Winter 2020

           Hi Fluffy Buddies!!     

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Hi, Everybody!

Winter is upon us, and we are NOT complaining. After all, it’s not been terribly snowy. More important, there’s been very little icy stuff. Mom likes that part. Wonder why she doesn’t much like the mud, though? 

We here at FluffyPaws headquarters hope that you all had a wonderful holiday season, and have fully recovered from too many cookies and eggnog. What is eggnog? And how can anyone EVER have too many cookies? These are mysteries.  I also hope Santa Paws was good to all of you.

I may have mentioned in my last letter that small little incident Mom had with the shed door? The one that hit her so hard she got an infection in her head? Well, it was pretty bad. Mom says she was so sick from that infection, she was too sick to know how sick she really was.  She needed HELP and needed it very much.

Fortunately Mom has ME. Unfortunately, I have neither a driver’s license, nor the keys to your homes.  So Mom, once in a while, has to trust someone else to help her. That woman is Melinda.

When Mom books appointments to take care of FluffyBuddies, she always tries to leave enough time between each appointment so that she can spend time and give special attention to each pet she sees, then still have enough time to get to the next pet, and repeat.  But when something happens, that creates a problem.

Mom has been pondering this for a long time. How to make changes that will keep everyone happy?  By “everyone” Mom means the pets. She loves the humans who read this newsletter, but frankly, she’s more interested in your pets and their comforts!  This is true, she tells me.

After this incident that caused her to be so sick, she finally had to sit herself down and give herself a good, stern talking to. Mom started FluffyPaw’s Pet Luv way, way back when she was barely more than a puppy/kitten herself.  But now she’s old. Ahem. Okay, she’s a lot older than she was. The conversation with herself was about being older now, and not healing as fast as she used to, and needing to take better care of herself. When she is busy, like that entire time through Thanksgiving (remember the accident happened the Saturday before Thanksgiving), she didn’t even take time to notice how she was feeling. She simply thought she was tired because our schedule was so full.

So having a conversation with herself, the end result is this. Mom realizes she has to make some changes, and they are going to affect the way MOM works. FluffyPaw’s Pet Luv is not going to change much.

Mom has a trusted and well trained person on her team. This person is named Melinda, who was trained by ME (okay, Mom helped a little) so we know she knows her stuff.

Mom met Melinda over 20 years ago (I guess that’s a long time), when Melinda became a client. They got to know one another, and over the course of time, became friends. Melinda wanted to know more about being a professional pet sitter, so we started to teach her all about it.  Now Melinda has experience, and does very well, doing everything the way FluffyPaw’s wants it done.

So here’s the thing. Mom has two choices. She can cut back her client list, and only take on what she can comfortably handle, leaving some of you without coverage…GASP!  Or she can have Melinda fill in when the calendar gets quite full, or when Mom needs to pay attention to things like her health – or mine. Or the cats, I suppose, or Sweetie. I digress.

Some of you have said flat-out that you would prefer only Mom. She appreciates your love and loyalty, and will try to honor those requests. But she’s got this wonderful back-up, and Melinda works FOR FluffyPaws. So please understand that there will be times Melinda is going to be doing the house calls.

Mom also said to herself that she is never, ever going to retire. But Mother Nature is telling her to slow down a bit. Give her a break, okay? For my sake. I mean, taking care of my mom is hard enough. When she’s stumbling around from exhaustion, it’s a real battle just to get her to have dinner. I mean, HER dinner. WE always get fed.

Mom also mentioned a long time ago (don’t ask me how long, I’m a smart dog, but I’m still a dog. I don’t do length of time beyond long-or-short), that she was going to update her client list, and have everyone fill out new client contracts with her. No worries, it’s the language that will be changed some, and they will all be alike (after so many years, she has had several versions). There will be spaces for updated information on your current pets, and so on.  She finally got the information all together, and put it in the hands of a trusty typist. They will be ready soon.

Oh, oh, Mom wants me to stop talking about her. REALLY? Who’s the boss of the newsletter, I bark? Oh, right. Okay, then. I’ll bark about something else.

CATS!  Oh, I love cats!  Blossom and Scout have been spending time with ME!  Seriously, can you believe it? They come right into the living room and make themselves at home, and don’t even worry about moi.  Now and then, when they are there, Mom will say something like, “SAMSON, don’t you dare!” And then I realize that my tail is wagging and I am getting so darn excited that I might have to race after one of them…And I do stop.

So, I do my research for these newsletters, and I CAN talk about cats. Do we want to talk about the “d” word? THINK smelly liquid.  Gross. 

I’m so much more entertaining, wouldn’t you rather hear about ME? For instance, over the holiday times, I – ME – MYSELF, SAMSON – had the “d” word happen several times!  Mom says it was the busy time, stressful. It COULDN’T have been cookies and holiday food, right?

So this isn’t about me, but about the “d”.

You know that if your pet has a bout of diarrhea, it can be traced back to something they ate, right? Something they shouldn’t have eaten, like part of a toy (that might also cause a blockage, but that’s another newsletter!), or something out of the garbage, or too much of a good thing – scraps from the table that are too fatty or rich, or other human-grade foods we should not have – like a big, yummy bowl of ice cream, slurp, drool..oops. Back on topic.

To remedy that kind of diarrhea, simply stop letting your pet have whatever they have been eating.

Typically, a bout of diarrhea will last a day, maybe two. Feed a bland diet. For kitties, do not stop with food, but keep it very bland. For dogs, you can skip a meal (I cannot BELIEVE Mom made me say that!) and give the dog a tablespoon of raw, canned pumpkin (not the pie mix, plain pumpkin). Kitties must eat.

If this is a sudden incident, just watch to be sure it doesn’t continue. ALWAYS keep plenty of fresh water available. Dehydration can be serious.

If the diarrhea is chronic, your pet must see a veterinarian to diagnose what’s happening. It could be anything from internal parasites to Irritable Bowl Syndrome, or even kidney or liver issues. It MUST be checked out if your pet is lethargic or seems to have a fever, or just “isn’t acting right.”

The veterinary community suggests not trying to stop the issue with over the counter medications, or even from something the pet may have been given in the past, because it could mask symptoms. As gross as humans find this, get a fresh sample of the gunk to the vet for testing.

Okay, that’s a quick overview of the “d” word. I don’t want to bark about this anymore. Dinner time is coming…

NEXT up, then, is SHOTS. Not for me, I get all my shots. And I don’t want to bark about me in the same sentence as the word “shots.”  This is about kitties.

Have you often wondered if your indoor-kitty only really needs all the shots that are recommended?  Mom did some research on this for me, because I do not know much about feline shots, and I (sorry, kitties, it’s true) don’t care.  Here’s what she found.

The definitive answer about shots for cats is “IT DEPENDS.”  Aren’t you glad you asked?  Simply put though, ALL kittens or cats you adopt where you do not know their medical history NEED THEIR SHOTS. It’s what comes later that you have to wonder about.

First, even before we talk about that, let’s discuss preventative medications. Flea control, for instance. If your pet goes outside, or has a housemate on four feet that goes outside, it’s a wise move to use flea preventative. It just makes it easier if you prevent fleas in the first place. Heartworm preventatives depends on your tolerance for risk, the mosquito population, and again if kitty is strictly indoors and humans are not flapping the doors all season long.

The BIG question has been, if kitty is indoor only, why should he/she have a rabies shot?  THAT is an easy answer. In New York State, it is a law that your pets have rabies vaccinations. Mom says so do it, already!  There are exceptions of course for pets who are debilitated, very old, or have weak immune systems. Check with your vet.

Basically, what it all boils down to, is how careful you want to be about the health and future health of your pets, canine and feline.  You and your veterinarian should have a serious conversation when it comes to treating your life-long pets. What is in their best interest? What will keep them safe?

As always, we do make recommendations on what is right or wrong for your pet, though Mom will give you her professional opinions if you ask. You are the decision maker with regard to anything involving your furry family member.

Frankly, I find that a HUGE relief. I cannot make those decisions. I can only decide if I am hungry or not, if I feel good or not, if Mom needs me to be her therapy dog or go lie down. That’s as far as this boy can take it.

Bark again soon!  Happy Winter!


Samson, the FluffyPaw Gang, and Mom