Spring 2017

          Hi Fluffy Buddies!!  

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     Welcome Spring!

     Okay, so it IS a little early, I know. But Samson and I want it to be spring SO BADLY.  We are in the midst of a winter break that will be big tease for springtime weather.  We want it to be a PROMISE!
     We here at FluffyPaws hope you have all had a lovely autumn and winter. The holiday season came in like a sneaky wet dog – and then, POOF!  Water shaken off, and it’s over!  Thank you all for your thoughtful gifts, goodies, cards and warm wishes.  We basked, we ate, and we were entertained….
     And here it is, time to send off another letter full of interesting and educational stories.  Ahem.  Blossom?  Blossom, have you any advice for the newsletter?  Spike? Scout?  No… well, what about YOU, Sweetie?
     Ah, Sweetie has some words of advice. He says that if you have a pet who hates new things, and has never enjoyed unfamiliar items, don’t give up!  For YEARS I tried to entice this bird with interesting toys, mirrors, bells, ropes, ladders, even bird-seed balls.  For YEARS this spoiled feathered boy cowered and complained until the offending new thing was gone.  After years of hiding and screaming every time I put something new and “enriching” in his cage, FINALLY a lovely new food dish with a perch was just what he wanted!  THIS year, he not only embraced the change in environment, he LOVES it.  Singing, perching, tossing food pellets everywhere, he’s the happiest bird I could imagine.  Never give up!
     Samson, have you news to add?  What’s that?  Oh, oh, you think everyone hasn’t already read about your poor leg?  Sigh. Okay, then.  Samson will leave the writing to me….what?  Oh, I can write – he is going to EDIT.  Got it.  Samson has always been a little touchy in the right hindquarter.  Not anything horrible, mind you (yes, Samson, good boy…), but sensitive.  But in the recent past, I began to notice a decided limp.  As all good pet parents, we pay close attention to such things. I watched him closely, and within a few days it was clear to me that he was NOT getting better, he was getting worse.  A trip to the vet, and some x-rays later, it was determined that Samson has a torn ACL. 
     Yes, surgery is in his future….wait.  What is it, Samson?  Oh, oh, okay.  Samson says to tell you that he was excellent at the vet’s office. He was stellar, handsome, patient, kind.  (And we muzzled him because it hurt a LOT.  Don’t tell him I told you).
     Samson will be going in for surgery on his ACL in mid-March.  He’s going to have to be on crate rest for a while, and then non-weight bearing.  THAT should be fun.  But he has already learned to use the ramp getting into and out of the car, so we think it’s all going to work out fine.  Samson has edited and asked me to add that he was better on the ramp after just three tries than Macy EVER was.  Wait….what?  Oh, okay, yes, Samson.  He has insisted that I note here he has been elevated to the title of “King of All Ramps” and we are not to forget that.  So noted!
     If YOUR pet has an accident, sudden injury or illness, do you know what to do?  Do you know who to call, or where to go?  Do you have the phone number of the emergency veterinarian services in Rochester?  Do you have phone numbers for your vet and the emergency vet programmed into your phone?  Do you know the fastest route to get there?  It would be a good idea to have the route mapped out.  A “dry run” might make the difference between life and death in an emergency.
     Speaking of emergencies, does your family have emergency evacuation plans?  Escape routes in case of fire?  Do those plans include pets?   If you do have plans, please practice what you would do. If you don’t have any in place, make the time to create a safe exit plan for everyone in your house!  Not only know how to get out, but where to meet up, and where you are going to go once you are all together.
     There are a lot of nifty gadgets on the market that are geared to keeping your pets safe from harm.  Microchipping your pets is an excellent way to assure that should your pet be lost, he has a much better chance to be returned to you. Be sure that the chip is one that can be read by most chip scanners, and that it is registered in your name. Keep it up to date.  Keep an eye on your pets when they are outside.  Dog thefts have been on the rise all across the country!  Pet “flippers” steal family pets, then sell them on craigslist or other web sites to make a fast few dollars. 
     Samson says he wouldn’t let anyone steal his mom.  That’s encouraging.
     This upcoming spring, don’t forget to have your pets heartworm tested, and be prepared for “flea and tick” season!  Ugh, is there anything worse than a flea infestation?  It’s so much easier to treat BEFORE they invade your pet and home.  Be sure to read labels, buy only from trusted resources, and follow dosing directions carefully. Kittens and cats cannot use puppy and dog medications. 
     Are you looking forward to the spring season?  All of us are SO ready for some flowers, aren’t we?  Cats and dogs love them, too.  Green and growing things are very attractive to our pets.  But most lovely spring flowers are highly toxic to our fluffy buddies. Do you know which ones are safe in your home?  There aren’t any.  No kidding!  Tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, crocus, lilies, and lily of the valley are deadly – and there’s MORE.  Keep all these things out of reach of your pets. For some of us, that would mean keeping the pots suspended from the ceiling.  Or, use fakes.  Here’s a link you might find helpful…

     What would you like us to talk about in upcoming letters?  Give us some ideas, and we will run with it!  (No, Samson, not that kind of running. You cannot be running for many months to come, sorry).  Do you want information on spay/neuter?  Kitten season?  Vaccinations?  Foods?  Let us know!  These newsletters will be more fun if we have some input from our readers!  Perhaps a question and answer letter would be fun!  Submit questions, and we will try to answer them!  You can ask them of me, or any member of the FluffyPaw Gang!

Have a bright and sunny March!


Jill and the FluffyPaw gang