The arrival of the New Year brings the inevitable resolutions. We are all familiar with the promises to improve our lives and the lives of our dogs in the coming year, so perhaps we can all benefit from a few words of wisdom for 2015:
- Walk with your dog every day, smiling. Emulate your dog…..greet everyone you meet with honest enthusiasm.
- Live with the 3 E’s: energy, enthusiasm, and empathy.
- Read some books on dog training: then follow through with the suggestions.
- Listen to quiet, relaxing music every day…it is nourishment for your soul and most dog enjoy it too.
- Spend more time with your family and your dog than you did last year. Sharing our lives with others is a privilege, and it is humans’ responsibility to provide proper care and attention those dependent upon us.
- Put together a pet first aid kit and a disaster kit so that in case of an emergency, you are prepared. If you have a kit, be sure to update it on a regular basis.
- Eliminate clutter…in your house…in your office. In your mind…and clean out the dog toy box and donate some of the toys he never plays with to a dog that doesn’t have any toys.
- Never pass up an opportunity to help an animal in need. Chained animals, injured animals, lost and wandering pets—all of these animals need intervention. Removing them from dangerous situations may be the difference between life and death for them. Animals can’t dial 911 or ask for help; they are at the mercy of humans, so be prepared and willing to help an animal in need.
- Support the efforts of local shelters or rescue groups. If you can’t adopt, volunteer to transport animals for a rescue group or give financial support to struggling organizations. Animal rescue is a 24/7 operation and groups need as much help as they can get—both physically and financially.
- Donate supplies. Call to find out specific needs, but most groups need blankets, paper towels, and toys, and many shelters have website posts with “wish lists” of the most-needed items.
- Never buy pet supplies from stores that sell puppies – you will be supporting puppy mills. Regardless of what they tell you, almost ALL stores that sell puppies are supplied by puppy mills.
- Stay informed. Join animal welfare groups to keep you updated on current legislation. Write to your congressmen, encouraging them to support better laws to protect our companion animals.
- Recognize that you can pass through another year, just coasting on cruise control, or as Pablo says, “You can step out of your comfort zone, trying things you have never done before and make 2015 the year that you elevate from where you are and soar high…Make it happen.
Walt Zientek offers this prayer for the New Year:
I pray for every dog searching through alleys and trashcans for breakfast, a forever home with plenty of food and love.
For every dog who spends his nights chained or isolated in the back yard, a soft, warm bed with a human nearby.
For every “Christmas pup” that was given, a tolerant, caring person who realizes that a dog is forever, and must not be abandoned, no matter what.
For every ailing pet, enough money for the caregiver to pay bills, and a skilled veterinarian to make him well.
For every lost dog, a clear, safe road, and well-marked path to lead her home.
For every old and tired friend, a warm fire and soft bed to ease the aches and pains.
For every dog who has passed on, a moment when he is remembered, and missed.
Life is beautiful, and this year offers wonderful opportunities to make it the best year ever.