Why Pets Aren’t Good Presents

This goes without saying, but you can never say it too often because it happens every year: don’t give pets as presents.  If you’re thinking about gifting a pet to someone you love this year, consider very carefully.  Pets are lifelong commitments and responsibilities, not fun presents. Now, I can think of one context in which it could be OK to give a pet for a present: if the person receiving asked for it, knew that’s what they were getting, and understood the responsibilities involved.  That means in most cases, it’s not appropriate to get pets as gifts for children: … Continue reading

Preparing Pets For A New Baby

As you prepare for the arrival of your baby, it is important to make sure that others in your family are also prepared to welcome the new arrival. Pets are an important part of many families, and the arrival of a new baby is a big adjustment for them. In order to keep both the human and animal members of your household happy and safe, check out these tips for preparing your pet for a new baby. It can be helpful to think of your dog or cat as an older child who, up until now, was your only child. … Continue reading

How to Feed Pills to Pets

Let’s continue with the recent theme I’ve had of posting, in between stories about my new cat Chrestomanci, articles about pet health and how to manage it. I’ll start today’s topic with a story. One summer when I was a teenager my cat Boots contracted food poisoning. We took him to the vet, who gave us some pills for him. We had problems feeding him the pills. None of us had any experience doing so, and though we got those capsules into his mouth all right, he was a master at making us think he’d ingested them and then spitting … Continue reading

Oh Baby! Celebrating and Still Waiting

He’s finally here. The baby Marissa Jaret Winokur never thought she would get to carry in her own arms has arrived via surrogate mother. The “Dancing with the Stars” contestant, who won over the hearts of millions of fans during last season’s run on the hit reality TV show, is finally a mother. Winokur and her husband, comedy writer Judah Miller, just announced the arrival of their first child, son Zev Isaac Miller. The baby boy was reportedly born on Tuesday and Winokur and Miller helped deliver him. According to reports, Zev (the name means “wolf” in Hebrew) weighed 8 … Continue reading

New Puppy: What’s in a Name?

My sister-in-law just bought a beautiful, cuddly and absolutely adorable 7-week-old golden retriever puppy for my nephew. This is a momentous occasion in his life because he’s wanted a dog for as long as he could say dog. He loves to play with ours (we have five of them), but they have never been in a position to have a dog before. Today was a big day for them and what ended up amusing me was the biggest problem that they had was what to name the puppy. Agonizing Over a Name Naming a child is something parents can spend … Continue reading

Preparing Your Pets for the New Baby

Sibling rivalry isn’t just for the kids anymore… your pets may have a difficult time adjusting to a new baby in the house! We recently had a thread in the Pets Forum, wondering about how to introduce the family cats to the new child. To quote the author: “I have heard people suggest that we decrease our attention of the cats before the baby comes, but I’m hoping there is another way.” I’m actually going to suggest the exact opposite. You don’t want to give your family pets less attention; in fact, you may want to give them a different … Continue reading

A Breastfeeding Story – Part 2

When I became pregnant with my second son, Blake, I knew that I planned to breastfeed him after he was born. After my experience with breastfeeding Dylan, I knew that there could be some bumps in the road as we began our breastfeeding relationship. Shortly before Blake was born, I developed preeclampsia. I knew that I would have to be on the same medications during labor and delivery that I had been on when Dylan was born. What I did not expect was that I would end up with a cesarean birth. When I was able to hold Blake, he … Continue reading

Pregnancy and Heartburn

One of the most common pregnancy – related discomforts is heartburn. About half of all pregnant women experience heartburn to some degree during their pregnancies. I experienced it rather severely during both pregnancies. In fact, when I was pregnant with Blake (who is now almost five months old), I started having heartburn a few weeks before I even suspected that I was pregnant. One day, I found myself reaching for the Tums that I had not used since my first pregnancy. I blamed it on the pepperoni pizza that I had just eaten, and I figured that all of the … Continue reading

What To Put In An Emergency Bag

Yet another fire breaks out in Utah. It seems that every day there is at least one. It’s starting to get really scary and there doesn’t seem to be any rain in sight. It has been 35 days since we have had any measurable rain. The forecast says we may get some thunderstorms Thursday. In most areas that would be a relief, usually, in Utah, thunderstorms mean just lots of dry lightning. Add that to the already dry conditions and we are looking at even more fires. I’ve written several posts about being prepared for emergencies but that was always … Continue reading

Feline Body Language, Part 2

Today I’m concluding my look at the meaning of feline body language and noises, as set out by animal behavior specialist Amy Shojai. The rest of Shojai’s list covers actual body language as opposed to noises. First I’ll describe an upset, aggressive cat using her parameters, then a relaxed, happy cat. Scared cats arch their backs to look larger, whereas defensive cats try to shrink into themselves. Ears flicking back and forth mean agitation, ears directed sideways indicate unease, and ears curled tightly towards the head denote that the cat’s preparing itself to attack. The fur bunches and stands up … Continue reading