Pets are on my mind. I’ve finished viewing “The Truth about Pet Cancer” which I alerted you to in my previous post “Your Pet Trusts You.” And with today being National Pet Day I’m thinking about these beloved creatures more than usual. According to PetSecure.com, “Americans spend over $50 billion annually on their pets, and 36% give their dogs birthday presents.” But why wait for one special day when animals freely give us their love, forgiveness and attention 365 days, year after year after year?
Don’t have, or can’t have a pet you say? It doesn’t matter. Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter American animal shelters every year. These animals don’t have a pet parent or pet guardian — their only hope is caring humans. Cats and dogs come in varied sizes, so are the ways you can help. Here’s some options:
Shop on Amazon Smile and get 0.5% of your purchase donated to a 501(c)(3) pet charity registered on their site. Even better, buy some pet supplies via Amazon Smile then donate them to your local SPCA, no-kill shelter or rescue group.
Support no-kill shelters. Look for no-kill shelters in your area: https://www.nokillnetwork.org/no-kill-animal-shelters.php
Aid rescue groups. Some rescue groups are breed specific:
For some tips on rescue groups visit: http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/dog-breeds-breed-specific-rescue-group-adoption-tips or http://www.avianwelfare.org/links/organizations.htm
Assist with dog transport and save the life of a dog on death row:
If you’re on FB or Yahoo, take a look at these sites to see what you can do:
Animal Rescue Transport Network: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Animal-Rescue-Transport-Network/117998798306519
Rescue Angels on Wheels: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RescueAngelsonWheels
Rescue Transport: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RescueTransport
Help find homes for orphaned pets by signing-up for Shelter Pet PR and promoting the pets on your social media site: https://www.dosomething.org/us/campaigns/shelter-pet-pr
And what about that beloved pet you do have? I thought I gave good care — at least until I realized that Big Farma and Big Pharma have also corrupted the pet food and medical “industries.” Remember, your animal friend relies on you to give them the best of health. It’s not that difficult (and you’ll become healthier too).
Feed a breed-specific diet and the best diet you can afford. For instance, use quality canned food for cats who can dehydrate easily and need more moisture; and if your dog can’t tolerate a totally raw diet, select kibble without soy, corn or rice, and is preferably organic. Supplement a few times each week with raw meat-based scraps and chopped brightly colored veggies like spinach, kale, broccoli and carrots. Blueberries and even a raw egg now and then are good too. Just skip the pizza crust and other highly processed foods! That includes colored food treats too.
Offer plenty of clean water — spring or distilled rather than fluoridated city water — in metal or ceramic bowls. (Get rid of plastic dishes.)
Play with nontoxic toys, get lots of exercise and sunshine!
Consult a holistic vet especially if your pet buddy is already not feeling well. They are trained to help pets achieve quality living without costly surgeries, pharmaceuticals or side effects: https://www.ahvma.org/find-a-holistic-veterinarian/
Bess still thanks me for taking her for acupuncture. In two treatments she was running like a pup again — even though she was 11 (and now doing well at 13). She’s not leaving a spec behind of the raw purple cabbage and kale with flaxseed oil and organic raw chicken added to her kibble!
Include animals in your will. If you have a chunk of cash to leave behind, consider naming a charitable pet organization in your will. None of us will be here forever so make sure your pets will be cared for in the event you depart first. For some helpful info, visit: https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/protect-your-prized-pet-create-a-pet-trust or https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/pet-trusts.html
Of course, the standbys of donating money, supplies, and volunteering your time are always needed. Hopefully, National Pet Day is the kickstart for you helping animals all year long — just like the love they give to us every day.
Oh, and if you missed National Hug Your Dog Day yesterday (4/10) — just give them a hug every day too.
A surprise view from my kitchen window…
may bring another surprise
of baby chicks…
Death is not so permanent as one might think. When contemplating compost, you more fully understand the cycle of life. Fruits and vegetables provide nutrition to us. Flowers offer beauty. When their peelings, parings, stems and leaves are tossed into the bin to decompose, in time they become nutrition for the soil. Black gold I like to call it.
This rich compost continues nurturing us by transforming the soil to produce nutritious fruits and vegetables, and flowers to soar the spirit.
And so the cycle of life continues. Quite simple, really. Nature shows us how. So what is all the fear about?
Last year’s leaf
frozen between time.
Piled high snow conceals the beginning of what we cannot yet see — seeds, bulbs, and leaves busily working behind the scenes, preparing to come alive and burst forth in spring.
Not knowing yet what lies ahead, time is endless — one long stretch of a simple moment. All the while winter whispers to us, “Stay present. Have faith. This too shall pass.”
When efforts feel stalled — like nothing is happening as we take baby step by baby step in the direction of our dreams — think of winter.
Gradually receding snow slides back the covers of change. Be patient. Stay true to course. The next thing we know, winter has become spring and all right before our eyes.
“Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry — all forms of fear — are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.” — Eckhart Tolle
The greatest gift from anyone is to be present. Not just with those around you but with yourself as well. Forget the distractions. Don’t be distracted. The greatest gift to anyone is being present. Give the gift of being present. To yourself, and others as well.
“When you have an intense contact of love with nature or another human being, like a spark, then you understand that there is no time and that everything is eternal.” – Paulo Coelho
There’s only 701 hours or 42060 minutes until spring! 29 days. Yes, I know. People tell me not to rush my life away. I don’t think I am, really. Just wishing to rush passed the frigid temps and ice we’ve had for the last few months.
I’d happily linger in spring, not rushing away a single minute. But, the older I get the colder I get. And after a few months of oppressively grey, gloomy skies I’m craving sunshine, warmth and spring’s freshness. I’ve been admonished before that I hurry up to wait. Well, truth be told, yes, I’d like to hurry up spring so I can wait and lavish its lushness.
A young friend, who is a talented musician and new father, shared his disappointing Christmas with me. When asking his brother if he would like to hear the latest song he recorded, his brother’s response was, “Sorry man. I can’t. I have 10 seconds until the tournament starts.”
My friend then revealed to me that his brother is addicted to gaming. “He’s usually stockpiled in his room, stacking empty dishes of food my mother brought him because he can’t tear himself away from the game. I’ve told him he’s disgusting, often not showering for three days,” my friend said. I shudder in the realization that this technology problem is much bigger than I surmised and a grave concern to what we are doing to our society. Isn’t the opiod crisis enough?
My young friend continued, “You remember Jack at my wedding? We use to talk on my drive home from work and had big plans for recording together. Then he told me he bought a gaming system and wanted me to get one too. He doesn’t return my calls anymore. He won’t even pick up the phone. I know he’s addicted to gaming too.”
My friend, at age 30 is already a wise old soul. I was proud of him when he announced he gave up his cell phone because he was texting while driving. And when he fired the babysitter because she placed an I-phone in his infant’s hands, I felt more pleased. “I want my son to experience life,” he said. “I want to take him cross country to see the beauty of the land and meet different people.”
I then shared with him a startling conversation I had with my older and over-weight brother in-law during the holidays. His wife (an I-phone and Candy Crush addict) proudly told me she could start her oven with her I-phone. “Why would you want to?” I asked. My brother in-laws response? “So you don’t have to get off the couch.” I felt stunned. We already have an obesity problem in America and now technology is helping people stay inactive, indoors and isolated. What are we doing?
I understand gaming rehabs are some of the most expensive and that a gaming addiction is as difficult to treat as bulimia. Drug rehabs are big business and a revolving door of profits. When will humans wake up to realize they are giving up free thought and subsequent health under the guise of convenience but the truth of corporate profit?
Addictions — whether drugs, technology, gambling, food, shopping, etc. — would doubtfully be so overwhelming if people tempered their device with the wisdom and beauty of Nature. Nature is free and it’s everywhere, reliably standing by, willing to offer peace and insights for living life. Take a hike. Plant a garden with your child. Walk the dog and say hi to the neighbors. Get off the couch to cut your own grass, and turn on the oven yourself.
It all begins with one conscious choice.
Have you noticed how many smiles you see? Or don’t, in this overly busy time of year when buzzing around making returns, shopping, doing errands, or whatever tasks need to be done. I counted only one smile today. And it was a wide one as another customer and I passed each other at the store.
One priceless gift to return is take one second and smile — at whomever you encounter. It’s a gift to yourself as well. You don’t have to say anything, although a pleasant word is a bonus. As is a smile returned.
When you smile, your face muscles trigger a release of endorphins. Helping to reduce stress levels, they are responsible for making you — and others — feel happy.
So the next time you see someone, offer up a smile. Like a breadth of fresh air in a weary day, notice how much lighter you feel too and it didn’t cost you a penny. Just one…second…of conscious…thought. A gift you can be happy to return.
It’s true. Smile and the whole world smiles with you.
Set the energy in motion…Let it begin with you.