Archive for Thursday, December 21, 2006

Divining the Christmas lists of pets

December 21, 2006

My wife and I braved the wild and crazy parking lots of various shopping centers last weekend in Lawrence. We were in pursuit of fulfilling those lengthy "want lists" we asked our three kids for just after Thanksgiving.

I just about involved myself in numerous wrecks as the parking was at a premium.

All in all, we survived unfrayed, but I realized how truly hectic this time of year has become.

I hope you all find precious time to just slow down, be at peace and take in the wonder of this time of year.

Coming home after shopping, my three dogs and cat greeted us in the driveway, reminding me to include these wonderful critters in on the season.

This prompted me to go out and inquire of them whether they had a want list ready this year.

"Oh, wow, Doc's really fallen off his rocker this time."

The consensus of the dogs' list went like this:

1. A premium diet to eat. No more Ol' Roy.

2. A warm place, with soft bedding, to lay my bones at night and on those long, cold days of winter.

3. A pat and a good stroking on my head and coat, at least once a day. Gee, I miss you some days...

4. A bath or a trip to the groomer once a month. Some days, I just cannot stand my own self, or the fleas. By the way, my toenails are long. Could I get a pedicure, too?

5. At least once a year, for starters, a trip to the vet's office for a check up, shots and worming. It scares the bark out of me when I think of all those diseases, works, and such, I could get and how easy it is to prevent them if you just take doc's advice. He only means good...

6. Speaking of Doc's place, I heard you could get dental work there also. My breath could wilt a flower and my teeth feel like sandpaper against my gums all the time. Think I could see the doggie dentist this year?

7. A good, long walk with my master every day, if possible. But, every other day would do for starters.

8. A doggie day out. Think I could have some social life here? I like you guys , but I'm a dog and I like to ham it up with my type.

My cat, Sylvester, was a little more reserved, but came up with a good feline list that had me thinking. I have to admit, "Syl" is not your garden variety house cat and leads a very active life here on the farm. But, it's my wife and my contention that he would no sooner scratch his way through the back door and assume the housecat lifestyle.

Here goes Sylvester's list:

1. A warm, cozy basket bed in my master's home, near the fireplace w\here I could lay lazily on those cold winter nights.

2. Unlimited Science Diet and gourmet food at my beck and call.

3. Unlimited catnip for when I feel frisky.

4. Annual protection against every deadly disease lurking out behind the barns. I've seen too many die unexpectedly of leukemia, FIV, FIP or even rabies. Scary thought. I've heard many of my friends say they've never seen an animal hospital before.

5. Regular flea and tick control. Even though that Top Spot feels funny when it goes on, when I'm on the prowl, the bug scram.

6. Unlimited hunting time, but regular tapeworm pills when I've had more than my fair share of mice, rats or rabbits. Remember, I take seriously the work of protecting my master's grain bins. Darn tapes' come with the job.

7. Regular check ups at the vets. Now that I'm over 12, I sure don't want anything we can't prevent or slow the onslaught of (I'm glad my master's a vet) old age.

There you have it. Candid and to the point, I would say.

On a more serious note, this was written in hopes of stimulating the pet owner to not overlook providing for their pet this Christmas.

Give the "gift of health" this year as you consider what to give your pet for Christmas.

By doing all you can as a pet owner, to be responsible to the lifelong needs of your pet dog, cat or otherwise, you can realize a long and richly blessed relationship with your companion.

The other night as we all sat in our living room after having dressed the tree and watched the flames of an oak log fire dance before us, I had the rare occasion to stroke my 14-year-old Sheltie "Jessie's hair coat. She responded in kind with a passionate lick to my cheek and a moan of approval that only Shelties can do. She looked up at me through those foggy, cataract-dulled eyes and seemed to bury her nose deeper into my loving embrace.

I could only acknowledge with a satisfaction of joy at the profession I had chosen. But, better yet, that joy was shared lovingly on this yuletide evening with a best friend who had given us such unconditional love.

Merry Christmas, Jessie, and to all your pals; and you, too, Sylvester with meows around to all felines, too.

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