make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there. Because I love you so.
Take a moment today to thank God for your pets. Enjoy and take good care of them. Life would be a much duller, less joyful thing without God’s critters. Please pass this on to other pet owners.
When your dog isn’t behaving the way you want, it’s important to correct, and not punish him. You may think you’re giving him a “time out,” but all he knows is that you made him sit in the corner for five minutes. Unlike a child, they don’t connect the “punishment” to the bad behavior. When you correct a dog, you immediately alert them that what they’re doing is wrong and then you show them an alternate, acceptable behavior. Dogs live in the now! They understand the most immediate cause and effect. And there is no better situation to correct your dog than when they are showing signs of being territorial.
If your dog is acting territorial, it is likely that they were never given rules, boundaries, or limitations. When you move into a new home, you should show your dog which areas he is allowed into and which ones he isn’t. Take your dog for a good long walk, and then enter the house, walking him through the rooms where it is okay for him to be. For the rooms where the dog is not allowed, you should claim the doorway or entrance. Show him that that room belongs to you. Don’t allow him in, and stay there until he backs away. Then he will see, “This is a room I shouldn’t go in.” If you set these rules, boundaries, and limitations in the very beginning, and reinforce them every day, the dog will obey. If the dog tests the boundaries, just deliver a quick correction and show the dog what you want.
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