Monday, May 29, 2017

Keep Bonded Pairs Together

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Picture this situation. You have made the decision to adopt a pet (Congratulations!). As you research the animal rescue or shelter website, or even as you attend an adoption day – you come across a pet that you feel is the ONE. However, the pet is part of “A bonded pair”. What do you do – since you were only looking for one. You only have two options in this scenario..

Option 1: You adopt the pair and you have one more pet than what you initially planned for.

Option 2: You look for another one that is not part of a bonded pair.

Here’s why. Pets who are considered “Bonded Pairs” means that they have formed an intense emotional bond with each other. This can also mean that one pet is the eyes or ears of the other who is blind or deaf. It is critical for the well being of the pets and even for the household, that they remain together. To separate a bonded pair is asking for destructive behaviors to not only furniture – but also to themselves. In some cases, when one pet is taken away from the other – you have a lot of nervous behaviors like panting, howling, barking, searching. For my own dogs, one would get very nervous when we had both of them at the vet and one would be taken to a different room to get their shots, even if it was only for about 6 minutes.

In more extreme cases (especially when one pet is a guide for the other), the pet that was dependent on the other will inevitably be lost. One of my colleagues fosters cats for a local rescue. There was a pair of cats – one was deaf (Charlie) the other was not (Sam). Sam got adopted – but Charlie did not. So my colleague took on Charlie. My colleague did everything in her power to make Charlie feel at home. My colleague is a well seasoned cat owner and the cats that live there have an amazing home with an abundance of cuddles, playtime and attention . Yet despite all of this - plus communication that was given to this kitty – she was still profoundly sad and very heartbroken. She was grieving for her Sam – her ears to the world. Charlie was an older cat with a poor physical condition and my colleague tried everything to help her improve. After a year of Charlie being without Sam, and her physical condition not getting better – the painful but most loving decision was made to send Charlie to the Rainbow Bridge and ease her suffering.

Remember – animals are thinking, feeling, sentient beings that form emotional bonds – just like we do. To separate a bonded pair is to invite an inconsolable grief on the part of the pet and health issues that cannot be healed. Not to mention the frustration and worry that will be incurred on the part of the owner.

Bonded pairs need to remain together. They have bonded for a reason.

If you have questions about your bonded pair (or if you think you might have a bonded pair) e-mail me

*Charlie and Sam’s names are used with permission*
*Taz and Denali appear with Permission from Zehavit Kabak

Monday, May 15, 2017

Does your pet know that you’re moving?

Have you ever noticed that when you are packing to leave you have that feeling of “I think my pet knows I’m going somewhere.” Think about it – if you only bring out your suitcases/duffle or weekend bags etc when you leave for a trip – of course your pets are going to know you’re leaving. Does your dog or cat hop into your suitcase every time you pull it out to start packing? While it’s a great photo opp and it’s cute to think they’re “helping”, they don’t know where you’re going and why. In this case of a vacation – the pet is left at home but you come back.

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Now let me give you this scenario..

You are talking about moving. It doesn’t matter if it’s across town or across country, you are picking up everything and moving. As soon as you begin to even think about the process – your pets will pick up on your intent. In addition to talking about moving – you are of course, thinking about it. You visualize where you are going and what everything is going to look like. There’s just one small problem…

You never told your pets about the move or the intention of going anywhere.

If your pets don’t know (or don’t think they are included) about the move – then you’ll begin to see erratic behaviors. They’ll hide, they won’t act like themselves or they just seem like they are nervous. Here’s an example. Recently, I was speaking with a client who has two cats. She asked me about the one’s erratic behavior. He was racing around the house (more so than normal) and wasn’t finishing his food. My client told me she had spoken with a real estate agent that week about moving out from her current house. When I spoke to the cat in question, he felt he would be left behind (which is something of course my client would never do!). I told my client to tell him why the move was necessary and yes - he, along with the other kitty would absolutely be coming with her to the new place. He has since returned to his normal playful self of chasing his mouse toys and unceremoniously pouncing on his sister.

Cats especially tend to lay down energetic “anchors” in their territory. When they are uprooted without understanding why – you may see behaviors like eliminating outside of the litter box, or being “standoffish” when you go to give them attention.

Remember, our pets are thinking, feeling, sentient beings who understand us on a much deeper level than most people give them credit for. When you not only talk to your animal companions, but are completely honest with them in what you are talking about – they truly get it. When you communicate with your pets on this level – you will have a happier, less destructive and even stressed out pet.

Are you moving soon and need some help having your pet or pets understand why? Click here to schedule your complimentary Strategy Session

(Photo courtesy of Patty Hankins of Beautiful Flowers Pictures - Kitty Pixel is posted with permission)