Archive for Thursday, December 16, 2004

Great finds for our four-legged friends

December 16, 2004

Erica, my assistant and chief animal confidant, and I were mulling over what we would like to put in our pets' stockings this Christmas. I challenged her to bring me a list of stocking stuffers for dogs, cats and horses. For you that have reptiles and pocket pals, we invite you to use your imagination.
When I got the list, I could see this assistant of mine was attuned to the truest of needs for pets around Christmas and, for that matter, all year. So here it goes. Remember, some of the ideas may be mine.
For dogs and puppies, we begin with the basic collar, but not just a collar. A "designer" collar, which will certainly make your dog or pup stand out in the crowd. Add identification tags, so if we meander away from home, we can find our way home safely. All sorts of toys are neat -- especially squeeker toys, Frisbees and balls -- but big enough not to be swallowed. A nice soft brush and a toothbrush would be swell for grooming and keeping tidy.
Erica mentioned a water bowl in the shape of a toilet. I've never seen these, but I'm sure those "pet-whatevers" would have them. Hey, how about a fire hydrant for him, or a fluffy bed for her?
Gift certificates are in this year. These are a few suggestions: a night in bed, an hour-long belly rub, to have the electric fence turned off for the day or the bark collar turned off overnight, an extra-long walk, the freedom to chose other animals for household companions, a day swimming in the pond out back, a dirty plate to clean, or an extra long walk off-leash at the park or farm.
You know, masters, these suggestions don't cost a thing monetarily, except for your time.
Now, when it comes to cats and kittens, we can offer you these little tidbits.
Remember, your feline may be finicky but also likes to be indulged, as most cats do. Like dogs, a designer collar with tag tops the list. Make sure the collar has rhinestones, bright and glittery, with a stretchy breakaway option if they get hung up in a tree. Add to that collar jingle bells, and you'll drive your kitty crazy.
Once again, gift certificates fit well in that old sock, and a few ideas include an extra clean litter box, or a concealed, self-cleaning one would be tops; real mice or fish are delectable; a running water bowl will stimulate a lot of drinking; a scratching post with a cat tree would be fun; a day with the dogs kept outside; uninterrupted cat naps to go with the dog-less solitude; wet cat food on Christmas Eve and Day; unlimited supply of catnip; and maybe a laser pointer for the cat or kitty to entertain you while they chase the pointer you direct at your whim.
Have you got that stocking stuffed yet?
For the horse fancier, I wouldn't want to leave these grand "pets" out in the cold Christmas Eve. At our farm, I usually give each horse an extra flake of hay and scoop of grain. Add an apple or carrot to the mix and you'll be just short of colic. Easy now...a new salt or mineral block, new shoes or rim, a pretty brightly colored halter, a new saddle (the old one hurts my back), shipping boots; a soft brush; a little kid to ride me (instead); new blankets; snaffle bit, instead of that harsh curved one; real grass or a move to a new pasture, stall ball (give me something to do in here); and even if "Big Daddy Mega Bucks" can handle it, a Cadillac trailer with a real soft ride, to name a few.
Most importantly, don't forget those horses. They give you hours of pleasure. A gift to the equine is in order.
So, there you have it. I know we haven't mentioned everything those "pet-whatevers" offer, but surely we've given you an incentive to head down for a few pet stuffers to round out this wonderful season of giving and love. Isn't that what our pets truly give us?
Have a blessed season.

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