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Pet Community News

Fuzzy Balm: Soul Love for Pets & Seniors

Fuzzy Balm
Soul Love for Pets & Seniors
By Mary Watterson, Fort Collins Pet Sitter, Dog Walker & Trail Guide


So Spring has sprung, or is definitely springing, here in Fort Collins, CO. Song birds are back in full force singing and winging about, tulips are pushing up their brilliant faces toward the sun, and Old Man Winter is packing his bags and heading South.  

And what could be more illustrative of the new life that Spring brings than the new life a loving pet can give to a senior – or vice versa? You only need a pulse to realize that when you’re around a soft, snuggly dog or cat, you smile on the inside.  As that brilliant, life-philosopher Charles M. Schultz once observed: “Happiness is a warm puppy.”  In fact, pet ownership is so beneficial, it may actually help seniors live longer, healthier and more fulfilled lives!

Indeed, the Eden Alternative, a residential home for seniors that recognizes the importance of the human/pet bond, is home to a menagerie of animals. They not only have dogs, cats, a private aviary, rabbits and chickens, they boast a 15 percent lower mortality rate for their residents, compared to traditional nursing homes. Likewise, research conducted in the 1990s supports the Eden model. In May of 1999, the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society published a study which showed that independent-living seniors that have pets enjoy better physical health and mental wellbeing than their sans-pet counterparts. Not only are they more active physically and socially, they cope better with the stresses of daily life.

These findings are further evidenced by an earlier study conducted in 1997, which demonstrated that senior pet owners had significantly lower blood pressure than seniors who didn’t own pets. Likewise, just petting a dog or cat for a few minutes can lower blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature.   

So just how do pets accomplish these little miracles? From increased physical wellbeing to the intangibles of having the companionship of a fuzzy friend, the ways pets positively impact our lives are almost too numerous to count. Nevertheless, there are some very practical explanations of why pets are little medical miracles.   

To begin, I smile every morning when my dog wakes me up! Her sweet little face, her warm little body all snuggled into mine, and that expectant look she gives me after she’s stretched and is ready to start her day. There’s just something about that recognition - that love and acceptance in a pet’s eyes. Clearly dogs and cats “get” what some of our human counterparts often miss. Our worth isn’t based on what we can do, how we look, or how healthy we are – our worth is intrinsic and pets love us for exactly who we are right now.

Also, the fact that pets need our loving care plays a significant role in our own wellbeing. At a time when so many seniors can sadly feel left behind and even incidental to their children’s busy lives, their pets nevertheless crucially need them. The importance of this emotional reality is almost incalculable. Pets need to be let outside, played with, fed, given fresh water, loved-up on and groomed. Furthermore, pets encourage our interaction with them throughout the day, and that physical contact has been shown to be immeasurably beneficial, starting with brain stimulation and ending with a feeling of overall wellbeing.

And all of these interactions require our physical, intellectual and emotional engagement. Getting up to let the dog out, playing with our pets or even changing the kitty litter, while all minor physical movements, nevertheless positively affect our cardiovascular system. Likewise, all that bending and stretching, all that walking and petting, keeps our joints active, limber and flexible. And that’s saying nothing about all the hours of laughter and joy, which definitely keeps our hearts young! 

Lastly, beyond pets providing companionship and physical activity, they also can act as a real support system, especially for those seniors who aren’t afforded frequent contact with family and friends. And that pet/owner bond is very real and it’s positive impact on our lives should never be underestimated. Pets depend on us! And that dependency can give seniors a real sense of purpose and meaning. Obviously, that strong emotional bond, comforting presence, empathy and acceptance that pets provide, can go a long way to combat depression - one of the most common ailments that many seniors struggle with.

So, now that we have you convinced that pet ownership is a great thing, our next article in the “Fuzzy Balm” series will look at how to choose the best pet for you, given your needs, personality and living situation.

Choice City Comedy Nite

Choice City Comedy Nite 
SIT! STAY! SPEAKEASY!
by: Mary Watterson, Fort Collins Pet Sitter, Dog Walker & Trail Guide



Join Poochy Doos, LLC in supporting Animal House Rescue by attending its 2nd Annual Choice City Comedy Nite: Sit! Stay! Speakeasy! fundraiser, April 13th from 6:30 - 10:00 at Lincoln Center, Canyon West Ballroom, 417 West Magnolia Street, Fort Collins.

This fun event will feature national and local comedians, (including Brandt Tobler as seen on Comedy Central) jazz music, heavy appetizers, cash bar, giveaways, prizes, success stories from local adopters, and of course some adorable puppies! 

This is your opportunity to give back to Animal House Rescue who has given so much to our local community and the thousands of animals they've given a second chance of life to. This is their biggest fundraiser of the year and will set the stage for their continued growth and success.  

Ticket prices are $35 in advance with discount pricing available for groups of four or ten. Prices include entry, appetizers, and hours of fun and laughter!

Need more info? Please see their website, phone Ali Eccleston: (970) 224-3647 or e-mail Ali with your questions
   


St. Cat-ricks Day

Fort Collins Cat Rescue Adoption Fair
St. Cat-rick's Day
by Mary Watterson, Fort Collins Pet Sitter, Dog Walker & Trail Guide


Fort Collins Cat Rescue & Spay/Neuter Clinic will be holding its quarterly Adoption Fair March 16th in the classroom at The Farm at Lee Martinez Park featuring adoption specials for kitties age 6 months and older.

Foster volunteers who have been taking care of the kitties will be on site to share information about the little fuzz balls, including habits, personalities, environment, diet and play. 

The adoption fee for these kitties is a very affordable $20.00. If you're interested in a more mature cat, cats 1 year and older can be adopted for $10.00. 

Their first rescue event in December was extremely successful with the adoption of 27 cats and kittens in only three hours. 

This is a great opportunity for folks to visit with kitties not normally housed and and readily available at the Shelter. With over 60 volunteers, the Shelter is able to house and care for over 150 cats, making it a very impressive organization and valuable community asset!

Be sure to come out for this fun event and show your support!

Need more info? Please check out their website or call them at: 970-484-8516! 

Shameless Cones

Shameless Cones
Rehab in Style
by Mary Watterson, Fort Collins Pet Sitter, Dog Walker & Trail Guide



Bella, being highly interested in fashion, was recently searching her Haute Couture Haunts on Twitter, when she was introduced to Shameless Cones.  
Having had to wear an appalling plastic cone herself after an accident at the pedicurists, she immediately started Following them and they soon became friends.

Shameless Cones is a family-owned business that was bright enough to ask the question: "Why do e-collars have to be so butt ugly?"  Soon afterward, their newly launched R & D Department (comprised of various and sundry dogs) came back with the answer: "They don't." 

And so they launched an e-collar business they aptly named "Shameless Cones." Bella's favorite is the Sunflower design, featured below on a very happy dog!

Why, you may ask (besides them looking so cool) are colorful e-collars a plus for your dog? Well, that again, goes back to the genius of Shameless. You see, knowing both dog behavior and dog-owner behavior, they knew that owners respond emotionally to their pets. Seeing your beloved pet in an ugly, e-collar may illicit such thoughts as: "Man, you poor pathetic dog!" or "I'm so sorry I have to do this to you!" or, worse still: "It must suck to be you!" Needless to say, they were right! Our energy translates directly to our dogs.

I guarantee if you put your dog (or cat) in one of these cool cones you'll have nothing but smiles and positive energy oozing from your body. In fact, you may even start to wag! 

We hope you support our good friends at Shameless Cones. Please visit their great website to see all of their cool products. Personally, we can't wait to see what they come up with next. Bella is hoping to see a Court Jester line. Bailey wants an NFL line...

Be sure to forward this post to your vet so they too can spread the happiness. Rehab does not have to be a bummer when you accessorize it with a Sunflower Cone!

The Yellow Dog Project

The Yellow Dog Project
Respecting a Dog's Space
By: Mary Watterson, Fort Collins Pet Sitter, Dog Walker & Trail Guide


You've heard the adage: "A picture's worth a thousand words." How about seven?

This is a great idea from The Yellow Dog Project

Please be sure and spread the news by forwarding this post to your friends and Vet's office to post!

I'm thinking a yellow poop bag would make a nice "ribbon."