Spring is Officially Here – And so are the Fleas!

We are all enjoying the longer days and the warmer spring weather.. However, in addition to the welcome showers, spring also brings some unwelcome guests that should be of concern to pet caregivers. As outside temperatures and humidity rise, the onslaught of mosquitoes, fleas and ticks begin. It is important to be conscientious about flea and tick prevention because these pests are more than itchy annoyances to your dog. Both fleas and ticks can transmit other parasites and diseases, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and flea allergy dermatitis.

The best way to deal with fleas to prevent them! According to Dr. Michael Dryden, a leading expert on fleas, preventing flea infestation is one of the most important things pet caregivers can do for their pet. “For some reason,” asserts Dr. Dryden, “most people tend to react to fleas AFTER the fact. They seem to treat pets when they see fleas, then stop once the problem seems to be resolved.” Not a good idea. That philosophy only results in a frustrating ongoing cycle of re-infestation. We encourage responsible pet caregivers to use preventative treatment all year round! An even more serious parasite than fleas and ticks is heartworm which can seriously damage your dog’s heart. Spread by the bite of a mosquito, adult heartworms settle inside the heart and lungs, and slowly strangle these organs until they cease to function properly.

Many over-the-counter flea, tick and mosquito control products can be purchased at pet stores and on the internet. However, all products are NOT equal. If they are misused, they can sicken or even kill your pet. We urge you to talk with your veterinarian about the best preventative treatment for your four-legged companion. Parasites are a medical problem and it is wiser to spend a little time, energy and money preventing a medical problem rather than playing catch up to cure an existing one!

With the continual pet food recalls, more pet caregivers are making homemade food for their furbabies. The TLC has a Canine Recipe Book and a favorite recipe is Poultry Loaf. Served on top of their dry food, dogs snarf it down with intense concentration. For those of you who don’t have the TLC Canine Cookbook, here’s the recipe for Poultry Loaf (and if you would like a copy the cook book, just contact us):

  • 1 lb. ground chicken or turkey
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons wheat germ
  • ½ cup chopped carrots.

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Put into a lightly greased loaf pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for an hour( or until done) Crumble into pieces and serve over dry dog food. Freeze in small portions for later use.

The Violence Connection

We are appalled at almost daily reports of violence and abuse, and cannot comprehend how these horrendous things can happen in “nice neighborhoods” and to “nice people”. A recent news report documents a young man torturing, starving , and crushing the skull of his own dog. His lawyer convinced the judge that he “really was a nice guy” and was given only 30 days in jail. .

Animal abuse often indicates the existence of a deeper problem. The line separating an animal abuser from someone capable of committing human abuse is much finer than most of us care to consider. It can be viewed as an excellent predictor of other abusive behaviors, and children who abuse animals often live in abusive situations, and may be at risk of “graduating” to violence directed at humans. Serial killers almost all have histories of abusing animals. Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Albert DeSalvo, the Boston Stranger all committed heinous acts of animal cruelty prior to killing their human victims. The Columbine school killings were carried out by teenagers who “graduated” from torturing small animals to slaughtering humans.

For families suffering from domestic abuse, the threat of abuse against companion animals is often used to keep the victims silent. Research by Frank Ascione, a psychologist at Utah University, indicates that more than two-thirds of women who sought safety at shelters reported that their pets had been threatened, injured, or killed by their abusers, and that about 88 percent of pets living in households with domestic abuse were eventually either abused or killed. There is legitimate evidence that individuals involved in violent acts against animals present a danger to the public that must be addressed. Intentional animal cruelty is often seen in association with other serious crimes including drug offenses, gang activity, weapons violations, sexual assault, and domestic violence, and can be one of the most visible parts of a history of aggressive or antisocial behavior.

We need to realize that shrugging off cruelty to animals as a minor offense is like ignoring a ticking time bomb. Certainly not all children who hurt animals go on to commit major crimes; some young children go through a stage which they may hurt small creatures, but experts stress that educators, parents, and other adults should firmly intervene at these times, teaching the child about boundaries and the importance of respecting animals. Early implementation of prevention and treatment strategies may break the cycle of violence , and needs to be addressed by the entire community—churches, schools, law enforcement, and the judicial system, to make sure that children don’t grow up thinking violence is okay. Anthropologist Margaret Mead insisted that, “One of the most dangerous things that can happen to a child is to torture or kill an animal and get away with it.” It is important to recognize that abuse to animals is unacceptable and endangers everyone. Children (and adults ) should be taught to care for and respect animals.

What can you do?

  • Urge your law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, judges, and schools to take cruelty to animals seriously. Those charged with protecting our communities and animals need to send a strong message that violence against animal is unacceptable. Learn more about Iowa’s animal abuse laws and advocate for appropriate legislation.
  • Be aware of signs of neglect or abuse in children and animals, and report suspected crimes to authorities. Take children seriously if they report that animals are being neglected or mistreated. Often children won’t talk about their own suffering, but will talk about an animal’s.
  • Never ignore even minor acts of cruelty. The cycle of abuse can be broken IF caring and concerned people have the courage and intelligence to act.

While it is sadly true that there is a frightening violence connection, it is equally true that there is a compassion connection. A kind person is a kind person is a kind person—kind to children, kind to the elderly, kind to animals. If we concentrate on a cycle of compassion rather than violence, we can make a difference.

Never doubt that a small group of concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has!—another quote by Margaret Mead.

 

Winter Time Blues

We are still experiencing very cold winter weather in this area, and driving around town on errands last week, I was saddened by the number of shivering dogs left outside. Responsible pet owners do NOT leave their dogs outside in the cold. Windchill factors make days even colder than actual temperature readings. If you absolutely refuse to let your dog into the house, at least fix up a warm corner in the basement or garage. Fix a bed to provide a barrier from cold floors, and place it away from drafts. Especially useful for older pets and pets with thin coats are the specially made-for-dogs heating pads (with chew resistant cords).

Frozen water is another common problem in this area. It is absolutely essential that pets have fresh water available at all times. Heated waterers are available at reasonable cost and should be provided if there is a danger of freezing. I often hear pet owners say that their dogs eat snow. Responsible pet owners realize that water is necessary for all body functions from walking to sleeping and that snow does not provide adequate water. As a general rule, a normal, healthy pet’s daily water needs are about 2 ½ times the amount of dry food he is given. For example, if your dog eats 2 lbs. of dry food, he should drink 5 pints—almost two-thirds of a gallon – of water. There should always be clean, fresh water available for your pet.

Dogs need regular exercise, but excursions outside in freezing weather need to be brief. Pets are sensitive to the cold—you can’t take your pet’s temperature by touching her nose, but you can see if she is shivering. If she is shivering, she is cold. There are a number of good dog coats and sweaters available. Choose a coat for warmth, not for style—and make sure it is an easy on-easy off garment.

Never let your dog off the leash in snowy, icy weather. Dogs can lose their scent in snow and ice, and can become lost. They may panic in a blizzard and run away. More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season.

Tying them outside in any weather for extended periods of time is cruel and inhumane, but in this cold weather, it can be fatal. If you see animal neglect, it is your responsibility to take action. Report an animal in trouble immediately. In this weather, a puppy will die if left out in the elements. We have already received several reports of dogs tied outside shivering. We cannot save all of them, but we can take actions to prevent neglect in our own neighborhoods. I repeat a quote by Rabbi Kenneth Segel: “We must not become so hardened to the plight of animals that we begin to accept it. If we are insensitive to the suffering of animals, we are on the road to becoming cruel and inhumane with people.”

Winter: Keep Your Dogs Cozy and Safe as the Temps Drop!

Winter has definitely arrived, and it is EXTREMELY cold this year in Iowa, with snow already piled high in many places. Even though we enjoy looking at the “Winter Wonderland”, this season of freezing temperatures and numbing wetness poses many dangers for our four footed companions. Please follow some common sense rules to help your pets remain happy and healthy during these cold months.

  • Do NOT leave dogs outdoors when the temperature drops. I receive regular calls regarding dogs tied outside during this cold winter weather. We discourage tethering dogs in any weather, but it is especially dangerous this time of year. Dogs left out in the cold too long can get frostbite and hypothermia just as humans do. Responsible dog caregivers do NOT leave their dogs outside in the cold. While dogs may possess some natural protection against winter weather, Iowa’s variety of bitter elements can jeopardize any pet’s health and safety. Even with temps above freezing, the wind chill can still threaten a pet’s life. If you don’t want a dog in the main part of your house, surely there is a heated area that could be kid-gated where he could spend his day in warm comfort. If he has behavioral problems, the solution is not to banish him to the back yard, but to spend time training him. Dogs are usually willing to comply to house rules IF they understand what the rules are. Remember that good caregivers have good dogs! If you absolutely refuse to let your dog into the house, at least fix up a warm corner on the porch, basement, or garage. Use plenty of blankets to provide a barrier from cold floors, and provide him a warm, cozy “den”. There are many small, safe heaters that can be used to warm his den. (Don’t keep pets in unheated areas!)
  • A little extra food is usually recommended in cold weather, and fresh water is an absolute necessity…ice and snow are NOT acceptable substitutes. Your dog needs clean, fresh water available at all times. He will also appreciate a few extra chew toys and other playthings so he isn’t tempted to turn to the furniture or your shoes out of boredom!
  • Shelters are already getting complaints about Christmas puppies. Puppies do not tolerate the cold well, and we admit that it is difficult to housetrain a puppy during the winter. If you recall, we strongly advised against giving puppies as Christmas gifts, but if you did get one, it is now your responsibility to train him. Your dog may feel it’s more convenient to use the floor or carpet, but you can curb this with a regular outdoor comfort-station schedule in which you GO OUT WITH him first thing in the morning, several times during the day, and last thing at night. You made a commitment (and it isn’t the dog’s fault that the weather is lousy!)
  • If you see an animal shivering out in the cold, don’t just ignore him. Perhaps his caregiver doesn’t even realize the dangers, and ignorance is curable by education. Avoid being belligerent or accusatory, but politely explain the dangers. If the friendly approach is unsuccessful, notify the authorities. It is Iowa law that animals be provided ADEQUATE shelter, fresh water (not ice) and fresh food. When you report to the animal control authorities, it is important that you calmly, coherently give brief, specific facts. Exact address of the dog is needed, and it is best to have written documentation of the problem. The authorities are very busy, so sometimes you need to be persistent. If the situation does not improve, report again…and again…and again. A dog’s life may depend on your intervention.

AS I LAY DYING is an observation shared by Patti Ragsdale which I was asked to repeat.

As I lay dying in a pile of ice and snow, I felt a hand touch my matted coat, and saw an angel looking down at me. As gentle hands stroked my fur, I wondered if I had died, released from the never ending agony of chains, neglect, and loneliness. The human angel gently lifted me from the cold frozen ground, bathed my skinny, dirty, body and treated all the wounds and sores.

Her soft touch, kind word, and warm blanket overshadowed the years of suffering when no one cared.

I am no longer lonely and frightened. I am loved.

Sadie’s Valentine Angel

SADIE’S VALENTINE ANGEL

Kathleene Baker has allowed us to share a favorite Valentine’s Day memory, based on an event in her life that she will never forget.

“I was finishing lunch at our local restaurant, when a scruffy, poorly dressed fellow entered and approached the clerk at the counter, apparently asking for some sort of handout. When speaking, he glanced out the front window several times, which motivated me to do the same. He wasn’t alone. He had two companions outside, one a terribly thin dog.

After a few minutes, the man at the table next to mine got up and walked to the counter. “I want to order a couple big broiled chicken breasts for that poor dog out there, and bag up a couple of to-go meals for the dog’s owners.” The chicken was ready before the meals, and the stranger grabbed the chicken and headed outdoors. Being curious, I hustled outside and lingered by my car. The aroma of chicken had the dog’s tail wagging…actually her entire body wagged.

Her new- found friend offered small bites while stroking her lackluster, drab coat. “Her name is Sadie,” said the caregiver. “She’s a real good dog…We found her roaming the streets, and she just kind of took to us. My name is Ed. The guy inside is my brother, Charles.”

Sadie was obviously in need of the chicken she was smelling…I wondered how long it had been since she had enjoyed a full tummy. Then out walked Charles with the to-go meats, and both men got teary-eyed as they expressed thanks. “You know we love Sadie. She is all we have and we try our best to care for her. You know, we took her from the animal shelter because she was pregnant when she found us. They said they would find homes for the puppies, but Sadie was old and wasn’t likely to be adopted. We couldn’t stand to think they might put her down, so we went back and got her. We are a family.”

The generous stranger looked at them, and said, “I’ll make a deal with you. When you can’t feed Sadie, she will have a running tab at this café. All you need to do is tell them that Sadie needs a chicken breast. “ He pulled a card from his pocket, “and I know the managers at the shelter down the street that offers aid to both men and their pets. You go down and give them this card, okay?”

Tears welled up in the eyes of both men, as they knelt and wrapped their arms around the skinny old dog. “And,” continued the stranger, “perhaps they can help you until you get on your feet again.. I will be getting reports from the folks who work there, They’ll be watching out for all three of you.”

I climbed into my car and dried my eyes as I watched the benefactor walk back inside, where, through the window, I good see him speaking with the manager, who was nodding his head, and shaking hands with Sadie’s Valentine Angel.

May the spirit of love and compassion make you someone’s Valentine angel.

Too Cold for Man or Beast

Bitterly cold temperatures, frigid winds, and major snow storms have hit us hard in Iowa. As tough as this weather is on humans, it can be even tougher on our pets. Stephanie Shain of HSUS stresses that if it is too cold for you to be outdoors, it is too cold for your animals. “Just because they have fur coats doesn’t mean that they can endure cold weather. If you are uncomfortable, so are they. NO dog should be kept outside when the temperatures drop below freezing. Animals are vulnerable to frostbite and hypothermia in less than an hour of exposure.” It is important to keep our four-footed friends warm and safe, by following a few common sense suggestions.

  • Walks should be brief, and in frigid weather limited to “taking care of outside business.”
  • Dogs should NEVER be left outdoors or in unheated areas.
  • Salt used on icy roads and sidewalks can cause a dog’s pads to become dry, cracked, and painfully sore. Dogs can also get ice stuck between their toes, which can cause significant discomfort and sometimes, frostbite. Cleaning your pet’s paws is imperative when he comes in from a walk outside. Carefully snip the tufts of hair between your dog’s toes, to help prevent ice balls from forming. Add a layer of protection to his footpads before heading out. A thin layer of aloe or petroleum jelly provides a protective layer and are safe, even if your dog licks his feet. The oil helps keep ice and snow from clumping in between the toes.
  • Give your dog a little extra food during cold weather. They need more energy in the winter than they do in the summer.
  • When refilling your car’s radiator, be sure to clean up any spilled antifreeze. Ethylene glycol has a sweet taste that appeals to dogs. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze (and other household chemicals) out of reach. Better yet, use antifreeze-coolant made with propylene glycol. It costs a little more, but is not so toxic to pets and children.
  • If it is necessary to bathe a dog in winter, turn up the heat in your home, keep baths short, dry him quickly, and keep him warm until totally dry.
  • Prevent static electricity and dry skin by operating a humidifier. The forced dry air that heats our homes tends to cause humans to get chapped lips and dry hands, and also causes dogs’ coats to dry out and become itchy. A humidifier is beneficial for the entire household.
  • Use space heaters with caution. These auxiliary heat sources can cause burns or even house fires if bumped over. There are quartz infrared portable heaters with much better safety records than most portable heaters, and they produce safe, clean, economical heat. Do some careful research before you purchase one!
  • Please get involved if you see a neglected animal. Urge people to bring their dogs inside. If you meet with resistance, alert the authorities. Concerned neighbors are often the only hope for these poor animals.

 

Winter: Our Weather is Frightful!

Winter has definitely arrived, and it is EXTREMELY cold this year in Iowa, with snow already piled high in many places. Even though we enjoy looking at the “Winter Wonderland”, this season of freezing temperatures and numbing wetness poses many dangers for our four footed companions. Please follow some common sense rules to help your pets remain happy and healthy during these cold months.

  • Do NOT leave dogs outdoors when the temperature drops. I receive regular calls regarding dogs tied outside during this cold winter weather. We discourage tethering dogs in any weather, but it is especially dangerous this time of year. Dogs left out in the cold too long can get frostbite and hypothermia just as humans do. Responsible dog caregivers do NOT leave their dogs outside in the cold. While dogs may possess some natural protection against winter weather, Iowa’s variety of bitter elements can jeopardize any pet’s health and safety. Even with temps above freezing, the wind chill can still threaten a pet’s life. If you don’t want a dog in the main part of your house, surely there is a heated area that could be kid-gated where he could spend his day in warm comfort. If he has behavioral problems, the solution is not to banish him to the back yard, but to spend time training him. Dogs are usually willing to comply to house rules IF they understand what the rules are. Remember that good caregivers have good dogs! If you absolutely refuse to let your dog into the house, at least fix up a warm corner on the porch, basement, or garage, use plenty of blankets to provide a barrier from cold floors, and provide him a warm, cozy “den”. There are many small, safe heaters that can be used to warm his den. (Don’t keep pets in unheated areas!)
  • A little extra food is usually recommended in cold weather, and fresh water is an absolute necessity…ice and snow are NOT acceptable substitutes. Your dog needs clean, fresh water available at all times. He will also appreciate a few extra chew toys and other playthings so he isn’t tempted to turn to the furniture or your shoes out of boredom!
  • Shelters are already getting complaints about Christmas puppies. Puppies do not tolerate the cold well, and we admit that it is difficult to house train a puppy during the winter. If you recall, we strongly advised against giving puppies as Christmas gifts, but if you did get one, it is now your responsibility to train him. Your dog may feel it’s more convenient to use the floor or carpet, but you can curb this with a regular outdoor comfort-station schedule in which you GO OUT WITH him first thing in the morning, several times during the day, and last thing at night. You made a commitment (and it isn’t the dog’s fault that the weather is lousy!)
  • If you see an animal shivering out in the cold, don’t just ignore him. Perhaps his caregiver doesn’t even realize the dangers, and ignorance is curable by education. Avoid being belligerent or accusatory, but politely explain the dangers. If the friendly approach is unsuccessful, notify the authorities. It is Iowa law that animals be provided ADEQUATE shelter, fresh water (not ice) and fresh food. When you report to the animal control authorities, it is important that you calmly, coherently give brief, specific facts. Exact address of the dog is needed, and it is best to have written documentation of the problem. The authorities are very busy, so sometimes you need to be persistent. If the situation does not improve, report again…and again…and again. A dog’s life may depend on your intervention.

AS I LAY DYING is an observation shared by Patti Ragsdale which I was asked to repeat.

As I lay dying in a pile of ice and snow, I felt a hand touch my matted coat, and saw an angel looking down at me.

As gentle hands stroked my fur, I wondered if I had died, released from the never ending agony of chains, neglect, and loneliness.

The human angel gently lifted me from the cold frozen ground, bathed my skinny, dirty, body and treated all the wounds and sores.

Her soft touch, kind word, and warm blanket overshadowed the years of suffering when no one cared.

I am no longer lonely and frightened. I am loved.

It’s No Happy New Year for Many Dogs

Martin Luther King said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

If you drive around your neighborhood, you will see many chained up dogs shivering in the cold. Winter weather means extra hardship for ‘backyard” dogs, and, as responsible pet caregivers, we acknowledge that it is inhumane treatment, but we seem to just look the other way and are silent. These dogs suffer from frostbite, exposure, and dehydration, and often have nowhere to go to escape the cold and snow. Why do so many dogs end up at the end of a chain? There are many excuses. Animals are still considered property in the eyes of the law, and some caregivers view their dogs as “possessions” to do with as they please. Others just shrug and say that people have always kept dogs that way. Some simply don’t want the animal in the house and resort to a chain to prevent him from running away. Most have tired of the responsibility of adequately caring for a dog or are not willing to deal with a behavior problem, and have simply relegated him to the outdoors—tied or penned up. There are thousands of chained dogs in this country who exist with deprivation and loneliness. Let’s begin the New Year by breaking our silence about all the chained and penned up dogs. Lori Oswald tells this true story of a backyard dog.

Donovan was not a special dog. He never pulled a child from in front of an oncoming car; he didn’t win a ribbon in a dog show; he was quite an ordinary dog. His owners could be considered quite ordinary too…a nice family with two children, who decided fourteen years earlier to get a dog. A dog would be fun. So one day, perhaps at a shopping center giveaway, or maybe from the pet section of the local ads, they found Donovan, and brought him home. At first the kids were excited, but the newness soon wore off. Dad build a small house and they staked him outside with a chain attached to it, agreeing that he would be “just fine” outside. I never met Donovan. Although I regularly visited his house, I never even knew he existed. He lived 24/7 on a six foot chain, digging holes for entertainment, watching as life passed him by. Mom assured everyone that he was “well cared for.” For 14 years Donovan lived out back on his chain, hungering for a little attention and affection. One day he finally escaped his little world on a chain and holes and dog house—he died. Donovan, unfortunately, is not a fictional character. Neither are his owners. They have been looking around for another dog. “We sure miss Donovan,” they lament.

How many Donovans are in your neighborhood? It’s no Happy New Year for dogs on chains, and it is up to us to break our silence and say “NO! It is not okay to allow dogs to be tethered for extended periods of time.” A dog is a pack animal and needs to be treated as part of the family.

 

A New Year. A Fresh Start

Most of us have made New Year’s lists of good intentions…which we usually quickly forget.   We really do plan to eat healthier, exercise more, and clean out our closets.   Overworked, overstressed, and always in a hurry, we seem to regret the past and worry about the future, rather than savoring the moment.   There is a lesson to be learned from our four-footed friends as legendary Field And Stream writer Gene Hill says in his piece, “Just My Dog”:

He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds.  He has told me a thousand times that I am his reason for being, by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile, by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him.  (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.)  When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive.  When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile.  When I am happy, he is joy unbounded.  When I am a fool, he enjoys it; when I succeed, he brags.  Without him, I am only a man.   With him, I am all-powerful.  He has taught me so much, including the meaning of devotion.  With him, I know a secret comfort and private peace.  He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant.  His head on my knee can heal my human hurts.  His presence by my side is protection against my fears.  He has promised to wait for me…whenever…wherever…just in case I need him.  And I expect I will, as I always have.

Here are a few resolutions that would benefit your dog;

*Daily walks are good for both you and your dog.  Don’t walk the same path every day; canines need to smell  new scents, mark their territory, and discover new things.  It also gives you the opportunity to clear your own head, and forget your schedule, your cell phones and all the activities of the day.   Focus on the moment.

*Many dogs need a professional groomer’s touch once in a while, but you can certainly do regular brushing and maintenance.   If your dog smells bad, it’s time for a bath.  Hopefully you have access to a deep sink, or even a tub, and a place to keep shampoos, conditioners, combs clippers, and towels.

*A scrambled egg is a healthy addition to your pet’s diet…raw carrots are always a good treat.  Forget the unhealthy, commercial treats.  Here’s an easy-to-make recipe for homemade biscuits:

Mix 1 egg,  ½ cup of water, 2 ½ cups flour, ½ cup non-fat dry milk powder, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 5 tablespoons of margarine.  Knead the mixture until the dough forms a ball.  Pinch off small pieces, and place on lightly greased cookie sheet.   Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Dogs love to be included as family, as Donna Hughes explains:

You’re going to the mailbox to drop some letters there……It won’t take long; it’s no big deal.

                Hey, I know—I’ll come too.

                You’re filling up the feeders for the birds in the yard; you don’t need help…it isn’t hard,

                But why don’t I come too?

                You’re driving to Gramma’s house for New Year’s Day…the roads are jammed; the traffic crazy.

                Don’t worry…I’ll come too.

                Your cold is getting worse, and you are sneezing up a storm…

                That cough is bad; you need some rest….to bed now; I’ll come too.

Another quote by Gene Hill:  No one can fully understand the meaning of love unless he is owned by a dog!    A dog can show you more honest affection with a flick of his tail  than a man can gather through a lifetime of handshakes.

Let’s resolve to make this the very best year ever, filled with peace, love, and joy for both the four-footed and two-footed.

HAPPY NEW YEAR.

I’ll Always Be With You

I’LL ALWAYS BE WITH YOU.

Hopefully, all of you dog lovers are also friends with Winnie the Pooh …

not a dog but with the same endearing characteristics of dogs.

“Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too” is truly a golden oldie…

a 1991 Christmas television special based on the Disney television series,

and TV Guide ranked the special number 6 on its l0 Best Family Holiday Specials list.

Two days before Christmas, Christopher Robin writes a letter to Santa Claus

, asking for a few presents, and sends the letter off into the wind, but on Christmas Eve,

since Winnie the Pooh did not ask for anything for himself, they retrieve the letter,

and rewrite it to include Pooh’s present, a pot of honey.

They cast the letter intothe wind again, but the wind shifts,

and they are afraid that Santa will never receive the letter.

Pooh decides that they must take things into their own hands

to make sure gifts are delivered.

Pooh sneaks out and delivers Tigger, Rabbit, and Eeyore

a super-bouncer barrel, a bug sprayer, and a mobile home, respectively,

or rather handmade versions of the said items that break apart upon use.

Pooh finally decides to try to deliver the letter to Santa himself,

telling the gang that it would be worth missing Christmas

if he could “bring Christmas” to them. He does not get far, though

, as the wind suddenly takes the letter, so he gives up. At the Christmas tree,

Pooh’s friends bemoan that spending time with him at Christmas

is more important than getting any gifts, just as Pooh reunites with them.

Christopher Robin shows up on his new sled and brings them all the gifts

they had originally asked for. They celebrate together.

One of my very favorite Pooh quotes is “If there is ever a tomorrow

when we’re not together, there is something you must always remember….

you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem,

and smarter than you think….but the most important thing is,

even if we’re apart, I’ll always be with you.”