NB: I apologize for the belated post! It’s crunch time at the end of the semester.
Last week at the Texas Library Association Conference, three lovely therapy dogs visited us and offered much-needed fluffy downtime. There were many discussions about how to create pet-friendly libraries and therapy dog programming for public, school, and academic libraries.
Special thanks to Cynthia and Ramona for sharing their beautiful dogs with us at TLA!
I thought I mentioned this handsome little fellow along with my Pet Pfest posts but it appears I did not! Therefore I had to remedy this posthaste. I met Myah and Michi during my usual evening volunteer shift at the Pflugerville Public Library. This happened to fall two hours after Pet Pfest ended.
Since there were so many activities at Pet Pfest, there was no way I could participate in them all. The event was mentioned in the Austin-American Statesman too! Here are additional photos that the Pflugerville Public Library released after the event. Enjoy!
The Pflugerville Public Library held its annual pet celebration – the Pet Pfest – this afternoon! Here was today’s schedule:
There was no way I could attend ALL the above activities and see all the animals, let alone pet them! Unfortunately, I did not see the Northwind Farm horses, though they do make semi-regular appearances at the library. I did, however, meet several lovely dogs and their people!
Last weekend Aaron and I visited my parents and I got my puppy fix satisfied in the form of Chiquita and Chiya. Being the lovey dog she is, Chiquita believes that no guest should sleep alone or wander the house unescorted.
Two weeks ago, I met my dear friend Evelyn’s foster dog, Lakota, during our monthly Game Night. (Sorry – I meant to get this post up earlier but grad school got in the way!) I don’t have a ton of experience with German Shepherds but I think that Lakota is a rather handsome fellow. From what Evelyn told me, he was found in a sad, emaciated state but had been quickly gaining weight in her care. He has also been neutered.
During the course of Game Night, Lakota showed everyone that he was an exceptionally GOOD DOG and very much people-focused. He knows how to “sit” on command and apparently “shake”!
He didn’t bark at all but it was obvious he was happiest sitting beside someone. (Whenever he did, he was quite the gentleman.) Throughout the evening I was rather distracted because I wanted to pet this handsome boy all the time, especially since he kept giving me big sad “PLEASE PET ME” eyes!
Don’t worry – I petted him plenty, gave him chest and belly rubs (he appears to be a bit ticklish), and can confirm that he is indeed smoochable.
Lakota is available for adoption through Austin Pets Alive! You can find more information about him here.
National Hug Your Hound Day was created by the author and canine behaviorist Ami Moore, the “Dog Whisperer of Chicago”. The holiday is observed annually on the second Sunday of September.
Photo courtesy of Pexels
National Hug Your Hound Day is about “truly observing your dog (from his point of view” in his environment and everyday life”. Like a number of other pet-themed holidays, it focuses on the happiness and health of your pet. Oh yeah, it might also be a perfect excuse to ensure your dog is sufficiently hugged!
When we humans think about our health, we think of mind, body, and spirit or heart. We strive to be healthy and find fulfillment in our lives. As responsible pet owners, we can extend that kind of thinking to our pets as well. When I say “holistic”, I’m talking about the whole, as in the mind, body, and spirit or heart of your pet.
Holistic health begins with good nutrition, physical exercise, and mental stimulation. Is your pet at a healthy weight? Does your pet get enough exercise? Do you think your pet is bored? These are only three questions to consider. As a caring and responsible pet owner, having a healthy and happy pet probably means that you’re happy for your pet too. Everyone wins.
Photo courtesy of Pexels
Here are some activities you can do today to celebrate National Holistic Pet Day:
Have an adventure. Take your dog to a new park. Arrange a playdate with a new doggy friend. Bringing your dog to new places, combined with reinforced training, help your dog to be well-socialized and more confident.
Play, play, play. Exercise can be therapeutic for pets and beneficial mentally as well as physically. By regularly playing with your pet, you strengthen pet-owner bonds, let your pet hone skills (fetching, tracking, pouncing, hunting, etc.), and reduce stress.
Enrichment. Mixing things up a bit and encouraging pets to use their minds as well as their paws and noses can help pets, especially indoor ones, stave off boredom. Consider these ideas: food-dispensing puzzle toys; sensory enrichment (i.e. window perch for birdwatching, pet-directed videos); climbing posts, trees, and shelves for cats; novel objects like boxes, paper bags, pop-up tunnels, and bacon-flavored bubbles for dogs. Seriously!