Dora our beloved sausage shaped adopted dog was adored and kissed on her forehead every time I saw her. She died at home with her own family. She died in the best possible way, in her favorite room and at the side of her human. When i was informed of her heart disease i went to see her at the vet. Her beautiful family shared this moment with me. She walked out from the vet rooms and greeted each one of us individually moving from one person to the next sharing a greeting with each one of us.
That was the last time I saw Dora.
“I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.”
- Jean Cocteau (director, Orpheus)
JC was a ginger bomb. A boy cat. No frills on him. When we first met each other he was young and cheeky. He used to sit on the roof of the terrace and tease me as i fretted below him.
During his last days I was visiting him as his family were away on holiday. His routine would be to crawl out from under the duvet and saunter out of the bedroom and 'miouw' a contented happy greeting to me. He would roll on the floor and then walk off into the sitting room where our cuddles would take place. On the last day i entered his flat and he didn't come to greet me. There was no miow of greeting or furry roll on the floor.
JC had passed away during the night from Sudden Death Syndrome.
I wrapped him in a blanket and preyed and cried to the empty space around me. I thanked him for his special place in my life and for enriching it with cheekiness and laughter.
Death and grief are certainties in life. Grief is the response to loss. Loss could be the loss of a limb, loss of a dream, a family member or a beloved pet. When a cherished pet dies, the experience of grief and bereavement are no different than mourning the death of a person we have loved. Pet loss is real, significant, and heart wrenching. The feelings of sadness, loneliness, guilt, or anger don't discriminate because the deceased was a pet.
Our society's customs around human loss are well established - we have funerals, religious ceremonies, and we are encouraged to share our stories and memories of the deceased. In Judaism for instance, the bereaved formally mourn for seven days of shiva, during which, the bereaved are surrounded by, and lifted up by their community. Similarly, in Hinduism, the mourning period is over 13 days. I think we have all heard of Irish wakes.
Ignoring grief, tears at the fabric of being human and disallows one of the most crucial experiences that must occur in the wake of our loss. Yet there are no such established norms for pet loss. Here are some points to help understand a bit more about grief:
To feel the pain of grief when the bonds with our pets are broken. The bonds we have with our companion animals are deep and strong and when those bonds are broken our grief is real and worthy of attention.
To feel shocked and overwhelmed by the intensity of our grief. Since our animals’ life spans are so much shorter than our own, it is inevitable that eventually we will experience the loss of our beloved animal companions. The grief we feel at such times can be far more intense than we ever expected, no different from that of losing another special family member or cherished friend.
To understand our grief reactions, feelings and behaviors as normal. Grief is a natural, spontaneous response to the loss of a significant relationship.
Truly acknowledge that you are, in fact, grieving. This is usually very difficult to come to terms with because allowing yourself to grieve demands that you be vulnerable — not just with others, but with yourself. You must be willing to look yourself in the mirror and resist the temptation to bury the pain that resides within you.
Physchological research (1) has shown that those who repress their grief are more likely to succumb to depression, sleep disorders, and other adverse effects in the aftermath of grief than those who don’t. As scary as it can be to allow yourself to experience grief, the reality is that it can actually prevent complications down the line.
Don’t hesitate to seek out support from a licensed therapist or a support group or find help from a friend who will listen without judgement. A friend who can empathise and who is not afraid to broach or share the pain, someone with whom we can openly acknowledge our feelings, express and work through our feelings, and come to terms with our loss.
To have our grief recognized by others as significant and legitimate. Since grieving over animals isn’t generally accepted in our society, we may feel uneasy or embarrassed, as if we have no right to feel or express our grief because our loss is not significant enough. But we’re not grieving “just an animal.” Since we’re the only ones who know how much our animals meant to us, when they’re gone we’re the only ones who can measure how very much we’ve lost.
All grief is painful but disenfranchised grief – grief that is dismissed by others – is more painful still.
Honor the memory of our pets in whatever way we see fit. To memorialize our beloved companion animals is to honor and acknowledge the important role they played in our lives, to bring comfort to ourselves and to help us keep their love and presence in our hearts. Among other things, we can memorialize our pets by writing about them, making an album or a scrapbook, planting a living memorial in our garden, having a meaningful memorial service, funeral or ritual, or making a donation to a charitable animal organization in our pet’s name.
My information for the above blog was taken from the following sites:
What is Cannabidiol?
Cannabidiol or CBD, is one of over 60+ naturally occurring cannabinoid compounds found in Cannabis, an annual herbacous plant.
CBD oil is derived from an organic substance formed in the plant's secretions.
Both marijuana and hemp are forms of cannabis, but it is important to note that cannabis does not mean marijuana. Cannabis is the genus name and general umbrella term, under which all forms of marijuana and hemp fall.
Of the 60+ cannabinoids, there are two that are well known:
What does CBD have to do with our pets?
For sometime now it has been known that the mammalian body, also naturally produces cannabinoids known as endocannabinoids.
The mammalian body has an endocannabinoid system made up of receptors which are located throughout the body and that sends and receives signals through the brain, nervous system, internal organs and cardiovascular system. This system is primarily responsible for regulating and supporting many central nervous system functions, which, in turn supports the immune system.
The Endocannabinoid system has four primary purposes:
Research into the cannabinoid, CBD, started as early as 1940. There is literature that states a poet gave it to his son for epilepsy treatment in the 15th century. It was not until 1963 that it was properly identified, and, only in the 1990's and 2000's that research was taken further.
Two Tales of CBD and its positive affects
Both Pao and China have responded positively to CBD. China has regained a childlike energy and is back to her normal activities. Pao licks his paws significantly less due to the pain of his neck hernia.
Will CBD give your pets a high?
THC is the cannabinoid known to interact directly with the two classical cannabinoid receptors that are found in the mammalian body (CB1 and CB2), causing the well known high.
CBD, on the other hand, does not interact with these receptors. Instead, CBD inhibits the enzymes that break down endocannabinoids, leading to an increase in your body’s naturally-produced cannabinoids
What is the legal status for CBD in Spain in 2018?
CBD is legal in Spain since it is not psychotropic. On the other hand, THC remains illegal. CBD is legal in many other European countries such as Germany, France, Netherlands, and UK, because it does not contain or contains less than 0.2% of the physcoactive component THC.
What are the medicinal benefits of plant based CBD?
CBD can benefit pets for many of the same conditions as humans:
How to choose CBD for your pet?
It is important to know that CBD has no toxicity and your pets cannot overdose on it. The benefits of daily use increase as CBD builds up slowly in the body. Choosing the right CBD is critical. You need to get a high quality CBD product to get all the benefits. Usually the fewer ingredients the purer the CBD you are getting.
The best CBD oils:
Always consult a veterinarian for professional advice and before changing any medications that your animal maybe taking.
Plants Not Pills (https://www.plantsnotpillscbd.com/who-we-are)
This is the product that has recently come to my attention through the two dogs, Pao and China above. Please browse their website. They fulfill all the necessary requirements for a high quality CBD product.
Contact details for any questions or research you may like to do.
Clinica Veterinaria Volpevets, 931189789, Vet called Nacho, Barcelona
Visits a domicilio 650 85 56 62
Contact person for PlantsnotPills: Lili @ 63823 92 64
Dogs Naturally Magazine
The Gos d'Atura, Perro de Pastor Catalan or Catalan Sheepdog are an ancient and rare breed of herding dog that developed in Catalonia, during the establishment of the Roman Empire. The breed was officially recognised in Catalonia in 1929, but, is also bred in Germany, Finland and Sweden.
Catalan Sheepdogs are high spirited and cheerful; are well known for being able to do the 'doggy dance'; are highly intelligent, often used by the police and security agents; an agile breed that excels in dog sports and extremely loyal to their human owners.
What do they look like?
They sporting full beards and mustaches that give them a funny look. They have an intense intelligent and alert expression with expressive deep amber coloured button shaped eyes and long straight hair. They can be brown, black or cream in colour.
History & Development
The Catalan Sheepdog developed during the time when the Roman Empire began to flourish between 200 and 100 BC. The livestock guard dogs, that the Romans brought with them were crossed with the local Catalan dogs, thus developing the first line of the Catalan Sheepdog breed.
When the Roman conquerors arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 200 to 100 B.C. they brought with them two types of dogs. One breed was used to defend and protect the Roman quarters, to tend their flocks of sheep as well as to help in attacking the enemies. The other breed, a dog with a lighter build was used to herd cattle. These dogs that are thought to be the ancestors of the Italian Bergamasco were mated with the native Catalan dogs to give the Catalan Sheepdog of today.
Gradually, these dogs spread all across Europe and became particularly popular in the Catalonia region. During the civil war in Spain, the dogs were often used to carry messages between command centres. They were also used as guard dogs.
Driving and tending the flock is the true calling of a Catalan Sheepdog. These dogs have a natural instinct of caring for the flock. A Catalan Sheepdog would amiably perform the commands of the shepherd but in most instances the dog will act on its own, making its own decisions concerning the monitoring of the flock. This hardworking breed has been the able and irreplaceable supporter of shepherds for hundreds of years, vigilant and courageous and well able to protect the flock entrusted to its care.
After the 2nd World War, the dog’s population dramatically declined. Some specimens were destroyed, others were rarely bred. Demographic movement is considered to be the major cause of population decline. During the 1950s and 1960s, a lot of farms were closed when people from the countryside moved into towns. Demand for the breed dwindled, the dogs fell into disuse. In 1970 a group of breeders worked together to regenerate the breed. Remaining specimens were found and bought from the shepherds and intensive breeding was begun. Today the breed is still considered to be rare but thanks to the dedicated breeders, the population is slowly but surely growing.
Catalan Sheepdog Personalities
Cobi, the Catalan Sheepdog, was the official mascot of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
Coby represents a Catalan Sheepdog in Cubist style inspired by the interpretations from Picasso of a masterpiece from Velazquez, Las Meninas.
Cobi was designed by Javier Mariscal and he was unveiled to the public in 1987. His name was derived from the Barcelona Olympic Organising Committee (COOB).
Before and during the Games, Cobi was shown in a variety of advertisements for Olympic sponsors such as Coca-Cola, Brother Industries and Danone. He even had his own anime television series, The Cobi Troupe. He also appeared on an extensive range of souvenirs, dubbed Cobiana. During the Games an inflatable Cobi was tethered to the Barcelona waterfront.
Other famous Catalan Sheepdog personalities
Einstein and Copernicus from the movie 'Back to the Future' are Catalan Sheepdogs.
'Back to the Future' tells the story of Marty McFly and the scientist Dr. Emmett Brown, or commonly referred to as “Doc” and how they travel back in time to alter their history and return in 1985. Einstein (also called Einie) and Copernicus were the Doc’s pet Catalan Sheepdogs. However, it was Einstein who had a bigger role to play in the film.
Hello Everyone. My name is Noa
Please, during the fiesta of Sant Joan,
Don't buy fireworks.
The noise that they make,
frightens me so much.
Hear like your Pet
Our pets hear a different range of noises than we do, for example dogs can hear a wider range of frequencies, and, cats can hear a higher pitch. Dogs and cats can also rotate their ears, allowing them to receive stereo sounds. Combine these attributes with other, higher functioning senses that your pet may possess and we can start to understand why out animals are most affected by the whizzing, fizzing, exploding, popping noise of fireworks. Living creatures (including us) are naturally wired to react to sudden and loud noises. Their senses are attuned for survival.
So what can we do during the holiday of Sant Joan, to help other animals who feel the same as Noa?
About Heat Stroke
Heat Stroke occurs when your pet's body cannot dissipate excess heat as fast as is required to maintain a normal body temperature. This can occur because your pet is generating excessive heat due to exercise or anxiety or is exposed to high temperatures in their environment, or a combination of both.
Cats and dogs are susceptible to heatstroke because they can only regulate their body temperature through panting or sweating from their foot pads. A pet that is left in a poorly ventilated area, unable to avoid direct sunlight, or without access to water, such as in a car or shed can quickly succumb to heatstroke.
Very often we may not be aware of the fact that a pet has become overheated until symptoms suddenly develop. For example dogs are always very eager to please their human and will often continue playing or exercising until their bodies cannot take anymore. Heat stroke in our pets is a very serious condition and its onset can be sudden, escalating into an emergency situation in a matter of minutes. Knowing how to treat a pet experiencing heat stroke may be vital to saving your their life.
Recognizing Heat Stroke Symptoms
What to do on a hot day with your pets.
What Heat Stroke can do to your Pet
Excessive anxiety may also contribute to susceptibility of Heat Stroke
I have recently looked after a blind dog called Lupo (photo)
Lupo has been coming to stay with me for over 5 years. He went blind recently due to diabetes and March 2018 was his first time to come and stay with me as a blind dog.
I have been very honored to see many of my pets come back to me year after year for pet care/sitting, and, because of this, I have seen them age, I have seen changes in their health, I have seen them put on or lose weight and I have been able to advise on health care and thus prevent more serious health situations from arising.
And so, with Lupo in mind, and including my observations over the years, I would like to write about the importance of investing in your pets with an eye for the future.
This will decrease the stress in your life, be more efficient in cost and time and overall increase the life expectancy of your pet.
Here are some suggestions:
One of the things Lupo’s human has done on this list for the future is to invest in the same petsitter. Lupo and I love each other and Lupo is very familiar with my flat and routine. For this reason his transition to my flat over Easter, as a blind dog, was seamless. Here is why:
We are now in Spring 2018 and my first blog on this website was in Spring 2011!
In the last 6 months with the help of my wonderful web designer and my marvelous marketing strategist my website has been the object of a major spring clean. Cobwebs swept away and the windows are washed clean.
Fidos Playground has a Philosophy, a Vison and a Mission Statement and in May 2011 i wrote a blog to share with you the qualities that I wanted as the backbone to our Pet Sitting Care. This Spring of 2018, with a lot more experience under my belt I would like to take this opportunity to refresh the philosophies behind Fidos Pet care. Over the last 7 years I have come to a crystal realisation that my personal passions lie in animal communication, health management, care and human relations.
My first teachers of animal care were from the animals themselves. As owner of a Dairy farm in Zambia i had the opportunity to work with milking cows, horses, dogs and cats in a harsh environment with (in the beginning) little access to veterinary advice. By the time i reached Barcelona in 2007 i already had 15 years of experience in animal health and care.
My second teacher was 'The Monty Roberts International Learning Centre', in California, where I learnt the art of communicating with horses in a discernible and effective way, using predictable body language. This language Monty Roberts created after extensive observation on wild Mustangs in Nevada at the age of thirteen. He calls it ‘Equus’, and it is silent, encouraging true partnership between horse and human. This method rejects the traditional and violent methods of ‘breaking in’ a horse and replaces it with the nonverbal, silent and nonviolent ‘Join Up’.
My third teacher was Jan Fennell ‘The Dog Listener’. She was initially inspired by Monty Roberts. Jan resolved to find a similar way to communicate with dogs by also rejecting the traditional methods of dominance and force. She did this by studying wolves, wild dogs and coyotes. This study has resulted in the application of a training system she has called ‘Amichien® Bonding’. This method of 'dog training' allows you to live in harmony with your trusted friend. It is a non-confrontational, stress-free, and gadget-free method.
My fourth teachers have been the animals and their human companions in Barcelona who have given me the opportunity to create and grow in the pet care business. Through my work I have been able to observe intensively how our animals may communicate with eachother and with humans; i have improved on my knowledge of animal health and care management, and I have learnt and am still learning, the art 0f clear, compassionate communication in all areas of my business and personal life.
The concepts behind ‘Equus’ and ‘Amichien Bonding’ are similar to all species. It is important to understand how each species uses its senses to perceive and interpret its environment. It is important to observe how each species brings up its young babies; how they encourage and advise their teenagers and to how they then settle into adulthood and old age. Throught this knowledge we have the tools best equipped for the personal comfort of our pets.
Through our animals' guidance we can become better humans. We can learn how to connect with a compassion that comes from the heart and not the human mind.
This type of love can cross any language and species barrier.
Before he was adopted off the streets of Istanbul, he had a life very similar to the story I am about to tell you.
Raki's human took "a loving" to him and invited him to jump into the boot of her car when she drove passed him on the street. He eagerly obliged and that was the start of his new life in heaven where he could find warmth, foooooood and big love. Here at Fidos Playground he is our lovable clown, adored by each of us.
Picture this .....
It is estimated that there are 2 million stray cats in Istanbul and around 150,000 stray dogs. Your eye can't help but notice the animals.
Street animals have been a part of Turkish culture for generations, and many Istanbul residents believe they have as much right to inhabit the streets as people. Dogs and cats are allowed to roam the streets while the Municipality, residents and local shop owners look after them in a collective effort.
"These are the neighborhood's dogs," says Hamit Yilmaz Ozcan, as he sits with Chico, an elderly Alsatian, and Hercule, his younger, rust-colored companion, two strays that reside near his clothing shop in the neighborhood of Cukurcuma.
Some animals even become local celebraties like Fatso the cat. When he died the neighborhood collected money to build him a statue.
Does this happen everywhere in Turkey?
The municipalities are all charged with the care of the animals but the quality of life for the animals varies greatly, depending on how much spare money the municipality has, to allocate to their care. Istanbul has more money available and so the animals have housing and veterinary treatment. Care and interest of the animals can also vary within certain areas of Istanbul.
If you get caught killing an animal in Turkey there is the possibility of a 10.5 year prison sentence
To end the story of Raki and the stray dogs and alley cats of Istanbul, we finish with this cat celebrity called Gli. He is a devout cat living at the 1,475 year old museum of the Hagia Sophia. He is squint eyed, with one eye on God and the other on the Devil. He greets all the tourists and supervises the employees. He was even visited by Barack Obama.
What is declawing?
Feline declawing is an elective and ethically controversial procedure, which is NOT medically necessary for cats in most instances. Declawing entails the amputation of a cat’s third phalanx [P3], or third ‘toe bone.’ Unlike human nails, cats’ claws are attached to the last bone in their toes. A comparison in human terms would be cutting off a person’s finger at the last joint of each finger.
It is important to understand that scratching is normal behavior for cats, and has an inherent function. Cats scratch to:
Alternatives to declawing
Provide your cat with suitable ‘scratchers’ where they can exhibit normal scratching behavior. Scratchers come in multiple styles and textures. It is important to experiment with a variety of textures and types of scratchers to determine which your cat prefers. Some examples I have come across include:
The placement of scratchers is very important.
Kittens and cats can be trained to use scratchers by rewarding use of the scratcher with the cat’s favorite treat. A spray bottle of water nearby can be useful if used with calmness and no dramatics.
Cats should always be positively reinforced and never punished.
Regular claw trimming
Regularly trimming your cat’s claws can prevent injury and damage to household items. Proper feline nail trimmers should be used to prevent splintering of the claws. The frequency of claw trimming will depend on your cat’s lifestyle. Indoor cats, kittens, and older cats will need more regular nail trims, whereas outdoor cats may naturally wear down their nails requiring less frequent trimming.
If possible, start trimming as kittens so they become comfortable with the process early on. This method of teaching early is called imprinting.
If your cat does not like claw trimmings start slow, offer breaks, and make it a familiar routine.
Ask your veterinarian for advice or a demonstration on trimming your cat’s claws.
Always trim claws in a calm environment and provide positive reinforcement.
Continued scratching by cats may be related to stress, anxiety, attention seeking, or a perceived lack of security in their environment. Anxiety can also be intensified by punishment, thus driving the cat to increase scratching behaviors in the same or other undesirable locations in the home.
Feliway® the synthetic pheromone can be bought as a bottle of liquid and plugged into your wall. The heat generated by the plug slowly evaporates the pheromone into the atmosphere. In many of my experiences Feliway has had a positive effect in decreasing anxiety and stress. The pheremone is also undetectable to human noses.
It can also help spraying Feliway® on the objects or areas in your home where your cat has exhibited undesired scratching. Remember to do this after cleaning the area with bio soap and water, to remove the communication marking scents left by your cat’s paws, otherwise the cat will only return to the same place again and again. Applying daily comforting pheromones can prevent your cat’s need to mark these areas again. Feliway® should NOT be sprayed on the desired scratcher.
Providing your cat with an environment that is enriching is vital to teaching your cat to scratch on appropriate objects. Destructive scratching can occur in cats because their needs have not been fully met. Cats need the proper resources to perform their natural behaviors and have control over their social interactions.
You can enhance your cat’s health and well-being by ensuring all their needs are met in the home.
Great sites with lots of wonderful cat information:
Shops with cat goodies:
Often in conversation about pet sitting cats, someone will mention that our feline companions need very little care, that they are independent, aloof and can very nearly look after themselves. I don’t believe this is the case, whether they are indoor or outdoor cats. (photo)
I read a heading in a blog titled “Quiet lives of Desperation”. What a sad but true heading! Cats suffer very quietly. A cat without stimulation or interaction can suffer from stress through boredom and depression. This stress will show itself through less obvious problems such as obesity, a depressed immune system leading to infections (such as a urinary), or it can show itself more obviously through behavioural changes such as aggression, over grooming and soiling outside the litter tray.
It’s important to visit your veterinarian to rule out any medical issues that could contribute to the problem. Once your cat gets a clean bill of health, you can look into ways to enrich his environment to meet his physical, emotional and social needs. Here are some suggestions.
Cats may have set ideas about how they want to interact, but, it is important to set time aside for this to happen. Each cat personality is different, so it is important to explore with your cat (without expectations), to find out what it likes.
Through our pet sitting experience we know that cats love to play hide and seek, to be groomed with a hand held hoover, hunt the string, chase the ball, they can be trained to a harness and go out for walks on top of terraces or into the wild (see this website), they can be taught to fetch a ball and more.
Set up a routine where this precious time is available to your cat
A Safe retreat
Cats need a safe place where they can snooze uninterrupted; they need to escape from the other animals, from children and strange visitors. They love to perch on high vantage points or slip into deep, dark corners where they can see you but you cant see them!
Make spaces available to them, or build little dens. See zooplus.es for some ideas. Or make beds on top of shelves where they can look out the window or feel the sun or a breeze
Captivate their senses
Cats are especially interested in scents, so consider using catnip or synthetic pheromones in your house. Or provide some pet-safe grasses for your cat to nibble on. Explore aromatherapy oils, and cats love plants.
For auditory stimulation, consider leaving the radio on or playing a CD made for cats while you’re gone. Cats love classical music and there are even DVDs with birds and other prey to keep your cat entertained. (video)
Every cat is different, so you may need to try different enrichment strategies until you find what’s best for your cat. A few small changes around the house can help make your cat happier and create more harmony when multiple cats are sharing a house.