Christmastime, a time for peace, joy, love, fellowship, and……………………STRESS!
You spent countless afternoons decorating the house, winding holly around the banister, putting delicate, colourful bobbles on your tree, setting up the manger in it’s usual corner, baking cookies and mince pies, you are hot and tired but satisfied that the house is ready, but haven’t you forgotten something……THE PUPPY in the house or the NEW KITTEN !!!
You have been so absorbed with the yuletide and holiday preparations that you temporarily forgot “Godzilla Jr” lurking within the sweet, innocent and adorable persona of your puppy or kitten curled up innocently on the floor watching you. Watching me you say? No, they are sleeping! WRONG! You are been observed and careful commando type plans are being secretly made behind those innocent yawns and sighs. The entire house preparation has been fascinating and enticing, the frolic that can and will take place, unless you take precautions, are unparalled even at
My delightful and “angelic” pets just loved the idea of getting into the wrapping paper; it makes wonderful noises when being rolled on and then crinkles into a nice mushy mess on the floor when chewed. Once the paper becomes less entertaining, there were always the pile of brightly wrapped gifts on the floor (exactly where you pet keeps HIS toys!) Yea, that say to themselves….”why is Mummy screaming?”, your little bundle of fur cannot understand your distress over something that is clearly his as you so thoughtfully left it on the floor for him, and after all that is where he always has HIS things, the humans usually put their stuff on a table or in a cupboard, right.
Secondly, how very thoughtful of their human to bring a tree into the house, thinks your pet: “yes,” thinks the puppy, “I no longer have to go outside to lift my leg”, “after all that is what I usually do to trees”. “Yea”, thinks the kitten “A tree to climb up in and all those brightly coloured toys, just like the rolly ones they usually buy me”. See this is what the pets have been thinking the last couple of weeks…It really makes good sense that they feel that you have provided these new bright and coloured toys for him over the holiday season. It is only the very smartest of pets that actually know that it IS Christmas. What they do know is that there is lots of activity, new attractive stuff, noise, excitement, guests….and he also just might be being ignored! When a pet feels left out he does things to get attention, even negative attention is better than no attention at all, so beware!
Remember your friend, new or old; they need to be reassured that you still love them even if you do not have as much time as usual. When the front door closes behind you, you go out to party, they stay home alone and they get lonely and board. My grandmother used to say that the devil find work for idle hands, in this case it is most definitely idle paws.
Sometimes we can kill our pets with kindness. We are getting all this exotic food and candy in the house and feel the need to share it with them. WRONG. Candy is not good for them, sugar is not good for them, chocolates can kill dogs, and turkey can make your pet sick. If you want to treat them, then give them a treat appropriate to what kind of animal they are. As wonderful, intelligent, sweet and smart they are, they are not HUMANS.
So we got through Christmas without too many disasters (watch for Buddy’s Story next week for his latest brush with disaster) and now it’s New Year’s Eve we have to worry about. FIREWORKS ! That can throw the most stable of dogs into a flap. If you are going out try and put them in a room where they feel safe and comfortable, leave then toys and water and a beach towel or something that you have touched so that they can smell you ( very reassuring!). Do not leave them outside where they could “bolt” get out unexpectedly and they run away in a panic. You do not want to start the new year with a heart break and a lost pet.
The new Year celebrations go on late, but your pet still goes to sleep at the same time and still expects you to let him or her out at the usual time, you can’t shush him and then get cross if an accident happens, factor in that they still need their “walkies” in the morning. You can buy a little time by making sure that they do something when you come home and before you flop into bed ! Either way they still need you attention at New Year’s Eve, like they do every day of the year…..
I have received many cards from all over the world and many people are reading these articles in places like
, all over the States,
! Thank you all and a very Happy 2008 from Me and my menagerie, especially Buddy, whose latest update will be next week!
About the author:
Kim Aranha grew up in the Berry Islands with her first dog, a beloved potcake named “Friendly” (who was anything but!). First educated at home, and then in boarding school in Switzerland, Kim moved to Rome, Italy in 1974 to pursue a career in the dramatic arts and ended up working as an interpreter. She moved back to The Bahamas in 1980, and now lives in Nassau with her husband Paul, and their two teenaged sons. Kim has 4 dogs, 5 fish (1 Beta, 4 Goldfish), 10 turtles (6 babies, 4 adolescents), 1 Asian box turtle and 4 Budgerigars. Her idea of relaxing is being home to take care of all her pets. Kim is a member of the board of the Bahamas Humane Society. Kim can be contacted at