Animals are as big a part of my life as writing. I grew up on a farm, where I spent a lot of all-nighters nursing sick or injured animals, or feeding orphaned kittens and rabbits with a nose-dropper. And I can’t even begin to estimate the number of ducklings I hatched in the incubator in my bedroom.
When I got older, I channeled my love of animals into training and showing dogs on a professional level. There is a lot of joy to be had in turning a hellhound into a well-behaved, happy member of a family. I’ve also been involved in wildlife rehabilitation. I’m now an expert on the many ways of chopping up crickets with household appliances to feed orphaned baby owls!
Since animals are such a huge part of my life, it is only natural that I write about them. My articles have appeared in Dog Fancy Magazine and The Canine Journal. It also made sense to add an animal page to my writing website, so look around and enjoy.
I feel strongly that people need to be much more educated about animals and how to care for them. So many animals are abused, abandoned, or put to death because of rampant misinformation. Here is a list of myths I have discussed:
I learned the hard way that feline diabetes is a preventable disease, as are many feline illnesses. It all begins with diet. Cats are NOT meant to eat dry food or undigested grains. It may be convenient, but dry food, with its high carbohydrate content and indigestible grains, has been linked to diabetes, kidney failure, UTIs, obesity, fatty liver disease, IBD, and dental disease (it is a myth that cats need dry food to keep their teeth healthy!). Do your cats a favor and check out my nutrition links and see for yourself why switching to wet food can keep your cats healthier and cut down on vet bills, saving you money in the long run!
On a personal note, I want to encourage anyone looking for a pet to AVOID pet stores and newspaper ads. Pet shops often buy from “puppy and cat mills,” which are horrible, cruel places, and by purchasing a dog or cat from a pet store, you are encouraging these mills to remain in operation. In addition, you will pay WAY too much for an inferior quality animal.
People who advertise in newspapers are often “backyard breeders,” who breed their two purebred pets for money, with no consideration as to genetic compatibility. Buy ONLY from a reputable breeder whose goal is to improve the breed, or save an animal from your local shelter.
Please keep in mind that a pet should be treated as a lifetime commitment and not as a disposable toy. Even as adults, their mentality is the equivalent to that of a human child. They don’t understand when the family they loved gives them away or leaves them abandoned at a shelter or by the side of a road. If you don’t have the time to train a pet properly to make it a happy, well-behaved member of the family that won’t be disposed of later as a “problem,” wait until you do have the time. The rewards will be immeasurable!
Also, if you have a litter of puppies or kittens (get your pet spayed!) avoid advertising them in the newspaper or on Craigslist. A lot of people pretend to be interested in the animals as pets, but hundreds of thousands of newspaper and Craigslist giveaways end up as snake food, bait for fighting dogs, or torture victims. A slimeball in my hometown takes newspaper giveaways and sells them to labs for research.
One more thing; please, please, please don’t wear fur or buy products made with fur (often, those cute little furry animals made in China).) Fur animals are often beaten, tortured, and skinned ALIVE. It’s not PETA propaganda. Reputable news agencies like 60 Minutes and Dateline have gone undercover to film the fur industry. Much of the “premium” furs are made from dogs and cats and sold as racoon, fox, and rabbit. Again, these animals are skinned alive. There is no logical, humane, or good reason to wear fur. Vanity is not an excuse to allow animals to suffer. Warmth? Today’s man-made fabrics are as good as fur and lighter.